Most helpful critical review
59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Interesting Idea, but a lot left to understand.
on October 20, 2012
When I saw the great reviews for this book, I knew I had to read it. I, like most of you, have read several books about karma and reincarnation. I am pretty open minded, but I also try to look beneath the layers for truth. This book has a lot of layers.
The stories all touch your heart, and I do not want to take away from the personal stories. If anything, they show how the human spirit can withstand even the hardest tragedies. However, this book makes it seem like life is a one-way road. Your life is carefully and strategically planned out for you. How easy.
However, I feel (and this is just my belief, not fact) that this type of thinking takes responsibility and power away from people. If you are going to end up as an alcoholic no matter what, because it's your purpose, than why fight it? If your meant to be sick, than you always will be. This means nothing you could have done on earth could have changed this, it is your soul's plight. What about spontaneous healings? So many people have been healed of all kinds of diseases, spontaneously, through healers, and through other methods. Does this mean they have deviated from their soul purpose? If all disease is meant to happen, than why do we have the power to heal it?
I know so many people, including myself, with chronic illness who have done emotional work and been healed. So much of what happens in our lives are connected to emotions which were resisted and not dealt with as children. I think sometimes those emotions have rolled over from previous lives as well. However, I don't believe you have to LIVE OUT this huge tragedy to learn. I truly believe everyone has emotional healing they have to work on. Maybe it takes an illness to wake someone up to the fact. However, they don't have to live in suffering forever.
Think about this, maybe someone becomes an alcoholic because they have no outlet for their anger, grief, and fear. Maybe they see their parents drinking (because they also don't know how to deal with their anger, fear, and grief) and so they chose that as their escape. Maybe the circumstances were planned out to make it more likely they would become alcoholic. Maybe they chose alcoholic parents who dismissed their emotions, making it an easy set-up for becoming an alcoholic. However, in the end it is the person's choice to either deal with the emotions behind the addiction, and heal the suffering, or continue to live with the suffering of the addiction.
I think maybe the author could have delved deeper. The book seems to only superficially scrape the surface of what living and tragedy is all about. And like the other poster said, you often find what you are looking for. It doesn't matter if the people you interview know what you are looking for. If your intention is to find something you probably would. Perhaps if he had asked those sufferers if they could change their path, maybe the answer would have been yes. I give it two stars for a unique idea, but I think a book like this can lead people down a scary path.
I do believe we may set-up our lives to be difficult so that we can learn, change, and heal. I do not think it is a permanent one-way road though. That would be a sad and unexciting world. I think the main point the book missed was that healing is possible. Once we deal with all our emotional baggage we can actually see why all the drama in our life appeared. We can see the bigger picture of everything. That is inspiring. Believing that destiny will always pave the road for me, is not. This is just my two cents.