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Choose Your Metaphor

5 out of 5 based on 10 customer ratings
(10 customer reviews)


SKU: 1

Product Description

All book proceeds go to fund these projects.

For a video introduction to the book, please watch:

“The only way you’ll ever survive is to open yourself and let life take you where you don’t even know you need to be taken.”

From its opening moments of disorientation and confusion inside the halls of Mumbai’s airport, Choose Your Metaphor: Walking the One Path That Goes by Many Names is a vivid, autobiographical account of a ten thousand mile journey through five countries, the teachings of a half-dozen religious sages, love at first sight, and the human mind’s darkest reaches. Recounting my transformation from hardened secular humanist to fervent spiritual seeker, the book interweaves descriptions of interior and exterior landscapes, and invites the reader along for an adventure of the heart.

Click here to read the introduction

Ten days of silent meditation in Nepal opened me to the possibility that my lifelong distrust of religion was misplaced. Shortly afterward, I began devouring a buffet of competing metaphors and rituals in a frantic search for Truth. After pursuing Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist paths, however, I realized my self-centered attempt to escape from suffering had only compounded my anxiety. It was only when I finally accepted the wisdom of failure, sorrow, and insecurity that I realized his journey around the world and through its faiths had taught me how to feel at home on the ground beneath my feet.

Click here to read a sample from the first chapter

Choose Your Metaphor is not a typical work of comparative spirituality. By recounting a travel narrative in the first person, it conveys something not generally found in strictly academic accounts of religion. It is one thing to read “all beings are Buddha nature,” but what does that really mean?  How is the feeling of “not understanding” actually experienced?  Although the specifics of my path are unique, the frankness and honesty with which I relates my struggles with addiction, judgment, and fear allow the reader to identify with those same elements in themselves.

Click here to read a sample from chapter two

At a moment when cultural interest in travel, spirituality, and spiritual travel is increasing, Choose Your Metaphor provides a fresh, intelligent perspective that readers will connect with. It is not a merely speculative philosophical work, laden with jargon and obscurities, nor is it a mere “look where I’ve been” travelogue. Choose Your Metaphor is an authentic account of a profoundly passionate spiritual journey that doesn’t shy away from describing mistakes, including what happens when spirituality is used in the service of ego. Paying sensitive attention to the cultural and intellectual settings I depict,  I take readers halfway around the world and deep into life’s mysteries.


10 reviews for Choose Your Metaphor

  1. 5 out of 5


    In Chose Your Metaphor, Daniel Goldsmith invites his readers on a rich journey throughout diverse landscapes of both world and mind. Navigating both with great intelligence, and the humorous stumbling follie of a spiritual neophyte, he invokes the statement/proposition to Choose Your Metaphor that every seeker must learn to wrestle and dance with to develop the ‘metaphoric agility’ necessary for the spiritual journey in our time. Daniel is an intelligent writer, and thus his prose is strong, vivid, clear—he asks important questions and delightfully, is never satisfied. I say delightfully because, finally, in the end, it is his heart, full of the kind of curiosity, generosity, and courage that makes for a journey worth going on: The journey to Choose Your Metaphor ends in Love. In so doing he reminds his readers, like any good guide, that all seeking shall ultimately, however shadowy the fringes are, lead into the heart of Love, the true resting place of philosophy—because of course, there is no real knowing without love, and no love without knowing.

  2. 5 out of 5


    A truly inspiring, extraordinary, and beautiful book. The incredible honesty combined with the beauty of the writing (whichever English teacher introduced Daniel to similes and metaphors did a good job!) has created a book that I believe would be helpful to many, many people. While I originally thought that CYM was a more spiritually enlightened version of Eat, Love, Pray, I think the closest parallel is Thomas Merton’s Seven Story Mountain. Daniel’s story reveals the simple truth that we can all find where truth lies: it’s in us and all around us. The best we can do is tap into our loving centers and act accordingly.

  3. 5 out of 5


    In Choose Your Metaphor, Daniel Goldsmith recounts his journeys around the world as he seeks to answer a very difficult question: Is there a way to rationally reconcile the various religious philosophies of the world?

