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The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Search for Meaning Paperback – December 1, 1993
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From Library Journal
- John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Lib., New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A brilliant anthology of wisdom stories from all the great traditions centered around a most compelling and discerning issue."--M. Scott Peck
Top Customer Reviews
Finding this spirituality of imperfection in Alcoholics Anonymous and the twelve-step program, K&K have scoured spiritual writings throughout history to find the words to describe their experience. Boldface quotes and stories color almost every page.
K&K find the essence of the spiritual in human imperfections and failure, in the inevitability of pain. Spirituality is not the evasion of consequences or errors, but rather learning how to live with them. They call trying to be perfect the most tragic human mistake. They are clear, spirituality is found in asking the right questions, not in finding the right answers.
Perhaps every reader of this book will not be able to hear it's music. Perhaps only those who have been wounded by life, need it. Perhaps only those who have drunk deeply of failure will find nourishment here. All I know is that I did, and to Kurtz and Ketcham I will always be grateful.
I read THE SPIRITUALITY OF IMPERFECTION at the end of 1993, at the suggestion of a friend. I had hesitated to read it because it was "a recovery book" and I expected that designation to limit its benefits. What I found, however, were stories that confirmed that to grow we must be willing to fail and make mistakes. This is what it means to be human. With this book's encouragement, hope, and humor, I embarked on my speaking and writing career, willing to blunder and to learn from others. Since then, I have recommended and bought this book as a gift many times. I list this title in my handouts for nearly all of my self-help classes and in the bibliographies of the books I write.
and its Twelve Step program, to the other major spiritual traditions of
the world. It is related in such a way that the non member of these programs
can appreciate the depth and importance of this movement for everyone.
Alcoholics Anonymous has been praised by Aldous Huxley, Scott Peck
and many other religious thinkers as possibly America's own contribution to
the history of western spirituality. Kurtz and Ketcham do a fine job showing the
uniqueness of AA's modern insights as well as their kinship to forms of spirituality
which pervade the wisdom of many traditions from the early Christian Desert Fathers to
the wizened Rebbes of the mystical Hassidim. The Spirituality of Imperfection tells this story with
the colorful stories and parables of these various traditions. Some of the tales are wise,
some funny and all have the quality of capturing our humaness in a form that is entertaining as well
These stories comprise a minor theme of our spiritual heritage, which celebrates our humaness
and limitation as a source of wisdom, rather than "totalitarian" forms of spirituality which subjugate
human experience to an obsession with abstract and antiseptic perfectionism.
If, however, there are alcoholics in your family, you will benefit greatly from reading this as well since this book sheds light on the reasons why some people are never able to overcome their addictions- namely that when people equate sobriety with perfection they understandably see it as an overwhelming and unattainable goal.
One of the most important things about this books is that it brings home the fundamental message that in order to grow spiritually, people must first be able to understand and accept their own nature as imperfect beings.
This book covers so much ground and offers to teach so much about spirituality without ever being dogmatic. It is unifying as it reaches out to people of all religions, an accomplishemnt in and of itself. A must read. I know I'll be reading my copy for years to come.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good read. Not quite what I was looking for, but good nonethelessPublished 10 days ago by Deacon Pete
Truly fabulous book, embodies the underlying spirituality of Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve step programs. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mark Allen
Must reading. Loaded with anecdotal material from several major religions. It's premise is not one that comes across but rarely. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Errol G. Smith
This is a great book. It requires 100% of my attention. I have to read some sentences twice because it has depth. I am glad I am not as smart as the authors. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Roxanne
Reading and rereading the stories within the story. It isn't that I don't comprehend what I am reading, it's that it fits so perfectly with my way of thinking. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This is a great, insightful book. It will really make you think about your life and look at ways in which you can improve relationships with others. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kenneth Hines