Radical optimism is our deepest response to the immense and threatening challenges of our contemporary world. In this profound exposition of the truths of an integrated life, Radical Optimism challenges the reader to confront difficulty with authentic spirituality. Meditation, the practice of silence, and the body of mystical experience are all effective forces that confound evil and give us the means to live a loving life.
Beatrice Bruteau is both a brilliant synthesizer and an original thinker. She brings to bear her knowledge of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and science in this exploration of how to embrace the spirit of optimism in a world grown increasingly dark and desperate. “The deepest truth is our union with the Absolute, Infinite Being, with God. That’s the root of our reality. And it is from that root that my optimism is derived,” she states. This is a viewpoint that acknowledges evil, but puts it in its place. In Bruteau’s view, evil is not simply the opposite of good, because goodness has the unique power to create, whereas evil can only react, distort, and destroy. It is the creative power of goodness that sustains us in our confrontation with evil.
Radical Optimism describes the value of meditation, leisure, relaxing the body, and keeping silent for a period of time—all within the context of the ordinary demands of life. There is a role to be played by imagination, mythology, and self-image in either promoting or interfering with our ability to “find our base and our center in the sense of eternity and wholeness.” As the founder of an international network for contemplatives of all traditions, Bruteau is able to present her practical spirituality in terms that all readers can understand, no matter what their backgrounds.
Radical Optimism also expresses the idea that our growing global interdependence—cultural, economic, and ecological—can help us to “sense the reality of each person within the unity of shared life” and thus be motivated to act in the interests of the larger community.
Radical Optimism shows us who we really are—a unique, precious, creative act of God—and with this understanding we can find the way beyond evil and suffering.
In Radical Optimism, Beatrice Bruteau sets forth a deep and shining vision of spirituality, one that guides the reader into the contemplative life and the very root of our being. Dr. Bruteau is a philosopher of great measure whose work should be required reading for all who seek the deepest truth about themselves.
—Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees
“Here comes that dreamer!” Joseph’s brothers said with contempt. Yet, the Book of Genesis tells us also how the life of a whole people was saved by this dreamer’s dreams. Beatrice Bruteau shows us that the life of a whole world—ours—may depend on learning to dream radical and realistic dreams. At last, a book that offers solid metaphysical underpinnings for contemplation.
—Brother David Steindl-Rast OSB, author of Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer
Radical Optimism goes to the root reality required to meet the vast challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Only as we tap into the Great Creative Process of the universe through direct inner knowing, or contemplation, can we be energized by the impulse of evolution itself. Beatrice Bruteau is a vital awakener of our ability to make the effort to move us to the next stage of our evolution.
—Barbara Marx Hubbard, author of Emergence: The Shift from Ego to Essence
A gifted philosopher, mathematician, mystical theologian, and practical spiritual teacher with a vigorous mind and open heart presents a vision of cultivating contemplative awareness. Beatrice Bruteau is one of the great writers of our time.
—Wayne Teasdale, co-author of A Monk in the World
Dr. Bruteau’s Radical Optimism is a spiritual classic. It offers practical contemplative techniques to quiet the mind and a vision for bringing healing to ourselves, others, and our planet, rooted in Western and Eastern religious traditions. A must read for all spiritual seekers.
—Rabbi Lewis D. Solomon, professor, George Washington University
A deep and luminous vision.
—Robert Granat, author of The Gift of Lack
I know scarcely anybody who goes to the heart of reality as profoundly as Beatrice Bruteau does.
—Dom Bede Griffiths, author of A New Vision of Reality
Her voice should be heard far and wide.
—Patrick Hart, O.C.S.O., editor of The Intimate Merton
Rewarding and useful.
—Swami Yogeshananda, author of Six Lighted Windows
A joy all the way through and of much spiritual benefit to me personally.
—Mary Roman, O.C.D.
Insightful and visionary.
—John Shea, author of Stories of God
This book is the tonic we’ve needed. In a world permeated with talk of war and fear of terrorism, Beatrice Bruteau shows us there is a safe place, where we can be vitally active and have absolute security, while also experiencing life’s incredible abundance. Beatrice Bruteau has underscored the astounding Gospel good news that is indeed nothing less than radical optimism, beaming the truths that can joyfully define our lives.
—Antoinette Bosco, author of Choosing Mercy:
A Mother of Murder Victims Pleads to End the Death Penalty
Beatrice Bruteau’s outstanding gift for articulating the contemplative life is enshrined in this book.
—Thomas Keating, author of Open Mind, Open Heart
Original and challenging.
—Douglas Steere, author of Quaker Spirituality
Beatrice Bruteau looks at our life in God with a very creative, deeply learned, and passionate mind and heart. Her grasp of a contemplative way of seeing and embracing reality in God is deep and full of fresh insight.
—Tilden Edwards, author of Living in the Presence
I am deeply impressed once again by the profundity of Dr. Bruteau’s insights, by her remarkably poetic communication, and by her balanced evaluation of dualism versus non-dualism.
—Dr. Frederick Franck, author of A Passion for Seeing
Her voice should be heard far and wide. I have read this beautiful book with great delight, profit, and edification.
—George Maloney, S.J., author of Inward Stillness