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Il turista spirituale. In viaggio nelle regioni estreme della fede

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È in un’improbabile periferia londinese che il giornalista Mick Brown inizia il suo viaggio spirituale. Vuole vederci chiaro in una serie di fenomeni curiosi: lì infatti si sarebbero verificati alcuni miracoli, sono state pronunciate singolari profezie, e si è affacciato alla ribalta un sedicente Messia. Dotato di un rispettoso scetticismo ma animato anche da una voglia di È in un’improbabile periferia londinese che il giornalista Mick Brown inizia il suo viaggio spirituale. Vuole vederci chiaro in una serie di fenomeni curiosi: lì infatti si sarebbero verificati alcuni miracoli, sono state pronunciate singolari profezie, e si è affacciato alla ribalta un sedicente Messia. Dotato di un rispettoso scetticismo ma animato anche da una voglia di capire che non conosce pregiudizi, Brown rimane profondamente intrigato dall’intensità della fede che riscontra nelle persone coinvolte in questi episodi, e si avvia in un cammino personale attraverso i luoghi e le persone di alcune espressioni della spiritualità che sono oggi tra le più controverse e frequentate. Il viaggio iniziato a Londra lo porta così a Puttaparthi, sulle pendici dell’Himalaya, dove incontra zelanti seguaci di Sai Baba; quindi a Bangalore, dove conosce un bodhisattva e discute di reincarnazione con il Dalai Lama. Poi, in viaggio tra Pondicherry e Madras, Brown ripercorre le vicende dei profeti della spiritualità orientale in occidente: dal Mr Cream della Londra degli anni Novanta alla Theosophical Society di fine Ottocento, e così facendo individua le origini del fenomeno New Age. Infine, nel Tennessee Brown assiste perplesso a una guarigione miracolosa, e in Germania fa conoscenza nientemeno che con la Madre Divina. Il viaggio spirituale di Brown, condotto tra mille dubbi e con una buona dose di garbata ironia, non si concluderà senza lasciare traccia: lo scettico giornalista arriverà a convincersi che «il mondo è fatto più di spirito che di materia, e quello che non si vede è più importante di quello che si vede».


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È in un’improbabile periferia londinese che il giornalista Mick Brown inizia il suo viaggio spirituale. Vuole vederci chiaro in una serie di fenomeni curiosi: lì infatti si sarebbero verificati alcuni miracoli, sono state pronunciate singolari profezie, e si è affacciato alla ribalta un sedicente Messia. Dotato di un rispettoso scetticismo ma animato anche da una voglia di È in un’improbabile periferia londinese che il giornalista Mick Brown inizia il suo viaggio spirituale. Vuole vederci chiaro in una serie di fenomeni curiosi: lì infatti si sarebbero verificati alcuni miracoli, sono state pronunciate singolari profezie, e si è affacciato alla ribalta un sedicente Messia. Dotato di un rispettoso scetticismo ma animato anche da una voglia di capire che non conosce pregiudizi, Brown rimane profondamente intrigato dall’intensità della fede che riscontra nelle persone coinvolte in questi episodi, e si avvia in un cammino personale attraverso i luoghi e le persone di alcune espressioni della spiritualità che sono oggi tra le più controverse e frequentate. Il viaggio iniziato a Londra lo porta così a Puttaparthi, sulle pendici dell’Himalaya, dove incontra zelanti seguaci di Sai Baba; quindi a Bangalore, dove conosce un bodhisattva e discute di reincarnazione con il Dalai Lama. Poi, in viaggio tra Pondicherry e Madras, Brown ripercorre le vicende dei profeti della spiritualità orientale in occidente: dal Mr Cream della Londra degli anni Novanta alla Theosophical Society di fine Ottocento, e così facendo individua le origini del fenomeno New Age. Infine, nel Tennessee Brown assiste perplesso a una guarigione miracolosa, e in Germania fa conoscenza nientemeno che con la Madre Divina. Il viaggio spirituale di Brown, condotto tra mille dubbi e con una buona dose di garbata ironia, non si concluderà senza lasciare traccia: lo scettico giornalista arriverà a convincersi che «il mondo è fatto più di spirito che di materia, e quello che non si vede è più importante di quello che si vede».

