||Savant Books & Publications
||August 19, 2010
Barnes & Noble.com
My Unborn Child is a story of love and freedom. Nurse Cassie O’Shaunnesy is in the throes of a marital crisis, a crisis in faith, and suicidal despair from the abortion she had to save her marriage; but then she experiences the miracle that changed her life. The soul of her aborted daughter Seana came to her.
My Unborn Child will lift you to new levels of awareness. The moral of My Unborn Child is that we are not physical beings who may or may not have an immortal soul; we are Soul who have a mortal body, and our purpose in life is to become aware of our spiritual heritage.
My Unborn Child is the story of how Cassie O’Shaunnesy’s abortion experience slips through the horns of the pro-life and pro-choice dilemma. Cassie’s marriage is in trouble. Her husband Kevin leaves her. Attempting to save her marriage, Cassie seduces Kevin and gets pregnant. Kevin does not want another child. Cassie panics and has an abortion. They divorce. Cassie is bereft with guilt. In a severe state of depression after her suicide attempt, Cassie has a spiritual experience with her aborted daughter Seana. This experience changes her life forever. Cassie relocates from Vancouver to Wyedale, Ontario. She reads Father McDuffy’s ad in the Gazette offering a reward “ to the first scientist of any discipline who can prove that a little person begins to be a person at some moment other than the time of conception in the womb.” Affronted by this ad, Cassie is driven to respond to Father McDuffy’s challenge. Cassie meets David Oakly, an intriguing and mystifying man who helps her to overcome the guilt and shame of her abortion. He becomes her new love interest. David Oakly, along with family physician Doctor Hilory Jordon, come to her defense when her open-letter response in the Wyedale Gazette to Father McDuffy’s ad gives rise to an open forum debate on the contentious abortion issue.
Father McDuffy’s Challenge
When I first read it in the Wyedale Gazette I had to laugh. I was
furious, but I had to laugh all the same. “Small-town mentality,” I
snickered, shaking my head in disbelief. “How in God’s name can
anyone prove what he’s asking, scientist or no? We haven’t come this
far yet; and we will never come this far, because what he’s asking can’t
be proven. It’s arrogant,” I spit out, angry now. “But that’s Christianity
for you, isn’t it? It’ll never change. Not in a million years. It has too
much to lose. By God, I should answer this!”
Memories of all my guilt and fear came rushing to my mind. I
took a breath to compose myself. “I should, shouldn’t I?” I challenged
I folded the paper and put it away in my kitchen drawer. I don’t
know why I stuffed the paper in there. I never saved the Gazette unless
there was a picture of my children or one of my patients in it. I must
have put it away knowing that I would have to take up Father
McDuffy’s challenge, because something about it struck at the very
core of my being.
“But that’s his prerogative,” I shrugged, with an ironic smile.
“After all, it’s the Christian thing to forgive, isn’t it?”
It still bothered me though. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but this
whole anti-abortion movement oozed with that sticky spiritual goo that
I had come to hate so much in Christianity. It had been almost six
years since my abortion, but Father McDuffy’s challenge brought it all
back again, and try as I may I could not get it out of my mind.
Oh well, it’s his life and his karma, I thought to myself at work
the next day, trying to laugh the whole movement off. But it didn’t
help. I still felt like rubbing the ad in the priest’s arrogant face. “What
right did he have to mock women like that? What right?” I asked
myself. “Damn!” I exclaimed, under my breath.
My mother never forgave me. She was ten times more stubborn
than I was. At least I admitted my mistakes. “I’d rather burn in hell
than give in to the likes of you,” she used to say to my father. And she
never did give in either. My mother would go to her grave before she
admitted she could be wrong about abortion. But I couldn’t help
myself; I had to do what I did. “A fetus is not a person, Mother,” I tried
to reason with her when I dropped by her house to talk with her that
day. “It’s a biological organism. Why can’t you see that?”
“That’s nonsense, that’s why!” my mother fired back, her green
eyes on fire. “And you better ask Almighty God to forgive you, Cassie
“I don’t need God’s forgiveness,” I responded, trying to stay
calm. “I have nothing to be forgiven for. I didn’t do anything wrong.
It’s my body, and I have the right to my own body. What right does
Christianity have to my body?”
“Every right!” my mother shouted at me, with all the authority
of her blind faith. “It’s God’s law! Thou shalt not kill! Your child had
as much right to live as you do, Cassie! That was my grandchild whose
life you took, so let’s call it for what it was. You murdered my
innocent grandchild and you better ask God to forgive you before it’s
too late! You could get run over by a truck tomorrow and go straight to
hell if you don’t confess your sin...”
