Saturday, October 19, 2013

How religion works (Zeitgeist)

Review: Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality

Beyond Religion, Toward SpiritualityEssays on Consciousness
By Marvin X

Review by Rudolph Lewis, Editor:

"Marvin X is a griot if there ever was one. This book is an encyclopedia of knowledge."--Mumia Abu Jamal, Live from Death Row

Marvin X has done extraordinary mind and soul work in bringing our attention to the importance of spirituality, as opposed to religion, in our daily living. Someone—maybe Kierkegaard or maybe it was George Fox who—said that there was no such thing as "Christianity." There can only be Christians. It is not institutions but rather individuals who make the meaningful differences in our world. It is not Islam but Muslims. Not Buddhism but Buddhists. Marvin X has made a courageous difference. In this book he shares the wondrous vision of his spiritual explorations. His eloquent language and rhetoric are varied—sophisticated but also earthy, sometimes both at once. His moods are both reverent and irreverent: at times he consoles, other times cajoles with biting mockery. At times amusing but always deadly serious.

Highly informed he speaks to many societal levels and to both genders—to the intellectual as well as to the man/woman on the street or the unfortunate in prison—to the mind as well as the heart. His topics range from global politics and economics to those between men and women in their household. Common sense dominates his thought. He shuns political correctness for the truth of life. He is a Master Teacher in many fields of thought—religion and psychology, sociology and anthropology, history and politics, literature and the humanities. He is a needed Counselor, for he knows himself, on the deepest of personal levels and he reveals that self to us, that we might be his beneficiaries.

All of which are represented in his Radical Spirituality—a balm for those who anguish in these troubling times of disinformation. As a shaman himself, he calls too for a Radical Mythology to override the traditional mythologies of racial supremacy that foster war and injustice. It's a dangerous book, for it reveals the inner workings of capitalist and imperialist governments around the world. It's a book that stands with and on behalf of the poor, the dispossessed, the despised, and downtrodden.

Marvin X has found a way out of our spiritual morass, our material quagmire. We are blessed to still have him among us. If you want to reshape (clean up, raise) your consciousness, this is a book to savor, to read again, and again—to pass onto a friend or lover.

—Rudolph Lewis, Editor, ChickenBones: A Journal


Preface, Joy and Happiness, Work

Reconciliation, Health, Elders

Women, Men, Youth

Children, Sex, Solitude

Blessings, Music, Writing

Africa, Love, Partner Violence

Prison, Street Violence, Pimpin

Rap, Jerusalem, Teacher, Myth

Militant, Language, Nature,

Global Violence, Sectarianism

Technology, Ancestors, Death

History, Future, Polygamy

Polyandry, Prostitution, Nukes

Religion, Sufi, Prayer, Radical God

Ritual, Drugs, Family, Marriage

Education, Gay/Lesbian, HIV/AIDS

Art, Traumatic Stress, Poverty

Black Bourgeoisie, Media, Panther

Peace, Politics, Immigration, Land

Holy Joes, Sovereignty, Democracy

Fascism, Amnesty, Capitalism, Americas

Berkeley, Condi, Chinaman's Chance

Paris Burning, Sudan, London Bridges

Welcome to Mexi-Cali, Pan Africa

Evil, Tookie Williams, Fathers and Daughters

Why I Talk With Cows, Jesus, Pharaoh's Egypt

Death Angel, When Jazz Ain't Jazz, BAM at Howard U.

Lucy Is Coming, One Mind, Afterword

Order your copy from Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702, $19.95.

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