30 review for Il turista spirituale. In viaggio nelle regioni estreme della fede

  1. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    For those of us who wish we could visit or check out all the superstars of the spiritual world Mick Brown has provided a valuable service. As a journalist he traveled the world immersing himself in the experiences as he found them, asked many questions and recorded his observations. What is refreshing is that he didn't push any particular conclusions or arguments on his readers. In most circumstances he allows the readers their own thoughts or conclusions. The book is serious, informative and of For those of us who wish we could visit or check out all the superstars of the spiritual world Mick Brown has provided a valuable service. As a journalist he traveled the world immersing himself in the experiences as he found them, asked many questions and recorded his observations. What is refreshing is that he didn't push any particular conclusions or arguments on his readers. In most circumstances he allows the readers their own thoughts or conclusions. The book is serious, informative and often sobering.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rute

    A felicidade não é um fim em si mesma, antes um subproduto de outras actividades, chegando muitas vezes quando menos se espera. As coisas que damos mais valor são as que sentimos com o coração, não as que vemos a olho nu. Uma religião é posta à prova pela sua capacidade para despertar o amor nos seus seguidores e, o que é talvez mais difícil, para estender esse amor a toda a Humanidade

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paul Clarkson

    A 3.5. Not so much a spiritual journey, more a vacation stopping off here and there observing and dropping in on thoughts and practice that are well, beyond belief! I enjoyed; a comfortable and unchallenging read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    I was anticipating a happy wanderer, objectively visiting churches, mosques, temples. This was a different story. The author starts his journey by openly stating that he has "received no epiphany to give (him) faith." He wanders from one cult-like spiritual group to another, finding little more than disappointment and disillusionment everywhere he goes. His last stop is to a Buddhist group where he seems to finally feel some sense of peace. My criticism of his trip centers on two thi I was anticipating a happy wanderer, objectively visiting churches, mosques, temples. This was a different story. The author starts his journey by openly stating that he has "received no epiphany to give (him) faith." He wanders from one cult-like spiritual group to another, finding little more than disappointment and disillusionment everywhere he goes. His last stop is to a Buddhist group where he seems to finally feel some sense of peace. My criticism of his trip centers on two things: (1) he started the journey with an admittedly strong bias against religion and (2) he only went to the very wackiest of spiritual groups.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mary Karpel-Jergic

    A fascinating read - glad I had my smart phone by my side so that I could investigate his findings further. Doubled the time it took to read the book but worth the trouble. Such an incredible mixture of beliefs and individuals, some very strange but as Brown aptly notes spiritual life has been a dominant feature of late 20th century life. People are not so interested in religion anymore. He sees this search for spiritual meaning as "a symptom of disenchantment with the values of materialism and A fascinating read - glad I had my smart phone by my side so that I could investigate his findings further. Doubled the time it took to read the book but worth the trouble. Such an incredible mixture of beliefs and individuals, some very strange but as Brown aptly notes spiritual life has been a dominant feature of late 20th century life. People are not so interested in religion anymore. He sees this search for spiritual meaning as "a symptom of disenchantment with the values of materialism and a weariness of science which has stripped all mystery out of existence". This book really does showcase the carnival of humanity.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rena Graham

    I wanted to like this book more than I did but found it very uneven in it's writing and even more uneven in it's personal sense of discernment. The list of people Brown found interesting and worth investigating further seemed oddly promiscuous. It was as if he was a sponge with no ability to weigh what he found himself involved in and I found that unsettling. And yet the writing was interesting enough for me to read the whole book, regardless of how many eye rolls went with that reading. He does I wanted to like this book more than I did but found it very uneven in it's writing and even more uneven in it's personal sense of discernment. The list of people Brown found interesting and worth investigating further seemed oddly promiscuous. It was as if he was a sponge with no ability to weigh what he found himself involved in and I found that unsettling. And yet the writing was interesting enough for me to read the whole book, regardless of how many eye rolls went with that reading. He does a great job of delivering character and scenery but I was left wondering what, if any of it, mattered to him in the end.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shaun

