Thank you for your honest and open answer.
-“I am not sure I could live it but I certainly would give it a read again. Truthfully, I am just not that spiritual a person though as I get older and have to face my own mortality, all kinds of questions and realizations about meaning and quality and finite reality occupy my thinking a little more.”
This link is to the poem that is mentioned in the book and beautifully captures the atmosphere.
I just looked it up and before that I was wondering if I still had the book somewhere; I did, it’s lying here right beside me! And of course, if you have a chance read it!
…I am just not that spiritual a person…
Spiritual? Are you breathing? Yes? Then you’re spiritual!
Maybe there is a connection between the quality of your breathing and your spirituality.
In my experience facing my own mortality (I became friends with my own death and then we danced together) impressed me rather deeply and changed me and therefore changed the world (that I perceive).
-“Contemplating the end is a very strange experience for someone with no religious background or interest.”
I agree; I also think that the lack of prejudice and dogma can make it more pure.
-“I would love to know what results you got by doing the "recapitulation" and how it has stayed alive in you - and not in a critical way either, genuine interest - but I recognize that this forum is not the place for such a personal story. “
In a way you are right of course if I went into details.
But in general I can say that doing something that is absolutely unnecessary in “normal life” already requires a special attitude, motivation and willpower which bring their own rewards.
As you may know (or not?) the preparation/start of this process consists of making a list of all the people you ever met in your life so far. This already took me 2-3 years (I did this when I was around 55 years old; I’m 75 now). If I really completed this list I probably will never know (don’t think so). I was amazed about my own memory and about how many people were on that list.
Next step would be to work down the list and “come clean” in a psychological sense with each and every person on that list; remembering every encounter, things that were said, the emotional atmosphere, artefacts that were exchanged etc.
Though I never completed that job, I could feel already, while doing it, a brightening up, a lighter feeling and what is more: when I meet new people this process seems to be integrated in the new encounter so that I don’t have to do it afterwards: it happens instantly.
This creates a greater sense of freedom (and therefore also of responsibility).
-“I'm not sure that the storm of my life blew me away from home as much as it engulfed me in other ideas that constantly distracted my attention from some of the things I should have been paying attention to. It'll be the things I missed while I was looking the other way for easy answers that I'll regret most, I think.”
The things that you missed will stay with you forever!
(I picked this fruit from one of Herman Hesse’s books; “Damian” or “Steppenwolf” I’m not sure, it’s long ago!).