Sacred Compass 5: Who's story is this?

This is part 5 of the “interview” I conducted with J. Brent Bill, author of Sacred Compass: The Way of Spiritual Discernment.

I have listed the question, as I sent it to him, in italics with an R. Then I have given his answer, marked with a B, and then my reply marked with an R but not in italics. Brent hasn’t seen this third part yet, but I hope to open up the conversation to you, my dear blog reader, to be part of this dialogue too. I can not promise that Brent Bill himself will answer your questions here – or even read them here – but I will try to continue the discussion if you’re interested.

As a final point to this introduction, I want to be clear that I’ve already read the whole book and I really liked it. I’ve already started recommending it to people in San Francisco. I commend it to your attention.

R: How did you discern the right balance between stories about yourself and insights that come from others?

B: I knew with this book I wanted to include more stories of other "real" people -- and not just poems, lyrics, etc from others. I tried to use the insights from others for what I call "wise voices." I try to present my stories (and myself) as a fellow pilgrim. I can use others as fellow pilgrims and as wise voices. I never feel very wise -- especially in spiritual matters. So I often look to others -- my friends and people I read or hear. So it seemed a good idea to try and find a balance. Did I achieve the right balance? I think so, but I leave that up to the reader. I certainly don't want people reading Sacred Compass (or any other of my books) and thinking, "Wow, does he have it all together." I hope I don't present myself as some sort of spiritual guru or know-it-all.

R: I came away thinking, “Wow, he did a great job of integrating his own voice with a lot of wisdom from a lot of different sources.” Which is different than having it all together. This is always a question with blogging – how much do people really want to read what I think vs. why would they come to my blog to read what other people say?

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