The Hunger of the Soul: A Spiritual Diary

This article was written by Madhuri for, and posted on, Osho News.

Book review by Madhuri; “This book is mostly a description of bliss states, and as such is quite uplifting to read. A special book!”

The Hunger of the Soul
A Spiritual Diary

by Nancy Pope Mayorga
Innerquest Publishing Company, California, 1981
134 pages
ISBN-10: ‎ 0940698005
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0940698000

I was astonished to read that in 1947, when the world was picking itself up and patching itself back together after a long and terrible war, the pursuit of wisdom and the courting of Grace were alive and well in California: seekers and gurus abounded, just like now. It was a subculture – you had to stumble upon it, or not – and the author of this slim and startling volume did. As a 41-year-old wife, mother and successful writer, she was passionately in search of something More, without having the slightest idea what that might be. A friend suggested she read the Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali; the author read it, and decided to try out this ‘meditation’ thing.

So next morning she sat in lotus position and, as the book dictated, focused every bit of her attention on an imaginary light above the top of her head. Immediately she was flooded with incredible bliss, which pretty much took up residence in her and went on growing, changing, intensifying, drawing back, coming again with new breadth and scope… for the rest of her life.

This book is mostly a description of bliss states, and as such is quite uplifting to read! And, there are dialogues with Prabhavananda, the local guru who became her guru, in both Hollywood and Santa Barbara. The dialogues are fascinating – and beautifully reported – including the gestures. I think most of us would feel both recognition and resonance with what was felt and said.

I got the feeling that I was in the presence of genius, of a certain kind – meditation genius – and genius is refreshing, invigorating, and inspiring. The fact that not everyone goes immediately into full-on bliss when they meditate was deeply surprising to the author! I myself thought it sounded interesting to meditate on a point of light above the top of the head, so I tried it right away! Hahahahah! My usual jerky will-power stuff came up: Oho! You are trying to see this point of light! We will make it bloat and waver and wink out and come back, and you will try harder! Then your chin sticks out and your shoulders tense and where is the light now? Hahahah!

And so on. So I had to drop the focusing. But I went on enjoying the book – a fascinating glimpse of an extraordinary soul at large in the same area where I grew up, but a thousand leagues away. I notice that the story has had an effect – a kind of optimistic happiness and awe; a sense of possibility. So I recommend it for anyone.

The diary entries cover the period from 1948-1980. The diary was kept secret until the author was old and was finally convinced to publish it. (Her husband was very much troubled by her blisses!) There is an Afterword by her son, who was much surprised by what the diaries contain.

A special book!