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The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness Editorial Review:
We are all students in the "Earth school," according to authors Gary Zukav and Linda Francis in The Heart of the Soul. And the time has come to create a whole new lesson plan. For thousands of years we were outwardly focused, as we mastered the tasks of cultivating food and building shelter. Unfortunately, we are still outwardly fixated, obsessively accumulating more wealth, material objects, and power. "What enabled our species to survive so long is now bad medicine. In fact, it is poison," according to Zukav and Francis. What we need now is an inward focus, in which we cultivate the heart and live in alignment with our souls.
As it turns out, The Heart of the Soul is a timely guidebook, with a release date exactly three months after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. "The pursuit of external power produces physical violence and destruction between nations. You can see this in every newscast," the authors write:
Billions of people live in poverty, are hungry, and suffer oppression, and brutality. Changing these circumstances requires our hearts. It requires the ability to feel the pain and joy of others, and to take their needs as seriously as we take our own. And here is where the heart lessons come in. "As long as there are parts of yourself that reach outward to make you feel safe, valuable, and loved, you need to identify them and heal them." The authors include numerous exercises and activities to help readers feel and understand their emotions in order to "empower the soul" and live a more rewarding and joyful life. The words and intentions are indeed poignant and worthwhile. The numerous boxes, diagrams, and passages in bold print create a self-help structure that some will find simplistic and others will find inviting. --Gail Hudson
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