The ill-conceived incentive to seek pleasure, contentment, and a sense of self from exterior sources is prevalent throughout our culture. At least, that’s the central thesis of LIGHT FROM THE HEART, a spiritual guide that encourages readers to get in touch with their inner selves, which will correspondingly lead to a connection with a greater, universal whole. The book is divided into seven chapters that explore, among other topics, understanding the nature of love as opposed to false idolatry, the art of meditation, and the notion of the one true path.
Metaphors for light, belonging, and serenity populate the book, although the language is often leaden and overly casual. In the chapter that details the potential healing power of music, Patrick Paul Nicholas explains that, “You can tune in harmony and tune out discord.” However, in the following pages he recommends choosing music that has no words or recognizable lyrics, writing the cringe-inducing sentence “Some opera is alright[sic].” While the guide has a loose structure, the wisdom contained within feels ordinary. To differentiate itself from the hundreds of other self-help, spiritual guides, this book needs a far more vigorous structure and corresponding focus. Currently, it has the dime-a-dozen lackadaisical pacing and sprinkled quotes of wisdom from various spiritual leaders and famous songwriters that make up so many so-so titles in this genre.
What LIGHT FROM THE HEART lacks in terms of a compelling or inventive superstructure, it makes up for in its earnest, forthright desire to help the reader. For an audience that feels lost, confused, or in need of guidance, this work is a good starting place to develop a sense of trust and start making plans for self-actualization. As a work of literature, much work is yet to be done.
Reviewed by Julia Lai for IndieReader.