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Author encourages spiritual adventures

January 04, 1999

William KaufmanBy DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer




SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - The ability to foresee certain events or circumstances is a common trait in people, but the foreshadowings often are so strange that they are discounted by those who experience them, said William Michael Kaufman, who has written a new book about spirituality.

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Kaufman maintains the experiences are real and can be of great benefit to those who experience them.

"They are very powerful events and they can tell us about ourselves," said Kaufman, author of "High in the Andes."

Sometimes the experiences can be as direct as feeling the presence of a loved one who has died or sensing the presence of a friend who is hundreds of miles away, Kaufman said.

Instead of being rejected, such experiences should be accepted as a way to better understand one's life, said Kaufman, who said he has studied most of the world's major religions and taught high school and college-level courses on various issues.

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As greater understanding of one's life expands, so does creativity and relationships with others, said Kaufman, who moved to Shepherdstown six months ago.

"It helps us become healthier, helps us to open our hearts and become more compassionate," Kaufman said from his Back Alley apartment last week.

Kaufman said readers can get an idea how the process works through "High in the Andes."In what Kaufman calls a spiritual adventure novel, the book revolves around a character known as Narada, who intentionally separates himself from other people on an archaeological tour in Peru.

He finds himself connected to a group of Incan colleagues with whom he lived 450 years ago.

"Therein begins an extraordinary process of self-discovery, reflection, and ancient memory recall," according to the book. "Readers will recognize in the events Narada narrates the struggles that are common to many seekers on the path of spiritual development."

Kaufman said the idea for the 128-page book came to him as a result of depression and heartbreak he had suffered. He would not elaborate.

Kaufman said he wants people to concentrate on their own lives.

"I want the reader in this book to discover himself or herself," he said.

Originally from New York, Kaufman said he started writing "High in the Andes" last March while he was living in Chicago.

Kaufman has degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Chicago, where he earned a master's and doctorate in comparative education.

Although the book is not available in local stores, it can be ordered by calling 1-800-788-7654.

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