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An Outlaw Makes It Home: The Awakening Of A Spiritual Revolutionary    by Eli Jaxon-Bear order for
Outlaw Makes It Home
by Eli Jaxon-Bear
Order:  USA  Can
New Morning Books, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Eli Jaxon-Bear's An Outlaw Makes It Home: The Awakening Of A Spiritual Revolutionary is a very unusual memoir, a long running quest for spiritual enlightenment through the rebellious sixties, when so many young people sought their own paths through life, rather than what they felt was ordained for them by parents and society.

Jaxon-Bear's path is a wild one, by any standard. His memoir opens in 1971 as a federal fugitive, hiding out in a Colorado wilderness cabin, expecting at any moment to be confronted by officers of the law. How did he get there from being 'a twenty-something, upper middle-class, nice Jewish boy from New York, a year removed from a fellowship in a doctoral program'? It's an engrossing, and at times disturbing account.

He talks about the early experiences that made him avoid 'a successful superficial life' and aim for a 'short, fast life' like Alexander the Great. He admired his Uncle Jack, who was the real deal wise guy. He speaks of the influence of Bob Dylan's 'the times they are a changin''. He smoked marijuana and in 1965 marched with the SNCC in Alabama where a Klan attack 'permanently shattered' his vision of America.

He joined the domestic peace corps to avoid the draft and gradually became more radicalized, turning his back on society. He marched against the Vietnam War. He dealt drugs for a living, was arrested several times, but somehow avoided jail time. He got his name from an Apache after sharing magic mushrooms. He tells us of seeking enlightenment in Peru, searching for 'a secret brotherhood in a hidden monastery' east of Cusco. He didn't find it, though the quest almost killed him.

Back in America he grew marijuana in a hippie commune. He met Toni and his life came into focus. He started a business selling tribal rugs; taught neurolinguistics; and continued to pursue spiritualism. Finally he found the teacher he had long sought, Papaji in India. Having lived through the sixties, I enjoyed reading of his tumultuous journey, and am very glad that he survived it!

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