This book will be for many ‘a friend indeed in a time of need.’ It is a book for life enhancement, a practical manual for growth, a fireside companion and a renewable balm for the heart on each reading. It’s magic and lasting impression is due to the fact that (to paraphrase a popular British beer advert) it ‘touches those parts of the soul most other books don’t reach’ (or even speak about). I only intended to have a brief read before bed, but it kept me riveted until two in the morning!
Quest is truly a Sharing which evidently comes straight from the heart and a deep understanding of the spiritual life. Considering the breadth and depth of the subject matter, the writing is extremely clear and accessible, and not a paragraph is wasted on boring speculation. It is written in lively and flowing prose, touching, poetic and humorous in turn. The simple profundity of the explanations should firmly establish the author as one of the new genuine spiritual teachers now emerging in the West.
Muz Murray is an internationally known English Mystic, mantra-yogi and artist (remembered by many as the founder of Gandalf’s Garden, a popular spiritual centre and magazine which flourished in London during the ‘Flower-Power’ Era) who has spent over twenty globe-trotting years investigating spiritual traditions around the world. The results of his researches are here distilled and clarified with loving precision.
Murray’s experience and forthrightness should save many an earnest seeker from years of running after the glittering gurus of the world and losing themselves in unprofitable spiritual backwaters. He is a guide one can trust. His overall global view of the mystical life refreshingly cuts through the cloying cultist cobwebs of dogma to the essentials.
Sweeping aside the trappings, he points out the pitfalls lying in wait for the naive and unwary seeker on the Path. He has no time for ‘preciously secretive’ esotericism and fearlessly and freely gives out many of the jealously guarded secret teachings of the sects and gurus with whom he has associated.
Here is a visionary with his feet on the ground, answering the questions (taken from the letters of his students) which beset us all, with a wealth of common sense, uncommon wisdom and a spiritual discrimination as lucid as that of a Chogyam Trungpa or Krishnamurti. He covers a wide spectrum of spiritual problems, including: Choosing a Guru; Problems on the path of Action or Passivity?; On Changing the World (a glimpse into a mystic’s universe); Meditation; Mantra; Psychotherapy and the Spiritual Life (a sympathetic critique of Primal Therapy and its shortcomings); Healing the Hurts of Many Lifetimes; Opening the Third Eye; Siddhis and Seeing Through Spiritual Silliness (a salutary and humorous sideswipe at starry-eyed spiritualism); a very moving and edifying piece On The Souls of Animals, and many others.
Never Mind the Mind is a tremendously liberating chapter for those of us locked into our mental habit patterns, and the in-depth exposition of the Nature of Ego is a brilliant breakthrough in perception way in advance of the presentwestern psychological model. These two stimulating chapters alone make the book well worth having, but every section is a treasure trove of inspiration or practice, not only for yoga teachers, but for housewives and academics alike, having appeal to both the head and the heart.
The final chapter on Healing the Sickness of the Soul gives a remarkable psychological portrayal of ‘one of the most prevalent maladies on earth today, to which we are all prone on one level or another.’ Here the author is at his most endearing. In his therapeutic method of ‘Sunconsciousness’ he has rendered the profoundest practices of the sages (for experiencing God within oneself) into a deceptively simple, but eminently effective practical tool for the Western seeker bent on overcoming the stresses of the soul. The method begins to work after only a short period of practice, and I for one am grateful for it. It will prove a godsend to many soul sufferers.
In short…Quest is a book of Light and de-light. Anyone troubled in spirit will get a boost from it and the insightful confirmation that ‘All is well with the world after all’. A book no sincere spiritual aspirant can afford to miss. Highly recommended.