A spiritual memoir attempts to demonstrate the nexus of God’s plan and modern physics.
Tadla (How to Live & Do Business in China, 2007) underwent a religious transformation as the result of a crisis: He was financially ruined and forced to declare bankruptcy, the stress of which led to his wife Lovy’s nervous breakdown. But just as all seemed hopeless, he received a communication from God assuring him of the universe’s intelligent design, a message that catalyzed a “spiritual odyssey” that would span the next 50 years. The author explains that the purpose of his memoir—which is less a chronologically linear record than a meandering essay—is to express the role God has played in his life. Tadla believes that quantum physics, which explains the invisible elements of the cosmos, provides the conceptual architecture necessary to understand the divine structure of the universe, a design so meticulously orchestrated it’s entirely free of random coincidence. For example, when Lovy became terminally ill, and her son, Dana, donated his kidney to her, the author considered the seven years this added to her life a miracle, which he explains in terms of “vibrational energy”: “Miracles are made when we free ourselves from the idea that we are our bodies. Be connected with the loving energy around you.” Confusedly, when Lovy finally succumbs to her disease, that sad event is also the conclusion of a divine plan, or the result of “neguentropy,” the thermodynamic principle that states the “reorganization of the spirit” demands “turmoil.”
Tadla’s book is relentlessly inspirational—time and time again he found himself addled by adversity, and he repeatedly overcame it. In addition, his philosophical ambitions are breathtaking: a decisive account of spirituality presented not as the consequence of faith, but as generally accepted science. In this way, he combines self-help instruction with New Age spirituality and an accessible introduction to the basics of physics. But the author’s appeals to modern physics are more appropriations of nomenclature than scientifically rigorous applications of accepted laws. For example, modern physicists don’t generally draw any conclusions from neguentropy regarding the “spirit” or any morally or spiritually relevant inferences at all. In addition, since Tadla believes there are no coincidences, his world is teeming with miracles, and he promiscuously resorts to the divine to explain the quotidian. It seems hyperbolic to consider his son’s gainful employment after studying philosophy in college miraculous. Similarly, meeting a woman on Skype two and a half years after his wife’s death doesn’t require recourse to divine intervention for an explanation. The author seems immovably convinced of a thesis—every moment of life is the result of a providential script—and then studiously finds confirmation of that proposition everywhere he looks, even in events that don’t seem to beg for an extraordinary account. Tadla’s cheerful optimism is heartwarming—he negotiates hardship with astonishing aplomb. But he considers himself a prophet, and that designation seems to free him from the self-doubt that typically inspires analytical scrupulousness.
A collection of heartfelt but vague spiritual assertions clothed in scientific language.