Stories of Life-Changing Epiphanies

By Thomas Dyja (Editor)
(Da Capo Press, Paperback, 9781569245835, 320pp.)

Publication Date: June 2001

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Buddhists call it satori—the moment of intuitive illumination when the mind and soul finally understand the basic truth of the universe. It is the instant of spiritual fission, when the veil falls, when lives change. Awake collects the greatest, most moving, most inspiring tales of this ultimate experience: Thomas Merton and Henry Miller, Malcolm X and May Sarton, James Joyce and St. Augustine, Barbara Kingsolver and Leo Tolstoy. Some moments are mundane—Flannery O’Connor’s heroine finds meaning in a hog pen, and Virginia Woolf discovers it one complicated day by a lighthouse; others exotic, such as Dennis Covington, who experiences it in a church while handling rattlesnakes. To some, such as the protagonist in Henry James’s “The Beast in the Jungle,” the fact that it was never looked for, never thought about, is the final epiphany.

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