The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark by Sera J. Beak; Jossey-Bass (Wiley)
Ms. Beak has an unusual take on finding your spiritual path. She takes bits and pieces from all the big religions as well as from some lesser-known ones. She throws all this together into a most original but deeply held belief system. She claims her approach is not new but echoes the experiences and insights from those who came before her on many different spiritual paths. Her voice is light hearted and serious at the same time. The reader will find the light bulb going off in their head while at the same time engaged in a belly laugh at Ms. Beak turn of phrase. She is seriously irreverent but makes her point in a lasting manner.
The book is broken down into sections that have such humorous names as “Are you really gonna eat that?” and “Catapulting your inner waitress.” Each chapter focuses on one aspect of figuring out and maintaining a spiritual path. The seeker (or reader) is guided to fix her intent and in finding a Divine Power that resonates personally, to deepening her connection with the Divine Aspect in her life through meditation and gratitude. Delicious tidbits from all kinds of world belief systems are used to illustrate the author’s points. Jesus and Kali are mentioned with equal reverence and respect. Ancient text and modern interpretation are both offered up to the reader to use or discard as needed.
At the very end of the book is a resources guide. Divide by the book’s chapters it lists recommended books to further investigate the points covered in that chapter.
The book is very tongue-in-cheek, but especially accessible to those who are just starting to search for their own spiritual pathway. Since the author doesn’t focus on any one religion but talks about many the reader is left to choose which way resonates best for her self. The book is written for a female audience, but an open-minded male would get just as much out of it. This book is definitely for the brand new seeker who is unsure what she believes and wants the freedom to decide for her self what to do.
I found the filigree design elements on the pages distracting and in some places they were too dark, making the text difficult to read. But I have old lady eyes and I think I need to get my eyeglasses updated again. The book is aimed at a younger audience, so perhaps they wouldn’t have as much trouble with the legibility as I did.