Hi, friends. I just finished reading the book called Soul Stories by Gary Zukav. It is a collection of 52 short stories, designed to provoke soul searching and help reader to look at his/ her life from the different perspective. Some of these stories are true, some are not, some are authors memories and the rest are possibilities. Insignificant SPOILERS present, yet as it is non-fiction, I think it is acceptable. Overall idea is given, but not too many small details discussed.
Beauty above me, Beauty below me, Beauty in front of me, Beauty behind me. All around me Beauty. – A Navajo Prayer
I expected this book to be quiet, gently spoken, romantic even, with the touch of magic or mystery and the very deep meaning. But to my disappointment it was non of these things. However it was straightforward and simple to read, which is a bonus, for those of us, who are not native speakers. I was surprised at the use of science, I thought it did not belong in the book, regardless of the fact, that author twisted and shaped some stories to suit the topic, adding in the end- “Souls are like that” I thought it did not work well. I did not want to read about how airplane works, or about invisible radioactive waves, during my soul searching… At times author spent full page or more explaining the story (how two people ice-skate or band plays music etc) to the point, I would feel impatient for him to get to the point, which often was as simple as- Souls are like that…
Yes, I was moved to tears few times, I will not lie about that. Once, when author wrote about “The Old-Woman” her role as wife and the mother, this story spoke to me, and I loved every word of it ❤️
The part about breastfeeding and connection was beautiful too. Other story, that touched my soul, was about his own parents and how he imagined losing them. Of course there were several more stories that I enjoyed and found moving, plenty of thought provoking material in this book.
However, looking at reviews, I am surprised to see many brilliant reviews, readers in awe of this magnificent book, that changed their lives… Well, I am glad for them (except if it taught them some of the points, that I will mention below shortly, if that is the case, than- I am sorry, but maybe you could change your lives right back? 😝 )
These are negative parts in the book, that left me disappointed:
- Pointing out that children raised by community, grow up better and more loving compared to those, who are raised mainly by loving parents. I disagree. I have huge problem with this suggestion, but this time, I may keep my opinion to myself. Nevertheless, I will tell this much- Attachment Parenting is the only form of parenting that feels natural and acceptable for me. Period.
- The author praises woman, who walks away from her family to search for happiness and to fulfil her own dreams. (he does not show kindness and compassion towards children, and even blames husband for not willing to grow with her.)
- The author promotes the idea of selfishness. He even suggests that once person gets from relationship what he/she needed (to learn a lesson, to overcome fear etc), relationship has no reason to exist any longer.
- Something he told about his friends wife has left bitter taste in my mouth (if you know what I mean), this woman supported his friends ideas and helped him to realise his dreams for many years, his friend travelled a lot, and she was angry. Always angry. Now, we do not know why she was angry, but I suspect she had good reasons, she could have felt lonely, because her man was never at home and maybe when he was, it was always about him and his dreams? Maybe he was cheating? Maybe he was narcissist? I, as a woman, suspect that there is another side to the story. He tells us, that woman refused to grow, that she loved her anger more than she loved his friend… Do you think it is fair to say that, about this poor woman? I think not.
- Sometimes, when author uses word God, I get the feeling, that he refers to something else entirely, speaking about God and spiritual growth, yet discussing the positive side of person seeking to achieve personal goals, regardless of who gets hurt in the process, I personally do not see anything Godly in it.
- “New Way Of Reasoning”-
Even if what happens is painful, like a death of a friend, or being abused, you can still realize- even while it is happening- that is for your own good.
Does this bother you? If the woman is abused by her husband or child abused by her/his stepfather, they absolutely should NOT think (during the act of violence or after it) that it is good for them. What they should think is this- I must save myself and seek help.
There were few eye-opening moments for me, some thought provoking words and interesting ideas, I had an open mind and took to my heart whatever felt right for me. I am not easy to sway to change my mind and values, just because author tells me, that is the correct way to do it. At times I thought author had some hidden agenda, (to promote selfishness? To take away traditional family values?) I am not sure if it was the case, or that’s how I saw it.
Despite the negativity, I did enjoy reading this book and I did learn a thing or two. I loved the idea of multisensory perception, love for the nature and the Universal Human. The idea of love, kindness and peace was beautiful. Many parts in this book were really interesting, but to keep you intrigued, I will let you to discover those yourself. So if you are willing to overlook negative parts and are curious about this book, you can buy it here.
Have you read this book? If yes, did you like it?