An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor

By Barbara Brown Taylor

“This is the main thoroughly appealing booklet in faith that i've got learn in a long time. mild, humbly crafted, lyrical, and deeply wise.” — Phyllis Tickle, writer of The nice Emergence

“Taylor, as philosopher and stylist, ranks with the simplest. . . . This booklet isn't a page-turner. It’s a page-lingerer. I wore out a highlighter marking passages i need to learn again.” — Dallas Morning News

Barbara Brown Taylor, acclaimed writer of Leaving Church, keeps her non secular trip in An Altar within the World. With the honesty of Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) and the religious intensity of Anne Lamott (Grace, Eventually), Taylor finds how you can come upon the sacred as a common a part of lifestyle.

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13 �� M��� E����� A�� V������� T����� H����� That there is a causal relationship between the cruelty, torture, and death of human beings and the ongoing slaughter of millions of pigs, cows, fowl, and sheep, not to mention whales, dolphins, and seals, must be obvious to anyone aware of the interrelation of all forms of existence and of the karmic repercussions of our actions. By our consumption of meat we allow this carnage to continue and are part perpetrators. And because of the cause-effect relationship, we are also part victims.

The first precept of not killing is really a call to life and creation even as it is a condemnation of death and destruction. Deliberately to shoot, knife, strangle, drown, crush, poison, burn, electrocute or otherwise intentionally take the life of a living being or to purposefully inflict pain on a human being or animal — these are not the only ways to defile this precept. To cause another to kill, torture, or �� harm any living creature likewise offends against the first precept. Thus to put the flesh of an animal into one’s belly makes one an accessory a�er the fact of its slaughter, simply because if cows, pigs, sheep, fowl, and fish, to mention the most common, were not eaten they would not be killed.

Nor would it have been any easier were we required to do some manual work beyond sweeping our own room each day. So at the risk of incurring the displeasure of my sponsor, I “donated” most of it to the many dogs inhabiting the monastery compound. The dogs had other benefactors as well. Occupying rooms in the same bungalow where I had a room were a number of judges and lawyers from the high court in Rangoon who had “taken the robe” for a �–week period that embraced the Burmese New Year, when it was considered particularly meritorious to be in the monastery since it meant foregoing the convivial celebrations most Burmese were engaging in on the outside.

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