“Mother!” I exclaimed. “Must you?”
“Yes,” she calmly replied, deliberately goading me. “I’m still
your mother. And I’ll tell you another thing, Cassie O’Shaunnesy. It
was a sorry day in heaven when you gave up your religion for this new
age malarkey. Come back to the Church, child. Get on your knees and
pray for his forgiveness right now. God is merciful. He sacrificed his
only begotten Son on the cross to save us from ourselves. It’s not too
late. I’m begging you, come back to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That’s
where you’ll find your salvation. Not in this new age malarkey. I’m
pleading with you as the mother who gave birth to you, give up this
new religion or you’ll end up just like that kooky Shirley MacLaine.
Her and her past lives! She’s even got herself a spirit guide now. Some
drunken Irish spirit, if you can believe that! She’s nuttier than a
fruitcake, that one! But she sure knows how to rake in the money,
doesn’t she? Can you imagine hard-working honest people paying
three hundred dollars a plate to hear that crazy malarkey? `You are
God,’ she says. `You can make your own reality.’ Reality, alright! Get
out before it’s too late, Cassie. Jesus is your savior, not Shirley
“Oh, Mother,” I sighed. “What’s the point of talking to you?”
I tried to reason with her, but she wouldn’t listen. It was too
much for her simple faith. I didn’t want to tell her, but I was
compelled. I couldn’t help myself. I desperately wanted my mother’s
blessing, so I brought up the subject of my new religion shortly after I
began studying the private discourses of the Atma teaching.
I sat in the same hard-back wooden chair with the red cushion
tied to the spindles that I always sat in before I married Kevin and left
our boarding house that my mother still ran as much for the company
of strangers, who quickly became her friends, as for the income. She
made tea. The sun shone through the top panes of the kitchen window
into my face, making me feel like I was in the spotlight, as I always
seemed to be since I had my abortion and left the Church. It had taken
me all week to muster my courage to tell my mother about Atma-Gare,
and I was so nervous my legs were trembling.
“Mother, I have something to tell you,” I said, swallowing hard. I
had to tell her. Just like I had to confess every one of my sins to Uncle
Clancy every Saturday afternoon when I was a child, I had to tell my
mother about my new religion. I knew I would live to regret it, but I
couldn’t help myself. I thought of my father who always argued in
vain with my mother, and I should have known better; but I wanted my
mother to accept me for who I was and not who she wanted me to be. I
opened my mouth and it all came pouring out. I knew Atma-Gare
wouldn’t make any sense to her, but I had to tell her anyway: “Mother,
there’s no such thing as mortal sin and venial sin in the new religion of
Atma-Gare. There’s only freedom and responsibility,” I began, and
opened a door to a whole new world that would terrify her Christian
Soul. “That’s the goal of the spiritual life of Atma-Gare. Sin does not
exist for me anymore. Only choices and experience. I don’t like some
of the choices that Christianity made for me, but I didn’t know any
better, did I? That’s why I left my faith. I had no choice. I don’t believe
in Christianity anymore; I believe in reincarnation. I don’t believe in
eternal damnation anymore; I believe in karma and eternal salvation. I
don’t believe Jesus came into the world to save us from sin and
damnation; he came to teach us the spiritual life of the Way. We can
only save ourselves, but we have to find the Wayshower first. He’s
here today. He’s the spiritual leader of Atma-Gare, and he lives in the
states. This is the new religion of the Light and Sound of God. The
Atma is the way, the truth, and the life, not Jesus Christ. The Atma is
Holy Spirit, which is both the Light and Sound of God. The Light and
Sound are the two sides of Holy Spirit. St. John called Holy Spirit the
Word. The Word is the Way, Mother. Father was right. Christianity
died a long time ago. But he was just as wrong as you are. God exists,
but it’s not Jesus Christ. Jesus was a spiritual teacher. He was not the
only begotten Son of God. But we can’t know that unless we find the
Living Atma Master who will connect us with the Holy Current of
Atma. Jesus called the Holy Current of Atma the water of everlasting
life. This is why we come into the world, Mother. We come to drink in
the Holy Spirit of Atma and perfect ourselves through karma and
reincarnation. We live many lifetimes, not just one life like
Christianity believes. But we can’t break the endless cycle of life and
death until we find the Living Atma Master.The world has always had
a Living Atma Master, but we have to find him first. Well, I found him.
And you can’t imagine how grateful I am. Do you understand what
I’m telling you, Mother?”
My mother stared at me like I had gone raving mad.
