A debut guide offers tips on surviving in the modern world.
The Introduction of this extensive tome informs readers that “these teachings are written by Steve,” the spiritual leader of the Church of Terra Sanctuaria. It explains that what follows is meant to provide “instructions on how to enlighten your mind and help improve your daily experience of life.” That encompasses everything from eating a vegan diet to knowing how your car works to exercising regularly. There are warnings about the dangers of alcohol (“Alcohol abuse is an extremely large problem for Society”), a stern command to not purchase used goods (as they “reek of external energy”), and a list of movies to watch with eccentric encapsulations (Pulp Fiction is described as a “BDSM music video featuring Uma Karuna Thurman”). Thornier topics include an exploration of the violent nature of Islam, the insistence that both men and women stop all types of shaving, and the claim that homosexuals can be detected by “an enlightened reading of their aura.” The book concludes with an autobiography of Steve that describes personal highs, lows, and a quest for a nice place to live. To say a lot of ground is covered in the over 700 pages would be a gross understatement. If any one lesson can be extracted, though, it would be the importance of awareness. Whether on the subject of meditation, the sources of clothes, or the upbeat dictum to “Enjoy your life, don’t waste it!,” the work regularly asserts that this attribute is something extremely useful to have in one’s life. It is a theme that even readers who might be perturbed by certain viewpoints can glean from a cursory reading. As if this valuable concept were not enough, Steve himself emerges as a subject of great interest. Who is this man who quotes Buffy the Vampire Slayer and advocates withdrawing from society? The autobiographical portion in an appendix is relatively short compared to the rest of the book, but it changes completely the angle with which the reader approaches the contents. It sheds intriguing light not just on one man’s semi-controversial advice, but on where all such counsel might have originated.
A detailed, offbeat account of a spiritual leader’s life-changing recommendations.