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Record Type: Review   ID: 65

Transformations: Awakening to the Sacred in Ourselves

Cochran, Tracy, & Zaleski, Jeff

 Transformations is about exceptional human experiences, which by definition, are transformative, revealing to humans their greater potential and providing the wherewithal to incorporate that potential in our lives if we work with the EHE process. Both authors are quality journalists and consulting editors to Tricyche: The Buddhist Review. They each describe their own experiences in the opening chapters: Tracy a near-death experience when she was assaulted during a mugging and he a confrontation with the reality of death. They describe a variety of types of transformative experiences, not just those associated with death, another indication that this book is about EHEs. Most of these involve well-known people, such as Clare Booth Luce, Bill Wilson, William Wordsworth, Paul Brunton, C.S. Lewis, Vivekenanda, St. Augustine, Helen Keller, Tennyson, Ram Dass, and others less well known. My favorite is the account provided by a friend. There are also chapters on what I call Projects of Transcendence, ongoing committed activities that offer opportunities for exceptional experiences to occur and also a meaningful context within which to work with them: creativity, love, cyberspace, nature, science, the arts, traditional religious disciplines. There is a valuable chapter on surrender. Although this is a wide-ranging and liberal overview of transformative experiences, it is largely traditional. The best part is the authors’ own accounts, and the glimpses the reader can catch of the EHE process during which what begins as chaotic, unthinkable, inexplicable becomes transformed into meaning that involves not only the individual but the cosmos. It is most evident in Tracy’s story, which in part is an EHE autobiography, as she traces her "undefined search" (p. 6). She writes well of inscendence, of "this seemingly paradoxical movement of going inward to connect with the world" (p. 41).
Publisher Information:New York: Bell Tower. 1995. 193p. Chapnotes: 181-186; 1 illus
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