    A fascinating book, beautifully written that explores belief and those gurus and spiritual leaders that encourage us to believe their teachings. So many great insights in this, one of the biggest being that the extraordinary views, beliefs of mystics, the sense that they are special, which many spiritual teachers have are, in clinical terms, classic symptoms of delusional behaviour. Yet these beliefs are the foundation stones of all our world's great religions. Ultimately I came away from this b A fascinating book, beautifully written that explores belief and those gurus and spiritual leaders that encourage us to believe their teachings. So many great insights in this, one of the biggest being that the extraordinary views, beliefs of mystics, the sense that they are special, which many spiritual teachers have are, in clinical terms, classic symptoms of delusional behaviour. Yet these beliefs are the foundation stones of all our world's great religions. Ultimately I came away from this book feeling enlightened but a little sad, like I was looking for hope and something better, but the beautiful horizon I was looking at was simply a painting on a brick wall.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Maria Ripoll Cera

    Un libro que todos deberíamos leer para hacernos preguntas sobre nuestras preguntas. Este periodista, Mick Brown, se lanza a conocer de primera mano la espiritualidad que está ahí desde que el hombre es hombre y en la que entran solo unos pocos. Pero está ahí. ¿Cuáles son tus preguntas al respecto? Brown no te dará respuestas, pero tú saldrás diferente de su lectura.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Rodrigues

    "A conversa desviou-se para o assunto da compaixão. Todo o sofrimento do mundo provém de nos estimarmos a nós próprios, disse ele, toda a felicidade do mundo provém de estimarmos os outros. (...) O verdadeiro milagre do budismo é como uma pessoa pode mudar, de uma pessoa completamente vazia para uma pessoa de compaixão." "A conversa desviou-se para o assunto da compaixão. Todo o sofrimento do mundo provém de nos estimarmos a nós próprios, disse ele, toda a felicidade do mundo provém de estimarmos os outros. (...) O verdadeiro milagre do budismo é como uma pessoa pode mudar, de uma pessoa completamente vazia para uma pessoa de compaixão."

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gratus

    A great book, taking an interesting and meandering journey through faith as it brushes with rationality. Mick Brown is an honest observer, both of what he sees inside himself and what he sees outside. He questions without belittling, admits his own weakness, and thereby draws us in with honesty and a matter of fact ness not often found in spiritual tales.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Duncan Reed

    Really interesting journey of self discovery (or no-self?) through gurus, lamas, avatars and finally a Buddhist Monastery in Scotland

  12. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

    I've had this book on my To Read shelf for at least three or four years. I found a bookmark in it from Brookline Booksmith, so I'd guess four or more. I picked it up because it looked really fascinating, but at the time I bought it I wasn't in a good place to do any spiritual searching, and I didn't make it very far in before putting it back on the shelf to read later. I'm in a better place for that now, so I went for it. Mick Brown is a British journalist who gets drawn in to different spiritua I've had this book on my To Read shelf for at least three or four years. I found a bookmark in it from Brookline Booksmith, so I'd guess four or more. I picked it up because it looked really fascinating, but at the time I bought it I wasn't in a good place to do any spiritual searching, and I didn't make it very far in before putting it back on the shelf to read later. I'm in a better place for that now, so I went for it. Mick Brown is a British journalist who gets drawn in to different spiritual and occult events. He seems to happen upon some of these things by accident--a friend invites him to hear a visiting swami give a talk, or he's assigned to cover such an event for his newspaper--but after a while, these different events and people seem to connect more and more, and he begins to seek them out. Brown travels from London, to Germany, all over India, and to Tennessee in search of truth and answers (and of course good stories). He interviews many different kinds of people, and explores Hinduism, Buddhism (Tibetan, mostly), theosophy, and many other systems of belief. Brown often slips into reporter mode and gives a ton of facts and research and unbiased information. At first, I wanted more of Brown himself, but by the end, I felt that the journalist is who Brown really is: unbiased, constantly questioning, never choosing just one path. And I could really relate to the moments where Brown does reveal his own feelings, because he feels a lot like I do--at times skeptical, or lost, but other times full of sudden joy. I also loved the ending of the book. I don't know that I'll ever reread the whole book--it's pretty dense. When I picked it up last week I was really looking forward to reading it and then immediately passing it on and getting it out of my house, but now I'm thinking I'll keep it anyway, even though I don't plan to reread. Brown covers a lot of topics in some good detail (for example, Madame Blavatsky, Sai Baba, and Mother Meera), and I don't plan to do any further reading on those topics, so I want to keep this book around in case I ever need it for reference. Overall, it was good to get a better idea of the history and ideas of the belief systems Brown visits here. (Particularly it was good to understand more about Madame Blavatsky--I'd encountered her through Yeats, and never really "got" what he was up to there, and now I understand it better.) Brown also helped me discovered that I need to do more reading on Tibetan Buddhism. The best part of this book was reading about the adventures of someone who is questioning the spiritual world, just like me (but, unlike me, actually has the guts to tour around India looking for answers).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Stevedutch

