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The Seat of the Soul (25th Anniversary Edition with a Study Guide)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2000

    Old wine, and stale!

    This book does a tour-de-force job of offering exactly what people want to hear. Is your marriage crumbling? Of course it is, because its traditional structure is too restrictive for you! Do you feel like a failure? That's because your 'soul' placed you in this life to learn humility--so you're actually succeeding brilliantly! Are you scared of death? Don't be. You've lived before and you will again! Your 'soul' is immortal. 'Seat of the Soul' is a recitation of the elements, here stripped of symbolism and mythology, that almost all religions have in common. It of course does not tell you this, reflecting an opinion of the readership's intellect that is made doubly clear by the saccharine, condescending tone throughout the book. 'Seat' has by no means earned the right to use such a tone. Its use of the Third Law of Motion to illustrate karma indicates an unfamiliarity with one concept or the other (or both). It adheres to an out-of-date definition of nationality, long rejected by political science, when positing a nation-soul link. It also claims that every animal species has one collective soul. Yet the discoveries of modern genetics have called into question the very concept of species. The entire soul/personality division presents serious philosophical problems. These hearken at least back to Descartes, who interestingly enough used the phrase 'seat of the soul' in reference to the pineal gland. Nor will you find consistency here. Although 'Seat' denounces 'external power' as the preserve of unevolved 'five-sensory' humans, it has no problems displaying its author's own external power on the jacket: he did go to Harvard, you know! For all the book's faults, 'Seat' to its credit stops short of the feel-good, Nazi-hugging nonsense of Neale Donald Walsch. ('Hitler went to Heaven. When you understand this, you will understand God.') 'Seat' advocates personal responsibility, however vaguely. So should you buy the book? Why not? On the one hand, there is nothing new here. On the other hand, the more books on your shelf, the better. And you may even get a good laugh out of it. A personal hint, though: when you get to the part about the dolphins, PUT YOUR COFFEE DOWN! You wouldn't want to spill it.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

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    Posted January 11, 2012

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