The title of this book caught my attention right away. I have my own set of beliefs, but I’m always more than intrigued at what others believe and how they come to put faith in whatever they do - or don’t - believe in. Stalking God: My Unorthodox Search for Something to Believe In is a firsthand account of author Anjali Kumar’s quest to find a faith or principle that she can believe in and pass on to her daughter; something that would explain why we are all here.
Kumar took a sabbatical from her high level corporate job to search the globe for a faith or belief system that she could embrace. Her journey took her to many unexpected places, such as Abadiania, Brazil, where she encountered a man called John of God, to the Burning Man festival in Reno, Nevada, and many other spots along the way. Open and willing to give this mission all she had, she fully immersed herself in the cultures and experiences she found herself in, and there are some really funny tales of how things didn’t always work out as planned. One particular example that stood out to me, was a meeting with a local shaman couple in Ayahuasca, Peru, that involved a mysterious 5 gallon jug of volcanic water and the loss of most bodily functions for a period of time.
Kumar presents these experiences in a way that is non-judgmental; even if she doesn’t believe what she has just witnessed, she moves onto the next thing without so much as a derogatory word to the practice or its followers. The book is a memoir of sorts for sure, but I found the firsthand descriptions of these non-mainstream practices and beliefs to be intriguing, and the work as a whole does valuable double duty as a sort of world religions book.
I won’t spoil the outcome for you - that is up to you - but I will say this is a very interesting read on a topic I think all of us can relate to in one way or another.
Written by: Anjali Kumar Publisher: Seal Publishing (January 16, 2018) Format, Length: Hardcover, 256 pages
Here’s Kumar giving a Ted Talk in February 2018 on the spiritual journey depicted in her book.