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The Seeker King
A Spiritual Biography of Elvis Presley
By Gary Tillery
Book Discussion Guide
Points of Departure
Chapter 1: Tupelo
What do you make of the blue light that Vernon Presley said surrounded his house when Elvis and his twin brother began to be delivered?
How much do you think growing up in a Pentecostal church helped shape Elvis's uninhibited performance on stage?
Chapter 2: Memphis
Elvis loved gospel music as a teenager. How do you think it would have changed his life if he had been welcomed into the Songfellows, and developed as a member of a group rather than a soloist?
Chapter 3: Sun
How much of Elvis's early success was attributable to great timing? What if "Rock Around the Clock" hadn't been re-released and gone to number one in the charts at the very time Elvis was starting to cause waves with his performances?
Chapter 4: Phenomenon
What factors do you suppose made Elvis feel that he had been singled out for some reason by God?
Chapter 5: Patriot
What if Elvis's mother Gladys hadn't died when she did? Would he still have been interested in reincarnation and parapsychology?
Do you think his experience as a common soldier shaped the man he would be? What if he had accepted the Army's offer to let him serve his time as an entertainer?
Chapter 6: Star
Suppose for a moment that Elvis had stuck with his desire to be a serious actor, and not switched to more popular, lightweight movies. How would that have altered his career and life?
Chapter 7: Awakening
Elvis was ripe for a new spiritual direction when he met Larry Geller. But what if Geller had had a different set of beliefs? Do you think Elvis could have started down a different path?
Chapter 8: Revelation
In the year leading up to his mystical experience, Elvis had devoured hundreds of books on metaphysical subjects. What do you think that says about him? (and focus on more than religious hunger)
Do you believe it was really God who was speaking to Elvis during his epiphany on Route 66?
Chapter 9: Mission
Do you think it influenced Elvis that Sri Maya Data reminded him of his mother?
What do you make of Elvis's comment, "I'm not a man. I'm not a woman—I'm a soul, a spirit, a force. I have no interest in anything of this world. I want to live in another dimension entirely."?
Chapter 10: Comeback
Do you find it odd that Elvis declined to defend his friend and "guru" Larry Geller when Colonel Parker branded him as the problem during the filming of Clambake?
Do you find it suggestive that Elvis finally committed to marry Priscilla shortly after Geller left, after turning the page on that phase of his spiritual development?
Chapter 11: Showman
What does it suggest that after getting back to the top of the pop charts with "Suspicious Minds" and "In the Ghetto," and becoming the preeminent live entertainer in the world with his show in Las Vegas, Elvis once more got into touch with Daya Mata?
Chapter 12: Agent
What does his fascination with badges and law enforcement say about Elvis's psychology, his patriotism, and his spirituality?
Chapter 13: Breakup
What do you make of Elvis's comment to Joyce Bova: "I'm past the age of Christ crucified. I can't wait much longer to plan the rest of my life's work."?
Chapter 14: Descent
Considering that Elvis could have had almost any woman he wanted, what do you think of his wooing of Linda Thompson, a committed Southern Baptist?
Elvis couldn't help remarking that, physically, Madame Blavatsky reminded him of his mother. Do you think it played a role in his thinking about her writings?
Chapter 15: Divorce
What do you make of Elvis divulging to Larry Geller that, during his epiphany in northern Arizona in 1965, he had the sudden insight that he, himself, was the returning Jesus? How do you think he reached that state of mind? How must that terrifying insight have affected his psychology for the next year or two?
Chapter 16: Reckoning
5,458 amphetamines, 9,567 sedatives, and 3,988 narcotics: Was Elvis coping with his extraordinary lifestyle by means of the torrent of drugs, or had the drugs taken over the man?
Epilogue: Saint Elvis
What do you think about the sightings of Elvis cited from Dr. Raymond Moody's book? How did the Georgia policeman know how to identify the street on which his prodigal son was living in Los Angeles, and which specific door on the street was his refuge?
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