Waking The Monkey! Top Review
My publisher Lulu.com sadly deleted all the reviews of my book when it rebooted its website recently, and when they restored them my top review had been shortened to about half its length, so I shan't be publishing future books with them.
Fortunately I managed to have the best one saved, so here it is.
Many thanks to RB who wrote this review.
Absorbing and enlightening with an important message for our times
This book works on at least three levels. Most simply it is a very readable account of the life of a new-age-style camp, bringing back my own memories of camps in the 1980s, some of which featured the 100th Monkey Camp’s convenor, Palden Jenkins. I recall Palden leading a guided visualisation into the inside of Glastonbury Tor, where we met and received gifts from our spirit guides – unforgettable.
Claire Randall takes us through the day to day hassles of communal living with some powerful individuals and with little opportunity for privacy. She does this frankly and sensitively and in delightful detail. I can almost smell the trodden grass under the heavy canvas of the marquees and the whole-food cooking from the camp kitchen.
On a second level we join Claire on an odyssey of self-realisation, exploring how to live as a physical being in a spiritual reality, a dilemma common to most religious faiths. Claire gives us her own credo on p213. What appear at first as the usual squabbles among relative strangers living in close proximity are then seen as psychic struggles between personalities in a temporary community whose express purpose is to use the power of shared consciousness for the good, and this with the background of a real brutal war that was raging in the Balkans at the time.
Claire’s own battles are presented honestly and reflectively, with empathy for her fellow campers and with an implicit belief that living through interpersonal conflict can lead to personal growth and perhaps indeed ultimately to world peace. It is a big book but the reader is constantly spurred on to find out what happens next. I felt that I got to know Claire quite well, though at times she sprang a real surprise.
At a third level Claire draws on a variety of concepts from religious and metaphysical thinking, from Wicca and alchemy to Buddhism and quantum theory, in search of explanations for the ongoing development of the camp’s mission. It can be frustrating that there are no footnotes – sending me scurrying to the internet – but where is the harm in that?
I can’t always tell from the text when Claire is directly reporting the discussions at the many camp meetings and when she is presenting her own reflections on these discussions. I’m not sure that this matters. The vividness of the account left me feeling that I had been there myself and the ideas still bouncing around in my mind are potentially consciousness-changing if I can only open the door wide enough. R.B. Headingley, West Yorkshire
Buy Waking The Monkey! ~ Becoming the Hundredth Monkey (A book for Spiritual Warriors)