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A Surprise Life: The Spiritual Journey of a Girl from Brooklyn Paperback – 14 Nov 2009
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I've read many books about Bhagwan, including "The Awakened One", "Bhagwan: The Most Godless..", "Forever Is Not Long Enough", "My Dance With A Madman", "My Life In Orange", and "The Luminous Rebel". Susan's book gives the clearest view of Bhagwan's ashram and the people who surrounded their beloved Bhagwan. The last chapters, detailing Sheela's psychosis and the death of the Oregon ashram, were heartbreaking to say the least. When I finished this finely detailed book, I felt I had experienced it all myself.
In fact, this book was so personal to me that I attempted to locate Susan M. Clare online, just as I would attempt to locate an old friend. I wanted to write her, thank her, and ask just one question: What Happened To Sheela - Where Is Sheela?
In the course of her experiences on the Ranch she tried hard to keep a fair view of how the struggle between sannyasins and the Oregonians began and escalated later. Basically, the story is about her personal struggle between mind and heart, between her view of justice and surrender to the master. The description of her struggle is honest and sincere. Eventually she took refuge to the mind and dropped sannyas.
Susan Clare sometimes goes deep into intellectual explorations as you may find them in a scientific treatise. Except for a few high-profile leaders, such as Sheela, she changed the names of her fellow sannyasins, which is rather strange in the sannyas world, as is her usage of the word "sannyasin" without the plural "s" when referring to a number of sannyasins.
All in all, I would recommend the book as another piece of the huge mosaic representing the colorful lives of all sannyasins.