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In the Oneness of Time: The Education of a Diviner Paperback – November 7, 2015
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
Diviner Horden (The Toltec I Ching) meanders with intent through vignettes of essential moments of learning from a cast of teachers. His graceful storytelling demonstrates his perception that "the entire world is filled with the song of souls moving between lives." Though a few anecdotes concern his formal instruction in the sudden enlightenment school with Master Khigh Alx Dhiegh, he learns from shamans and brujos, cowboys, children, and even sea lions and parrots as he travels from Ohio to Mexico and Australia. These lessons take place in cliffs and ruins, a rainforest and a monastery, a youth shelter and a musician's parlor. The simple dialogue of the encounters feels both mundane and mythic, and Horden also gives his impressions of the "In-Between" world of spirit. Horden's chapters are emotionally complete even when the back story is not fully explained; an extended set of endnotes offers additional information about how he met the people involved, their cultural backgrounds, and occasional supplementary thoughts on the lessons. It is rare to see such a lucid and appreciative summary of a life so well lived, and readers will be inspired not only by the tales Horden tells, but by his example of learning with an open mind and heart. (Nov.)http://publishersweekly.com/9781936012763 (Publishers Weekly, November 2015 electronic edition)
Synopsis: "In the Oneness of Time: The Education of a Diviner" by William Douglas Horden ( a Master Diviner who works with the I Ching and pre-Hispanic MesoAmerican sacred tools) is an inspiring true story that draws the imagination into its own magical source, where things become possible, and possibilities become things. Throughout history and in all cultures, authentic diviners have been connecting their communities with real things unavailable to the physical senses and surface mind. Water for wells, healings, on-target meanings for events, wisdom to guide actions, unusual insights of many kinds -- the intuitive perception of diviners makes them available. "In the Oneness of Time" masterfully unfolds story of how Horden discovered this mode of intuitive perception and was trained to develop and use it by a series of highly skilled teachers and experienced a series of down-to-earth-life events and compelling "in-between world" experiences. Critique: A riveting read from beginning to end, "In the Oneness of Time: The Education of a Diviner" is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Metaphysical Studies reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "In the Oneness of Time" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.69). (Helen Dumont, Helen's Bookshelf Midwest Book Review, January 2016)
About the Author
William Douglas Horden is a master diviner who works with the I Ching and pre-Hispanic MesoAmerican sacred tools, having studied extensively with Khigh Alx Dhiegh and with Tarahumara shamans in Mexico's Copper Canyon. He is the co-author The Toltec I Ching, author of numerous books and articles on divination and spirituality, a regular blogger for The Huffington Post and other online publications, and has been a guest on a variety of radio programs. He lives part of the year in Roseburg, Oregon, part of the year in Coatepec, Mexico, and spends part of the year traveling.
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I especially like the non-linear time sequences. Each chapter stands on its own. Yet it's a wonderful surprise when you re-visit the event with new eyes 7 chapters later. It kept the narrative fresh and engaging.
Of all William's writing, this is my favorite. I highly recommend it if you are willing to let go the limits of linear time and concrete space.
In the Oneness of Time: The Education of a Diviner
Looking for answers deep within, in order to honor (and protect) the mission of the theatre company and our other arts programs, I found The Toltec I-Ching to be an invaluable aid.
A great deal has happened with my arts mission since that time, including closing the center and leaving the state where it was founded, and changing the name of the theatre company, all in part to honor the messages gleaned from The Toltec I-Ching. In recent months, I have begun to lay the foundations in our current home to create new material for the company, hire administrative staff and passionate creatives, and set up classes and auditions. Not long after the process was begun, I received for review Horden’s newest book, In the Oneness of Time. It has proven to be just the guide I needed to find clarity and strength for this new journey.
Perhaps, upon reflection, it is more accurate to say this stage of a continuing journey, because this book is unlike any other I have read. It consists of two parts: the first is called Teachings and the second provides Commentary on the Teachings. The interesting thing is that the Teachings are each titled by year, but they are not sequential. At times they are grouped by loose themes, such as geography or stories about specific flora and fauna, although, with each turn of the page, I found my default need to analyze and categorize (to “make sense of”) the structure slipping away, and I increasingly took each Teaching as it came, as its own opportunity for engagement, contemplation, and meditation.
Horden’s Teachings vary widely in their content and also in their style (some report the facts, while others are a poetic prose that recalled to me William Blake), although all share a surface simplicity that belies their true depth, leaving the reader to explore as deeply as he or she will. I chose not to read the accompanying Commentary for each Teaching, instead reading all of the Teachings and then the Commentary section. This allowed me to do the good work of engagement, contemplation, and meditation “on my own” and then, when I felt it was helpful, revisit the Teachings after reading the Commentary for each.
