Listed in current order of Church preference.....
The Alphabet Versus the Goddess - Leonard Shlain
Touch the Dragon - Karen Connely (see quote below)
Demonic Males - Richard Wrangham & Dale Peterson
On The Road - Jack Kerouac (see quote below)
If you would like to propose your own links and/or recommendations in the above categories, please click on the email box below. Your proposals will be considered in due course (along with the many others we receive) by the Church Synod. If the Synod looks favourably upon your suggestion, it may be considered for placement on the Parishioners' Recommendations list where ordinary Parishioners the world over will be able to recommend as they so wish. The Synod will be looking for cogent arguments or descriptions, so don't just name them and say they are good. Beef it up a bit......
Touch the Dragon, P.41 – Karen Connelly
"Why a monk? How can he wear orange and breathe slowly all the time. Sometimes I’m convinced the human race as a whole is pathetic in it stupidity, but I’m beginning to understand why we’ve survived this long. We have the remarkable ability to get something out of nothing, explanations out of mystery, truth out of air. The great religions and causes are the best magic tricks in history, conjuring neither pigeons nor rabbits. Even an elephant out of a top hat would pale in comparison to the stunning answers we come up with to calm ourselves (or, as the case may be, enrage, justify, avenge ourselves). You don’t need to be a Buddhist, or a Christian, or a Muslim; the truth isn’t found only in ancient books. It can be anywhere, depending on your eyes.
If I’m to believe the monk, and I do, we mould our lives according to dreams and visions whose substance is poorly imagined. Our truths are as numerous and unpredictable as wind currents, as invisible, as undeniable. The only prop necessary for the whole show is faith. With faith, you will have your truth, no matter how absurd it may appear to others. If you have a vision, you’re obliged to believe in it even if your neighbours think you are stark raving mad. What must the monk’s mother say of her eyebrowless, malnourished son, a perfectly sane young man living on rice and vegetables and pure Asian light? He relinquished his seaside, his clothes, his name, but he knows what he’s received in exchange. I like the image of him in my mind, the grey eyes, skin, mouth, egg-bald head rising out of orange sheets. He is so convinced, so convincing. I wonder about people like him, and the people who are monks without robes, the ones who wonder around in the noisier world, they’re gods in their pockets. Bertrand Russell was once asked if he would die for his beliefs. He laughed and said, “Of course not. After all, I may be wrong.” I laugh myself, thinking how wrong I might be. But it doesn’t matter. Belief, and the faith feeds itself; truth shines out like a new born moon."
On the Road, P. 291 - Jack Kerouac
“.....So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all tha raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old.....”