When God Talks Back (A Review)

I’ve been reading the book, When God Talks Back by TM Luhrmann as of late. I’m not all the way through it, but what I’ve read is interesting. And fascinating.

The author spends a lot of time with evangelical Christians to study how they pray and communicate with God.  What she finds is very similar to the relationships with the sacred described by other spiritual traditions.  Through active prayer and meditation, these people enhance their mental imagery and feel a sense of peace and love and joy come over them, and sometimes experience (hallucinate) god as being real in physical form.

It reminds me of my conversion moment.  I was a child, drifting to sleep, but still awake, when all of a sudden, I was overcome. I felt like I was being hugged by the best invisible force in the world. I was warm and cuddly and the happiest I had ever been.  And I understood that sensation as the sacred power of the universe come to greet me. 

Regardless of what you believe, those “conversion moments” can be powerful and drive you towards a blind faith.  I would offer the following advice: 

You can explore your mind, create a social connection with yourself, and still have divine experiences without attributing it to anything but your brain’s awesome power.  That being said, gods and goddesses and even Jesus are a powerful construct designed to help your brain get there.  So, if a part of you believes, let it go wild. Maybe you’ll feel as though you can “see the words [of prayer] written on their faces” or hear God’s voice behind you. As long as God isn’t telling you to hurt someone, you go on with your fine self!

 

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