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am 23. Juni 2000
Shirley! You go all the way to Spain and I never really felt I could actually picture it in my mind. I never really FELT the refugios or tasted the oily soup or felt those blisters. It seemed more like fiction to me. The visions and revelations you experienced seemed like fantasy. I feel like you just scratched the surface and embellished a lot of this amazing journey. I am glad to hear however, that you've still "got it" - with all the guys still after you! I'm sorry but I was disappointed. I guess I wanted to learn more of the REALITY of this adventure than some of the same stuff from your last books. You don't have to preach to the converted. I admire and love you very much and I am glad your back safe.
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am 13. Mai 2000
The Camino. Road, path. I saw an ad for this book, noted the author, and *had* to have it, *had* to read it. And read it I did, in two days. I would have read all night, but for a prior commitment to show up--awake--for my day-to-day callings. This was no casual read: I went "on the road" with this book, I entered the road, and joined the pilgrimage. Shirley MacLaine walked the walk, and brought the story back to share. From Canterbury tales onwards, "story" is a critical element in pilgrimage. Stories not only pass the time, but pass on critical teachings to partners on the journey, people I would never have met except for the journey, sharing lessons crucial for taking the next steps on my own journey. I have read and enjoyed many of Shirley MacLaine's books. With this book, though, I went somewhere deeper, as if receiving subtle, pre-conscious suggestion that I embark on my own journey, my own pilgrimage-to-self, whether or not I leave my local world or my desk chair. The journey is inward, even if my day-to-day appears outwardly to be unchanged. I am changed by my encounter with this book.
As to the four stars. Ms. MacLaines dream/trance state encounters of Atlantis, Lemuria and the androgynic beings of previous lives were, for me, a blend of science fantasy, books on past lives, and my old Platonic philosophy days at Fordham. She shares her internal caveats and reservations about writing such experiences, and having read them, I understand why. There are few people in my local constellation to whom I can loan this book, as they will roll their eyes in their scientific ways and, most probably, will not get it. We all get what we need, and I certainly got much of the read I wanted.
What else could I have wanted? To dream more Spain through Ms. MacLaine's eyes, more scents, more road. More about hair roots, and where *did* she put her money belt while in the shower? Such an earthy book. Delicious. I was entranced by the journey. This book--the very idea of it--reverberates, and continues to trigger a vital energy shift for me. Brava.
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am 30. April 2000
"The Camino", Shirley Maclaine's new book, covers a 500 mile walking trip she completed along the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. Blisters and body pain, loneliness followed by relentless press who heard she was making the pilgrimage, vivid dream/recollections and synchronicity are shared in this journal. 40 pages into this book, I announced to my family that I will be making this same trek. Ms. MacLaine is an excellent writer; clean, intelligent, free of the need to prove anything to anyone. She's just saying what she experienced. We come away with a glimpse at the history of the trail from the days of Charlemange. We see her experience of the possible origin of three dimensional human life, Atlantis, Lemuria, ancestral connections to ET's and genetic engineerring that very possibly got us where we are right now. Skeptics will scoff. Students of Spirit will nod. (Remember, in spring 2000, scientists JUST found out that dinosaurs had four chamber hearts that show they were WARM blooded, not cold blooded like the "fact" they have "known" for years.) Whatever your level of listening, believing or remembering, "The Camino" is a wonderful journey that leaves us feeling renewed. Ultreya, Ms. MacLaine!
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am 31. Juli 2000
"There are many ways to experience one's spiritual education." This quote from Shirley MacLaine sums up this incredible book perfectly. This is Shirley's journey of one finding themselves, or re-discovering themselves on the centuries old Camino - a 500 mile spiritual trek across Spain.
I found this book to be wonderfully enlightening, illuminating, and I applaud Shirley for the courage to complete this journey of the Spirit. Shirley says, "The Camino itself helps facilitate the resolution of emotional issues."
The reader is treated to flashbacks of Shirley's past lives as she once lived along the Camino, including an amazing past life in Lemuria and Atlantis. I found Shirley's honesty and candor refreshing, and many of her insights hit directly home with me. I do believe that the reader will also gain as many insights as I did and stop and let it all sink in. We are treated to her lessons and fears that she has to conquer as well.
I really resonated with her thoughts on fear: "Never ask yourself what it is you fear - instead ask yourself what it is that concerns you. A fear thought, put out, will return, because all energy returns to the sender. Any energy always makes a loop until it regains the source. A concern thought will return also. A that moment discern why you're concerned."
I began my spiritual questing with Shirley's first book and have devoured everything she has written. She is not afraid to speak her truth and she is not afraid to seek to deepen her spirituality and then share the rest of that with humanity. I am sure that I am not the only one who she has deeply and positively affected. We are spiritual beings having a human experience and once again we are reminded of our mission - to reconnect to the Divine source - to love - to God.
Another wonderful quote, "I had walked the Camino in order to understand what we were capable of as human beings - such spiritual magnificence and such destructive fragmentation of our own souls. Were we all repeating such dramas even today because we hadn't remembered what we came from?"
