Review: The short version…
The writing is sincere, and you can clearly feel the deep emotion the author drew upon to pen his words. I love to ask and listen to a person’s expression of their beliefs whether it is religious, Christian, Buddhism or any other belief system. I feel this is part of what makes a person unique, part of their heart, mind and energy. For many people in the world, faith and belief is integral in their lives. I find that very interesting in getting know a person better.
The problem I have, as a whole, with some religions, their adherents, etc. is that they then try to press those beliefs on others, telling them what they should do or believe, or attempting to impress their definitions and beliefs on others. Rather like trying to superimpose their dogma over other people’s beliefs and ideas. That is the problem I have with religion. Not the belief or believing or faith, but the attempts to convert others. The ending passages of this book went to that unacceptable level for me.
I believe for Christians who follow their god’s teaching and religious books, this would be a book they would enjoy very much. For myself, I found I could not rate it higher despite it’s flowing style and honest personal message because it attempts to speak of Truth and Wisdom in a general sense as if their interpretation is correct and applicable for all, and I do not believe that.
Note: I took this book in several weeks ago, and since that time I rewrote my guidelines to elucidate on religious directed work fiction or non-fiction, as we do not accept them any longer. I pondered whether to post the review after reading and reviewing the book. I decided to go ahead and share it because I believe it is entirely up to the reader to decide what they wish to read. My opinions are simply my opinions, and nothing more than that. I believe many people will enjoy this book, as I said above.
Commentary: The work itself overall was very opposite to my own inherent beliefs which basically is, Things simply are. We live our lives, some things we understand, some things we do not, but we do not let it stop us from living, or doing good, or being good. There are Mysteries which need no definition or defining. Though I’ve studied Christianity and literally several dozen different religions, belief systems and their variations throughout history, this is why I do specific in my guidelines that I don’t read religious directed works because they all inherently seem to present their own ideas as if they are the most logical, most believable and correct view. I questioned whether I was the reviewer this should be sent to, because I do not believe many of the things the author put in their work, so it prompted no revelations or deeper thoughts for me. These were topics in former years I’d studied, debated and dismissed as unnecessary for my own personal well-being.
I can understand “near death experiences”, I have had them myself but what it produced in me was very different than what the author described, who put it in their terms of religious belief. So again, simply stating to me that I should translate it to my own beliefs doesn’t work for me. In my experience as a world traveler, highly interested in other cultures including their religions, superstitions and traditions, I would say that is not always possible, nor should be expected as being possible. Some things just don’t translate. Just as I could attempt to explain some of the internals of Native American mysteries, but some just will not be understood unless the person wishes to be immersed in them, or intimately knows the people themselves in order to experience that kind of gestalt.
I think it’s the difference in that some people seek definition and to define something, and some just live, experience it and have no need to give a name, or a title or description, even something which the author mentioned again and again, the “soul”. And again and again the author generalizes using terms like “in our culture”, “in our society”, “in our world”, and his culture is not my culture, his society not my society. I live on the world, the earth, but I guarantee my world is very different than his, so making the assumption the reader is like himself in some way, I felt an alienation and this disconnected me from the text as whole.
As suggested by the author if one’s father were dying, one would feel a sense of loss or emotions the author did, and that is simply not the case with some. You can’t know their lives or what happened. I realize he is presenting his view, and his story is personal to him, but maybe without the trying to include the reader personally in the story, it might have spoken differently to me.
Although it’s not touted to be, I found it very much a religious directed work, specifically Christian, as well as a personal message to listen to this person’s God, as the author believed them to be, which I also found objectionable.
“we build rules and
creeds and dogma and doctrine and tradition and interpretation
that allow us to “know”G-d.
And that, in my opinion, is the height of arrogance and blasphemy.”
To incorporate all humans into that generalization is to me its own kind of hypocrisy. I don’t. My culture doesn’t. Their belief system does not.
“Every single day, we pass through moments that are fertile
with closeness to G-d.”
You try to give to me, the reader, your definition of a god, your God, and what my life may also contain. This is the base reason I reject religion as a whole. When someone tries to superimpose their beliefs onto my life.
Description: In this story told in the first-person form of a letter from a middle-aged man to his deceased father, Hanson invites us to journey with him through the final days of the father’s life, finding a magical transition waiting at the end of that journey. The story weaves end-of-life reality and spiritual questioning into a sensitive and revealing tapestry of Truth and Wisdom. The tapestry is colored with true stories of mystical experiences that inform the spiritual path of the son. Most of us will face difficult and painful end-of-life decisions with the most important people in our lives. The threads of this aspect of the story are sensitive, and Hanson reveals the struggles and destinations of the son as he wrestles deeply with the journey that he must walk in making these decisions for his dying father. These struggles are played out within the context of the spiritual canvas that the son has built his life around. Hanson opens the Kimono to the personal experiences and traditions that have led the son to his spiritual reality, and invites the reader to rigorously reject certainty when it comes to either spiritual faith or rejection of faith, in order to open paths that could lead to greater Understanding.
Available in print & ebook at Amazon.