THE MAGIC OF THE SOUL: Applying Spiritual Power to Daily Living

Patrick J. Harbula, Author . Peak Publications $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-9715565-0-8

Harbula's book makes the compelling promise that it will show readers how to apply spiritual power to daily life. The ingredients for spiritually powered effective living are laid out in chapters devoted to working with God, using thought, feeling, sensation and meditation. But the writing is too abstract for this to add up to a persuasive whole. The central concept that the soul has "magic" is fuzzy; the metaphor of magic overly romanticizes the disciplines of meditation, prayer, visualization, affirmation that need to be learned and then done repeatedly and often, even when they don't instantly produce desired results. The book is best and clearest when it gives readers stories, some of them quite poignant, from the life experiences of Harbula and others to illustrate life problems and resolutions. Harbula, a former tennis pro turned business executive with roots in Religious Science and transpersonal psychology, has a tale of an eclectic career, illness and healing that pops in and out of the book. However, these personal anecdotes function mostly as a proof text of his instructions for spiritual development, and should have been more fully presented. This book will be most helpful for those who are already comfortable with New Thought-style affirmation and visualization practices for developing positive thinking. Those needing step-by-step teaching may be confused by Harbula's many abstract directions ("Be aware of the untapped regions of your mind") rather than easy-to-follow instructions. An accompanying CD offers friendlier access to techniques and exercises; the voice is soothing, the background music evocative. (Jan. 20)

Reviewed on: 12/23/2002
Release date: 12/01/2002
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