In Unexpected Places
It is urgent that we take the death-event and the death-state more seriously and give them space in our lives.
In Unexpected Places looks at the place of death in the modern world. It is aimed at a deep concern we all share. It speaks to followers of all creeds or of no creed. The reader’s bias, in terms of belief, is not relevant; the writer has none. We are getting to a stage when there is a danger that we throw out all the old theories (the beliefs of the established religions) as well as the pictures presented by traditional and sometimes ‘primitive’ societies – the accumulated knowledge and experience of mankind.Alternatively we can look again to see if we have heard correctly.
The key is in being clear about the contrast between impermanence and permanence, between the destructible and the indestructible. Ray Brown reviews all the major religions, Christianity, Judaism (especially the Kabbala), Islam, Buddhism, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao, and shows how they all say the same thing about how to be aware of the permanent. He finds the same answers outside the formal world religions, in the Epic of Gilgamesh and in traditional African beliefs.
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Bookpleasures 26 April 2011. Review by Karen Dahood~
Rather than clinging to one ideology and professing it the only way, the author encourages the reader to open up and consider the deeper meaning behind inherent fears and anxieties on the subject of death and dying.~ Jade Ascroft, Enlightening Times
Brown presents a well written thought provoking text which is one of those books that can either be dipped into periodically or devoured in a day, depending how much time you have available.
The style of writing asks the reader to question their stance more often than offering answers to the questions presented.
Citing examples from different myths, for instance he explores the story of Gilgamesh as an analogy for the creation of the Soul or Self.
Unexpected Places will appeal to those with a grounding in psychology and the function of myth and archetypes.
The Author delves into facets of consciousness and attempts to explain how the various afterlife states can be used as reference points, or markers in waking life.
Briefly dipping into the Qabalah and the Tao, Brown offers a well referenced and nicely balanced text offering his insight into sensitive subject matter.
Through the lens of "building up a picture" the book is comparable to a literary initiation, or awakening experience via objective comparison. Rather than clinging to one ideology and professing it the only way, the author encourages the reader to open up and consider the deeper meaning behind inherent fears and anxieties on the subject of death and dying.
A most unique book, delving into that most taboo of subjects, death. The author takes you on a journey to Self, to the essence of you, but from an unsual perspective - from end to beginning, rather than from beginning to end. In this way, any possible fear of death is replaced with a sense of circle, and naturalness, and a knowing that all things are connected. ~ Jenny Smedley, TV Presenter, Best-selling author of Soul Angels, and Pets have Souls.
Thanks for the journey through a very large territory. It took me to a better place in my heart and mind.
Karen Dahood, novelist and reviewer