The theme of this book is as old as humanity itself. Generations all over the world, from ancient times until today, search for God and the meaning of life. People have a religious consciousness. It means that the acceptance of a transcendental reality influences man's existence.

The ancient religions developed many forms of the deification of nature. Ancestral spirits are worshipped as gods and the search for some or other form of deity continues. More sophisticated images of God developed, often in conjunction with scientific progression. Yet God is still in the midst of a mystery. This is what this remarkable book is all about. It is the story of a journey towards the divine outside the realms of science, dogma or philosophy.

This is a book about a different kind of religion, the religion of authentic living and unconditional surrender to the 'power of being'. God is a Dancer relates a touching story outside the confines of theological definitions. The author succeeds in captivating the reader on a journey towards enlightenment. The quintessential message is that it is the seeking that distracts us; the thinking that confuses us, and society's conditioning that divides us.

This is a thought provoking book that touched me personally in a profound way. It relates a life changing experience that re-defines religion and constitutes a welcome contribution to some of the astounding books in this genre.

Much has been written about encounters with or experiences of God. Often such testimonials are sentimental, superficial, propagandistic or condemnatory. This book reaches out with heartfelt genuine compassion. Behind it is an enquiring mind. It reveals the impoverishment of religion as form and tradition without true feeling and an experience of God. It observes the tragedy of religion as a crutch instead of an internal power. The author asks relevant uncomfortable questions about our cherished Western way of life.

Even though the book has an intellectual basis, the approach is poetic, moving and inspiring. Of course it cannot be seen in isolation from the new religious mood that is increasingly infiltrating the theological debate of today. In the Protestant world especially there is talk of a reformation and a reformulation in the context of religious belief. Many authors concerned with this theme are basically in search of a new religion for the post-modern era in which people move away from theology to God. Accents of this new theology are, amongst others: God is part of everything in creation; God needs to be found from within; the touch of the divine can do without dogma and theological discourse; God is 'unthinkable' but if you 'feel' God, you enter into relationship with the Omnipresent One.

This book by De Villiers is expounding a 'New Gospel' based on 'God as indivisible'. God is a Dancer is to be liberated and joyful, the author states so poignantly in one of the chapters titled: The Abundance in Joy.

I am personally delighted that my friend found this joy. Both Cas de Villiers and I have been involved in the fight against racial discrimination in South Africa during the turbulent years. The humiliations and rejections he narrates, we both experienced time and time again. The wounds inflicted by South African politics were not only dealt to black people, but also to those of us who opposed the system actively and who were part of the forces of change. The author, who regularly contributed to newspaper columns, television debates and wrote several books on African affairs, relates how depression often plunged him into the depths of despair. His move in 1997 to the US when his wife, Sylvia, was awarded special immigration status as an artist, turned out to be a 'homecoming' of a different yet profound nature.

The author's longing for South Africa and a difficult adjustment to the new life in America are recounted with a depth of feeling that stirs the heart. Enlightening stories on his disillusions with a culture driven by materialism reveal how this most highly developed society is often also trapped in superficiality and warped values. He writes: 'I have great admiration for what was achieved on this soil. At the same time I feel the need to urge the people of this great country to aspire to true greatness, vested in being on the forefront for change, pioneering an age of awakening in which God will be realized as non-exclusive Lord of All, not confined in any specific dogma or philosophy.'

Freedom and individuality are themes running throughout this book. There will obviously be readers who will not agree with everything and who will testify that they discovered the way to God via different experiences and theologies. This book does not refute these testimonies. The author is clearly not trying to put God in yet another box of his own. This writing, however, will set many people free to experience God outside the boundaries of formalized perceptions. The book gives credence to the fact that there are indeed many different ways to enc6unter The Lord of the Dance in everyday living.

Dr. Willem de Klerk