Monday, July 31, 2006
Over the years, Hollywood movies have stamped on the layman’s mind an image of a typical American family as a rubber band stretched by stressors of self-centeredness and unbridled individualism. This stamp is particularly lasting in case of teen folk. As we read Jackie Kendall’s The Mentoring Mom (New Hope Publishers, Alabama, 2006), the Hollywood’s stamp is washed away and the American family appears in a new light-that of love, care, and trust. Surely you would need a mentoring mom.
Jackie Kendall addresses caring mothers in her book, sharing the eleven images (what she calls stamps) she imprinted on her children’s lives-images that model Christ- to help them grow up in God’s image. Kendall tells simple, true nonfiction stories from her own family life and asks the readers ‘Questions for Reflection’ at the end of each chapter. It is her excellent writing style, lively humor, and prodigy of construing thoughts in the most beautiful sentences that makes her book a wonderful gift to moms and everyone else.
The Mentoring Mom carries invaluable lessons: loving the Lord by way of loving fellow human beings, the difference between mere learning the word ‘God’ and knowing God intimately, and above all, the true spirit of a real family. An indelible lesson of the book, of course, is the vitality of ‘wholesome grief’. In Kendall’s words: tears do not bring back the one who has died, but tears do bring us back to the life that must be lived without the ones who have died.
As an author Jackie Kendall’s words work wonders. The reason is not hard to figure: you can actually feel the persons, she tells of, in their own voices as if the author has a miraculous force by which she transforms herself into the soul of the one she is talking about. You can identify your life’s instances with Kendall family’s history of love and benevolence. This is indeed an achievement.
Jackie Kendall’s book is a must read because we all need Kendall’s wisdom’s light to arrive safely at our destiny of peace.
Author Website: http://www.jackiekendall.com/
Thursday, July 20, 2006
The rather effusive start of Rajesh Singh’s Human Species and Beyond (Synergy Books, Texas, 2006) sets the reader on precarious footing while grappling with the metaphysical codes that come riveting at him/her from the very first page. With no preface or foreword, Singh’s book starts brusquely with the assumption that man is suffering in his present stage of existence on account of his ignorance. The author comes a long way off his assertion through an intelligently designed argument to conclude what adherents of metaphysical schools of thought have long been insinuating-the unity of being.
It would be hard to cogently deny the intelligent connections that Sing makes in his discussion of the orders manifest in scientific discoveries in the fields of cosmology, quantum physics, evolutionary biology, and the philosophy of consciousness. A thorough understanding of the hidden order, and the message implied, are vital to guide the human species straight to its destiny. Rajesh Singh urges on humans to bridle their consciousness and steer their efforts towards the noumenal signpost or else suffer the anxiety that is not at all their true lot. The upshot of the book is a more purposeful growth and, for this, the need for redesigning our institutions.
So what leaves the reader at odds while coming to terms with Singh’s reconciliation of Rig Veda and Biblical allusions at the cosmic harmony and man’s current level of consciousness? Perhaps more than one point. First of all is Singh’s use of language, a web of long and intricately crafted sentences that adds to the complexity and associated disorder among the author’s meanings, especially when the book is aiming at presenting a concise view of epistemological concepts. Then the issue of conformism sets in. The concepts of cosmic psyche, cosmic self, cosmic being, cosmic consciousness, supramentalhood, and several others that the author has employed in his argument are more in line with a conformist thinking pattern and the skeptic has in stock at least one deep frown over Singh’s arbitrariness of divisions such as seven fields (and still one Grand Unified Field), seven kingdoms, seven oceans of energy (of which Agni is born), seven oceans of human biology (corresponding to seven plexi), and so on.
Singh’s discussion in Human Species and Beyond is undoubtedly intelligent, interesting, and thought-provoking. The author’s caliber stands on high grounds and his emphasis on the teleological order of existence is meant for salvation and peace. Whether one agrees with him or not is an issue aside; first, Human Species and Beyond is to be read, reread, and understood. For minds of serious and philosophical liking, Human Species and Beyond is commendable plus.