Radical Optimism: Practical Spirituality in an Uncertain World

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Sentient Publications, 2002 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 139 pages
Radical optimism is our deepest response to the immense and threatening challenges of our contemporary world. In this profound exposition of the truths of an integrated life, Radical Optimism challenges the reader to confront difficulty with authentic spirituality. Meditation, the practice of silence, and the body of mystical experience are all effective forces that confound evil and give us the means to live a loving life. Beatrice Bruteau is both a brilliant synthesizer and an original thinker. She brings to bear her knowledge of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and science in this exploration of how to embrace the spirit of optimism in a world grown increasingly dark and desperate. "The deepest truth is our union with the Absolute, Infinite Being, with God. That's the root of our reality. And it is from that root that my optimism is derived," she states. This is a viewpoint that acknowledges evil, but puts it in its place. In Bruteau's view, evil is not simply the opposite of good, because goodness has the unique power to create, whereas evil can only react, distort, and destroy. It is the creative power of goodness that sustains us in our confrontation with evil. Radical Optimism describes the value of meditation, leisure, relaxing the body, and keeping silent for a period of time-all within the context of the ordinary demands of life. There is a role to be played by imagination, mythology, and self-image in either promoting or interfering with our ability to "find our base and our center in the sense of eternity and wholeness." As the founder of an international network for contemplatives of all traditions, Bruteau is able to present her practical spirituality in terms that all readers can understand, no matter what their backgrounds. Radical Optimism also expresses the idea that our growing global interdependence-cultural, economic, and ecological-can help us to "sense the reality of each person within the unity of shared life" and thus be motivated to act in the interests of the larger community. Radical Optimism shows us who we really are-a unique, precious, creative act of God-and with this understanding we can find the way beyond evil and suffering.

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Beatrice Bruteau sets forth a deep and shining vision of spirituality one that guides the reader into the contemplative life and the very root of our being. Read full review


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