• Book

The Active Life: A Spirituality of Work, Creativity, and Caring

Parker J. Palmer

The Active Life is Parker J. Palmer's deep and graceful exploration of a spirituality for the busy, sometimes frenetic lives many of us lead.

In this new edition of his classic work, Parker Palmer explores “the dynamics of the active life and the spirit of truth that such a life can contain.” The heart of the spiritual quest for the author is summed up, in Joseph Campbell’s words, as “the rapture of being alive.”

In order to explicate what he means by days filled with contemplation-and-action, Palmer organizes his presentation around a Taoist poem called “Active Life”; a Taoist tale of “The Woodcarver”; a Hasidic Jewish tale about an angel; the Biblical story of Jesus’ entry into active life through his temptations in the desert; the story of the feeding of the 5,000 people with a few loaves and fishes; and a poem by Julia Esquivel, a Guatemalan activist. The result is a spiritual adventure filled with epiphanies about work, creativity, and care.

Palmer helps us reframe our fears about tomorrow, our obsession with results, our inability to learn from failure, our timidity in the face of darkness and light co-mingled, and our attraction to death. With its blend of storytelling and soul-searching, The Active Life is a resource of great value for those seeking a model for right action in a God-created world of grace and surprises.