“Are you alright, Mother?” I asked.
“You’ve finally done it this time, haven’t you?”
“What have I done?”
“I knew it,” she calmly replied.
I waited for her to pounce. I didn’t have to wait long.
Authentic story, authentic characters
I was totally impressed with the authentic story and the authentic portrayal of the characters. I felt Orest Stocco created a very authentic feminine character in Cassie. Her reactions and struggles in coming to her decision to have an abortion and deal with the subsequent reactions of her family were very real. I very much connected with her choice of leaving her Catholic Faith and her choice of a new path that would spiritually fulfill her. This was very similar to my own choice to leave the Catholic Faith and choose a new path that of a "New Age" slant. Her family's reaction was very much similar to my own family's reaction. Her search and struggle to bring understanding to the choices she made without being in conflict with a judgmental God were similar to my own. I was impressed with the layers of interest, learning, and spirituality that Mr.Stocco brought into the story throughout the book. As the story unfolded I felt I was being led deeper and deeper into a spiritual dwelling in which each room felt familiar to me. At each level I encountered new concepts and new learnings. His courage in dealing with the abortion issue, and the new light he brings to the issue is food for thought. I discovered I could find aspects of myself reflected in many of the characters in the book. I throughly enjoyed his further unveiling of his character David Oakly. For in this too I found much to reflect on about my own shadow self. I have enjoyed the book so much I have started to re read it a second time to gain further spiritual insights to the experiences that Mr. Stocco described. I invite readers to approach this special book with an open mind and an open heart and see where it may take you.
Author Orest Stocco does not delay in diving headlong into the tortuous self-awakening of Cassie O'Shaunnesy in My Unborn Child. From line one of the book, she takes on her Roman Catholic mother who heaps plenty of self-righteous Catholic guilt on Cassie about the decision to abort her fourth child.
Cassie O'Shaunnesy endures divorce, religious doubt, self-loathing and attempted suicide for aborting her child. As she seeks a new spiritual path, she turns away from the authority that taught her abortion is sinful, the Roman Catholic Church when she seeks but finds no comfort there. Cassie takes on a new spirituality after much soul searching, one that permits her to live her life in a sacred manner, yet without the condemnation of sin.
Uplifted by her new spiritual life, she discovers David Oakly at a convention of Atmans. David becomes her new love who touches her spiritually, intellectually, as well as romantically. While they initially resist their attraction, they ultimately recognize their karmic fate to be together, their united Souls loving deeper than she could have previously imagined.
In this way, the author uses Cassie O'Shaunnesy to represent our world of today, seeking new definitions of spirituality and self, while rejecting the notion of sin. Mankind now seeks a spirituality that recognizes the acceptance of one's responsibilities, while being free to pursue self-awakening. Karma replaces Hellfire as the certainty of retribution or as reward for life's contributions. As Cassie left the Mother Church, so is mankind is departing Christianity and other faiths in general and finding new spiritualities. Mankind seeks new spiritual realities less condemning than the accepted religions of the world today, yet cannot accept wholeheartedly the cold, unblinking gaze of atheism.
Cassie, like many today seeks solstice for her soul, finding comfort in Atma-Gare and in David Oakly. Stocco tells their story of self-discovery and the extreme emotions that necessarily accompany such in depth self-examination. The author skillfully describes and blends Cassie's emotions as one might mix a blend of fine scotch whiskeys, to be seamless, balanced, neither mellifluous nor acerbic at the palate, rather the blend is truly pleasing when consumed.
In the end, it is the author's own Soul Cassie exposes, caught in the never-ending journey to spiritual fulfillment. This is a journey that does not end, but represents the new beginning. It is a journey that character David Oakly describes as "by the alone to the Alone." Ultimately, the reader slowly awakens to the fact that Cassie's journey and the telling of her tale is Stocco's peace. The book supports the author's well-known and oft-pronounced phrase; "Life is an Individual Journey"
MY UNBORN CHILD is indeed a very interesting read. It is a thought-provoking story about a woman on her quest to overcome the guilt of intentionally conceiving and then aborting her pregnancy in attempt to save her fading marriage. Her marriage ended anyway leaving her to deal with loads of internal chaos and an overly religious and borderline-loony mother on her own. That is, until she met the love of her life and experienced a connection with him like she had never before known.
The main and supporting characters absolutely breathe and sweat off the pages. Stocco's hold-no-prisoner approach will pull you right into the commotion of this outspoken tale about one woman's emergence to strength and dignity in a world where religion can be made vindictive and controversial by none other than the (mis)interpretation of man.
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