Standing in the Light by Sharman Apt Russell
My Life as a Pantheist

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“Everything is connected, and the web is holy.” So wrote Marcus Aurelius, the starting point of Sharman Apt Russell’s wise and haunting new memoir about her life as a pantheist. Perhaps no other religious philosophy is as simple and inclusive as pantheism. What is, right now, is divine; there is no god apart from the universe itself. In Standing in the Light, Russell explores the history of this tradition from the Stoic philosophers to the Transcendentalists while reflecting on her own life during a year spent in the mountains and desert of southwestern New Mexico. A season of banding birds, the migration of sandhill cranes, the panicked charge of a young javelina-nature provides the inspiration for meditations on subjects ranging from Buddhist thought to the death of her father, from the Quaker tradition to the sadness of children leaving home, from global warming to the ineffable loneliness of human experience. With a humane heart, an inquisitive mind, and luminescent prose, Sharman Apt Russell invites skeptics, scientists, and seekers everywhere to join her in her exploration of the soul of pantheism.

About Sharman Apt Russell

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Sharman Apt Russell is the author of several books, including Hunger and Songs of the Fluteplayer, which won the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award. She has written for publications including Discover and Nature Conservancy, and currently contributes to OnEarth, the magazine for the National Resource Defense Council. Russell teaches creative writing at Western New Mexico University and at Antioch University in Los Angeles, California. She lives in Silver City, New Mexico.
Published July 1, 2008 by Basic Books. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help, Law & Philosophy, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Russell weaves into this personal journal a selective history of pantheism in which she examines the writings of Aurelius, Baruch Spinoza, Giordano Bruno, Walt Whitman and Robinson Jeffers, among others.

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Publishers Weekly

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is an interconnected whole that we can rightly consider sacred.” A Quaker who has studied many philosophies and religions (she was once kicked out of an Indian ashram), Russell has lived for nearly three decades in southwestern New Mexico, writing (Hunger ;

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Story Circle Book Reviews

Granted, Russell explains the connection in her Introduction, writing, Quakerism is central to my experience, and I am grateful to belong to a Quaker Meeting that allows for pantheism as one of its beliefs.

Jul 22 2008 | Read Full Review of Standing in the Light: My Lif...

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