Book of Myths (Photo Credit: Book of Myths)
'Book of myths' is the work of Vedantic scholar and author Acharya Prashant. The book elucidates the misconceptions and the misinformation surrounding the popular myths in the spiritual and self-help culture of today. The book is composed of different sections, each dedicated to the discussion of a specific myth or rather a well-established concept such as positive thinking, inner voice, free-will, god, enlightenment and so on. The author takes each of these concepts independently to analyze the commonly understood meanings of these terms and the fallacies that lie therein.
Most books in the genre of spirituality and self-help offer positive reinforcements to the readers by describing the beauty of certain experiences, positive thoughts or vibes. Book of Myths, on the other hand, takes on the approach of negation. It dismantles the various beliefs, implicit or otherwise, regarding the ideas of spirituality, special experiences, positive-thinking, and freedom. It presents to the reader a whole new way of looking at things by telling them what they are not. This method seems to work, as by the time one is done reading the book, one feels emptier, calmer and rather de-cluttered, just as one’s house feels after a full-out cleaning session.
As one begins reading the book, some of the ideas seem counterintuitive and in opposition to several long-held beliefs, however, the book successfully manages to put its point across and develops a rapport with the reader with the use of well-placed arguments and interactive tone. The book nudges the reader to think for herself, instead of downright advising on what is right and what is wrong. Book of Myths will prove to be helpful for anyone who has been reading self-help literature for a while with no success, or for someone who feels overwhelmed by the slew of information on subjects aimed at helping us feel better about ourselves. Like his other works, the author uses common-place examples and also throws in witty stories to make the read enjoyable and engaging.
Although the ideas presented in the book are quite interesting, a part of their impact is lost due to weak presentation. The reader is made to straightaway dive into the deep waters of thought without much warning, since the book opens without an introduction on what is to follow, and what should one expect. As the reader begins to get used to the ideas from one chapter, he is taken onto another wholly new idea in the next one. While the wealth of knowledge provided is much appreciated but it seems to come out all too quickly and suddenly.
Readers who are new to this kind of literature might struggle with the momentum and the prolificity of the book. At certain places, the writing could have benefitted from better editing since some ideas seem repetitive and lengthy. Also, in several parts of the book, allusions are made to specific locations or individuals without much information on them, which has made these sections unclear and unrelatable. Overall, the book is a compelling read for all who are looking for clarity on issues of spirituality and personal well-being. The author has tried hard to impress upon the reader the importance of thinking straight and remaining true to one’s inner self.