A slim collection of musings on morality and religion.
Drawing from his personal diary, Ciko (Midnight on Fireworks Island, 2015) presents a smorgasbord of ideas intended to guide readers’ spiritual development. While Ciko doesn’t specify any religious affiliation, the New Age–y writing seems to align with Judeo-Christian theology, with much of the book following its familiar teachings. Through short sections that vary in length from one sentence to a few short paragraphs, the author explores themes of compassion, courage, and moral responsibility. Some entries have an inspirational bent: “God’s light inside each person is infinite. Our job is simply to reveal it.” Others lean more toward the punitive: “Selfish people end up in prison so they can be by themselves.” Throughout, the author frequently returns to the central principle of personal control of one’s own life and destiny. “Once we accept responsibility for our misfortune,” Ciko writes, “at the same time we gain the ability to correct it.” Such guidance may ring true for readers of many spiritual persuasions, but those looking for more detailed advice will be disappointed. Even in the longer sections, Ciko doesn’t always say how he arrived at his proclamations, and he offers little explanation on how exactly readers might apply them in day-to-day life. It’s also difficult to find a logical progression within the book. Passages leap back and forth between subjects, often repeating ideas expressed previously without developing them further. While the raw material of Ciko’s diary may have genuine literary potential, the sections included here would have benefitted from additional context and a firmer editorial hand. The one-line sections in particular would likely be more at home among the illustrations or other visual elements that often accompany inspirational texts. Presented here without a clear organizational structure or much graphic design, their impact is limited. Still, Ciko’s words remain insightful at times, and this book may be a convenient reference for readers seeking new spiritual perspectives or reminders of what they already believe.
Underdeveloped and disorganized but punctuated with bursts of wisdom.\