Insights into achieving serenity when life makes no sense and belief systems fail to provide understanding or solace.
While dealing with the grief caused by his wife’s death, Tagliaferre happened to travel through the town of Sedona, Ariz. While there, he experienced contemplative, revelatory moments, fashioned here into allegorical conversations with a handful of concocted characters, which result in five principles of awareness that he has tried to incorporate into his life. Though the names of the principles are somewhat bombastic–Absolute Predeterminism, Necessary Opposites, Unconscious Decisions, Indefinite Uncertainty and Immaculate Immanence–readers should get beyond the tags to the clarity and simplicity of the ideas: the transience of things, life’s uncertainty, the ego’s disruptive need for control, the importance of balance and centering as a reprieve to the flux of daily life. The author uses current events to give these notions context–how, for instance, they can be seen at play in newspaper articles–and he helpfully includes his own doubts and skepticism, tempered with an open curiosity. The author has obviously thought long and hard about his principles, and only the idea of immaculate immanence, â€œthe morphic energy of the universe manifested in living genes,” feels abstract and untethered to everyday life: â€œIt has everything covered, including rejection of itself.” Readers may also reject his assertion that the principles must come as a package (â€œNone is separable from the otherâ€¦If any of them is skipped, doubted, or rejected, the whole system will be broken and ineffective, because one cannot reach the fifth principle, ImIm, without integrating all the previous ones”). Even taken one by one, they offer respite from the chaos of daily life.
Tagliaferre passes on the worthy fruits of his spiritual evolution, most of them time-honored but given a contemporary luster.