    Let me first say that this is not the story of a “true believer” traveling around the world lapping up spiritual teachings wherever he can find them. Goldsmith asks difficult questions, and often gets difficult answers. While keeping open-minded, he treats everything he encounters with a healthy dose of rationality. What I enjoyed the most in reading this book was seeing the logical skepticism of a humanist combined with the unshakable faith of one who has glimpsed the light of spiritual truth.

    I particularly enjoyed the chapters dealing with Sufism and Judaism, as the spiritual traditions of the near East are very much unfamiliar to me. But even the chapters on India offer new insights on the state of religious practice and belief on that rapidly changing subcontinent.

    Philosophical and spiritual insight aside, Choose Your Metaphor succeeds as a gripping travel narrative, with it’s vivid descriptions of Goldsmith’s journeys to various countries including Israel, Turkey, Indonesia, Nepal, and India.

    This is a spiritual travel narrative for a new generation. It comes at a time when religious strife is as rampant as ever around the world, offering a message of tolerance and rationality. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in spirituality, comparative religions, or travel literature. Whether you’re considering traveling to the far corners of the globe in search of spiritual insight or you enjoy contemplating religion and philosophy from the safety of your couch, this is a must read!

  4. 5 out of 5


    I didn’t want it to end! I so appreciated the gentleness with with Daniel approaches concepts that can be coated with the hard cover of intellectualism or pomposity. The text is generously coaxing out my own stories and my own inner philosopher…and I’m reading it in a long-distance book club. It’s a fabulous way to connect with those we love…

  5. 5 out of 5


    For those of us who have wandered, we find well articulated reflections of our own questions in Choose Your Metaphor. With Daniel as our honest, non-judgmental tour guide, we laugh at the misadventures of spiritual seekers, share in the excitement of surrendering to the flow and arrive at the calmness of contentment. Along with Hesse’s Siddhartha, this is the book I will be giving to those embarking on their own journey.

  6. 5 out of 5


    When Choose Your Metaphor landed on my desk, I was a little sceptical about its relevance to my own life. As a staunch atheist, what could I gain from reading about a man’s attempt of making sense of the diversity of religious traditions in the world? The answer turned out to be quite a lot. Daniel Goldsmith’s book probes fundamental philosophical questions that will interest anyone who reflects on life and its meaning. I should add that the book is a truly delightful read: superbly written and frankly hilarious at times.

  7. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Your book was lucid, clear like a mirror. “The Teaching” whatever your metaphor for it is, stands out clearly from the narrative, but is also the universal story. (Women and gold). Besides all that crap, I saw myself, cringed over the “discoveries”, laughing till my stomach hurt.

    I made a connection online with a man whose dog had just died, I told him I understood, when mine died I was shocked, I assumed he was immortal. I could do absolutely nothing about this disappearance (and the avalanche of emotion that followed) . All my spirituality could not help me avoid pain, but there was a strong desire to fix it. What use are the secrets of existence if I close my eyes to my own experience. The knowledge was always there, everything is a metaphor for everything. Thanks for writing this.

  8. 5 out of 5


    Beautiful, fascinating – and a real page turner. Charts both inner and outer journeys in an honest, sometimes humorous way, grabbing hold of some fundamental questions and living them out.

  9. 5 out of 5


    I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to read about your book while traveling. It was inspiring, thought-provoking, and simply awesome. I can’t wait to share it with some friends.
    Thank you,

  10. 5 out of 5


    An inspiring book ! The sincerity of the experience is very interesting. It is moving to follow the path of a young man full of hopes, who wants to know more about himself but doesn’t know how to do so, where to go and who to follow.
    Your experience with the different religions, and your permanent search for a master, a teacher who would lead you to your goal is very well described. You go in all directions in order to find your own. You try everything hoping one path will work for you.
    Your book questions our own quest for spirituality, and makes us grow up.
    I really enjoyed the end of the book. Especially one sentence on the last page… but I’ll let the reader discover it after reading the book…
    I’m hoping you will publish a second book relating your present experiences. I was wondering how living with someone and having a baby affected your spiritual quest.

    Thank you for sharing with such sincerity your spiritual journey !

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