Best-selling author blends metaphysics, science, psychology in spiritual mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Michael Gurian, psychotherapist, philosopher and best-selling nonfiction author, channels his considerable talent into “The Miracle,” a visionary novel that blends psychological insight not only with spiritual wisdom but also with neurology and physics, which adds an intellectual vibrance found in few spiritual novels.
Story: The car crash that killed Jeffrey, a child of prophecy, was a dreadful tragedy. But for the twelve witnesses to this terrible moment it was an incident that set off a string of spiritual awakenings and inexplicable miracles that would forever transform their lives. For Beth Carey and the others, including a serial murderer who calls himself the Light Killer, the events of that late-summer evening pulled back the veil that separates life and death. Though all witnessed the same doorway of light open over the dying boy’s body, only Beth will discover the invisible world that binds all human life together. As she evolves into the “new human” forecast centuries ago by St. Teresa of Avila, and as the Light Killer confronts inner storms of human evil, forty-eight hours of miracles reveal the poignant faces of human vulnerability, and the hidden face of God. (From amazon.com)
Spiritual/metaphysical content: High. Every person who witnesses Jeffrey’s tragic death is touched–literally–in mystical ways by the light of his passing. For a time, “a person can see, really see, what a colorful chaos life is.” The river of light also reveals their fears, dreams, and the connections between everyone and every thing. The birds and animals, the river, even the cliffs and stones are living spirits in their own right. They help the witnesses discover truths within themselves and understand the broader mystery in which they have become enmeshed.
Beth, already intuitive as a nurse, enters an altered state and engages the souls and spirits around her–both living and dead. Her neurologist companion correlates her mystical experiences with physical stimulus and neural responses in the brain, bridging science and metaphysics. Beth also channels information about the emerging race of evolved humans and makes several specific and thought-provoking predictions concerning the next 75 years.
In contrast to Beth is the mysterious watcher, who is as deeply connected to the light as she is. However, he searches for enlightenment and healing on the opposite side of the light. Beth comes to understand that everything she experiences “is possible because the killer exists . . . Evil is as important for the development of the human mind as is good.”
My take: Michael Gurian, an accomplished author, crafts The Miracle with skill, balancing light with dark, modulating rising tension with powerful insight. The characters’ revelations pull the reader deep into the story; at the same time, the murder mystery broadens to show the interconnectedness of all things, including good and evil. This visionary novel employs a flow of words, ideas and images which parallels the river that anchors the story. The plot unfolds more slowly than in typical mystery novels, but Gurian’s work is anything but typical–in the best possible way.
The Miracle : A Visionary Novel, by Michael Gurian
Atria Books, 2003
Paperback, 320 pages
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