In The Light, Judy, the author, chronicles her dreams and her search through various countries and cultures for their ultimate meaning. She calls this book, a memoir, with some pieces changed to protect the privacy of the people involved. I found it to be an engaging look into the life of a spiritual seeker and a fascinating comparative study of all religions, their symbols, and common meanings.
Judy talks to a librarian named Bill about symbols: “I’ve been having some dreams with symbols that seem to be very powerful and consistent, and I’m wondering whether these symbols have a history or a larger meaning…” “Oh, yes, absolutely,” he broke in. “All symbols have a history and a commonality. There’s no question about that… Images are the means people must employ to understand ideas and feelings. Without them, we cannot reason… but, you see, we often don’t know where these symbols and images come from, do we? We forget their origin and the long history of their use, until we end by thinking that the symbol is the thing itself!” I’ve heard it said that all symbols are mere pointers. It is like a man trying to draw our attention to the moon by pointing at it, but we mistake the moon for the finger doing the pointing.
A beautiful description of the chaos at the river, Ganges: “Over the course of the day, blessed pilgrims gathered at Mother Ganga to wash away their sins. Motionless holy men sat absorbed in rumination, their faces turned toward the sun in celebration of the endless cycle of mornings like this. The striking of wet clothing against the steps was accompanied by the distant ringing of temple bells, whose pitch and resonance varied with the preciousness of the material from which they were made- bronze, brass, or iron. And over it all hung a fetid haze smelling of smoke and of- well, I didn’t want to think what else.” I enjoyedThe Light because Lambert made me feel as if I was there beside her in her spiritual wanderings. I enjoyed the travel parts of this book very much.
The City of Light: “…The Gita,” now he looked out at the Ganges, “speaks of a radiant river of light. Westerners.. well, they often see a surface, and then they have no idea how to look beyond that surface.” He gestured as if to indicate the whole city. “This is the City of Light. Is this not what you were looking for? I do not mean any disrespect, madam,” he hurried on before I could react, “but if one cannot see the Light here, then one has not looked long enough.”
A description of inner illumination: “Nothing changed. Or everything did, for though monk, mandala, walls, cushions, and robes all seemed to remain the same, I felt at last- and only for an instant- the sense of peace that had eluded me since my dreams began.”
The author changes immensely over the course of her journey: “I feel a reassuring contentment from all I’ve discovered and all that I’ve been privileged to learn. I am a Jew, a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, everything else, and nothing, all at once. I am…whole… And I believe that all religions possess and have knowledge of the Light. By claiming the Light myself, I can also retain my own personal stories, my own place, and time, and history…” An empowering message and a timely one.
If you enjoyed The Light, you may want to pick up The Realization of Being by Eckhart Tolle (a lecture, any of his talks are along this subject line) or The Invisible Hand: Business, Success & Spirituality by David Green (a memoir about another spiritual seeker and how he found the “Light”).
Thank you to NetGalley and Ann Duran Productions for the opportunity to read and review a digital ARC of this book! And, thank you for reading.