How many books have you read that aim to transform your spiritual life? Put most of them to one side, and find a copy of this excellent new book by Ian Adams. He is a master of simplicity, of focus, of seeing things differently – of finding ways of living that are really transforming and ‘do-able’.
His theme is ‘from separation towards belonging’ and moves from the exploration of re-learning to live as human beings – to the practices of stillness and movement which ease us away from complexity towards that skilful simplicity of ‘finding the essence’.
Short chapters – about seven to each section – develop these themes. Essentially this is concerned with recognising and discarding all that is complex, all that distracts us from becoming closer to God; learning hope and trust, discovering presence, and setting aside fear in the transforming emotion of love for God.
We live in a world filled with an extravagance of objects, where emotions are manipulated by advertisements, and desire is shaped by what we see ‘Celebrities’ wearing and doing. We surround ourselves with images – from the wallpaper on our mobile to the pictures on our fridge – and these, Ian suggests, are our Icons. He encourages us to reflect on just what it is we have chosen to look at, to choose something that reflects our self, to “be aware … let the picture shape your action to bring good to the world around you”.
So this is a book about the deliberate choice of what is good, what it means ‘to be goodness, and to do goodness’. Indeed, what it actually means to be fully human in a violent and unpredictable world, and to bring good to those around us.
Reviewed by Lavender Buckland LLM
Special Price of £11.99 from the shop (posted out free) or £11.99 + postage online from www.sarumcollegebookshop.co.uk between February 1st and February 28th 2014.