More memoirs about spiritual launching
When Mary Johnson was trying to grow up and find rules to live by, she decided to devote her life to a transcendent conversation. In her memoir, An Unquenchable Thirst she tells of joining Mother Theresa’s order, renouncing possessions and devoting her life to serving God. Instead of rejecting her parents in order to become more worldly, she rejected their normalcy and went the other way.
Return to Need for Spiritual Belief Systems
Spirituality and religious searching are not completed during the launching period. Many adults return years later to establish a guidance system that helps them cope with grief or to find the spirituality that will allow them to face trauma and mortality.
Lorraine Ash explores spirituality and personal relationship to God first in her memoir Life Touches Life, after the loss of her baby in the eighth month of pregnancy. After writing that memoir, she didn’t stop searching. Her search for a personal relationship to God is continued in Self and Soul. Click here for my article about these two books.
Two more memoirs of a search for beliefs later in adulthood:
Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup. A chaplain uses religion to help others and at the same time find her way after her husband’s death. Click here for my article.
Devotion by Dani Shapiro. A woman in middle age goes on a quest to find truth amid a variety of belief systems. Click here for my article.
Father Joe: the Man who Saved my Soul by Tony Hendra, who leaned on his mentor for insight, hoping this kind monk would help him steer through his own barren internal life.
The Path: One Man’s Quest by Donald Walters who left home to join a spiritual commune led by Paramansa Yogananda. Click here for my article
American Shaolin by Matthew Polly, who joined a Chinese monastery to learn martial arts, Click here for my article.
The Islamist by Ed Husain, who rejected the gentle religion of his parents. When he saw someone knifed, Husain realized that the power-hungry demands of his new crowd distorted his higher values. He returned to the roots of his religion to find the compassion and divinity his parents had been attempting to teach. Click here for my article.
Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior who tried to stray from religion but found that to find her way, she needed deeper insight into a loving universe. Click here for my article.
Expecting Adam by Martha Beck. Attempting to push away from the intellectual rigor of her graduate program in Harvard, she accepts the mystery of mothering a Down Syndrome child. Click here for my article.
Stress Fracture by Tara Meissner. A psychotic episode, involving visionary experiences of instructions to murder and other destructive imagery, decided that to preserve her sanity she needed to distance herself from the otherworldly teachings of her religion. Click here for my article.
Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman, the scandalous rejection of my Hasidic Roots Accepting or Rejecting the entire system