BootsnAll Travel Network

Articles Tagged ‘Karen Armstrong’

More articles about ‘Karen Armstrong’
« Home

Continuing with Karen Armstrong

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

I’m still reading Karen Armstrong’s The Spiral Staircase. It’s taking me a long time. I read a few pages, put the book down, think, live, sleep on her words, wake, and read a few pages more. Armstrong is part of this moment for me, and I am as grateful to her as I am to my closest friends. She explores questions, like What is an authentic life? which have called to me for decades. She describes my own doubts and longings. Sometimes she sounds a little like Joseph Campbell, as here: [read on]

An Authentic Life

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

I begin by noting that Karen Armstrong moves me with her clear thinking, her rigorous scholarship, and her fine writing. Her book, Buddha, is a fascinating examination of the mythical foundations of Buddhism. Last night I started reading The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness, and in the preface she explains that she joined a Roman Catholic convent and embarked on a seven-year attempt to become a nun because she wanted to “live more authentically than seemed possible in the world I knew” (xi). That grabbed me so powerfully I had to put the book down. What is an authentic life? That question is driving my intention to quit teaching in ten months and move to a Buddhist center. It is a familiar question–it’s the question that has driven most of my life-wrecking decisions: to bear and adopt children alone, to leave lovers, to pursue college degrees, to leave Smith College, to emigrate to South Africa, to leave Africa, to explore Portugal, to start this blog. . . . [read on]