MYSTIC STREET: Meditations on a Spiritual Path, by ST Georgiou. Novalis , Canada , 2007. 305pp (with illustrations).
Reviewed by Michael Shackleton
The author’s first book was something of a sensation when published in 2002. Called The Way of the Dreamcatcher, it told of his encounter, quite by accident, with the Catholic hermit Robert Lax who had settled on the island of Patmos.
Lax, a convert from Judaism, had been a great friend of another convert, Thomas Merton, the influential writer and Trappist monk. Unlike Merton, he was not attracted to the religious life, preferring the life of a semi-recluse on the island of Patmos.
Lax was a typical American, no stranger to worldliness, yet who discovered within himself a strong yearning to become aware of the presence of God in the world. Gradually he was led to the Church and to his isolation as a contemplative, poet, artist and sage.
ST Georgiou, stunned by this man’s ability to provide him with a fresh approach to his own longing for God in the world, developed as, perhaps, Lax’s only disciple. What he learned was so simple yet so comprehensive that he was constrained to share it in Dreamcatcher.
Now Georgiou, who has a doctorate in religion and art and is an author of other spiritual books, has managed to present us with his personal experiences of awareness of God in daily, humdrum living.
Mystic Street is an account of Georgiou’s contemplations of the things around him while studying for his doctorate at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. The book gets its name from a street in the area. We are all on Mystic Street, he argues, which begins in God, leads us through the present and climaxes with journey’s end in God. He discusses an intuitive way of sensing the divine Mystery as we pass along new avenues of spiritual discovery.
I was impressed by his familiarity not only with his Greek Orthodox worship and devotion, but also with its Catholic counterpart. The accumulated wisdom, divine awareness and mysticism of both traditions rise strikingly to the surface as the reader accompanies him along Mystic Street.
This book can be a profound and helpful guide to anyone on a spiritual quest beyond the sham and drudgery of today’s world.
Visit ST Georgiou’s website at www.spiritcurrents.com