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by Arjuna Ardagh
(New World Library, 2005, 502pp, $16.95)

There is a quiet revolution going on and, although it’s unlikely to make any headlines, it has the potential to change everything we know. This revolution is the subject of Arjuna Ardagh’s inspiring work which tells how an increasing number of people from all walks of life are awakening to their true identity as unlimited being, as spirit embodied in flesh. With this awakening comes joy, tremendous vitality, creativity and the feeling of love and connection with everything and everyone. The fears, drama and frustration that seemed so important before simply fade. The author calls these people translucent because the light of this new awareness shines through them and out into their lives and the world. He delivers the good news that the number of people who are experiencing this transformation is increasing at an amazing rate and seems to point to a collective evolutionary awakening.
The author spent 13 years interviewing many prominent spiritual teachers and surveying thousands of ordinary people to discover what awakening means today. He claims that we need a new map and new language to talk about spirituality because many of our inherited beliefs about transformation are no longer helpful. He offers an examination of these beliefs that he calls spiritual myths, misconceptions about awakening which are misleading and confusing. Throughout the book he contrasts these myths with the reality of how translucents are expressing their spirituality in the modern world. He enlivens his discussion with true stories of people who are living their awakening in the reality of their day-to-day lives. He shows how accessible the experience is by recounting the stories of the construction worker, grandmother, teacher, doctor, artist and businesswoman who have become translucent.

A lot of the old spiritual practices that no longer serve us were tailored for celibate males who had withdrawn from the world. The emphasis was on silence, asceticism and disengagement from the rough-and-tumble of emotions and relationships. Ardagh explores how expressions of spirituality associated with feminine values are no longer considered incompatible with spiritual life. He discusses how awakened people are exploring sexuality, emotions and relationships as opportunities to deepen their practice. This modern expression of an age-old process, he assures us, has plenty of room for joy, emotional richness, exuberant sexuality and total engagement with life.

The author presents practices called “nudges” to help the reader move closer to a translucent awakening. He enriches the book with numerous sidebars containing quotes from the teachers he interviewed as well as a short summary of their approach and methods, their contact information and a bibliography of their works.

Ardagh’s writing is clear, engaging, wise and insightful, offering us cause for celebration as well as hope in these challenging times. This life-changing book is translucent itself, allowing the light of unlimited being to shine through in every page.

— Ann Harbaugh