FAT SOUL: A PHILOSOPHY OF S-I-Z-E
“Within these pages lies a creative adventure into soul expansion for the sake of beauty, reconciliation, and planetary well-being. Themes of self-compassion, kindness towards those who are different, and gladness of spirit against the growing tide of narrow, rigid, fearful worldviews weave through the text. Written during her five-year sojourn in Ecuador, the author of Embracing a Beautiful God develops her playful-yet-serious philosophy of S-I-Z-E in a series of soul-expanding reflections, inspired by the vast beauty and personal challenges of living in the Andean country. The reader is invited to explore with the author the many dimensions of growing the soul through the four major sections of the book: The Beauty of Inner Immensity, Fat Soul Planet, Fat Soul Luminaries, and The S-I-Z-E of Hope.”
“Fat Soul is the result of an outlandish feast spread by an extravagant Lover who longs for us to awaken to the spaciousness of our own inner universe. It’s so big you almost feel weightless.”– Timothy Carson, author of Six Doors to the Seventh Dimension
“In a world constricted into brittle, rigid smallness, Patricia Farmer cracks open our hearts and invites us into a great, big bear hug of soul. Fat Soul holds out the possibility of a life lived whole, lived large, lived with love and generosity. This is a book I will read again and again, and you should too!” –Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, author of God of Becoming and Relationship: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology
“This is the book you didn’t know you needed to read, and then, when you’ve read it, you wonder, ‘Where has this book been all my life?’ Well, here it is. Chock full of practical life-learned wisdom and intriguing bouquets of fresh imagery, Patricia Farmer’s riffs on enlarging one’s river of life overflow with warmth, vitality, and unforgettable insight. Get ready for an abundant feast!”–David P. Polk, author of God of Empowering Love: A History and Reconception of the Theodicy Conundrum
“Our world cries out for persons of stature. In a time of polarization and constricted imagination, we need people of spiritual size. We need persons with Fat Souls, able to embrace our profound suffering as well as the possibility of healing of persons and the planet. Fat Souls are persons who align themselves with the quest for beauty. In the spirit of Mother Teresa, they want to do something beautiful for God and, in so doing, join in God’s aim at beauty for all creation. Patricia Farmer invites us to be part of this beauty-making process. She invites us to claim our grandeur, face our darkness, and out of this creative synthesis bring healing to this good earth. This text should be read slowly as you would savor a Godiva chocolate, so that it might flavor your spirit and invite you to taste and see the beauty of life. As you read this text, prepare to be transformed. Prepare to see the world with new eyes and deepen your connection with all creation. Prepare to love more deeply and rejoice more greatly in the beauty of creation in its manifold wonder.”–Bruce G. Epperly, author of Process Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed
Fat Soul: A Philosophy of S-I-Z-E: Now available in paperback ($8.95) and Kindle Editions ($2.99).
From Amazon Reviews of FAT SOUL:
“You have got to get this book! Graceful, heart-warming, provocative – all words that describe Fat Soul. Patricia Farmer combines the best of an elegant progressive theology with personal experience. And it is written in chapters that work nicely for daily devotional or meditative times. Very nice.” Amazon Reviewer
Embracing a Beautiful God (Tenth Anniversary Edition, 2013) by Patricia Adams Farmer
BOOK DESCRIPTION: Within these fifty-two short, imaginative, and often humorous essays lies a lively “spirituality of Beauty” from the tradition of process theology. A book to be read aloud or savored as a daily meditation, it will appeal to readers from a variety of spiritual traditions. This Tenth Anniversary Edition includes a new preface by the author.
From the book cover:
“Patricia Farmer offers us her luminescent meditations like a beautiful string of pearls. When we’ve absorbed them, we see the world differently.” — Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People.
“This is one of those rare books that is what it is about: Beauty.–Professor Marjorie Suchocki, author of In God’s Presence
“Once upon a time there was a woman who could tell stories. When people read her stories, they heard a wisdom they had been seeking for a long time. They found themselves wanting to be kinder to others and gentler to themselves. They found themselves noticing the beautiful things in life: the music, the animals, the friends. Even, in some ways, the pain. They remembered what they already knew–that through sensitivity to beauty, God is. That woman is Patricia Adams Farmer. Embracing a Beautiful God tells the stories. It has the earmarks of a spiritual classic.” — Professor Jay McDaniel, author of Living from the Center
SAMPLE REVIEWS OF EMBRACING A BEAUTIFUL GOD
(Both 2003 and 2013 Editions)
Patricia Farmer’s “Embracing a Beautiful God” is an invitation to experience beauty in the midst of your everyday life. In the spirit of the Native American saying, “with beauty all around me, I walk,” this book will inspire you to see beauty in playing with a cat, walking along the seashore, looking at a sunset, washing dishes, meeting a child at the bus stop, or simply enjoying a cup of tea or bar of good chocolate. In the wake of 9/11, we are apt focus on fear and danger as if they are the primary realities of life. While Patricia Farmer does not deny the tragedy and pain of life, she affirms that we also live in a world of wonder, beauty, and love. Her book calls us to what Rabbi Joshua Heschel describes as “radical amazement.” Reading this book is a spiritual adventure and exercise in ordinary mysticism. It beckons the reader in the midst of her or his busy day to take a “beauty break,” to see life more deeply, to discover God’s presence and companionship. It reminds us that we can see ourselves and the world with new eyes – the eyes of beauty and appreciation.This book will awaken the mystic, the artist, the adventurer,
and lover in you, and remind you that wherever you walk, you are on holy ground. The words itself transport you to a world of beauty in which divine creativity meets you around every corner.If you have been inspired by Annie Dillard or Ann Lamott
or Anne Morrow Lindbergh, you will find this book a worthy spiritual companion.Bruce Epperly is a professor, retreat leader and lecturer, and author of many books, including “God’s Touch,” “The Power of Affirmative Faith,” and “Mending the World.”
