So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Hidden Journey: A Spiritual Awakening. Andrew Harvey

Hidden Journey reminds me of the Joan Osborne song "If God Were One Of Us." It tells the story of Andrew Harvey's nine years of spiritual growth while a pupil of Mother Meera, an woman who claims to be an incarnation of God on Earth. He meets Meera at the Aurobindo ashram in Pondicherry at the end of 1978 when he is 27 and she is 18. She has been brought there by Mr. Reddy, an Indian who had been seeking the Mother Goddess his whole life and discovered Meera when she was an 11 year old servant in his in-laws' home.

The book is more about Harvey's mystical journey, but people interested in Mother Meera will also find the book useful. He describes her silent meetings with followers (darshan) where she first holds the devotee's head in her hands and then looks into their eyes, supposedly imparting her grace in this process. Also her early life in India and Thalheim Germany are presented, but in a very subjective way through the practice of Mr. Harvey.

Since Mother Meera is silent during her public appearances, much of what we learn of her is from question and answer periods that Harvey held with her in private. However, even these are presented basically as leading questions by Harvey to which Meera agrees. The other method that Harvey uses to reveal her thoughts is through Mother Meera's voice in Harvey's head. He presents Meera as being able to communicate with him telepathically and many discussions in the book, presented in italics, are of this nature.

Another large portion of the book is devoted to the mystical gifts of visions and dreams that Harvey gets from Meera during his spiritual progress. Many of them are of glowing radiances, golden glows, and other lights. While these and other unusual occurences present a very lively and dramatic view of the mystical path, I found them repetative and skipped over a lot of them.

The book does present how an average human being with a fair share of personal problems can make spiritual progress through mystical practice. However, although Harvey made lots of progress, one gets the idea that he still has a way to go.


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