Book Review – Man Seeks God

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20 Jan 2013 Filed under books, philosophy Tagged as book review , philosophy , religion

Book Review – Man Seeks God

I’m not religious, though I agree with the sentiments of an atheist who once told me that there is much wisdom in the Bible (and many other philosophical and religious works).  Indeed, there is. Eric Weiner has taken it upon himself to explore, interrelate, and share the lessons of many religions in his book, Man Seeks God, and there is much wisdom to share.  The varied list of faiths includes Sufism, Buddhism, Franciscan Catholics, Raelism, Taosim, Wiccan, Shamanism, and Kabbalah.

Religion is often inherited, sometimes converted, and often borrowed.  Weiner travels and shops for a religion that he can fall into to relieve his depression and the general malaise that comes from an acute awareness of his mortality and lack of purpose. Weiner is self-described as bookish and awkward and is self-deprecating as entertainers often are. And he is funny, witty, contemplative, and detached enough so that his insight is more easily mistaken for comedy than proselytizing.

There are stark contrasts as well as the common themes, much of which are things we all know that we should do; getting out of our own way, cultivating wisdom and practicality to guide our daily life, reconnecting with who we really are.  There is some reassurance in knowing that, should I ever decide to practice these principles seriously, that there is a huge amount of human energy focused every day on these principles to some degree to fold oneself into.

And the exercise, shopping for something worth believing, is a clearly relevant topic in an age of awakening and apathy.  Where we are self-aware enough to see religion for what it is and what it isn’t.  To avoid the mythology without losing the lesson.  And for those of us who identify with this struggle and accompanying stress and confusion reminiscent of the ignorance of youth, Weiner’s journey is like watching a friend venture out on the dance floor bravely for an awkward and self-conscious display that is similar to but not quite dancing.   But what do we have if not time for practice, and Eric makes a good first follower to emulate.