I urge everyone to read this fascinating book. You too, will want to trek the Camino after finishing the book.
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am 12. Juli 2000
I've never been on a pilgrimage, and was curious, so I enjoyed taking a vicarious one. I wanted to know the nitty-gritty stuff and I appreciated Ms. MacLaine's openness in writing from the point of view of a woman I could identify with, and not as someone trying to preserve a glamorous image. She comes across as warm and rather sisterly. Although the descriptions of the trek are vivid, it's not intended as an all-inclusive travel guide and shouldn't be read as such, it's a recounting of a personal inward journey. I did eventually find something a bit tedious about it, and the ending feels rushed. As to how much of Ms. MacLaine's mystical experiences I 'believe', I really can't say, I'm skeptical of taking them literally, but I don't think that is the point anyway. They were hers, and perhaps if the most we get from them is that the human experience is stranger and more complex than our day-to-day reality, maybe we've gotten the point.
Ms. MacLaine is to be commended for her courage in making her experiences public. She doesn't need the money from the book sales and the publicity is more negative than anything else. But because of who she is, she has the opportunities for a search that few of the rest of us have, and I believe her writing of her experiences comes from a genuine desire to share her findings. She asks only that we listen to them if we wish, and open our minds a little, she does not claim she has all the answers, nor that we should follow her. I think that's correct, I believe that although it's fine to follow in someone else's steps for a while, we're meant to find our own path. I find her humility touching at a time when anyone who's ever had a flash of spiritual insight thinks it means they should start a new church or organization and recruit followers, which traps them in a dogma that allows for no new insights, which leads to a closed mind. Maybe when one's mind remains open, there are no limitations to reality or the human spirit.
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am 27. Juni 2000
"Can I prove...Of course not. But if I can imagine... in such detail, then where does that come from? Of one thing I am sure- I have a soul, and it knows more than I can presently comprehend with my mind... And again, the absence of evidence does not mean the evidence of absence." (From the final chapter)
This is a beautiful book.
Shirley Maclaine is a person and personality who both embodies and transcends most of the adjectives put on her regarding her career and her spiritual quest- some humbling, some life-affirming, and some (if I were her) downright insulting when it comes to the revealing of her soul's journey. Perhaps it is in that spirit that such a book, coming from such a learned and powerful spirit of a woman attaining even greater wisdom and polish in her sixties, could not help but be a wonderful read. Maclaine talks about her pilgrimage through Northern Spain on this famous spiritual path walked by queens, mystics, warriors and prophets in such a way as to have you practically walking with her. She brings so much of the physical reality of the path to your senses through her writing style, and gives dimensions of character, emotion and life to the many people she came to know along the way.
The beauty of this book however, is not in actuality how she seems to walk the fine line between fiction and reality when talking of her mystical and metaphysical experiences. (Her biggest fans/erstwhile disciples AND her most orthodox skeptics and detractors will have a field day with Lemuria and Atlantis alone.) She does tell in great and wonderfully novelistic detail the gradual revelation of how reincarnation has seemed to assert itself in the shape and rhythm of her life, and drew her to the Camino in the first place. She does paint and superimpose grand visions of the Spain of the ancient Moors and the Crusaders on top of the modern Spain of the Camino in the mid 1990's with beautiful and vivid detail. And the unexpected connections she makes among her many experiences and people, covering many places- even many lifetimes- propel the story and your interest as a whole.
What makes this book so enjoyable, however, is Shirley MacLaine's heart. MacLaine gives you the feeling that this entire book is a chapter in her diary, where there is no need to lie or impress anyone but the spirit of truth that inspires one to write. And then she makes you feel as if you are her best friend, and trust you enough to share the secrets of her soul. If the jury is still out for you on many of the spiritual concepts she all but took for granted before starting this journey, you will without a doubt feel, at times, virtually overwhelmed by her dream state visions. You will wonder at times who she thinks she is kidding. You will feel as if you will become exhausted by the degree of disbelief she asks you to suspend in following her through a looking glass unlike any you may have ever heard, real or fictional. But you probably won't throw up your hands and put the book down, because of the purity and innocence with which she delivers what is immediately picked up as the treasured experiences of her soul. At times while reading, I felt as if I were listening to the imagination of a gifted child. At other times I felt as if I were being told a fable by a modern day Aesop, with something to learn from it all that would enrich me. At other times, I felt like I was hearing a blow by blow true story of a woman's experiences with inspirational events that went misinterpreted. I felt all kinds of things while reading, but I never stopped reading, because I never stopped feeling this sense of outpouring love, giving it a stamp of truth that needed to not be ignored. That is what drives this wonderful, enchanting, even perplexing tale, and has you getting more out of it than you would expect.
My respect and unconditional positive regard for Shirley MacLaine has, through this book, grown tremendously beyond my mind's ability to fully explain why- which is what love is all about isn't it?
You will enjoy this very much.
