New Creation

By John Poynton

General fiction, Environment & nature

Paperback, eBook

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381
1 mins

 

Story overview

Part 1. Robert McBraid, son of an African missionary, leaves the mission to become a game ranger. The story starts five days into Robert’s initiation as a ranger; the ideal of protecting the game is called into question when an abandoned and starved lion cub is shot. Such questioning was far from his mind when he left the mission for the reserve, but he is cautioned by the camp superintendent that the bush ‘opens and frightens the mind’ and you start asking questions. Harrowing events encountered in the reserve confirm this. He finds the basis of his religiosity questioned by a powerful chief ranger; he does not properly fathom the chief’s profound thinking about self, true exploration of spiritual dimensions and the failure of modern thinking to explore all that can be experienced. A cocksure atheistic research ranger erodes Robert’s conventional faith, and when the chief ranger departs on nine months’ leave, Robert is left with only a heap of rubble from his former standard faith and ideas.

Part 2. An experience of nature mysticism during a man-eating lion hunt opens a new vision of the wilds around him. A study of lions becomes his passion. He is stirred by the humanist vision of a visiting zoology professor, but finds it challenged by a dowser who is critical of the materialistic stance of conventional thinking, ‘as much an expression of our limitations as of our abilities.’ The conflict in views leads to a liberating feeling of abandoning all set ideas, and when his missionary father visits the reserve they are able to relate to each other in a free new way, enriching for them both.

Part 3. The chief ranger returns with a half-Indian wife, who proves to be a psychic healer. A visit to a witch-doctor to recover a lost notebook, arranged by the chief ranger, challenges Robert’s conventional ideas further. A vagrant group of New Age travellers are exposed to a hyaena attack; in the disturbance and consternation that follows Robert falls in love with one of the group, but they become parted. The zoology professor finds a university place for him and he prepares to leave the reserve. After more deepening experiences, including an attack by an injured lion, Robert leaves the reserve dramatically re-united with his beloved; he is now a missionary for a new vision of mankind and nature – a new creation.


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