By: Gian Kumar
Publication Date: January 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: July 17, 2013
When I was pondering the messages Gian Kumar was attempting to impart to us through the pages of Know Thyself: Unraveling the Mystery of Mind, the philosophical absurdism of Camus came to mind. If we are simply living in an ashes to ashes dust to dust world, what is the meaning of our lives or is our existence simply meaningless? Our world is changing, seemingly not for the better, and one might think such philosophical musings are somewhat trite or useless. Kamar states that “It is best to go along life’s journey with a purpose, not just a goal.” It’s a dog eat dog world with death and destruction lurking around every corner, yet pausing to read, really read Kumar's essays may well bring that purpose to our lives if that is what we are truly seeking.
Kamar’s musings reflect on many aspects of our lives from how science and religious thought appear to be merging to his philosophy of money. I for one, tend not to be able to find myself nor am I inclined to ponder the value of money in terms of self-actualization (other than needing it to survive) so his three essays were browsed rather than taken to heart. I find that reading books of this nature are not meant to be read progressively, but rather prescriptively as needed. I was much more enamored with well-written essays such as the one on Life ... A Paradox. In a few short pages we are forced, or should I say prompted, to look at the paradoxes, the duality of our very existence.
In this chapter Kamar discusses “the mystery of the paradoxical nature of our lives, and the solution to this.” I found the “solution” to be somewhat elusive, however, unknowingly the next chapter builds and touches on a possible solution. We do need, as human beings, to slow down, “find a change, go with the flow of Nature, away from the man made world full of egocentric desires.” The solution, therefore, is not found in a single essay, but linked throughout the book in his spiritualistic, philosophical, and religious dialogue with the reader.
For those who wish to explore and think about a deeper meaning of life and where we have come from, perhaps reading about Stephen Hawkings’s and Sri Sri Ravi Shanker’s views on spirituality and our cosmic connections will stir the pot. “The space around us is not dead space,” claims Shanker, “it is filled with energy and intelligence.” These essays can be read in a day, if one chooses, or over a longer period of time. I chose the long road and found some of Kamar’s musing to be quite interesting and very thought provoking. Thankfully he didn’t discuss such topics as Schrödinger’s cat, but if you do want to be the beneficiary of a lifetime of Kamar’s exploration of the mysteries of life you will most certainly enjoy these essays.
Quill says: If you want to seriously ponder the mysteries of the mind, Gian Kamar will help you explore your own world in a series of short, but mind-boggling essays.
For more information on Know Thyself - Unraveling The Mystery Of Mind, please visit the author's website at: www.booksonspirituality.com