A Charmed and Full Life
By Huston Smith with Phil Cousineau
New World Library, $15.95, 211 pages
“My vocation was set. Having already changed my aspiration from being a missionary to being a cleric, I now changed my mind again, this time to being a professor. At that moment of my epiphany, I knew the world of the ministry wasn’t for me. I needed to become a professor, a teacher, and live in the world of ideas because it was ideas that gave me joy.”
At 93 years of age, Huston Smith has experienced an incredibly diverse life. And Live Rejoicing is the second installment of his memoir filled with brief yet elegantly worded stories. It is easy to imagine him sitting in a rocking chair by a fire relating these tales. His language is warm and inviting. He traveled around the world ten times over forty year. He met the Dalai Lama and arranged for His Holiness’ first visit to the United States. To open a Union of Concerned Scientists event, he hired a young and unknown singer named Pete Seeger. He counts among his friends the British author Aldous Huxley and the drummer and ethnomusicologist Mickey Hart. His stories weave across the world and through his relationships, yet they are told clearly and simply. Through all of them runs the thread of his deep and abiding faith from which springs his obvious joy. If the reader likes books with open wonder at all things spiritual, this book would certainly satisfy that interest.
Reviewed by Mary Lynne Monroe