Books are “karmic”
A friend lent me this book to read many years ago. I loved it. The story is hard to believe, but that wasn’t important . I found it fascinating but even more than that, enjoyed its many beautiful and important messages about life and how we can make it more fulfilling and enjoyable.
The author says she was invited to receive an award by an aboriginal tribe in Australia. Expecting to be given a plaque or trophy of some kind, she was bemused to find herself somehow being led off across the Outback on foot with them.
During the journey, she learned how to live simply and began to understand some basic facts about life that, in all her previous years, surrounded by the comforts of affluent western civilization, had been obscured by trivia. She learned something about physical endurance, and about the true priorities of existence. Her companions made her feel included, and unique, and wonderful – for the first time, she felt herself to be in a state of unconditional acceptance.
I returned the book to my friend very reluctantly. I felt it had important messages, and I wanted to share it with others!
Imagine my surprise when I came across a few copies very unexpectedly a few months later while browsing in The Banana Bookshop at Covent Garden in London. They were marked at a wonderfully low price so I bought the lot and gave them away to friends. (Karmic, right?) Some of them thought it looked weird and shoved it back at me, and told me to stop trying to reform them. That didn’t make me love it (or them) any less.
Years later I discovered that this had been a controversial book. Apparently many Australians had been angry and objected to it because it had been a bestseller and had, they said, misrepresented Australian aboriginal culture.
I pulled out my old dog-eared copy and flipped through it . It never claimed to be an authority on Australian aboriginal culture. It merely told a story. Considering the size of Australia and the likely diversity of its aboriginal tribes, how could anyone say it was misrepresenting a culture when all the author had done was write about what she said were her personal experiences with them? The argument reminded me of the lack of logic and vehemence with which vested political interests in our country make art objects the focus of religious ire.
Nobody can ever prove that Marlo Morgan did or didn’t make this journey. And how does it matter whether she did or not? It would be the same as trying to prove or disprove that Dr. Brian L. Weiss (MD) had invented the entire Masters series – why can’t we just read, enjoy the story, and assimilate the inspiring and spiritually fulfilling messages of the Masters?
A sad ending: The Banana Bookshop seems to have succumbed to the recession and is no longer able to fulfill the beautiful karmic relationship we've shared and the many unexpected gifts it gave me over the years …