cover image Fourth Instinct: The Call of the Soul

Fourth Instinct: The Call of the Soul

Arianna Huffington. Simon & Schuster, $22 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-671-69229-2

The individual's search for meaning is hardly a new topic, but Huffington ( Maria Callas ) adds fresh ideas to the discussion. Taking a high view of human nature, she maintains that the impulse toward spiritual fulfillment is another of our basic human instincts (the others are survival, sex and power) and identifies this often neglected ``fourth'' instinct as the tool given humanity for transforming the limiting effects of the other three. Choosing to respond to the call of the soul leads one beyond false goals of celebrity, consumption and physical perfection on to compassion, selflessness and service. Huffington envisions a genuine evolutionary breakthrough as more and more people, driven by society's widespread sense of ``something missing,'' develop themselves under the direction of the fourth instinct. While the use of exclusively masculine language for both humanity and God detracts from her message, Huffington's book nonetheless challenges readers to evaluate their priorities and make meaningful changes in their lives. (May)