I love this book. I gave it to my mother as a gift and ordered another for my daughter. It is beautifully written and speaks from the heart. The author has a unique perspective on life and helps the reader to see that each day truly is a gift. I appreciate it as a daily meditation and have used it that way numerous times. I get something new out of it each time.
Patricia Farmer offers a book with a beautiful vision of a beautiful God. I have read this book aloud twice to my three daughters as evening devotional moments. I’m set to read it again to them. I highly recommend it!
Embrace this book!
PF states openly that she is indebted to the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead and the Christian process theology of John Cobb, David Griffin and Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki.
One criticism of process thought is that it can often be very abstract and philosophical which is very odd since it often articulates a highly relational, immanent concept of God. PF does a masterful job demonstrating that the fruit of process theology can provide the basis for a vital, robust Christian spirituality that paints an intimate and engaging image of God.
Written in short meditations, the overall theme of the book weaves together PF’s many epiphanies of divine beauty found shimmering in all of life. Wedding theology with personal autobiography, the reading is substantial but also simply and deftly communicated for easy reading.
In turbulent times like today, when so much is happening in the world that causes grief, disillusionment and despair, perhaps a needful healing resource is found in contemplating the Good News of God’s inbreaking beauty and majesty. I believe that this book, read slowly and reflectively, can do much to sharpen the eye of faith to glimpse this ever-present counter-reality.
A sweet surprise
This book was recently recommended to me — and I am so grateful it was. What a sweet, inspiring, charming and delightful surprise — just what the doctor ordered for a dismal winter day! These short essays are perfect for reading one at a time, at random, whenever you want to digest something short but very meaningful and lovely. I keep it on my nightstand, and wish there were more books of essays like this — today I am newly inspired to look at the beautiful, simple things around me with fresh reverence.
My car broke down on the way to work today. Thankfully my wife and I had read Patricia Farmner’s Embracing a Beautiful God at the breakfast table a few moments earlier. Reverend Farmer identifies the beauty of the ordinary as a beacon of divinity searching for us in a chaotic world. Her every day examples of beauty help me see the extraordinary in the mundane.For example, she uses the example of panning for gold to encourage us to search for the beauty in the common place. What was the gold been in my day today? A cell phone to call our AAA tow truck when my car died going to work, a bill for $214 to buy a fuel pump instead of a new car, people at work who genuinely care for me, a wife who still delights in me, eating popcorn after supper while sitting with her on the back deck swing…..thanks Reverend Farmer for joining me at my breakfast table and helping me see more beauty in each day.
Replanting Ourselves in Beauty: Toward an Ecological Civilization (Process Century Press, 2015) by Jay McDaniel and Patricia Adams Farmer, editors
From the book cover:
“We live in an extraordinary moment in history—an oddly beautiful time—painted with the starkly contrasting colors of undeniable loss and rich possibility. The Universe is rife with freshness, and we are part of the adventure: part of the urgent call to return to the wisdom of the Earth and replant ourselves in Beauty.” So write the editors in their introduction to this rich collection of essays by scholars, writers, artists, activists, educators, and clergy who have been influenced by the thinking of Alfred North Whitehead. Coming from a variety of cultural and religious traditions, the essays are all about the Beauty that flourishes in the fertile soil of sustainable community, relational thinking, imagination, creativity, the arts, stories of everyday people, as well as in our creative action toward the healing of our planet.
“This is a book bathed in beauty and compassion; a book spanning continents and cultures, a book combining deepest intellectual rigor with passionate care for the Earth: a book whose ardent plea is to save the planet. Each brief essay is complete in itself, but also lures us to read the next, and the next, drawing us into increased commitment for actions that can make a difference to the fate of this earth and all its creatures.” ~Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki, Professor Emerita, Claremont School of Theology
“A soul-stirring collection of essays on beauty as a catalyst to environmental renewal.” — Spirituality & Practice (click here for full review)