Reporting on her search for a higher power she could believe in, Galland (Women in the Wilderness, 1980) blends adventure, interviews, scholarship, and great doses of personal intuition into an absorbing account of her decade-long study of the connections between Tara--the Tibetan-Buddhist Buddha of Compassion--and Mary, the mysterious mute Mother of her childhood faith. ""To say that one is 'longing for darkness' is to say that one longs for transformation, for a darkness that brings balance, wholeness, integration, wisdom, insight, I now realize."" But up until a decade or so ago, Galland thought ""longing for darkness"" was connected to alcohol. Even as she embarked on her search for the Tibetan goddess Tara, she came to understand that embracing a higher power (a cornerstone of A.A. philosophy) meant confronting a darkness that was identical with healing, with forgiveness. Traveling from India (where she interviews an encouraging Dalai Lama) to Switzerland; from Poland (where she undertakes a grueling 200-mile walking pilgrimage to the Black Madonna of Czestochowa) to the California hilltop where she raised her children, Galland searches for the common roots between the redeeming dark messages of Mary and Taxa. And at the same time, she searches for personal wisdom--for the connecting link between politics and spirituality, action and inner knowledge. She finds it in the Sanctuary workers of the Rio Grande Valley, and in the Dalai Lama, whom, she discovers, embodies the wisdom and compassion of Mary/Taxa in the real world. Though elusive and not fully integrated, still a fascinating attempt to fuse scholarship with personal spiritual search.