    Beautifully written account of one pilgrim’s progress. This is a wonderful book beautifully written as might be expected by a professional journalist but with the humility and integrity of an earnest seeker after the truth. Brown’s pilgrimage essays the search that all of us at one time or another must embark on in order to try to make sense of our own existences. Predictably it offers no answers and there is no safe haven at journey’s end: the bleak and sometimes terrifying idea that we may be, Beautifully written account of one pilgrim’s progress. This is a wonderful book beautifully written as might be expected by a professional journalist but with the humility and integrity of an earnest seeker after the truth. Brown’s pilgrimage essays the search that all of us at one time or another must embark on in order to try to make sense of our own existences. Predictably it offers no answers and there is no safe haven at journey’s end: the bleak and sometimes terrifying idea that we may be, that all of this might simply be the result of the random jostling of cataclysmic forces that, notwithstanding the somewhat arrogant claims of science, none will ever truly be able to understand, is not banished by cosy but ultimately unconvincing conclusions. Following the echoed call from Christ’s exhortation to seek the truth Brown searches for it along the unsurprising and well trodden byways towards India’s ashrams as well as the somewhat more prosaic but, at least, genuinely surprising streets of North London in search of the miraculous and provides an interesting, informative and, often, humorous account of the ‘sages’ he encounters and their acolytes. As I said, it offers no answers but it just might inspire the ‘right’ questions.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    It is part of being human to try to understand, to find an explanation for the mystery of life. The 20th century brought us numerous gurus, masters and prophets. For some cultures the ideas were an old story. The Western world discovered what East knew for thousands of years and tried to apply old spiritual beliefs for the modern times. The result is a strange mixture of old and new, science fiction and age- old traditions, rituals and philosophies. This book is impossible to put down. Written i It is part of being human to try to understand, to find an explanation for the mystery of life. The 20th century brought us numerous gurus, masters and prophets. For some cultures the ideas were an old story. The Western world discovered what East knew for thousands of years and tried to apply old spiritual beliefs for the modern times. The result is a strange mixture of old and new, science fiction and age- old traditions, rituals and philosophies. This book is impossible to put down. Written in a most intelligent and honest way, the story covers numerous cults and spiritual groups but there is no judgement, no mockery only the insight into how far we are ready to go to find the answer to the question of who we are.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mattie

    The Spiritual Tourist is a chronicle of a journalist's personal journey into Eastern mysticism/spirituality. Brown consciously recounts his story with a journalist's distance, which works in some ways, but, ultimately works to the detriment of the enterprise. The main problem I had is the feeling that Brown so steadfastly maintained his journalistic distance, that he never fully was in the moment on his travels, which he later then stepped back and considered more critically or introspectively. The Spiritual Tourist is a chronicle of a journalist's personal journey into Eastern mysticism/spirituality. Brown consciously recounts his story with a journalist's distance, which works in some ways, but, ultimately works to the detriment of the enterprise. The main problem I had is the feeling that Brown so steadfastly maintained his journalistic distance, that he never fully was in the moment on his travels, which he later then stepped back and considered more critically or introspectively. Rather it seemed more like he never really connected with his journey. And as such, it was hard for me to connect with it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    John

