From Publishers Weekly
Palmer (The Courage to Teach
) seeks to help us "rejoin soul and role," so that individuals and communities can be healed from the ravages of consumerism, injustice and violence. No small task, yet in classic Palmer style, this mission is fleshed out with stories, poems, personal confessions and a plan—concrete steps for creating "circles of trust" where honest, open sharing allows each person's "inner teacher" to show up. (Ground rules: "no fixing, no saving, no advising, no setting each other straight.") Palmer's concern is that too many people have "divided lives," with personal values that don't match what they are asked to do in the world to succeed. He argues that "the soul is real and powerful" and is "safe only in relationships with certain qualities," ones that "protect, border and salute" the time it takes to hear our "inner teacher." Never naïve, Palmer warns that these "circles of trust" are not management tools that organizations can force on employees for some grand motive, such as crisis control or increased productivity. They are the opposite of quick fixes—places where we sit and wait for our souls to tell the truth. This book is a treasure—an inspiring, useful blueprint for building safe places where people can commit to "act in every situation in ways that honor the soul."
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"Parker J. Palmer's latest book is a gift...a guide for living...compassionate, deeply insightful...heart opening and transforming." (BookSense
, September 2004)
"A Hidden Wholeness is a rich and accessible resource for all who want to nurture their souls in community...explores the meaning of community, teaching and learning for transformation, and the importance of nonviolent social change." (Spirituality & Health, October 2004)
"Parker Palmer's soul-tempering work explores, in intimate, illuminating ways, the promise of the voice of vocation that speaks to every one of us..." (Common Reader)
"Whenever Parker Palmer publishes a new book, it's worth a careful look. His latest work is an examination of maintaining integrity, a life based on inner truth, in the face of a world of fragmentation. Palmer provides vivid portraits of integrity, describes the consequences of sublimating our true self, offers a map for creating "circles of trust" which would support our soul self, and explores how the principles and practices of the book can help the reader walk the path of nonviolence every day. This book is a lovely, spiritually nourishing and ultimately hopeful exploration." (Friends General Conference)