the once upon a time now: mythic adventures, discoveries & meditations in the forest of consciousness by Hope West

Reviewed by LJ Frank


“My teacher and his teacher describe the gods as both mirror and prism: we see ourselves, and we see our possibilities. For me, these mythologies cracked open a universe of explorations of how to live my best life, not to focus on seeking answers (or “the” answer!) but instead to raise the stakes, enabling me to ask better. questions. To hone my awareness.” ~ Hope West

How do you interpret years of deep research both of your subject and to a great degree, yourself and allow that process to grow within the experience called India, and explore the rich, yet disquieted, socially layered landscape of its heritage as expressed in its own self-consciousness and mythologies?

If you are able to, you tell a revealing story, not only about your subject but also about yourself.

In this case, the author has brought her world view and eloquence to that task – a seductive, exotic, spiritual, and brilliant, poetic tale. One that lingers through her poignant, naturalistic, and impassioned language.

Certainly, there are an array of traditions that inspire – from selfless love to deep reflection, the erotic, and the nature of consciousness to non-violence. Whereas the author is able to transcend the complexities of myth and heritage into approachable, thoughtful, readable, and lyrical verse. Not an easy task. This reads like a labor of love. Truly, a joy to read.