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Book Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

The Practical Visionary
A New World Guide to Spiritual Growth and Social Change
Corrine McLaughlin, Gordon Davidson
Unity House 03/10 Paperback $17.95
ISBN: 9780871593405


"Practical visionaries are awake: their eyes are on the horizon, their feet are on the ground, and their hearts are on fire. . . . Rather than fanatical idealism, they are creating a new rhythm of practical spirituality. Synthesis is their keynote — transcending dualities such as inner and outer, reflection and action, and personal and political — and finding higher common ground amidst conflict," writes Corrine McLaughlin. She and Gordon Davidson are the co-authors of Spiritual Politics and founders of The Center for Visionary Leadership. Their commitment to service has led to the creation of a successful spiritual/ecological community in Massachusetts, a nonprofit leadership community in Washington D.C., and an international meditation network.

In this guide to the people, resources, and organizations of the New World, McLaughlin delves into the eight keys to spiritual growth and social change:

• Shifting from what is dying to what is being born
• Understanding the big picture and the evolutionary plan
• Making your livelihood a social change strategy
• Invoking the magic of your soul
• Turning within to find a source of spiritual strength
• Clarifying your higher purpose and vision
• Seeing money as a spiritual asset
• Transforming dualism and conflict into a higher synthesis

McLaughlin quotes Rainer Maria Rilke:

"Again and again in history some special people wake up. . .
and demand room for bold and audacious action.
The future speaks ruthlessly through them.
They change the world."

The authors provide readers with many helpful lists, meditations, and thought-provoking probes on New World Values (such as Whole Systems, Integral Thinking; Multiculturalism and Diversity; Intuition and Inner Guidance); the spirit of synthesis in politics, science, business, and religion; ways to keep spirituality sane in challenging times; four key strategies for creating the New World (the paths of the spiritual warrior, the social innovator, the reformer, and the exemplar); and a meditation on discovering your vision and contribution to the New World.

One of the essential changes that must be made in moving beyond the present adversarial culture is to abandon the mythology of dualism with its emphasis upon the conflict between inner and outer, Spirit and matter, self and society. A radiant and enlightened civilization, according to McLaughlin, will be built on synthesis, collaboration, and unity consciousness.

 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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