John Nelson’s “Starborn” Worth A Look…Or A Re-Visit

Have you ever read John Nelson’s Starborn (Hampton Roads, 1978)?  What an interesting little book.

I recently re-visited this delightful little read and found it simply enchanting.  It’s something to which I’d been introduced before, but upon reading it again a while back, I fell in love a second time.

The full title is Starborn: A Mystical Tale, and it centers around an unusually precocious child, Edward Doolittle.  He is precocious at birth due to his failure to unplug himself from his soul memory — in essence, he has total recall of his true identity as a being of infinite light and ability.

I won’t give the story away in all its glory, but suffice it to say that Edward Doolittle’s growth arc is quite impressive.  He starts out living up to his last name as he literally does little.  But he discovers that, in spite of himself, he must enter the play of world events and make a decision — will he participate to further the good of humankind or simply sit back, idle in his knowledge.

I’m sure you can predict the endpoint.

But then again, it’s not about the destination is it?  Even the most intelligent beings in the universe (whomever or whatever they may be…I have no idea) surely have something to learn and, more important, to contribute.

For Edward, the choices don’t come easy, but they come, and decisions to be part of the solution to Earth’s suffering instead of standing by in apathy aren’t simply for personal growth, but the growth of all.  As Edward struggles against a power-hungry doctor and a corrupt yogi, he finds that his desire to be anonymous and free of human bondage must take a back seat to the most important of values — service.

Starborn is full of teleportation, spirit guides, and karma as seen through the eyes of the youngest character who is the eldest among us.  But these concepts (whatever your view on them) aren’t the story.  They are the background.  Don’t worry if your jury is still out on these ideas…it really doesn’t matter.  For Edward, they are the frustrating realities of someone trapped in dense matter.  They are his reality in the story, but they don’t necessarily have to be yours or mine.

When you turn on the news and you see all the horrid things taking place in the world, they become knowledge for you…a background.  Perhaps you know better than to take to the streets burning shops and killing innocents simply because you are a little angry.  Maybe you feel like you are part of something bigger in the world than intolerance, screaming, firery rage, and hate.  Maybe you have always felt that perhaps you don’t “belong here” or that you are an “old soul” just counting down the days before you return to whatever “home” your worldview promises after death.

I don’t know what you think about these matters.  I’m just guessing here.  It’s not my place to tell you your business.

But the point is that no matter what you think about yourself and your missions in life, and no matter how “advanced” you believe you are as a human, soul, Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Humanist, Atheist, attorney, counselor, cat lover, or whatever, life will happen.  Choices matter.  You can be a part of the healing or a part of the hiding.

Which will you choose?

For Edward, the answer wasn’t clear.  Great knowledge brought out the great desire to be away from this world and its struggles.  Instead of being a force for change, Edward’s initial impetus was to hide away and wait out the countdown to death and true release.

Is that where we are?  Do we take our money, our joys, and our blessings and hoard them?  Do we take our very life for granted and hide it in some metaphorical cave of our being?  Or do we seek to share whatever bounty we have with others out of a sense of decency and kindness?

You see, it does precious little to keep knowledge to oneself.  Better is the path where insight is shared, worked, and available for all.  If you don’t like what you see “down here,” don’t blame “up there.”

Instead, find a way to make this a better world.

Who knows?  You may just find you become ten times the person you think you are now, even if you think you are “done.”  And maybe the world will become one millionth more peaceful than it is now through your small efforts and loving attention.  Actually, I am hard pressed to decide which of these two “growths” is more precious or important.

Who knows?  Maybe John Nelson’s Edward will tell me someday if he can spare the time.

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2 responses to “John Nelson’s “Starborn” Worth A Look…Or A Re-Visit

  1. Thank you for commenting on one of my favorite books! I too was profoundly affected by this book. I’m an avid reader but took several extra days – away from other distractions – to allow this book’s message to percolate. I too highly recommend it! What amazes me is that it was written decades ago and yet the author’s view of the world could easily be said to be current. Very interesting concepts, indeed!

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