A successful beginner’s guide to spiritual growth and enlightenment.

A guide that lays out universal principals and ideas about spirituality.

Debut author Ferro begins by offering a road map for a personal spiritual journey, beginning with the idea that people have purposes that are deeper and more complex than they may understand. The author urges the reader to distinguish between their outer and inner selves; the latter, she says, encompasses one’s connection with a greater force, or Absolute Being. One’s body, she emphasizes, is only a vehicle for the soul. Along the way, she discusses the Seven Major Rays of Creation; each of us, according to the author, is born “under” a particular ray (such as “Will and Power” or “Active Intelligence and Adaptability”), which doesn’t full develop its energy until one is born again, under a different ray. Thus, one’s spiritual life is a constant process of growth and search to refine one’s connection with the Absolute Being, and all that’s connected to it. In a concise, conversational manner, she defines what each ray means. The second ray, for instance, “Love and Wisdom,” emphasizes a life focused on nurturing, caring, and passivity; the fifth ray (“Concrete Knowledge and Science”), by contrast, is the ray of the scientist, who “brings the light of understanding to the soul.” Ferro also provides a vivid description of the chakras of Indian religions, which she explains as being “centres of light in our bodies.” Overall, this book is thorough and descriptive, but it won’t overwhelm novice readers. One engaging chapter on “Group Soul Recognition,” for instance, discusses the universal, relatable experience of connecting immediately with some people while instantly disliking others; the author goes on to explore the possibility that those we connect with have crossed our paths in previous lives.

A successful beginner’s guide to spiritual growth and enlightenment. 

Pub Date: April 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5043-7868-0

Page Count: 138

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2017



This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955


A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.

A teacher and scholar of Buddhism offers a formally varied account of the available rewards of solitude.

“As Mother Ayahuasca takes me in her arms, I realize that last night I vomited up my attachment to Buddhism. In passing out, I died. In coming to, I was, so to speak, reborn. I no longer have to fight these battles, I repeat to myself. I am no longer a combatant in the dharma wars. It feels as if the course of my life has shifted onto another vector, like a train shunted off its familiar track onto a new trajectory.” Readers of Batchelor’s previous books (Secular Buddhism: Imagining the Dharma in an Uncertain World, 2017, etc.) will recognize in this passage the culmination of his decadeslong shift away from the religious commitments of Buddhism toward an ecumenical and homegrown philosophy of life. Writing in a variety of modes—memoir, history, collage, essay, biography, and meditation instruction—the author doesn’t argue for his approach to solitude as much as offer it for contemplation. Essentially, Batchelor implies that if you read what Buddha said here and what Montaigne said there, and if you consider something the author has noticed, and if you reflect on your own experience, you have the possibility to improve the quality of your life. For introspective readers, it’s easy to hear in this approach a direct response to Pascal’s claim that “all of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Batchelor wants to relieve us of this inability by offering his example of how to do just that. “Solitude is an art. Mental training is needed to refine and stabilize it,” he writes. “When you practice solitude, you dedicate yourself to the care of the soul.” Whatever a soul is, the author goes a long way toward soothing it.

A very welcome instance of philosophy that can help readers live a good life.

Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-25093-0

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Close Quickview