Book Review by Bob Pajer
Wisdom Walking is one person’s experience in soul transformation. A beautifully written diary of Gil Stafford’s journey into the woods with expectations and coming home with a larger life experience that he reports transforms his spiritual life. That is the theme of the first part of the book. His transforming experiences in the last half of the book are about his journey living, with family and others. He is deeply affected by those close to him and he describes a compassionate and warm understanding of those who are affected and suffering. If I were going though a painful time, I would want him around.
That is Stafford’s real contribution to the world of searching, all of us, who have experience here. It is a great breath of fresh air to hear it as a genuine experience. Stafford reminds me there is no universal theology. There is only a universal experience. Truth comes with the second. Perhaps all truth can be seen in a universal experience, if we search there for it. Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon are just that. And it is why they can embrace all religions and philosophies in the the success they have for helping people recover from the deadly decease, which alcoholism is, where past programs have always fallen in failure to do so. Of course not everyone recovers in these programs, they are perfect in the practice of principles leading to sustainable recovery for most. When someone like Gil Stafford shares his heartfelt experience in a world being restored to sanity, I want to listen,
Alchemy is often referred to in this book. That comes best where minds join and bodies are put aside for awhile, waiting for the power of the messages minds can give when there is a “we” program involved. Stafford talks about solitude and quietness that comes from a walking pilgrimage, the way of life toward greater and greater looking into oneself and becoming comfortable with what we really are, in truth just as God created us. We are not bodies. We are free — freedom we get from being OK with oneself, walking through the woods, or in relation to another person on the same journey, which everyone one is. Our own equanimity. Relationship is key to our own healing and recovery from separation. And it is this aspect of spiritual growth that brings us to God, and in many ways Stafford tells us through his own experience.
Quietness is essential to spiritual growth I believe, yet it is in compassion for others and loving, not special love, but loving one another as we are: perfect, holy children of One Creator and Source, that we get to see that is what we are. We find our identity in one another. That in itself is the master key to the Kingdom of God, for that is what we are. When I see you as God’s child, of a loving Father we both share equally in union with this Father, the world changes. I am deeply impressed with Gil Stafford’s ability it seems to do this. His description of his family relationships are poignant and inspiring. A beautiful example of “I see you as God’s child and my brother or sister.”
For all who want to see the passage of healing that God brings to everyone, eventually, whether they seem to want it or not, this book is a great read. This is truly an exciting journey. If your soul is having a dark night, it will be helpful for you to see some light ahead in the tunnel, I think more so by our author’s beautiful love stories describing his experience with “love one another, as I have loved you.”
Following Jesus’ practice of love is not so easy in a world that denies him and God — along with his being the Christ in all of us. But it is simple I believe: Jesus tells us to follow my example and teaching of unconditional love together, and you will see God standing there right before your poor unseeing eyes, in the other person’s oneness with you. And don’t ever deviate from this one thing. For it is the crucible of our experience that the the Holy Spirit, the only alchemist, teaching us the only alchemy there can be how to regain sight of our own identity.
Reviewed by Bob Pajer
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