I am not big on being naked. Well, that is to say there are times when being naked comes in rather handy, but just in general terms being naked is not on my bucket list. The idea of everyone seeing my business, well let’s just say, is not very cool. But the idea of being naked on a spiritual level is even more frightening. The idea of living my spirituality in process is fine, but to do so with others is rather hard to do. When you are naked on a physical level you can “hide” certain areas of your body with a well placed hand, or you can “look good” when people pass bye by sucking in your gut, or pushing out your chest. But when you are open to being naked on a spiritual level, there is no way to hide. But then, that could be what Brian writes about.
In that, I feel blessed by reading Brian’s new book, “Naked Spirituality; A Life With God In 12 Simple Words.” I like the idea of a seasonal cycle to our faith journey. There is something very Celtic in the cycles and the connections; Spring leads to Summer, Summer to Fall, Fall to Winter, Winter back to Spring and the cycle continues. In his book Brian brings out twelve words to guide us in our naked walk. These words are broken down into the seasons of our faith journey. The first three words centering on the “spring” of our faith walk are brought out in the section “Simplicity: The Season of Spiritual Awakening” are, Awakening, Gratitude and Awe. While I agree that these three words are essential to the spring of awakening, I am not sure they are very simple. But I do agree that they are the starting point in our naked walk. When we start our journey in spring, we are confronted with days of warmth, and evenings of cold. While being naked in the warmth of the day is fine, it is much harder in the cold of the night. But what we need to remember is that it is the flux in temperatures that bring about life, and growth.
As Brian moves along, in the section “Complexity: The Season of Spiritual Strengthening,” he brings out three more words, Wisdom, Strength and Skill. As we move along in the seasons of our spiritual walk, we move from simplicity to complexity, from flux of spring, to the heat of summer. In that, we need to develop a deeper walk, a walk founded in wisdom and strength. I like the idea that Brian brings out that a season of complexity is like the season of summer. While there is a great amount of light, there is also a great amount of hard work.
Brian brings out the “fall” of our faith journey in the section, “Perplexity: The Season of Spiritual Surviving.” This is a season of “ambivalence,” the harvest is in, now what? The words that Brian shares for this season are “Commitment,” “Energy,” and “Enthusiasm.” The beauty of fall is set in a stark contrast with the cold rains, the high winds and the dying vegetation. This is the beginning of our faith journey troubles. We hold fast to doctrines that hold us in place, in hopes of regrowth. As Brian says, it is a time of a “blaze of color between green and gone.”
As the seasons of our faith journey continue, we come to the winter of our faith. In this section, “Harmony: The Season of Spiritual Deepening,” we come to a place in our faith where we move to comfort. The three words that Brian brings out for this section are, “Harmonize,” “Integrate,” and “Reconcile.” This season is a time or self refection, a time where we come to comfort with our faith journey.
All in All
Generally speaking, I liked this book. When I do a review of a book, I try hard not to quote from the author because I want to process their words and share them as they are being processed in my mind. As we strive to find our faith journey, I would say this is a good book to start with. Brian weaves the narrative in a way that makes sense and is very understandable. I enjoyed the read.