Barbara Ehrenreich faces the mystical

La-1803840-ca-jc-0406-barbara-ehrenreich-108-jpg-20140402David L. Ulin at The LA Times:

“[W]hat do you do with something like this — an experience so anomalous, so disconnected from the normal life you share with other people,” Ehrenreich asks in the foreword to the book, “that you can't even figure out how to talk about it?” Such a conundrum drives “Living With a Wild God,” which is part personal history and part spiritual inquiry.

That's a surprising turn for Ehrenreich, who for more than 40 years has been one of our most accomplished and outspoken advocacy journalists and activists. She is perhaps best known for the 2001 bestseller “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America,” which traces her journey through the world of low-income workers, but she has written about everything from gender politics to healthcare to the mechanics of joy, and contributed to publications including Mother Jones, the Nation and the Los Angeles Times. Her 1989 book “Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class” was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award.

And yet, she says simply of the revelation or epiphany she underwent as a high school student, “I couldn't put it out of my life.” In the book, she explains in more detail: “[T]he world flamed into life. How else to describe it? There were no visions, no prophetic voices or visits by totemic animals, just this blazing everywhere. Something poured into me and I poured out into it. This was not the passive beatific merger with 'the All,' as promised by the Eastern mystics.

more here.