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am 23. Juni 2000
Four old geezers, average age 61, just completed walking 170 kilometers, a fifth of the 31 stages. We read La Querida Shirley, and lots of other books, along the way. We also asked a dozen or so Basques, Navarrarenses, and Gallegos if they had seen her, lo these six years past, Jun-Jul 1994, when she did it. Regrettably, the paparazzi convinced locals that she flew in a helicopter and really never walked at all. Some thought she encourages false hopes of visions that few can expect to experience. Our (more or less) composite view was this. She walked the walked almost certainly. Us guys might have been able to do it all (we only had 12 days and had to skip the dull parts), but it's no walk on the beach even with a support van. There is a 16th c. [?] Spanish book, La Vida es Sueno, Life is a Dream. And one of remembered a phrase, 'Life is a dream, and a dream a dream is.' Querida Shirley gives us lots of that in her book. It's her dream and no science can test it. But for sure, it was fun to have her along. Her mysticism gets a bad rap just because she's famous. The press here was totally unfair and uncivil to her, just for the money a nude picture of her might have got for the lucky photographer. I'm glad I bought the book (from Amazon.com, by the way), though I wish the price then had been the twelve dollar bargain it is now. Don't leave home (for El Camino de Santiago) without it.
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am 16. Juni 2000
Dear Reader (yes, I learnt that from Shirley MacLaine, it means sincerety and urging): Yes, a 10-star book. I just finished reading this beautiful book this morning at 5 a.m. and I did not want the book to end. It is now 7:30 p.m. the same day, and have been dwelling on this book all day ... so sweetly. All day it seemed as if I, my spiritual self (my physical self will follow, a smile), have changed overnight (that is strange, how could it be so fast, as if I have taken a miracular medicine) - especially about forgiveness. What is there not to forgive! In the subway going to work today, I thought of several old friends whom I could not or did not even think of forgiving in the last ten years or so, all of the sudden, after reading this book, I felt forgiveness is not only a must, it is a natural! At work today, I thought how could anyone not to love and sincerely care about his/her co-workers, while before reading this book I did not feel that way at all, not because I did not want to, it was because I did not realize in such a way. A book so gentle, yet so powerful. Many times while reading it, I stopped because the words were so clear and moving, as if I was there with Shirley. Then, many times, I stopped again, because I did not want the book to end. Yet I wanted to quickly read on because I wanted to know more ..... It was quite a struggle, trying to read quickly yet wishing not to finish it at the same time. Thank you Ms. MacLaine for sharing, so I am capable to be a better person, joyfully too. Thank you again, Shirley, because you are a God-sent.
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am 16. Juni 2000
Dear Reader (yes, I learnt that from Shirley MacLaine, it means sincerety and urging): Yes, a 10-star book. I just finished reading this beautiful book this morning at 5 a.m. and I did not want the book to end. It is now 7:30 p.m. the same day, and have been dwelling on this book all day ... so sweetly. All day it seemed as if I, my spiritual self (my physical self will follow, a smile), have changed overnight (that is strange, how could it be so fast, as if I have taken a miracular medicine) - especially about forgiveness. What is there not to forgive! In the subway going to work today, I thought of several old friends whom I could not or did not even think of forgiving in the last ten years or so, all of the sudden, after reading this book, I felt forgiveness is not only a must, it is a natural! At work today, I thought how could anyone not to love and sincerely care about his/her co-workers, while before reading this book I did not feel that way at all, not because I did not want to, it was because I did not realize in such a way. A book so gentle, yet so powerful. Many times while reading it, I stopped because the words were so clear and moving, as if I was there with Shirley. Then, many times, I stopped again, because I did not want the book to end. Yet I wanted to quickly read on because I wanted to know more ..... It was quite a struggle, trying to read quickly yet wishing not to finish it at the same time. Thank you Ms. MacLaine for sharing, so I am capable to be a better person, joyfully too. Thank you again, Shirley, because you are a God-sent.
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am 8. Juni 2000
Dear future reader of The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit, I envy you. Something magnificently beautiful is waiting for you in this book. Open your mind, forget all prejudices and boundaries and just enjoy one of the most fascinating books published recently. Do not try to define it in any way - it is not like anything you ever read. Elements of documental fiction, New Age spirituality, science fiction are all here mixed together into something uncommon, something fresh and new. You will be tempted many times during your reading of this book to actually accomplish Camino yourself and to have your own "visions" of global truth. But that is exactly what makes this book ingenious - you do not need to. Together with many other readers you will be accomplishing your "virtual" pilgrimage just by reading this book. By imagining the journey and by sharing the powerful emotional thoughts of Shirley MacLaine you will be participating in the global process of mass meditation with the concentration on this wonderful reading and on the actual pilgrimage itself. By means of modern media Shirley MacLaine accomplished unthinkable - she led us through Camino and allowed to understand something very important on this "virtual" journey. She made Camino the center of information attention of all her readers and her fans and in this way allowed thousands of people to reach through time and space and unconsciously receive some very important information, for which people for centuries actually accomplished this strange journey.
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