HOLDING A BUTTERFLY by Lynn Woodland

HOLDING A BUTTERFLY

An Experiment in Miracle-Making
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A spiritual guide focuses on finding your heart’s desire.

Woodland’s (The Breakthrough Point, 2018, etc.) manual urges readers to discover the miracles in their daily lives. “This book is an invitation to suspend disbelief,” the author writes, “let your mind be boggled, and have an experience of reality beyond what you think you know for certain.” The volume is also an invitation to what Woodland calls a “great adventure,” in which the rules of reality are suspended and anything can happen. The author urges readers to set aside their worrying and overthinking. If you can’t see a clear path from where you are to where you want to be, she asserts, “stop thinking about it”: “Stop. Stop whatever you’re doing that isn’t bringing you peace. Stop talking, stop worrying, stop trying to figure things out, stop running from one thing to another, and stop proving you’re right or trying to be perfect.” Some of the book’s chapters include a series of exercises for readers to attempt as well as “Questions for Thought.” Much of the material revolves around Woodland’s conception of the “Zero Point Field,” consisting of “the energy left in a space when all other energy and matter are removed.” From this “quantum soup” can spring all kinds of healing energies and miracles, and this book is designed to help readers “receive, hold, and disseminate” what the author refers to as “God energy.” The goal is not only to use these miracles to achieve life’s desires (“Desiring from life isn’t a selfish thing,” she writes), but also, charmingly, “to make the world brighter by our presence.”

Woodland’s vivid and readable prose consistently shows her readers ways to break out of their old, unthinking patterns. She repeatedly emphasizes that her readers already possess an abundance of God energy, telling them that any spiritual power they could possibly want is already within them just waiting to be used. “I’ve always eschewed the role of guru,” Woodland writes, and that appealing egalitarian tone runs throughout the work. Unfortunately, the author’s New Age enthusiasms sometimes overwhelm her larger narrative. Her assertion that there’s a scientific correlation between prayer and the healing of physical ailments is of course not grounded in empirical evidence. Nor is there any evidence for fire-walking or spoon-bending (there are countless examples of frauds making both claims). The book’s most peculiar contention, about “dental alchemy” that facilitates energy transmissions through metal fillings, will require a great deal of the aforementioned suspension of disbelief. And readers may find far more objectionable Woodland’s explanation of “the language of symptoms”: “People with sore backs typically feel unsupported; those with sore hands are often trying to handle too much by themselves; people with heart problems are likely to be broken-hearted or have lost their zest for life.” Such overstated claims notwithstanding, the author’s persistent calls for readers to slow down, to still their inner clamor and calm themselves, make for reassuring reading.

An uplifting—but sometimes bizarre—series of meditations on how to seize your inner energy and achieve deeper happiness.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-939116-65-9
Page count: 219pp
Publisher: Waterside Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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