A hidden wholeness : the journey toward an undivided life : welcoming the soul and weaving community in a wounded world

by Parker J. Palmer

Paperback, 2004



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San Francisco, CA : Jossey-Bass, c2004.

User reviews

LibraryThing member ctoll
Palmer writes about the concept of "birthright" -- the aspects of oneself that one is born with -- and how to get in touch with it. He also helps readers to understand the value of living divided no more, which is Palmer's description for a life that does not contradict itself, that honors the values, beliefs, and perspectives of the person whose life it is. In addition, he provides information about Clearness Committees, a process drawn from the Quaker tradition in which individuals turn to a handful of trusted others to help him/her understand a problem or situation by asking nothing but open, honest questions.

Palmer's work has influenced my life in many ways, and this book provides a good overview of key ideas and practices.
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LibraryThing member TedWitham
“There was a time,” Parker J. Palmer writes, “when farmers on the Great Plains, at the first sign of a blizzard, would run a rope from the back door out to the barn. They all knew stories of people who had wandered off and been frozen to death, having lost sight of home in a whiteout while still in their own backyards.”

A Hidden Wholeness is a rope for the moral blizzard of contemporary life. It makes the courageous claim that integrity is all-important in a morally-slippery world. It is the best book I have read this year.

I have been a fan of Parker J. Palmer since the mid-eighties when his book on the spirituality of educators, To Know As We Are Known, was recommended. Much of Palmer’s work in conferences and books is with educators. A Quaker, Palmer writes gently about the deep springs of human living.

A Hidden Wholeness begins with examples of the divided life. Dr Palmer then likens the soul to a shy deer needing solitude and genuine care to embolden it to emerge. But the soul, the true self, is needed for is regenerative powers. “When we catch sight of the soul, we can become healers in the world.” On our solitary journey in community, we can find our hidden wholeness and life more fully.

Palmer invites us to read this beautifully designed book reflectively. Each chapter begins with a quote inviting us to look below the surface and gain insight into how we might reconcile the opposites we see around us; opposites which have come into existence through confrontation. Integrity, on the other hand, works by non-violence and integrity, “sitting in the woods with each other” waiting for the “shy soul to show up”.

The wisdom of Parker Palmer is a rope guiding us sure-footedly home.

© Ted Witham
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LibraryThing member gdrake
In our multi-tasking world, Palmer invites us to welcome the Soul back into our lives. He offers insights as to how to live our lives authentically, aligning our private and public worlds. Palmer's compassion is evident throughout as he encourages readers to live a life "divided no more."
LibraryThing member BookWallah
Highly insightful exploration into one’s Soul, and learning to hear one’s Inner Teacher. Outlines steps towards an Undivided Life, where private and public lives cease to be different. Draws heavily from the Friends (Quaker) tradition, including Circles of Trust and Clearness Committees. Devolves a bit too deep into the “how to” on running these processes in second half but otherwise a compelling read.… (more)
LibraryThing member Breathwork
great book, however it's a tough read because it asks you to look at who you are and how that you interacts with reality. However there is plenty of practical advice that will allow you to take the essentially Quaker traditions of silence and bring them and as a consequence yourself into a newer and more meaningful alignment with reality and your inner self.… (more)
LibraryThing member kaulsu
The way Palmer describes them, how do any of us survive without the honest truth-telling found in his "circles of trust"? In this book, he very painstakingly walks us through the process of setting ip a circle. He vociferously maintains that each circle needs a strong, trained, group moderator. By another name, his circles of trust could be called "group spiritual direction."… (more)



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