Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"God In My Head - The True Story Of An Ex-Christian Who Accidentally Met God" - An Intimate Memoir of a Very Personal Spiritual Journey

Josh Grisetti is a Broadway actor.  He is also a very fine writer.   His inaugural book opens a brutally transparent window into an intimate and mystical spiritual pilgrimage.  The title and sub-title provide an accurate preview of what a reader can expect to find in journeying through this book: "God In My Head - The True Story Of An Ex-Christian Who Accidentally Met God."

Mr. Grisetti tells of starting life as an ardent Christian - a hard-shell Southern Baptist to be more specific.  Then he began to sense that his heart-felt prayers and pleadings to God were being met by a longer and longer silence, and he glided toward a position of agnosticism.  This was the point at which Josh's life-long dental phobia played a role in God drilling holes in the author's agnosticism.  In order to handle his escalating panic over dental appointments, Josh had concocted an effective cocktail of prescription drugs and alcohol to ensure that he would be completely out of it during his time on stage in the dental chair.  On one particular and memorable occasion, he over-medicated and his 45-minutes in the dental chair were spent in a state of altered consciousness in which he was aware of spending about 200 years in intimate communication with God.  During this mystical vision and encounter, he and God - who looked a lot like Josh Grisetti - toured the far reaches of the cosmos as Josh peppered the Almighty with all of the questions he had been storing up in his head and heart and spirit.

Josh Grisetti . . .
or, perhaps, God!

The very personal picture of God that Josh paints in his recollection of this one-time encounter is a mixed bag.  In some regards, it echoes many of the biblical themes that Josh embraced early in his life.  Josh knows the Bible well, and quotes liberally from it in this memoir. At other points, what Josh learned from God flies in the face of biblical revelation.  The Apostle Paul, for example, is identified as Antichrist!

Several things struck me about the author's writing and about the spirit in which he approached sharing his story.  Although he no longer embraces the fundamentalist Christianity that he grew up with, he never expresses bitterness toward his parents or those who influenced his early religious life. He is, in fact, much more gracious in his comments than are many Bible-thumping Christians.  In his spirit, he exhibits more of the "fruit of the Spirit" than any of the current crop of Bible-quoting political candidates and their minions.  He also does not try to convince the readers of this book that his vision of what he saw that day represents absolute truth.  He goes out of his way to explore whether his journey can be attributed to a classic Near Death Experience, a drug hallucination, or a projection of his own unconscious thoughts.  His attitude seems to be: "This is what happened to me, friends, Make of it what you will."

I must take issue with something that theis said in a blurb on the back of the book: "This memoir is his first book - and probably his last." I hope that this is not his last book, for his clear writing style and his gentle heart need to be shared with a world that is thirsty for such generosity of spirit. This audience member is asking for a curtain call and another bow!



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