As author Manny Garcia points out in his introduction to A GLOSSARY OF LIFE, the self-help mindset and the idea of spirituality as separate from religiosity have become mainstream over the past few decades. With that, a whole new vocabulary has gradually entered our daily speech. Self-love, gratitude, mindfulness, oneness, and so many other terms that used to be the purview of esoteric traditions or woo-woo pop psychology can now be heard in board rooms, doctor’s offices, and even some churches.
But just because we use these words doesn’t mean we understand their true, full, or original meaning. Karma, for example, is often wrongly associated with the biblical “eye for an eye” law of retaliation. This demonstrates a lack of understanding of the ancient purpose of the concept of karma, which is much less punitive and also much grander than what people seem to have in mind when they use that term in casual conversation today. The same can be said of many of the terms that have infiltrated our vernacular.
A GLOSSARY OF LIFE is a one-stop shop for delving deeper into these thoughts, though each entry is brief. Garcia did not pad his word count for the sake of generating a longer manuscript. He gets straight to the point and pulls no punches in discussing the disparities between reality and our self-delusions, between wants and needs, between materialistic thinking and enlightened thinking.
Unlike so many books that are categorized as “spiritual” but are actually Christian, A GLOSSARY OF LIFE does not lean heavily toward–nor does it ever explicitly reference–any particular tradition in its entries. In fact, a reader can be agnostic or atheistic and still resonate with this material because it’s written from a purely nonreligious perspective.
A GLOSSARY OF LIFE could be used as a reference for when readers come across a self-help or spiritual buzzword and want to go deeper, or it could be incorporated into a personal growth program by reading one entry per day. It does not lend itself to reading straight through for two reasons: these types of life-changing concepts are most effective when digested incrementally, and plowing through too many prescriptive passages can start to feel like a lecture instead of an invitation.
A GLOSSARY OF LIFE is a concise, but meaningful volume that should be on the bookshelf of every wisdom seeker, cleric, and therapist.
~Crystal Hope Reed for IndieReader