Top critical review
....needs to be read a 2nd and 3rd time
on April 30, 2010
While I agree with the other reviewers that the author does present his material in a very clear and consise manner, making this an easy book to read, I differ insomuch that I find the message to be rather alien to the culture in which I was raised. Individualism, whether it is spiritually 'right' or 'wrong' is the bedrock of Western civilizations and, being so, is a very difficult concept to release to every passing spiritual breeze. I can certainly agree with Mr. Hartong's premise that too many people spend their entire lives looking under every rock and behind every bush expecting to find the diffuse and hidden meaning of life and enlightenment. They posit that when this found, and only then, they will have a clear understanding of birth, death and that foggy period called 'life' that lies in between. I agree fully with the author that all of life's answers have always layed within each of us and it simply takes the courage to accept this alternative and refreshing viewpoint in order to make a massive difference in the direction of our journeys. That being said, I, as a Westerner, have a difficult time is dealing with the supposed absence of individuality that each of us is spiritually is supposed to accept. Eastern cultures, with their emphasis on community and national priorities and deemphasis on the individual, grasp the concept of oneness much more readily and clearly. I, personally, am not giving up on trying to more fully uderstand this concept, however, like the skin of an onion, I have many more layers of 'ego' to get through before I can agree/disagree with this part of the author's message. At this point I can merely state that simply because oneness is an Eastern concept does not make it accurate any more than all Western spiritual concepts are all wrong simply because they are derived from our shores. Each of us, on our own individual journeys, can only make those definitive conclusions. Any Western reader who immediately claims to fully agree with and/or understand this concept may not only be attempting to fool his peers but, also, maybe even fool himself. May 'God speed' us all towards an enlightened existence!