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Deepak Chopra's The Angel is Near Mass Market Paperback – August 15, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Two American soldiers are carefully checking a church in Kosovo for mines when there is an explosion. However, what they find is not a bomb but a mysterious ethereal glow. The soldiers end up stateside, being questioned by army intelligence, who wonder whether the soldiers were blinded by aliens. In fact, the soldiers are convinced they saw a messenger from God. Soon after, a doctor rushes to help a neighbor who is apparently having a heart attack. The physician finds the man already dead. Within minutes, the Good Samaritan is inexplicably covered with blood and is arrested for murder. These odd events are connected because angels have come down to earth as messengers to try to bring peace and goodness to the world. It is through certain people that they will be able to spread the word of God and save the world. It's notable that the book is bylined as being "created by"Anot "written by"ANew Age guru/author Chopra and veteran anthologist Greenberg. However they "created" the novel, it seems closer to a dull '50s sci-fi pulp flick populated with stereotypical characters than to an inspiring tale of good and evil. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The story itself revolves around an angel that came to earth in Kosovo, and the workings of the government, the angel herself, a New Age writer and a few other colorful personalities to understand the mission and the message. I found the story to be a bit disjointed, but entertaining. The ending of the book felt rushed after Deepak carefully developed the characters and story line over the preceeding 275 pages or so.
The spiritual message is powerful, and is contained in the text of the story itself, as well as "interludes" that Chopra refers to as the "Angel's Voice". However, like the story itself, this format makes the message a little disjointed.
Taken as a whole, the book is reasonably entertaining and conveys a powerful message reasonably effectively. In that in rated four stars. I felt "Lords of Light" was both better written and more entertaining as a novel, and should probably be read prior to this one to provide some helpful (but not necessary) background on some major characters.
What I liked most about this book was the "Angel's Voice" pearls of wisdom scattered throughout the book. Page 197-198 had my favorite quote: "Satan is your human face to cosmic evil...Much more deep-rooted is your sense that you are evil in your nature. This sort of evil is called demonic or sinful. You often trace it back to some kind of fall from grace; in manyof your myths there is a legendary Paradise on earth that was lost because you could not control your baser self. Yet Eden is nowhere but in your mind, and if you overcome your sense of guilt, Eden is now."
I love the way that Chopra and Greenberg wrote a cohesive fast-past story that weaved in spiritual wisdom. This is a great series for people on the spiritual path who usually only read spiritual philosophy or self-help, but want a fictional story to read for a fun summer read at the pool or beach.
As I began the book, I carefully evaluated the spiritual lessons almost like challenges, testing what the author was saying with my own interpretation of reality. As one insight lead to another, I noticed even more curiosity building. I continued to read, and found myself trusting instead of challenging, comforted by the ring of truth; as though I was remembering, not learning for the first time.
The lessons are both simple and profound, evoking questions and answers at the same time. In the end, whatever I say about this book will not quite be it. Because what I had was an experience, which always turns out to be beyond description.
Undoubtedly my insights moved me in the direction of higher spiritual awareness. And yes, I have found myself recommending this book to co-workers and friends. My daily conversations keep coming around to one or more aspects of the basic questions addressed in this book.