Review: Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality
Beyond Religion, Toward SpiritualityEssays on Consciousness
By Marvin X
Review by Rudolph Lewis, Editor: Chickenbones.com
"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