2 out of 4 stars
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Have you've ever had a longing for peace or a feeling that something was missing? Fulfillment: A Journey Through a Spiritual Life provides ideas from author, ICA's personal experiences to help guide readers on a path of spiritual awakening for the soul.
The book is divided into 11 parts and includes 44 chapters. The first and final chapters feature dialogues between the soul and spirit guide. Subsequent chapters address evolving experiences, the importance of a life plan, Karma, keeping our commitments with others, life and its gifts, and the tree of knowledge. The author discusses social media, money, politics, religions, the remembrance of truth, and spiritual life. He reminds us that God loves us unconditionally, and we need not fear Him. True happiness is not dependent on circumstances, and to learn forgiveness, compassion, and acceptance, we must first let go of our egos. Because God created us as infinite beings to live to the fullest for a purpose, we don't need to fear death. To return home to God we must be forgiven and forgive others as He does. By agreeing with the love of God and making choices toward the path of righteousness, we will fulfill our purpose and find fulfillment.
The author's writing style is informal and easy to understand. Though he mentions apprehension about his writing skills since English is his second language, and he didn't learn it until he was in his twenties, it certainly isn't evident from reading the book. Furthermore, he communicates his thoughts in a manner that conveys his goal is not to persuade readers to agree with him but rather to share with others for the purpose of guidance.
What I liked most about this book was the author's positive attitude. I learned from his author page that ICA was born in Romania during the communist era when religion and any teaching about God were removed from the people from the time he was in kindergarten through university. Given his background, his determination to seek God is admirable. He considers his spiritual journey an adventure, and I appreciate his passion.
Regarding my least favorite aspects of the book, there were a few. First, I'll quote the author. "Someone told me that I repeat what I hear and read and that the words in this book are not mine, and I cannot contradict that gentleman." While it's not unusual to quote other sources in inspirational books, the origin should be cited, which at times, the author failed to do. Each chapter began with a quote and some of them including those from Charles Dickens, Isaac Asimov, and Reinhold Niebuhr--the theologian who wrote what's commonly referred to as the Serenity Prayer--were referenced. There were also times he quoted Jesus, Confuscious, and Lao Tzu. However, I noted instances within the chapters when sources were not cited. In the most obvious example, the author paraphrased the biblical parable of the workers in the vineyard from Matthew 20:1-16. He referred to it as a story but never mentioned it was from the Bible. Additionally, while I respect the author's passion, the way he wrote about his beliefs left me with a visual image of someone choosing food from a buffet style restaurant--a little Jesus, with a healthy helping of enlightened brothers, and a side of Karma. I genuinely mean no disrespect, but in this regard, the writing lacked clarity. It also seemed that the author frequently mentioned Jesus to lend credibility to the book, yet contradicted some of His teachings.
Despite the book's professional editing and minimal errors, overall, it lacks original content and sources were not properly referenced. For these reasons, I rate the book 2 out of 4 stars. The author states the following in the introduction, "If ideas from this book do not resonate with us, the readers, we should not get upset; we should move forward with different books and materials." I respect this advice, and because some of the concepts taught contradict scriptures, I wouldn't recommend the book to Bible-believing Christians. On the other hand, it may appeal to readers who believe in principles related to spirit guides, reincarnation, and past life regression hypnosis.
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