3 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever thought about the role of your soul in your physical health? Author Ahmed Y. Tatieta brings this topic forward in his 2016 non-fiction book, Soul Pathway to Total Health. The author grew up in Burkina Faso, West Africa, and he draws from his knowledge of indigenous African culture, Eastern medicine, and new consciousness spirituality to make his case for achieving total health.
We can lead long, healthy lives, says Tatieta, by adopting certain practices that benefit the three aspects of total health: body, mind, and soul. When we have physical symptoms, we often mistake them as arising out of physical causes, but many times illness originates in the soul. The author discusses soul loss and spirit attachment as two types of soul conditions that can lead to illness. So how do we work with our soul to achieve better overall health? The key, according to Tatieta, is in understanding the causes of illness.
Physical illness can be caused or exacerbated by soul loss and other disruptions to our aura or energy field. Following some basic descriptions of soul maladies, the author expounds deeply on more universal concepts such as fate, destiny, duality, truth, and the law of karma. Much of what comes through here is more philosophical than educational. As far as practical guidance for achieving overall health, the author emphasizes healthy diet and stress reduction. Practicing meditation and loving-kindness towards others, says Tatieta, contributes to good karma and therefore to health. He concludes by encouraging us to come to know ourselves better as a way of better understanding our overall health and our world.
Soul Pathway to Total Health spans 120 pages and is divided into thirty-three sections and a short bibliography. The section topics don’t appear to follow any overall organizational pattern. Larger divisions would have helped to organize them. The author states at the outset that he does not intend to educate and that the information was originally intended solely for his personal use. This makes sense, as the book reads more like a collection of musings, maybe essays, about health and spirituality, than a cohesive text with a strong thesis. While relevant content about health and spirituality exists in the book, the same information is readily available elsewhere. Without much unique content, there wasn’t enough in this book to keep me fully engaged. Tatieta includes nothing about the health issues that led him to explore this subject, nor does he refer to his personal or professional life in any way. Had the author shared more personal experiences, it may have helped make the content more engaging.
At times, the author’s guidance seems a bit too heavy-handed to be practical. Writing somewhat dogmatically about karma, he asserts, “Perfect health comes from the knowledge of right and wrong. The most difficult part is to take action that is right for the body, the mind and the soul at all times without fail….” He does say it’s difficult, but it seems unrealistic to charge humans with choosing the right action at all times, without fail. The author also claims in order to be healthy we must get rid of our negative emotions. My experience is that those emotions (anger, fear, sadness) are as necessary for our growth as the positive ones. I understand the intent is to encourage more positivity; I was hoping for a more practical pathway to total health, one that accepts the inevitability of stumbling a little along the way.
Ahmed Y. Tatieta’s book succeeds as an introduction to the body/mind/soul connection. The actual, practical guidance for achieving total health, however, gets somewhat mired in repetition, disorganization, and intangible concepts. The book appears to have undergone some editing, but I found a few minor missing words, extra words, and incorrect tenses. If you are newly interested in holistic healing, this could be a good primer, but if you are already familiar with the ideas, there are scores of books that explore them more thoroughly. If you want to dive deeper into soul maladies that affect physical health, see the shamanic studies work of Michael Harner or Sandra Ingerman. I rate Soul Pathway to Total Health 3 out of 4 stars. The book contains some helpful information but lacks the glue necessary to connect much of the content with the thesis implied by the title.
Soul Pathway to Total Health
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