Willa Cather’s One of Ours…Dan Brown and Noetic Sciences

One of OursImage via Wikipedia

Reading is doorway for me. I have traveled to every corner of the earth and man’s mind while reading what I consider to be some of the best authors in modern times. I am guilty of choosing books based on prizes given for the best of the best. A National Book Award or a Pulitzer Prize winner will get my attention and my favorite book store of all, Powell’s, in Portland Oregon has a whole section devoted to just the prize winners.

So this winter when my husband and I left our Oregon home to come to Arizona for the winter, I made a trip to downtown Portland and the old multi-storied book store set on Burnside. The books line shelve, the new with the used, in a store made up of a labyrinth of stacks that is very confusing. It is the most wonderful place on earth. What could be better than to be lost in a book store?

I have begun to read the books with the oldest Pulitzer Prize winner that they had on that day. In 1923 Willa Cather won the prize for a book named One of Ours. The book details the life of a mid-western farmer from the time he was a young man until the end of World War I. I can honestly say it is probably the best book I have read in years. Cather managed to capture the small town mentality and the dissatisfaction of a young man that craved so much more that his small world could ever offer. I felt that I was reading a timeless story of young men, war and the void it filled in many of their lives. I suppose that forty years ago when I read Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls I felt much the same way. The difference now would be that I have lived a long time and have know countless men that could have been Claude in Cather’s book.

Tomorrow I will begin on a Dan Brown’s book, The Lost Symbol. This is a side trip from my Pulitzer Prize book reading quest. I have a friend that is a member of the Noetic Science group and she lent me the book. Some would describe the science as the study of the paranormal but I think those that belong see it as much much more. Noetic Science organization, IONs states their functions as exploring the frontiers of consciousness and lists the focus of the group as:

  • Builds bridges between science and spirit
  • Researches subtle energies and the powers of healing
  • Inquires into the science of love, forgiveness, and gratitude
  • Studies the effects of conscious and compassionate intention
  • Seeks to understand the basis of prevailing worldviews
  • Practices freedom of thought and freedom of spirit

It seems that Brown used the group as part of his story line. My friend attended their bi-annual meeting here in Tucson this last summer and has had an opportunity to visit with Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, co-founder of the group and the current president/ceo, Marilyn Mandala Schlitz. Schlitz is the person one of the main characters in the book was patterned after (I am told!). My friend underlined all the passages that deal with Ions and I am looking forward to reading it.

Have a great week and please keep on reading.


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