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Book Reviews
Samsara: An Exploration of the Hidden Forces ...
By: Daniel McKenzie - Mantra Books, $12.95

Description: In eastern spiritual traditions, samsara is often used to describe worldly existence, the cycle of birth and death or the transmigration of the soul from one incarnation to the next.

But the concept of samsara is actually much broader and includes psychology, universal laws of nature, the illusory quality of existence, and even the question of free will.

In Samsara - An Exploration of the Hidden Forces that Shape and Bind Us, the author takes a look at the various aspects of samsara that influence our everyday experience and dares to ask, is life a setup? And if so, does it purposely push us toward the truth?

Verdict: So, according to the cultural meaning of samsara that I myself grew up around, samsara, (Sanskrit: “flowing around”) in Indian philosophy, is the central conception of metempsychosis: the soul, finding itself awash in the “sea of samsara,” and which strives to find release (moksha) from the bonds of its own past deeds (karma), and in which form part of the general web of which samsara is made.

Now, to be honest, laymen to this thought process and the word itself, let alone all that surrounds it, are going to be as lost as they ever where, but hopefully still overly curious as how such a thing can indeed influence our everyday experiences and daily multiple choices.

Throughout the book, author McKenzie not only gives us the lowdown on samsara, but its origins, its continuing evolution, its widely ruminated misjudging’s, and how the concept itself is actually much broader and, to his mind, also encapsulates psychology along with the universal laws of nature.

At its core though, the whole process of rebirth, samsara, is cyclic, with no clear beginning or end, and encompasses lives of perpetual, serial attachments.

Actions generated by desire and appetite bind one’s spirit (jiva) to an endless series of births and deaths. Therein, desire motivates any social interaction (particularly when involving sex or food), resulting in the mutual exchange of good and bad karma. Furthermore, a renunciate of the new age may overcome samsara by affirming the divine truth in everything instead of identifying with the attachments of the individual ego.

So whatever your belief on samsara, and how you yourself either believe it has a hold of your life - whether streamlined for personal use or on a much broader level of worldly inhabitation - or whether you have no time for it, as such, Samsara: An Exploration of the Hidden Forces that Shape and Bind Us is a book that provides you all the pro’s and con’s; so you can formulate, at the very least, an educated thought process to everything.

About the Author - Daniel McKenzie enjoys writing in the context of Advaita Vedanta, an ancient and venerable wisdom tradition that is a proven means for understanding the nature of experience. His influences include James Swartz, Swami Dayananda and Swami Paramarthananda. He lives in Cameron Park, CA.

Official Book Purchase Link