This book contains the 1998 Massey Lectures which were commissioned by the CBC and the University of Toronto. Jean Vanier has made slight corrections and additions to the text in order to bring more clarity. They were initially called “From Chaos to Life”. However, while rewriting the lectures, Jean revised the title to “Becoming Human” which I think captures the true essence of the lectures contained in this book even more.
“Becoming Human” is a painful process which involves growth, an opening of hearts to others, and not hiding behind masks or walls of fear or prejudice. It means discovering our true humanity.
The process of becoming human came about for Jean Vanier when he started living with people with disabilities. People with disabilities may be intellectually challenged. But they are all heart and people of trust. Human maturity occurs as we bring together our head and heart. We cannot grow spiritually unless we experience humanness.
So, Becoming Human is a book about the liberation of the heart from chaos and loneliness. Only this can lead us to discover our common humanity which is a journey from loneliness to love.
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth
Author, Editor, Philosopher