Book Review: Foreword Magazine

Review of Being Human in ForeWord Magazine, April 2004

“I am ready to fight the jihad within,” writes one of the authors, “to overcome the petty thief within me that usurps my self and allows ego, will and emotions to wreak havoc with my life. Like Ala’din, I must learn to polish my vessel and understand the unseen forces that both help and thwart me.” Through personal reflection, Solihin Thom motivates the reader to fight the inner battle for the health of the spirit within. Rich in metaphor, this book examines the unseen forces that shape the content of one’s “self.” Leading the reader rung by rung up the hierarchical ladder, the authors explore each of the life forces from the material self (our genetic blueprint) to the noble self, which seeks alignment with the Divine (the primary life force) and the essential qualities connecting them. For example, the animal self (third in the hierarchy) “is the force that motivates us to rise to the challenge.” If the animal self “becomes dominant we will assume an identity that is based on power, attraction, reaction, habit, sexuality, and ambition. We may be easily sidetracked, tempted to stray and drawn to greener pastures.” Through reflectiveness in our inner life we can rise above the instinctive animal self to the human self, which allows us to “see things from a different perspective.” Being Human goes a step beyond today’s popular teachings to explore the ancient philosophy centered on the life forces. Although initially distracting, the authors’ individual reflections, injected as separate essays, add a distinctly personal tone, enabling the reader to relate more directly to the material. Enlightening for those seeking a greater awareness of the forces that shape and influence the content of one’s “self,” this book is an insightful tool for re-establishing order and balance in life.

Sharon R. Winberg