God and Love on Route 80: The Hidden Mystery of Human Connectedness

God and Love on Route 80: The Hidden Mystery of Human Connectedness

Stephen G. Post
Coral Gables, Fla., Mango Publishing Group, 2019. 301 pp., paper, $18.95.

Stephen G. Post is the best-selling author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People. He has taught at the University of Chicago Medical School, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. His latest book, God and Love on Route 80, attempts to show how compassion improves the lives of others and explains how this can apply to everyone on the planet.

God and Love on Route 80 describes episodes in Post’s trip from New Hampshire to Oregon after his graduation from prep school. The book has interludes between each episode with pictures of and quotes from spiritual teachers. It gives the reader a feel for the people he met on his journey, the towns he was in, and how he embarked upon his spiritual path regardless of obstacles.

In the prelude, the author recalls himself as a boy in New Hampshire. He never heard the voice of God, although he didn’t dismiss the possibility. When he was young, he had a repeating dream in which he saw the light-blue image of an angel’s face and heard it say, “If you save him, you too shall live.” The boy knew that some dreams could express divine intent. He was able to understand this calling years later at the Pacific end of Interstate Route 80, nearly 3000 miles away in Oregon. His trip there enabled him to experience synchronicity and the way it works.

The car that Post started out with broke down, so he hitched rides and met a variety of interesting people. For income, he played guitar in restaurants to earn tips. He went into a Buddhist temple for the first time and started chanting with others. He liked chanting because it gave him a sense that the boundaries between himself and others had disappeared. In his travels, Post had a conversation with the author Ken Kesey while he was writing his book Sometimes a Great Notion. In a bookstore, Post heard the poet Robert Bly read sections of his book Light around the Body.

The author purchased a Buddhist gohonzon scroll, a sacred object that helps the person who possesses it to solve problems. It assisted Post in keeping someone from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The experience gave meaning to the words he had heard in his dream: “If you save him, you too shall live.” After his journey, Post completed his college education and went on to teach medicine and become the president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. In 2016 the institute’s website was taken down and replaced with the black flag of ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. To counteract this, Post came up with the idea of the Route 80 Youth Essay Contest. It was for young people to write about how others encouraged them to hate and how they turned that into something positive. They shared their abilities to support the principles of religious freedom, tolerance, and love for all of humanity.

Post was invited to the United Nations Population Fund to help reflect on spirituality and a sustainable future. He spoke about the essay contest and how the ISIS hacking had inspired it. The UN had the contest winners present their essays, and the event was broadcast to 80 million young people worldwide.

I found this book enjoyable and easy to read. It shows how the writer had the courage to be adventurous and turn opposition around in order to bring God and love into the lives of others on a global level.

Marie Otte

Marie Otte is a writer, meditation teacher, and astrologer. Her work has appeared in QuestDreamNetWork.net, and Satvidya. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Northern Illinois University.