ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Sunday, September 3, 2017
In Waking to Beauty, Rosalyn W. Berne explores the extraordinary experiences that have shaped her spiritual journey. This book follows When the Horses Whisper, which details the author's capacity to “hear” and speak with horses, an unexpected gift that changed her understanding of who we are as human beings, in our connection to other beings. Waking to Beauty considers the early childhood origins of this capacity, and shares the realizations that have flowed from this gift. This journey moved her from an external orientation, with a theistic God dwelling “somewhere out there,” to experiencing the divine as present within us and with our fellow creatures.
The crux of the book centers on Rosalyn's encounters with a mare named Beauty, which led her to a profound experience of God dwelling with us here on Earth. The new vision of spiritual evolution that flowed from these encounters opens profound possibilities for humanity, in its interdependence with other living species as well as the earth itself. Beauty makes it clear that human existence is in a precarious state, and that humans need to change in order to survive. But why would anyone take a horse's message seriously? Reading this book may help to provide an answer to that question.
Rosalyn Berne spent her first eleven years in Philadelphia, residing in a Quaker-founded community in "North Philly" called the Friends Neighborhood Guild until her family moved to Germantown. She was schooled at Greene Street Friends and a small experimental school called Community Camp School. When her father was hired to teach at the University of Massachusetts, they left the city for Amherst, Massachusetts. What a contrast that was. Rosalyn traveled south for college, studying first at Hampton Institute, then transferring to the University of Virginia where she ultimately earned three degrees: a BA and MA in Speech Communication, then a PhD in Religious Studies with a focus on Bioethics.
As a scholar, Rosalyn thinks and writes about the role of technology in our lives, especially its rapidly-emerging, futuristic dimensions. As a teacher she brings SF into the classroom, using its capacity to tweak students' moral imagination. She has also written and published two academic books, and also in the SF genre. As a gifted intuitive, Rosalyn works with humans and their equine companions to facilitate deepened and meaningful communication between them. These gifts have led her to also write books in the body/mind/spirit genre, drawing from the well of her experiences. Her academic and author pursuits have led her to travel to India, Nigeria, Japan, Costa Rica, China, Peru, Ecuador (including the Galapagos) and other parts of the world.
Rosalyn lives with her husband in Charlottesville, Virginia.
When the Horses Whisper shows the capacity of horses to help us heal the human heart. It expresses in human language what horses have to say when given the chance to speak. It is a story about the bond between horse and human, and the communication made possible when the bond is based on love. Conversations with fifteen horses, most of whom live and work in Costa Rica, are featured along with their photographs, capturing them as individual beings in service to humans on a shared evolutionary journey. This journey amounts to the remembering of our whole selves in the wholeness of creation, especially the parts we split off, deny, and place in shadow because they are too painful. Horses, as the book shows, can help us see these lost parts, and call forth our courage to reclaim them. For the author, these included the loss of a newborn daughter, the mental illness of an adult son, letting go of a thirty-year marriage, and childhood sexual abuse. The story recounts the equine healing work that helped in reclaiming her authentic self. This book is testimony to the power of horses and equine healing work in transforming life’s losses into a deeper human wholeness and a further communion with the non-human world. For reviews, click here.