Spirit Junkie, A Radical Road to Self -Love and Miracles
By Gabrielle Bernstein
288 pages, $ 23.00
Review by Steven King, MBA, MEd
Spirit Junkie, A Radical Road to Self -Love and Miracles is destined to be a best seller since so many impressionable people are clamoring for spiritual direction in their lives. If anything will do, then quite possibly such people are willing to fill the void in their lives with anything that comes along. Its author, Gabrielle Bernstein, believes she has found the answers to life's spiritual questions. A careful inspection of her writing implies that she is somewhat conflicted-she is really hung up on the New York scene and would have enjoyed the life of a fashion model by day only if she could have basked at the feet of a Hindu Swami by night .
To her credit, she is on the speaking tour, has successfully launched a social network for women, and is an accomplished entrepreneur in her own right. Spiritual junkie, though? That is probably a stretch. According to inferences made in the book, her spiritual tutelage arose from at least one voyage to an Indian ashram as a teen, her Jewish roots, and her fascination with a book entitled: A Course in Miracles. The latter seems to have had the greatest impact upon young Gabby, as it is a self-styled self-help curriculum she credits as pulling her from the despair of drug and perfection addiction.
Extreme caution is urged when reading this book since familiar terms, such as "sin" and "Holy Spirit," are re-casted from the verbiage of A Course in Miracles. The allusions to A Course in Miracles are littered throughout the book. In near idolatrous fashion, Gabrielle would write something akin to, "It's just like the Course says …" A Course in Miracles has an intriguing background as it was originally authored by Helen Schucman with the help of William Thetford, based on what she called an "inner voice" which she identified as Jesus. Those interested can research the internet for multiple references to A Course in Miracles being an example of New Age ideology fashioned in newer garb requiring the help of a medium to accomplish. A Course in Miracles does not need a personal faith, a belief in sin, or the Jesus of Holy Scripture-beware, since you might open the door to far more than you ever bargained for.
As I read this book, I had the strange sensation that Gabby's instruction arose from an amalgamation of scenes from The Matrix and a popular song that the Beatles released in the summer of '67 – All You Need is Love. There is no admonition of personal responsibility: everything boils down to love, a kind of warm feeling that washes over you when you keep your ego in check. Not the Freudian ego mind you, but more like a mean stepparent who is insistent on curtailing your self expression. Do some deep breathing exercises, sit in a semi-lotus position, and breathe out forgiveness … then all will be well. And if it is not, you can pray to your ~ ing (her name for her spiritual medium or "inner guide").
Her youthful writing style is an attempt to connect with the 30-something and younger crowd – and will possibly cause you to chuckle in places.
If you are looking for spiritual direction-I would recommend you look elsewhere.
I received this book for free from the publisher and was not obligated to write a positive review.