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Shirley MacLaine I listened to Shirley read this book on the audio version and applaud Shirley for the courage to complete this journey of the Spirit. I think hearing her voice added to the impact of this story. Shirley's past lives came to her as she made this grueling trek and they were, to me, the meat of this audio/book. She once lived along the Camino, and there are two amazing past life experiences in Lemuria and Atlantis. Shirley's honesty and courage in telling her story is inspiring. The reader also gains much food for thought. The lessons she learns and fears that she has to conquer in order to complete the journey. "Never ask yourself what it is you fear - instead ask yourself what it is that concerns you. A fear thought, put out, will return, because all energy returns to the sender. Any energy always makes a loop until it regains the source. A concern thought will return also. At that moment discern why you're concerned." Certainly gave me something to think about. I got involved in past life regressions as a result of reading Shirley's first and second books. We all have our own philosophy, of course, and Shirley has given voice to another way of thinking that also needs to be acknowledged in our world. What can I say? This is Shirley MacLaine's best book since "Out On a Limb." I was mesmerized by this most enthralling story, the ultimate in Shirley's thrilling search into the story of her own soul. I was touched when Miss MacLaine stopped her own narrative to warn the reader at one point that what was to follow might be hard to swallow. I found it absolutely fascinating and quite believable. How many of us could have fully endured the sometimes painful and wearying physical journey that was so important to her? Her prose is, as always, a thing of beauty, the most readable memoirist in recent times. Whether or not you find yourself agreeing with what has happened to her, the truth is that Shirley MacLaine is a born storyteller, the highest compliment you can give to a writer. "The Camino" should rank high on the lists of metaphysical literature, standing tall and proud next to the author's "Out on a Limb." This is the story of a journey. It is the eagerly anticipated and altogether startling culmination of Shirley MacLaine's extraordinary -- and ultimately rewarding road through life. The riveting odyssey began with a pair of anonymous handwritten letters imploring Shirley to make a difficult pilgrimage along the Santiago de Compostela Camino in Spain. Throughout history, countless illustrious pilgrims from all over Europe have taken up the trail. It is an ancient -- and allegedly enchanted -- pilgrimage. People from St. Francis of Assisi and Charlemagne to Ferdinand and Isabella to Dante and Chaucer have taken the journey, which comprises a nearly 500-mile trek across highways, mountains and valleys, cities and towns, and fields. Now it would be Shirley's turn. For Shirley, the Camino was both an intense spiritual and physical challenge. A woman in her sixth decade completing such a grueling trip on foot in thirty days at twenty miles per day was nothing short of remarkable. But even more astounding was the route she took spiritually: back thousands of years, through past lives to the very origin of the universe. Immensely gifted with intelligence, curiosity, warmth, and a profound openness to people and places outside her own experience, Shirley MacLaine is truly an American treasure. And once again, she brings her inimitable qualities of mind and heart to her writing. Balancing & negotiating the revelations inspired by the mysterious energy of the Camino, she endured her exhausting journey to Compostela until it gradually gave way to a far more universal voyage: that of the soul. Through a range of astonishing and liberating visions and revelations, Shirley saw into the meaning of the cosmos,including the secrets of the ancient civilizations of Atlantis and Lemuria, insights into human genesis, the essence of gender and sexuality, and the true path to higher love. With rich insight, humility, and her trademark grace, Shirley MacLaine gently leads us on a sacred adventure toward an inexpressibly transcendent climax. The Camino promises readers the journey of a thousand lifetimes. In one life, she's the Gypsy lover of Charlemagne, who in this life was assassinated Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme, Shirley's twentieth-century paramour. Going back even further, she was an androgynous Atlantean, one of the first to separate into male and female halves--in fact, she was Adam and Eve! MacLaine, with her usual good humor, admits that even she is tempted to roll her eyes at some of these claims, but there is no doubt she believes in her own visions, and depending on one's spiritual orientation, she may convince others to believe along with her, for fleeting moments anyway. Early in her 500-mile pilgrimage along Spain's Santiago de Compostela Camino in 1994, MacLaine began to hallucinate and see huge metal screws. "I didn't know if that meant I had a screw loose," she writes. Walking some 20 miles a day, subsisting on yogurt and fruit, dogged by mosquitoes and the press, little wonder the otherworldly 66-year-old entertainer had visions so strange she found "it took an act of control not to roll my eyes at myself!" Her previously recounted past lives (as a suicide in Atlantis and an Indian princess) were lively enough; this time she witnesses the origin of the universe and meets the kindred soul who was both Charlemagne and Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, with whom she had an affair before his 1986 assassination. By turns fearful, vain and hostile, MacLaine makes her eccentricity endearing, even if you scoff at how the spirit moves her. I got a tremendous amount out of "The Camino", and am appreciative to the author for that. I feel that each of us on the spiritual path has some or perhaps a lot of the truth, and we bounce off each other on the quest for higher consciousness. No one has anything close to the "whole truth," but in "The Camino" I found a lot of candor, wisdom, humor, pithy insights, food for thought, along with a fine travelogue of what the author experienced, both internally and externally. I have traveled a lot and have grown spiritually from those experiences, and I've also done a number of long distance events to get the endorphins going. I did get a lot from her discussions about androgyny in Lemuria and "sex divisions" in Atlantis. Another wonderful quote, "I had walked the Camino in order to understand what we were capable of as human beings - such spiritual magnificence and such destructive fragmentation of our own souls. Were we all repeating such dramas even today because we hadn't remembered what we came from?" I urge everyone to read this fascinating book. ©2002 BILLY TWEEDIE NOTE: For the publishing company of this great book: Please produce CDs also. I read the hard cover in July 2000, loved the book so much! I also bought the Audio 'book' but noticed that it is not on Compact Disc...in this day and age! I wish to have the CDs ........Cassette tapes do not last long....... Visit Shirley at her website YOU CAN PURCHASE THIS GREAT BOOK AT YOUR LOCAL DEALER OR AT THIS LINK CLICK HERE!