With a nod to mythologist Joseph Campbell, this self-help book traces one man’s “Hero’s Journey” and how it transformed his life.
Even as a child, Riggio (The State of Perfection, 2012) was not good at following someone else’s rules; his mother was regularly called to the school for parent-teacher conferences. University life didn’t suit him either, but Riggio notes that “although college was not for me, real education was.” Though he failed many classes, he also learned some things. Hired as an architectural draftsman, interior designer and apprentice architect, he married, had a son and was on the path to success—and then he lost it all. He left his job, separated from his wife and moved in with his parents. Only after these losses did he begin what Campbell termed “the Call to Adventure.” The author references Star Wars, The Matrix and The Hobbit. One of his greatest influences was hypnotist and trainer Roye Fraser, whose Neurolinguistic Programming classes Riggio discovered. Curiously, accounts of his training with Roye are some of the weakest passages (“Roye was truly a magical and mesmerizing storyteller”). Riggio is at his best when discussing learning, communication and the consequences of a society devoted to the message “Be Good and Fit In.” Readers must quickly grasp new vocabulary, such as P2hrasing (“physical phrasing,” which includes body language and gestures), deep trance identification and W-learning (“whole-form” or “developmental” learning). The book would be more accessible if Riggio would cut back on the jargon and focus on his personal stories, which are generally well-written except for a few typos. The book ends somewhat oddly with a tale of a former student who is now unhappy with him. A Recommended Reading list will help those who want to delve deeper.
Intriguing if at times dense reading about myths, stories and the nature of truth.