Book Review: The Journal

Review of Being Human in “The Journal,” UK, June 2004

What is it to be human? Is it our human form and mind, unique amongst the rest of the Earth’s creatures? Or is it something more? Something that touches upon our inner being through potential and possibility calling us to an awakened life? Something that touches upon the unique purpose and promise of each individual through connection to a higher power, something outside ourselves which some refer to as God, the Source, the Creator, or perhaps the One? What are the forces that drive that connection which can so easily lead to a true awakening of one’s inner worlds when in alignment with one’s authentic nature?

It is the root of these questions that Solihin and Alicia Thom, together with Alexandra ter Horst, explore through their ground-breaking book, Being Human, published by Ad Humanitas Press. In a world in which one’s outer life often throws up obstacles and limitation to the unfolding of one’s rich and inspiring inner world, Being Human provides the tools to dig out and transform self-defeating old patterns and ways of thinking, and presents a dynamic framework based upon archetypal forms and symbols through which new patterns of thinking and behavior can emerge authentically.

Alive with personal stories from the jungles of Borneo to the mountains of Oregon, the authors show through example the miraculous effect that can occur when there is proper alignment of the spiritual forces within our very souls. It is true that we have all had, from time to time, the feeling of being “out of sorts,” in a rut, or even, sadly, genuinely distressed, slave to the imbalance of unaligned inner forces. Through this powerful book, the mystery of alignment is replaced with revealing insights in how to go about shifting one’s unique inner forces into life-changing servants, moving us towards harmony with our own true self, with others and with God.

At a time in the world of great spiritual and ethical unrest, to find a book such as Being Human is a great comfort. To take the time reading it and thinking through the very issues that define our humanness on a personal level is clearly time well spent for any individual. And in a very real way, such personal understanding may even benefit humankind at large. For ultimately, any social or spiritual transformation within the world begins in the hearts and soul of humankind; ourselves, our brothers and our sisters. Being Human not only provides the tools and framework to support such a noble effort, but also lends the inspiration to bring out the best in ourselves in what it means to be human.

Carolanne Bundy