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imagination as the path of spirit

John O’Donohue – article by John Draper in Church Times

THE POET, philosopher, academic, and best-selling spiritual writer John O’Donohue needs coffee. “Whiskey happened last night,” he explains in a lilting, lyrical Irish accent over breakfast. He can make even a hangover sound sublime. “We drank a beautiful bottle of single malt that didn’t die without proper spiritual necessity.”

A former Roman Catholic priest, he may be the author of serene, numinous prose, but he is no effete guru. He is a farmer’s son from Conamara, in the wilds of western Ireland. His physical presence is strong, and immediately felt. He radiates energy, warmth, and mischief, and there is more than a hint of a glint in his eye. “I never read spiritual books,” he says, somewhat provocatively, since he has written two of the past decade’s popular spiritual books: Anam Cara and Eternal Echoes. “Can’t read them. The stuff on spirituality is like candyfloss,” he whispers conspiratorially. “You put a knife down through it, and you come to a spine at no point. It’s just goo. The shops are full of it, and people are consuming it.”