Awakening to More: Life Lessons to Keep Us Grounded, Hopeful, and Prepared
by Adele Von Rust McCormick, Ph.D. and Marlena Deborah McCormick, Ph.D.

"We contend that learning about Nature, including human nature, is an ideal venue to stretch one’s consciousness and compassion, because its messengers and cast of characters whisper to the human soul."

In examining such consciousness and compassion, the authors focus on the healing of nature and all of its inhabitants. This is a self-help book that goes beyond the usual platitudes of such necessary help through the examination of psychological needs interspersed with the wisdom of philosophy and spirituality. Here, human nature combines with that of the mystical relationships with various animals, primarily horses, although there are other animals as well. The work examines the awe of nature, mysteries, and the cosmos. It further examines the “richness” of tragedy, letting go of the ego, peace vs. conflict, the need to retreat, leadership, silence, stress, intimacy, and the development of the superego and of a higher conscience. The authors utilize the example of horses and crossing the ‘interspecies barrier” in order to bond with animals, which also teaches readers how to bond with humans.

A short work of 102 pages (not including the bibliography, endnotes, and biographies), the book relates touching stories regarding the gifts of animals as well as the stories of a husband/father who died and the spiritual development through this loss. These stories are designed to aid the reader in understanding the magnificence of life and death and the higher purpose one can have with the Source. The basic insights into the value of nature and how nature relates to our higher selves is done in an easy-to-comprehend manner, and the book is well-organized. It is an interesting work that may be especially pertinent for those on a beginning path into nature and spirituality as well as for those who need to find a way to bridge the path into both inner and exterior exploration of one’s self.

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