Sunday, December 13, 2015

Book Review: Guardians of Hope

(Regretfully removed from Blogjob.)

Title: Guardians of Hope 
Author: Terry Lynn Taylor
Date: 1992
Publisher: H.J. Kramer Inc.
Length: 186 pages
Quote: "One reason I don't use a lot of angel stories to prove the existence of angels is that I don't want people to get a preconceived notion of what an angel experience has to be like or, worse, to be sad because they have never had such an experience. I don't share some of my angel experience because I feel they are meant for my stage of learning."
Fair disclosure, for those who didn't know: Terry Lynn Taylor is one of those ecumenical New-Age-y writers whose angels are not necessarily Christian. One section of Guardians of Hope is written for use by twelve-step groups. Some illustrations involve Buddha and yogis, rather than Bible stories. Books quoted in the text include Chesterton's Orthodoxy, Leonard Foley's Saint of the Day, and Norman Vincent Peale's Power of Positive Thinking, but also Deepak Chopra's Quantum Healing, the Dalai Lama's Policy of Kindness, and Chogyam Trungpa's Shambhala. So the Christians who want to reject all New Age influences will want to give this book a miss. There's a more strictly Protestant view of angels as individual beings, as well as a more mainstream Christian understanding of "angel" as meaning any message or messenger from God--those are not the views of angels discussed in this book.
Taylor's subtitle of Guardians of Hope is perhaps a more accurate description of what's in this book: "The Angels' Guide to Personal Growth." This is primarily a book about personal growth, with ecumenical spiritual thoughts. Taylor's angels aren't going to carry anyone up to Heaven, but her "angelic practices" may help people "clean the window of the soul," "remain centered with humor time-outs," "eliminate negative programs and patterns" from the brain, "allow the winds of Heaven to dance between" the parties in personal relationships, "count blessings instead of sheep," "transmute anger," "cultivate patience and discipline," and "cease comparing, labeling, and judging."
Taylor encourages twelve-steppers to "call on angels for all of the Steps"; turn personal struggles over to the angels so they can recover, call on the angels to keep them from taking their "searching and fearless moral inventory" too seriously and "abolish fear" of taking responsibility for past actions. Does her approach help? Well, Taylor's angel books have been wildly popular and are available in many editions and languages, so evidently some people find that it does.
Taylor's approach to spirituality is a little too fuzzy and visionary for my taste (I think of "angels" as messages and messengers, myself) but it may help you. If you choose to buy it as a Fair Trade Book, send $5 per copy + $5 per package to either address in the lower left-hand corner of the screen; I'll send Taylor or a charity of her choice 10%, or $1 (even if you buy eight copies at once for a total of $45, Taylor or her charity still gets $8).
The edition of Guardians of Hope I physically own is an older edition, and has, to my eyes, a prettier cover drawing than this one (from Amazon, .)

(Wordpress tags: angel meditation in recovery from addiction,ecumenical angels,emotional healing,spirituality in personal growthTerry Lynn Taylor,twelve-step group.)