I encourage you to explore the book however your intuition guides you. I plan on re-reading it yearly, taking a different approach each time. As I change, so shall the methods I use to glean the treasures of the Teachings and Commentary.
Although In the Oneness of Time covers many topics, its “spine” or “through-line” as a writer might say, is the bridging of the two Realities: the tonal (“ordinary consensual reality”) and the nagual (“the non-ordinary reality of shamans and mystics”). The methods of moving between them, and of entering the In-Between World, are the most resonant aspect of the book at this point in my focus and learning, and the Teachings reflect the exquisite balance I mentioned earlier that Horden’s writing styles maintain between these two realities. These dual perspectives consistently at work in our lives demonstrate the value of widening the overlap between the tonal and nagual, for this sweet spot of the In-Between World is the creation-space for Meaning and Healing—of ourselves, our immediate community, and our world.
Another aspect of the book that has high resonance for me (and why I think it is prominently compared to Carlos Castaneda’s books about the brujo Don Juan Matus) is the wisdom Horden’s teacher passes down about the nature of teaching and learning. Teaching takes time to be absorbed, before the student can go off and become a teacher him- or herself. Rushing the process creates a great deal of mis-learning that then translates into misunderstandings as opinion masquerading as wisdom is (inaccurately) passed on. This is akin to the idea of the 10,000 hours that one must put in to achieve mastery in any area; when Horden’s teacher, Master Khigh, says that he took a vow to wait thirty years before teaching, it reminded me of what the actor Eli Wallach said about learning the Sanford Meisner technique: it takes 25 years. Perhaps that is the time it takes for the ego to recede sufficiently to not mar the process.
Alongside such powerful books on the nature of living and dying such as Neil Donald Walsch’s Home with God: In a Life That Never Ends and Elaine Mansfield’s Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey through Grief, In the Oneness of Time provides comfort and clarity on the nature of the soul and its experiences on Earth and elsewhere. Horden’s experiences with life after death are highlights of the book.
For those interested in this material in a multi-media format, either when deciding whether or not the book is for them, or as value-added after/while reading the book, visit Horden's YouTube channel.
In this age of divisiveness, Horden’s message of Communication and Communion is a blessing; it will no doubt illuminate many a reader’s path.
This, William Horden's “Education of a Diviner”, is a wiser book, an older man's book. This one weaves a tale of a life of mystery and exploration and does so in a delightful and enriching way. But it does not sprinkle the salt of startling revelation quite as liberally as Castaneda. Horden's story is one of a life lived in many strange realms, but one also quite certainly lived in this one. Now this is not to say that Horden was an accountant who did some divining on the side - far from it! He has truly lived a life steeped in unusual experiences and has built a life that explores and expands his understanding of them. And you will delight in his stories of that life. But in its telling this life seemed to resonate with me even though I lack such experiences in my own life. Just as the right sort of autobiography by a great athlete or artist can leave your own less exemplary talents reminding you that they are still there, still a piece of you, this tale of a life lived in such different ways – in such different places – raised my own sense of my access to those places in myself.
Beyond the story and the telling I credit the structure of the book for its power. Horden does not tell a linear tale. He hops spryly around his personal history in short, time-stamped chapters. Back and forth and back again. Weaving a tale in a real sense. Each short chapter is centered around an event or situation in his life (in his “education”) that rings a small bell. By not “telling” his life in linear fashion he invites the reader to piece it together in collaboration with him. By modulating the tone of the different stories – from the stunningly inexplicable to the richly mundane - he also reinforces the message that life is... life. For some, like him, it may include powerful magic and extraordinary experiences, but for all of us that same magic can be sensed glowing around the edges of a moment of weather or a simple interaction with another being.
The second structural element that Horden (and perhaps his editors) chose with the wisdom of experience, was to move certain elements of the stories to linked “endnotes”. In this final, substantial third of the book you find background and connection and second thoughts that add much to each of the tales told. These are more than just the extended footnotes found in some books, but if included in the stories would inevitably have diminished them by over-dressing them. I actually was well into the first few stories before I realized that the endnotes existed. Then I flipped back and read some of them and appreciated them. But in the end I decided to choose for myself when to engage with them and when to defer reading them. In this way the reader can indulge a desire for a good yarn but still scratch the “what does he mean by that” itch as desired.
Kudos to Larson Publications for yet another wonderful addition to their eclectic list. Thanks to William Horden for sharing this much of himself.