3 out of 4 stars
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In Truth: Sacred Spiritual Awakening, S. A. Stitz aims to guide people who seek to find their true purpose in life and achieve "spiritual awakening." It is the author's belief that in order for one to emerge or transcend to one's true purpose, one must know about and satisfy one's "Hungry Ghost" (Man's need to fulfill his ultimate reason for being) and follow the true path that is devoid of personal ego, delusions, misbeliefs, and misconceptions.
Reading spiritual books is usually something I look forward to, as they have been important for me in many areas of my life, especially self-discovery, and are always a good source of inspiration. I didn't expect any less from Truth, and after reading it, I would say that I learned a lot from it and resonated with some of the things the author said, but the book was also a controversial read for me. The first thing I liked about the book was the author's straight to the point approach, not wasting too much time in introducing his beliefs to the readers. This feature of the book ensured that the book didn't span too long and the author still managed to give an in-depth lesson on "Awakening."
The author goes on to tell the reader, in detail, how they can become awakened, citing meditation as one of the methods and talking about different forms of meditation and why we meditate. I was quite confused when the author mentioned sexual contact as a form of meditation and was disappointed when he didn't elaborate on it. I resonated very well with his messages on loving without expectations. I also enjoyed his lessons on mindfulness (a state of being in the moment) which is practiced heavily in Buddhism. Furthermore, It seemed like the author preferred Buddhism as the true religion, as he branded virtually all religions as "devoid in meaningful value," while a few of his methods were similar to Buddhism practices. These are parts of the book that a few readers will find controversial and disrespectful, and I, personally, would have preferred it if the author had focused solely on teaching readers about his beliefs and avoided unnecessary distractions.
In addition, even though the author maintained that the feeling of being awakened isn't a feeling one can put into words, I would have appreciated an attempt at explaining what it feels like for him and how it has affected his life. The absence of this feature made the book unrelatable at times. The book also lacks information about supplementary books to read if one wants to know more about awakening. The only point where the author offers suggestions for supplementary books was where he recommended "any Zen Buddhist instruction book" for more information on the silent sitting practice. Not giving the name of specific books struck me as lazy.
Overall, reading Truth was a mixed experience for me. There were inspirational moments, but a few controversial statements reduced my enjoyment of the book. Even though I found three grammar errors in the book, I would say that the book is very well edited. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars, as it is a well written inspirational book. However, I took out a star for the lack of supplementary books and the book's unrelatability. I would recommend this book to people interested in Buddhism, self-discovery, and inspirational books. However, people of other religions may not like some things about the book.
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