Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Postcards from Babylon by Christian de Sousa

 Book Review

On my first glance at this book I felt unsure. It was a big book and it seemed to contain various musings with lots of pictures. I felt like saying "but where is the meaning?"

I was wrong.

This book is full of meaning.

As soon as I read on the first page "what the fuck is going on?" I was hooked.

This book is an authentic, heart-felt journey from a dance and drug fuelled adolescence, moving onto photo journalism, through a spiritual awakening and finally finding unity through connection with the planet and all living beings.

One of the themes of the book is that we are living in a modern day Babylon with disparate languages, cultures, ideas, spiritual traditions. And this can bring with it confusion and disconnection. Christian experiences this with all of its highs and lows and then....

In a moment of devastating epiphany I suddenly see the problem with the core narrative of our civilisation, this now global Western hegemony that is rooted in patriarchal monotheism. Unlike the creation stories of the Nimiipuu and most other indigenous traditions, our myth of origin tells us that we are separate from the earth out of which we came.

Christian then goes on a journey to find an Earth based spirituality; for him, Babylon is transformed into planetary unity. And 5 rhythms dancing is something that helps with his transformation.

This book is written with insight and understanding, by someone who has really thought about who he is and his response to the world. A key personal insight was a quote from someone called Adam who said to him: "You are not a journalist, you are looking for the soul".

In our left brained world we sometimes look for simple, clear answers to issues. And I don't believe this always helps when we look at spiritual journeys and meaning. Each of us are a smorgasbord of instincts, feelings, ideas, background, experiences and more, all coming together to produce our own unique meaning. And this is book is Christian's meaning.

Dance on.