Otter Thompson: Taking it slow

Otter Thompson: Taking it slow

'Aha!' I thought to myself the other day. I'd finally found a flaw with Walking Through Illusion, Betsy Otter Thompson's excellent book to be released in January. I had just slammed through four chapters (I've read 11 now if you are keeping track) and suddenly it occurred to me that this is not a book to be read quickly.

It's too rich, too deep and too well-thought out to do anything but savour it slowly, one chapter per day, perhaps, or even one per week. The exercises at the end of each chapter, and the realizations they inspire, deserve time in which to ruminate, to gestate, and to help the reader shift their reality.

My other realization was that the book does not need to be read in sequence. Most of the chapters, to me, can be read independently, after reading the Preface, of course, which explains the idea of action/reaction and mirrors. However, the experience is much more powerful if the chapters are allowed to build upon one another in the reader's consciousness.

Okay, so it's not really a flaw but it was the best I could do. I am in love with this book. Otter Thompson has written engaging character sketches of Biblical characters that take us beyond their common images and into their flaws, their struggles, and their triumphs as they learned to feel themselves more honestly.

"Sorry, life isn't meant to be fair, it's meant to be informative," Jesus tells Betsy at the end of Chapter 11, the subject of which was Thomas and his struggles with self-esteem. mmm… the weight of that just staggers me. Which is odd, because I've heard that sentiment many, many times in the past. Why does it affect me so strongly at this time? Partially, perhaps, because I have reached a point where I am ready to assume 100% responsibility for my life (that's all Jack's fault).

A large part of its impact is the context in which it is presented. Betsy (and Jesus) show so clearly that Thomas created his own reality (as we all do) and that his feelings of un-worth were reflected back to him in the mirrors around him. When he esteemed himself, others did so as well. At the very end of Chapter 11, Betsy applies this lesson to her own life and shows how she has moved from waiting for everyone else to approve of her to approving of herself.

This book flows so well, building insight upon insight and lesson upon lesson. It drives home the idea of the mirror, refracted through so many different experiences and characters, I believe it would take an extremely obstinate reader to not start examining their own life.

Loving it. Totally recommend it. Taking it slow.

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