    A worthwhile read, but a bit overlong for its central point. The book didn't really challenge me particularly, or I didn't rise to the level to realize that I was being challenged (pick one :). That said, the author's humanity did eventually win me over, and his recounting of the places he goes, the things he feels and sees, and the people that he meets is pleasant enough. If you're a spiritual seeker at all, this is a good book for outlining some of the promises and pitfalls along the way. Nama A worthwhile read, but a bit overlong for its central point. The book didn't really challenge me particularly, or I didn't rise to the level to realize that I was being challenged (pick one :). That said, the author's humanity did eventually win me over, and his recounting of the places he goes, the things he feels and sees, and the people that he meets is pleasant enough. If you're a spiritual seeker at all, this is a good book for outlining some of the promises and pitfalls along the way. Namaste!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lockhart

    Mick Brown sets out to investigate various religious phenomena including Mystcis in Neasden, Indian Gurus, so called miracles in Mid US churches, prophets and charlatans and various spiritual thinkers. He gains access to numerous significant figures and his interviews are often revealing. Not the roller coaster ride that was The Sorcerer's Apprentice [and it does not set out to debunk its subjects:], but interesting and thought provoking. Mick Brown sets out to investigate various religious phenomena including Mystcis in Neasden, Indian Gurus, so called miracles in Mid US churches, prophets and charlatans and various spiritual thinkers. He gains access to numerous significant figures and his interviews are often revealing. Not the roller coaster ride that was The Sorcerer's Apprentice [and it does not set out to debunk its subjects:], but interesting and thought provoking.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Holly Embry

    If you're interested traveling through the minds of believers in various corners of the world for only the cost of a paperback, this is your book. The author approaches the subject of devotion with humor and skepticism, but also sensitivity. The search for enough information to build a personal belief system is such a relatable quest that you will find yourself growing spiritually alongside the author, asking your own questions and challenging yourself to discover your own truth. I am always sat If you're interested traveling through the minds of believers in various corners of the world for only the cost of a paperback, this is your book. The author approaches the subject of devotion with humor and skepticism, but also sensitivity. The search for enough information to build a personal belief system is such a relatable quest that you will find yourself growing spiritually alongside the author, asking your own questions and challenging yourself to discover your own truth. I am always satisfied when I finish a book as thought-provoking and entertaining as this one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I just finished this. It's very interesting. He gives a rather skeptical account of different spiritual groups, mainly in India. Personally, I am also rather skeptical about different cults and groups. I've been there, done that. It was right up my alley. Wish I could find more books like it. All spiritual seekers should definitely read this book. I just finished this. It's very interesting. He gives a rather skeptical account of different spiritual groups, mainly in India. Personally, I am also rather skeptical about different cults and groups. I've been there, done that. It was right up my alley. Wish I could find more books like it. All spiritual seekers should definitely read this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Roane

    The Spiritual Tourist is not so much a record of spiritual beliefs as it is a journey to find real people who inspire and are thought to embody those beliefs. Read my full review on my blog .

  21. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Very readable and engaging. I loved the writers skepticism, curiosity and sense of humor even as he wanted to believe but often just...couldn't. I also appreciated the respect shown to believers and participants. Very readable and engaging. I loved the writers skepticism, curiosity and sense of humor even as he wanted to believe but often just...couldn't. I also appreciated the respect shown to believers and participants.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Wilson

    Brown chronicles his own search through the philosophies and practices of ancient spiritual traditions. Wonderfully informational and a great self-help book if the reader chooses to put some of the ideas into practice.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lily

    Written by a curious but skeptic journalist. You learn a lot about the variety of human religions and you don't get bored doing it. Doesn't objectify people he's talking to, which I like. Written by a curious but skeptic journalist. You learn a lot about the variety of human religions and you don't get bored doing it. Doesn't objectify people he's talking to, which I like.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Johannes Bertus

    I reread this every two years or so. No other book has had a greater impact on my life. I would give it 500 stars if I could.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    thoughtful musings from a skeptic who wants to believe

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karl Nehring

    The section on Blavatsky and the Theosophists really gets bogged down in detail, but the rest of the book is quite engaging.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Simon Cook

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenni Junttila

  29. 4 out of 5

    Samantha McGuire (Mirror Bridge Books)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katie

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