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Standing in the Light
My Life as a Pantheist
In a glorious new memoir, a prize-winning natural science writer meditates on the history and meaning of pantheism.
"Everything is connected, and the web is holy." So wrote Marcus Aurelius, the starting point of Sharman Apt Russell's wise and haunting new memoir about her life as a pantheist.
Perhaps no other religious philosophy is as simple and inclusive as pantheism. What is, right now, is divine; there is no god apart from the universe itself. In Standing in the Light, Russell explores the history of this tradition from the Stoic philosophers to the Transcendentalists while reflecting on her own life during a year spent in the mountains and desert of southwestern New Mexico. A season of banding birds, the migration of sandhill cranes, the panicked charge of a young javelina--nature provides the inspiration for meditations on subjects ranging from Buddhist thought to the death of her father, from the Quaker tradition to the sadness of children leaving home, from global warming to the ineffable loneliness of human experience.
With a humane heart, an inquisitive mind, and luminescent prose, Sharman Apt Russell invites skeptics, scientists, and seekers everywhere to join her in her exploration of the soul of pantheism.