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A Hidden Wholeness – The Journey toward an Undivided Life

Here he speaks to our yearning to live undivided lives—lives that are congruent with our inner truth—in a world filled with the forces of fragmentation. About the Author Parker J.

Palmer is a highly respected writer, lecturer, teacher, and activist. His work speaks deeply to people from many walks of life, including public schools, college and universities, religious institutions, corporations, foundations, and grass-roots organizations. The Leadership Project, a survey of 10, American educators, named him one of the thirty most influential senior leaders in higher education and one of ten key ""agenda-setters"" of the past decade.


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Author of six previous books—including the bestsellers Let Your Life Speak and The Courage to Teach —his writing has been recognized with eight honorary doctorates and several national awards. He holds a Ph. Permissions Request permission to reuse content from this site.

A Hidden Wholeness – The Journey toward an Undivided Life - Enlivening Edge

Table of contents Reviews Gratitudes vii Prelude: That something was my tough and tenacious soul. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life. But a quick disclaimer is in order, since formation sometimes means a process quite contrary to the one described in this booka process in which the pressure of orthodox doctrine, sacred text, and institutional authority is applied to the misshapen soul in order to conform it to the shape dictated by some theology.

This approach is rooted in the idea that we are born with souls deformed by sin, and our situation is hopeless until the authorities "form" us properly. But all of that is turned upside down by the principles of a circle of trust: I applaud the theologian who said that "the idea of humans being born alienated from the Creator would seem an abominable concept. As time goes on, we subject to powers of deformation, from within as well as without, that twist us into shapes alien to the shape of the soul. But the soul never loses its original form and never stops calling us back to our birhtright integrity.

What can I do to prevent this in the future?

If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out. But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree, the creature we are waiting for may well emerge, and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek. In the process, we become separated from our own souls. We end up living divided lives, so far removed from the truth we hold within that we cannot know the "integrity that comes from being what you are. But the democracy I cherish is constantly threatened by a brand of politics that clothes avarice and the arrogance of power in patriotic and religious garb.

A Hidden Wholeness The Journey Toward an Undivided Life

Knowing this gives me hope that human wholeness-mine, yours, ours-need not be a utopian dream, if we can use devastation as a seedbed for new life. How can we recall and reclaim those birthright gifts and potentials? But refusal is risky, so we deny our own truth, take up lives of "self-impersonation," and betray our identities. And I am sometimes moved to wonder, "Whatever became of me?