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In Search of the Divine Mother Paperback – 7 Sep 1998
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Martin Goodman, the author of this book, is a former devotee of Mother Meera whose life was profoundly affected by his time with this Indian mystic. This is his journey of awakening. He describes his teacher with respectful admiration and tells the story of her early life in India and the path that has brought her to Germany. For some people she has become a deity, the personification of the feminine divine. From his experiences Martin has come to question the idea that she might be infallible, but reveals clearly the power and compassion of one of the greatest living mystics of our time.
From the Author
As 1999 passes and the furore that surrounded the publication of this book fades away, how do I look back on it all?
I'm glad I don't have to go through the process of distilling so much phenomenal experience once again, but pleased with the way the book came out. I learned a tremendous amount in my own passage through devotion, and am pleased to have heard from so many people who the book has helped. Devotion to a human goddess figure takes westerners way beyond the norms of their lives, and I do reckon this book gives a helping hand to anyone who connects with such a devotional path in any way. I reckon it's a gentle and beautiful book, and am happy with that. It offers a tremendous amount of new information but never tries to answer all the questions it poses .... everyone is entitled to their own level of mystery, and not all mysteries need to be unravelled. If you choose to read this book, thanks for the attention you will be giving to it. It's much appreciated.See all Product description
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The book is in three parts. In the first part, "A Journey into Devotion" we learn how Goodman and others receive "darshan" (being in the presence of God) from Mother Meera in her home in the small German village of Thalheim where she has lived since 1985. "Her darshan consists of a ritual, where she will touch a person's head, and then look into his eyes. During this process, she reportedly 'unties knots' in the person's subtle system and permeates him with light. She doesn't charge any money for doing so and she will not give lectures." -- WIKIPEDIA.
The second and main part of the book is called "The Life Story." Goodman was encouraged by Mother Meera and her followers to go to India and to write a book about her life. They gave him a list of contacts and he went. He interviewed these people and others who knew Mother Meera, Venkat Reddy, the uncle who discovered her, and Adilakshmi, her devoted friend and follower. Among those he interviewed were Mr. Reddy's family, whom he left to pursue his devotion to the child-god he had found among them. Here Goodman explores the question of how the Divine manifests itelf in the human. Does the human know of their divinity from birth? How does their divinity manifest itself on the material plane? How does a very human creature respond to their divine nature? How do others, who have no knowledge of the Divine, interpret the divine spark in someone they know? These are difficult questions that are not easily answered in the limited vocabulary of human discourse. Goodman makes a valiant attempt yet, as with all writing, we see more of the author than what he is trying to describe.
The third part "A Journey into Life" tells of his attempts to get his words published. Mother Meera and Adilakshmi ask him to delete his first draft and he complies. He struggles with his decision and, in anger, writes a second draft which is also never published. The book we have is a later draft and this last chapter is his attempt to come to terms with his contact with the Divine. He sums up by saying: "Mother Meera gives powerful spiritual transmission that helps people bud into the fullness of life.... I have met a power that comes from Mother Meera, and it has transformed my life. It did not come from her words but from within the silence of her public meetings. ... It is wonderful to know her through her silence alone." He sees her as "a superb channel" of the Divine, that the Divine energy flows through her human form to those who approach her. Yet he seems to be saying that she maintains human form and does not transcend it.
Goodman's devotion to Mother Meera helped him to come to terms with his own homosexuality, something that was also stated by her first biographer Andrew Harvey in his book Hidden Journey. Her unconditional love and silent acceptance were very healing to both men. When her 1997 book Answers Part 2 states that "Homosexuality is against the law of nature," both men are shaken from their devotion. Goodman states: "...since I know with certainty that Mother Meera is wrong in her condemnation of homosexuality, I cannot accept her word on anything else."
This is a wonderfully honest attempt to write about the human experience of the Divine. It will be insightful reading for any who are interested in spiritual growth.