Saturday, January 29, 2005

Roll Over, Play Dead

Do you feel distant from God? Do you often look at your dog and wonder, ‘Boy, he seems so content. I bet his relationship with God is going great. I wish I could be more like him.”

If so, I’ve got a book for you: Dog Psalms: Prayers My Dogs Have Taught Me. If you’re like me, when you look at a dog you see a creature obsessed with humping, eating its own feces and inappropriately licking itself in front of company. Luckily for us, author Dr. Herbert Brokering looks at dogs and sees creatures that can teach us how to have a deeper relationship with God.

Still think dogs are filthy creatures completely unsuitable for use as spiritual metaphors, never fear, Dr. Brokering has a companion book, Cat Psalms: Prayers My Cats Have Taught Me. Read prayers written in the voices of different cats as well as prayers “in which the human spirit speaks of its cat-like nature to God.” (Amazon.com Product Info.)

I know on the surface this all sounds a bit crazy. I would never look at household pets and think of ways to better pray to God. But thankfully we have Dr. Brokering to delve below the surface of sane human reason to bring us a deeper picture of our own spirituality as portrayed by our furry friends.

Before you write him off as another burned-out Timothy Leary follower, remember that Dr. Brokering is the “Leonardo DaVinci of the Prairies.” What does that mean? I don’t really know, but it sounds like someone I can trust.

I can’t wait for the third installment, Gerbil Revelations: Lessons My Gerbils Have Taught Me About the Apocalypse (with a forward by Richard Gere).

Thanks to my friend (and former Christian retail coworker) Beth for the product info.

17 comments:

Justin said...

"Herbs with Herb" was a dinner event at my church many years ago. Though my memory of the event is limited, I remember the bearded Brokering came and ate with us. He signed a Lutheran Book of Worship (also known as the LBW or "the green hymnal") in which his "Earth and All Stars" appears.

Incidently, Mr. Brokering and I have something else in common: bachelor's degrees from Wartburg College. Given my own Wartburg experience, I expect an interesting read.

I've learned a lot from cats.

Jörel said...

In my experience, cats are closer to the self description given in 'The Diary of a Killing Cat' by Anne Fine. Where the main protagonist says - if I remember correctly: "My name is I. That's what all cats call themselves".
I wonder if there is much room for any other gods in a cat's theology...

Brandon said...

Is it sick and twisted that I actually think these books probably contain some pretty good bits of truth?

Formerly Mrs. Kennedy said...

Will Richard Gere ever live down the gerbil connection?

Jenell said...

I own a copy of Cat Psalms, and also two cats. If that can get published, why don't my great book proposals get snatched up more quickly?!?

Anonymous said...

Nothing to do with your post, but I thought you might want to read this...

A note here... this story is set in Greece, which is 95% Eastern Orthodox. During Lent, the Eastern Orthodox church asks its members to fast from meat, dairy products, wine, and olive oil.

Just in time for Lent, I read the following in "North of Ithaka" by Eleni Gage...

"Enroute to from Athens to Lia, I stopped at a roadside McDonald's to use the bathroom and spotted two huge posters advertising the specials that were available to help us celebrate McLent. That’s right, not Lent at McDonald’s, nor Easter at McDonald’s, but Mc[GreekWord], ‘McLent.’

I stole a placemat that commemorated this happy marriage of the commercial and spiritual. On a bright green background were printed the words ‘Everybody ready’? and then in different colors and fonts ‘FASTING’. "Fasting is an old tradition and an opportunity to try something new,’ explained a paragraph under this eyecatching header. ‘Now young and old alike can avidly follow the custom and enjoy the renowned McLent!’ Then there were the photos of the delicacies in question: Spring rolls, fried shrimp, seafood salad, a McVeggieburger and apple pie. At the bottom of the paragraph was the slogan ‘Surrender to McDonald's!’ I, for one, had already been conquered."

Summer
http://www.livejournal.com/users/basbleu/

Neb said...

McLent?! Holy McCow! I think we have a lot to learn from cats...perhaps dogs as well, but beyond the simplicity of enjoying the moment I'm not sure what else. It's just more McTheology extruded into colorful cute little bite-sized chunks as far as I'm concerned.

The One True Dan Tripp said...

I know it's just a joke, but it's a very tired joke... and it's just simply not true.

The Straight Dope on: Richard Gere and Gerbilling.

Jane_of_art said...

LOL. I am shocked the author hasn't been on Oprah... I mean she just had her "daughter" on with some woman "doggie whispering to her" (play on the "Baby Whisperer")

Living in a dump, I study the "Tao of the Roach: its smashed, broken and starved but it lives." and "Zen and the art of surviving like the Rat."

Caelius said...

It's not a particularly new idea, the half-brilliant, half-insane Anglican poet Christopher Smart famously considered his cat Jeffrey in "Jubilate Agno" .

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jon said...

I was searching for dog supply info and found this post. I agree totally!

Paul

jon said...

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Paul

Jacob Gorny said...

You really ought to check out New Skete's books on raising dogs - they go into great detail on the spiritual maturity and development of dogs from puppy to adult. Their german shepherd are by far some of the most sought after pets. They have a waiting list of several years for new litters and go through extensive owner interviews just to release on of their dogs to owners. They also do rehabilitation of abused dogs... but the book on the spiritual development of puppies is amazing.