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The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit Paperback – Apr 1 2001
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Known as the Camino, the Santiago de Compostela Camino is a famous pilgrimage that has been undertaken by people for centuries across northern Spain. It is said that this 500-mile path lies directly under the Milky Way and that it reflects the energy of the star systems above it. Facing her sixth decade of life on earth, writer and actor Shirley MacLaine decided to go on this trek. She wasn't sure why, she only knew that the Camino had been traveled for thousands of years by "saints, sinners, generals, misfits, kings and queens. It is done by the intent to find one's deepest spiritual meaning and resolutions regarding conflicts in Self."
Typical of MacLaine, this is a personal story with enormous adventure, a smattering of flashbacks, and a hefty serving of cosmic revelations. Like a true pilgrim, MacLaine travels solo, willing to strip herself down to the backpacking essentials and find deeper meaning in all the bizarre, frightening, and coincidental events she encounters along the way. It is no small feat that this sixtysomething woman walked the grueling path in 30 days. Readers can expect vivid stories of stalking paparazzi, icy showers, bouts of hunger, lost paths, a worshipping young man, a deranged woman screaming in a roadside shelter, saintly truck drivers, a fellow pilgrim in a wheelchair, bouts of constipation and diarrhea, and a cosmic crescendo that will knock the socks of MacLaine's fans. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Following a centuries-old tradition, entertainer MacLaine walked nearly 500 miles across northern Spain's Camino Santiago de Compostela. This memoir of her formidable journey, like her other books, is a likely candidate for bestsellerdom as well as for ridicule in some quarters. An effort to "feel human again," her physical feat was daunting: she hiked for 10 hours a day on her own, often in intense heat, and slept in refugios--crowded, dirty shelters. Though she observes the small villages, historic cathedrals and other trekkers along the way, MacLaine is most interested in her interior journey. The actress, who has written before about her numerous past lives in such books as Out on a Limb and Dancing in the Light, senses that she's walked the Camino before as a coffee-colored, dark-haired woman of Charlemagne's time. Visited in dreams by a spiritual guide, she connects her various lives and soul mates, revealing that her former lover (in this life) was Olaf Palme, the assassinated Swedish Prime Minister. As the journey progresses, she revisits the origins of the human race in the edenic Lemuria, then the dawn of Atlantis and on to ADAMic civilization. On the earthly plane, MacLaine seems to enjoy evading the press, which she compares to fearsome dogs, and whose pursuit escalates as she gets closer to the end of the journey. Though she completed the Camino in 30 days instead of the planned 40, her arrival in Santiago lacks a Hollywood finale. Instead, she slips into the famous cathedral and leaves immediately for Madrid. Major ad/promo; author tour; 20-city TV satellite tour; 20-city radio satellite tour. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Walking over the Pyrenees, traversing the altiplano-the high plateau of Northern Spain-, and crossing the green hills of Galicia is not a trip to be undertaken lightly. It is to Ms. MacLaine's credit that she, in her mid-60s, accomplished this in 30 days. But anyone reading this book to learn about the Camino-its beauty, its peoples, its history, its meaning-will learn nothing here. Ms. MacLaine could have saved some effort and just wandered around her home in New Mexico for a month to come up with this silly book.
The book is really concerned with the author's "dream walk" in which she fantasizes about an obscure cleric in the court of Charlemagne who reveals all kinds of secrets about Atlantis and Lemuria and sexuality. Shirley's parents and even poor Olaf Palme pop into the dream. And the "highlight" of the book is when the author finds a gold cross in Leon that seems to have come from another dimension.
When in the real world, Ms. MacLaine describes the wretched hostels, her blisters and her even more painful fellow-pilgrims. She recounts all the autograph requests and never misses an opportunity to remind readers of her sexual attractiveness.Read more ›
I wanted to call Shirley MacLaine up and tell her about my own memories of Atlantis, when I had been an extra-terrestrial from Arcturus who got caught here on earth. I wrote about my experiences in When We Were Gods.
Her story entranced me: her description of her experiences on El Camino, the path through the Pyrenees in the North of Spain starting at the Mediterranean and ending at the Atlantic Ocean, possibly where Atlantis once was located. Tradition has it that traveling this footpath can bring one in touch with her or her deepest spiritual roots and also help a person to resolve deep personal conflicts. She freely shares with us her own discoveries about herself and about humanity's beginnings on earth.
In addition, her descriptions of the way-stations along the route, the people she met along the way, and her own challenges because of her celebrity where she isn't even allowed the privacy to hide behind a rock to go to the bathroom are very entertaining.
Carole Chapman is the author of "When We Were Gods," which is the revised updated version of "The Golden Ones: From Atlantis to a New World," and "Blessed: A Quest for Atlantis in Egypt Leads to Apparitions of the Virgin Mary."
If you walk the Camino, (unlike Shirley) you will not find yourself entering Burgos three different times (bad writing or bad editing?), you will encounter the places she describes in their proper locations, you are unlikely to have to evade the media or be offered free rooms, food and rides. And you will likely encounter Spanish dogs as we did, sleeping in the square in the mid-day sun, not lunging at your throat from around every corner.
But do consider the Camino as the opportunity for an incredible life experience, just seek other sources of information.
Can I have my money back please?
Most recent customer reviews
It was very thought provoking.
Some was a bit too "out there"
But parts did ring true to me!
I found this book to be more about Shirley's past lives then it was about the Camino. I wanted to learn about Camino, but fromher book you cna nly learn about washing the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
Another courageous book by Shirley MacLaine. Thought provoking, insightful. She has real guts coming forward with this experience. Read morePublished on May 21 2014 by Carol Goodwin
Ever since the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed I love reading about these journeys in finding ones self. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2014 by Marming
I have read and enjoyed each of Shirley Maclaine's books; those that have explored the journey's of life, and those that have explored her show business career. Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2002 by F. Phillips
The first 3 tapes were amazing-entertaining. I jumped in my car to see what will happen next. I want to walk the El Camino-find my truth. This was my first Shirley experience. Read morePublished on May 31 2002 by I. Rizer
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