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3 out of 4 stars
Review by CataclysmicKnight
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Who am I? Where did I come from? These are a couple of the questions tackled in the first chapter. Ivan states that we all originate from a dual-nature: we are sons and daughters of Love/God as well as humankind. Ivan also points out, with science to back it up, that we live in only 5% of the totality of the universe. The rest, while invisible and imperceptible to us, can be seen by its effects on things we can actually see. This, Ivan says, is the true reality, one that our mere five senses prevent us from seeing. It's comparable to wind, he says, something we can feel and hear but also something we can see even indoors by its effects on things outside. Within this 95% is evidence that we're all interconnected, that free will is limited or doesn't even exist because we're a product of our society, previous experiences and our genetics and so much more.
What's fascinating about the book is how Ivan links this to religion/spirituality. When Jesus says "Just as you do for [sic] smallest of my brothers, you do unto Me", Ivan writes, he is explaining that we're all connected. This is something Ivan does frequently and it's my favorite aspect of the book.
On the other end of the spectrum, this book could get really heavy at times! Even when I was sitting in silence, entirely focused on reading (which is the only way to read this one!) I still often found myself rereading sentences, paragraphs or whole pages as my brain simply didn't grasp the words being used. Ivan doesn't dumb things down, and while I love philosophy and science I don't have a great deal of knowledge of either, so sometimes I just had to give up and move on.
While I didn't quite grasp everything, and I certainly can't explain everything I read, I did learn a lot and enjoyed most of my time with Spirituality 101. The book is very professionally formatted, using some cute icons for important bits of text. These important bits are also highlighted in the book, meaning most of the highlighting work is already done! Each chapter begins with a glossary of terms that will be used in that chapter, then ends with some questions/homework and a meditation exercise that go along with that particular chapter. All of this comes together to encourage further research and learning about each subject. While I did find errors, most were minor and a couple were odd translation issues (a "y" instead of "and", an upside-down question mark preceding a question). Also, there's a multiple-choice test at the end that doesn't have an answer key, which was a bit odd.
I'd rate Spirituality 101 2.5 stars if I could. It was tough to read at times and could have used some editing. However, the concepts and wisdom within are very solid, and I appreciated that Ivan inserted some humor where he could. As such, I'm rounding the rating up to 3 out of 4 stars. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in science or spirituality, but especially those interested in both and the concept of reality not being what it seems. However, if you do pick it up, set some time aside to read a chapter a day instead of trying to read it quickly!
Spirituality 101 For The Dropouts Of The School Of Life
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