Tuesday, October 03, 2006


The United Church of Christ has adopted the phrase "God is still speaking," and its attendant comma, to illustrate a core belief, that "[t]here is still more light and truth to break forth from God's holy Word" (Pastor John Robinson, 1620, before the Pilgrims set sail for the New World). I also believe that God speaks through other means, through persons and their creative efforts, whether in the arts, film, or the written word. In this way we encourage one another in our evolution as spiritual beings in a human experience. It is through our evolution that God still speaks, that "Ground of All Being" (Paul Tillich) in which we move and live and have our being (Acts 17: 28).

This is an incomplete list, in no particular order, of those books and films which have shaped my evolution as a spiritual being. In a way they have become like another bible, in that I return to them again and again for nurture, instruction, challenge, comfort and reproof. I invite you to share your own personal list of those sources that inform you how to be loving, compassionate, forgiving, generous, ethical, and open.


The Education of Little Tree, Forrest Carter
Contact, Carl Sagan
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle
Two-Part Invention, Madeleine L'Engle
Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler
She's Not There, Jennifer Finney Boylan
Amazing Grace, Jonathan Kozol
Practicing Resurrection, Nora Gallagher
The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl
Traveling Mercies, Anne Lamott
If Grace is True, Philip Gulley & James Mulholland
Beyond Belief, Elaine Pagels
The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels
Mutant Message Down Under, Marlo Morgan
A New Christianity for a New World, John Shelby Spong
Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Sue Monk Kidd
The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Stephen King
The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck
The Luminous Web, Barbara Brown Taylor
A Woman's Worth, Marianne Williamson
Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh
Going Home, Thich Nhat Hanh

Ishmael, Daniel Quinn

Poetry collections

Given, Wendell Berry
God Went to Beauty School, Cynthia Rylant
Mules of Love, Ellen Bass
For Earthly Survival, Ellen Bass
Collected Lyrics of Edna St. Vincent Millay
Collected Poetry of Sylvia Plath
Collected Poetry of Robert Frost


The Shawshank Redemption
Babette's Feast
Jesus of Montreal
Star Trek II, IV, VI
Star Trek: Generations, First Contact, Insurrection
The Song of Bernadette
After Life (Japanese)
Not One Less (Chinese)
Brief Encounter
The Matrix trilogy
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Chariots of Fire
The Karate Kid
L.A. Story
G.I. Jane
Groundhog Day
The Joy Luck Club
Grand Canyon
A River Runs Through It
Field of Dreams
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The Right Stuff

Plus, there's a new TV series
"Heroes" on NBC that's really got me fired up. This show, in addition to the lists above, help me know in more tangible ways that I am not alone, that there are others who are thinking and wondering and questioning many of the same things, what scientists call synchronicity. The power and the gift of revelation (the mystery revealed), in the context of community, is to know that we are not alone in this vast universe. This is our greatest fear, which I believe fuels most of the violence in our world. It is my hope that one day we will evolve beyond this fear, realizing the holy and the good within each one of us.


Andy said...

Nice blog, Miss "whatever I could write now would be blah, blah, blah". :-)

I wish that everyone would stop and acknowledge the media that has influenced them over the years. If they ever stopped to wonder WHY it influenced them then the results would be amazing.

"Heroes" has been a pleasant surprise so far, adding more depth to the characters than I thought possible given that it airs on a Network. I like your reference to synchronicity, too.

Cynthia said...

Hey, read "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott, which is all about being a writer and the pitfalls thereof. I was listening to KFKD radio for a few days, so cut me some slack. There are days it is difficult to remember all the good in the face of all the bad, especially when one has as much time on my hands as I do.