There is a divine restlessness in the human heart, our eternal echo of longing that lives deep within us and never lets us settle for what we have or where we are.In this exquisitely crafted and inspirational book, John O'Donohue, author of the bestseller Anam Cara, explores the most basic of human desires - the desire to belong, a desire that constantly draws us toward new possibilities of self-discovery, friendship, and creativity.
Following his popular Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, O'Donohue offers a soaring, eloquent meditation on the art of living. In most people, he maintains, an innate, deep-seated hunger for belonging and relatedness is frustrated by our high-pressured, isolating consumerist culture. Distilling guideposts of Celtic spirituality from traditional Irish legends, fairy lore, lyric poetry and Druidic nature-worship, he also tosses into the pot some Zen Buddhism, Jewish mysticism and quotes from Simone Weil, Nietzsche, Yeats, Auden, Neruda, Merleau-Ponty and Romanian philosopher E.M. Cioran. O'Donohue invites readers to make their lives a constant pilgrimage of discovery. This, he says, involves freeing oneself from the mental prisons of guilt, rigid belief and self-punishment; learning to embrace one's individuality; and coming to terms with the loss, absence or death of loved ones. Though the writing occasionally gets syrupy, this intense, concentrated inquiry towers above most self-help or New Age fare. It includes pertinent commentary not only on addiction, parenting and music but also on the lure of cults and the resurgence of political tribalism, whether in Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia or Russia. A Catholic scholar who lives by a lake in Ireland, O'Donohue has produced a treasury for readers of all faiths--a demanding, high-wire existentialist adventure that will inspire readers to re-evaluate their goals and ways of being in the world. O'Donohue ends each chapter with a lyrical blessing or prayer, and his book itself is a profound, healing prayer.