Author explores spiritual side in memoir

Thomas Eberhard, author of "A Distant World Beckons"

Accountant by trade, Thomas Eberhard, of Rochester, seems to spend at least some of the time with his head in the clouds.

Eberhard, 65, a first-time author, has released "A Distant World Beckons," a memoir of his spiritual experiences. It is, as he has sub-titled the book, a matter of "Embracing the Mystical."

"I have always had interest in writing a book," he said, "the question being what subject might motivate a significant number of readers."

He found his answer in an experience he had, when visions surrounding an award-winning bottle of homemade dandelion wine, for him, foretold Lourdes High School competing in the state soccer tournament that year.

Eberhard recently answered some questions about himself and his book:


Have you always considered yourself a spiritual person? Are you also a religious person?

I have generally perceived myself as being in the middle of the road. To me, the two concepts go hand in hand, the main difference being that spirituality appears as a less structured version of that which is considered religious. While the experiences described in this book have certainly enhanced my spiritual awareness, they have at the same time brought profound insights into many traditional religious teachings.

The omens you describe in the book — do you have them often? What is the most significant experience you had?

The type of omens described in this book are rather infrequent. They tend to "just happen" in close proximity with significant or "high energy" situations in a person's life. They should be distinguished from manifestations that result from conscious mental activity such as creative visualization. My most significant experience was probably the marijuana symbol association in "Death of a Father." The most exciting story, however, was one about the soccer team and the dandelion wine.

I was struck by your phrase, "Events that others consider miracles often appear to me as rather ordinary." Yet I see the opposite of that often holds true for you as well.

Many of the events reported are not viewed as miracles from the author's perspective. I believe the word is overused to the extent it places limitations on our willingness to put effort into comprehending unusual happenings. I believe that opening our mind to the exploration of apparent "miraculous" events leads to greater spiritual fulfillment and the discovering of truth, as opposed to just believing what we hear. On the other hand, those who do not profess any belief in a supreme power or authority will not likely give serious thought to any of these concepts.

The hope, however, is that believers and nonbelievers alike will put forth the effort to reconcile their beliefs in a positive manner to the real-life events they discover in "A Distant World Beckons."



Book notes

"A Distant World Beckons" is a self-published book, available through online sellers. An electronic version will be released by the end of February. The book also is available at Christian Book & Gift Shop and Hy-Vee South in Rochester.

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