'The Camino': A Book Chat with Shirley MacLaine

Shirley MacLaine, author and actress, chatted with Beliefnet about her newest book, "The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit" on Yahoo, Wednesday, May 9, at 8 p.m. EST. As with all chats, this transcript is unedited.

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beliefnet_ellen: Good evening and welcome to Beliefnet's chat with Shirley MacLaine about her latest book, "The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit" which chronicles her pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. For centuries, seekers have made the spiritually and physically challenging pilgrimage along Spain's famous Santiago de Compostela Camino. Tonight, Ms. MacLaine answers your question and shares the story of her travels and ongoing spiritual journey. Ms. MacLaine, what was the impetus behind this book?

author_shirley_maclaine: I had reached the point in my life where I wanted to have a solitary adventure. I had no idea it would turn into such a spiritual adventure going back so far in time. This Camino that I did has been traversed for thousands of years by saints, sinners, generals, misfits, kings and queens, with the intent to find one's deepest spiritual meaning and resolutions regarding conflicts in self.

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angelxpressing: On page 59 of The Camino, Shirley talks about being able to "dip into simultaneous realities whenever I tuned into them." What are these simultaneous realities like from an experience level?

author_shirley_maclaine: I see the reality; I hear it; I sense it in every way. Sometimes I see myself, sometimes I don't. And then of course what occurs to me is: am I creating it all, just as I create all in life? Anybody can do this, but they have to be willing to get out of their own way.

heather_d7: Do you see your self as spiritual but not religious?

author_shirley_maclaine: Umm... yes!

heather_d7: What religion were you raised?

author_shirley_maclaine: My religion as a child was nondescript. Although we were taught to believe in God, church seemed to have not much to do with it. So I developed my own form of spirituality, as a result of not being conditioned by religion.

peginlex: Shirley, I loved your other three books. Is this one a continuation of your search, or more of a confirmation of what you've already discovered about spirituality and/or God?

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