Book Review – WHEN THE SOUL HEALS – The literature todayMarch 14, 2020
“If our souls could see and love and clasp God’s truth, it’s infinite radiance would seize our heart.”
This book, WHEN THE SOUL HEALS- Explorations in Spiritual Psychology, is for those who yearn to break free of suffering, aspire to open their wings and fly high, and experience the universe within themselves. It is written by author Pulkit Sharma and was published by AuroPublications (powerful thoughts, inspiring vision) in January 2019. AuroPublications, the publishing division of the Sri Aurobindo Society (SAS), Puducherry, undertakes works of deep insight that are spiritually themed, while striving towards practical applicability. Sri Aurobindo Society is an international, spiritual, cultural, not-for-profit NGO. When the soul heals, is a 207 page book, written explicitly, in great detail.
The Cover is simple yet attractive and soothing to the eyes. The Back Cover contains, the blurb, a note on the author, in addition to the standard details. Interestingly, it also contains the signs and symbols of various religions. They are present to give an idea of the contents of the book which contains mystical perspectives from Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Baha’i Faith, the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, and revelations of other great spiritual masters.
The book instigates the reader to start on a meaningful journey of self-discovery and growth. It aims to push the reader to find out who he is, why he suffers, how can he overcome adversities, revamp his life and be happy. It says, we all seek a life of perfection, peace, growth and happiness. But our pessimistic thoughts, negative emotions and self- destructive habits prevent us from accomplishing this goal. We seek help to set things right, but healing evades us. If only we look within, we will find that we are blessed with an eternal healer- our soul. Once we connect to it’sits psychic power, we will find a cure for all maladies. This self-help book amalgamates thoughts in contemporary psychology with simple spiritual wisdom helping one understand and heal common psychological problems by tapping on one’s own spiritual force. It gives stepgives step-by-step strategies, guided meditations, contemplation exercises and real-life inspirational case studies to overcome. It helps deal with stress, anger, grief, depression, anxiety, beauty obsessions, addictions and caregiver burden.
The book begins with a detailed section on ‘introduction’ wherein a preface to “what to expect” from the content, is given. It also provides a quick guide on “how to get the best out of the book”. A brief is given on the importance of aspiration, effort and surrender. After the introduction, there are 9 broad sections or chapters which bifurcate the entire content of the book. The first segment talks about the spiritual evolution in psychology. Psychology, as a standalone cannot help heal human beings effectively. It needs a partner and the author gives valid arguments and evidence to support it. To understand human psychology and deal with its pros and cons, help spirituality seems like a possible solution. True psychology is the knowledge of the soul, that is, the knowledge of the psychic being. Each chapter has references mentioned at the end to validatevalidify the content and the quoted words. “If the body is toiled and doesn’t rest, it becomes worn out; if the spirit be used without cessation, it becomes toiled; and when toiled, it becomes exhausted.” The segment on stress, has a practical sequence of steps to practice. I personally found them very realistic and rational. Then we come to the most common emotion in the present times- anger. “When a man becomes angry, even if he is a wise man, his wisdom departs from him.” This segment begins with a very relatable story. I was very keen on this segment and wanted to explore it further without much adieu. It moves ahead with discussing the psychological understanding behind the emotion, the types of anger, the causes and the treatment, the spiritual pathways to heal and the steps for practice. I found it very informative, insightful and useful. The most interesting part was, the story which had started in the beginning, comes to an end in the later half discussing how she helped herself change and manage her emotions. The next section is on “grief”. Again, it is beautifully explained. Next, it discusses the most common mental disease today, depression. I am really in awe on how this book is written. First of all, the chapter begins with a few beautiful lines, perspectives taken from various esteemed sources, then every concept is explained in detail, a story is weaved to describe it, practice step boxes are given which are very effective and easy to follow and then the chapter ends with references. It’s an amazing compilation. In the next chapter, it talks about “beauty obsessions”, the anxiety related to physical appearance. I find all the topics discussed, very relevant in today’s times. Next, it talks about “addictions”, the short lived human pleasures. The final and the last topic is “caregiver burden” or caregiving. The book ends with an epilogue, which is as beautifully written as the rest of the book.
The author, Pulkit Sharma is a clinical psychologist and spiritual counsellor. He has worked as a mental health consultant and research head with several organizations. His inspirational and philosophical writings have been published in acclaimed journals, newspapers and magazines. This book is based on his unique technique that combines psychology and spirituality to help people reclaim their lives. He lives in Puducherry, India, with his wife and daughter. He writes regularly for The Speaking Tree, Life Positive and for the HT Inner Voice.
The book finishes off on a beautiful note saying. A saying. A New Beginning…
“Never feel perturbed in dark moments, the eternal light already exists within you. Trust your inner guide, fuel the flame of your aspiration, keep walking, keep dreaming, reach out for the stars, manifest the divinity within you.”
A self-help book, belonging to the non-fiction category, it is one insightful book and a must read. It is full of wise words and the crux from various religions, giving us a solution, the key to all our problems. It is available at an attractive price of INR 275/- paperback and INR 199/- kindle edition at amazon.