Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lifting the Wheel of Karma by Paul H Magid

This is an unusual review for an unusual novel.



It started a few months back when I browsed through Bees Knees reviews for a nice
interesting book. I came upon Lifting the Wheel of Karma by Paul H Magid and
liked the blurb. I signed up and minutes later received a notification that the
author will get in touch for a review. That is when it hit me. As a Christian, I
believe that I am always protected and that information and a difference in
opinion or point of view can't harm me. That said. How do I review a book that
might be in complete juxtaposition with my own belief system without offending.
With time I got to know the author a lot better and decided that such a good
noble man could never be an author whom would actively and purposefully offend
others.

By the time I received his novel I felt like a kid in a candy shop. I was so
excited and all my previous trepidations were gone.

I started to read his book, this novel but I gave up on reading it, and started to live it instead.
 It is not a book and it is not a novel. It is a profound spiritual journey. A very personal journey which the reader under takes with Joseph, Lahiri and Billy.  The trinity in my
point of view. 

Joseph undertakes a journey to India to receive a miracle cure from a Sage named
Lahiri. He has been fighting his own demons from the age of five and tragic
circumstances left his body as broken as his mind and subsequently his spirit.
He asks his brother to accompany him on this spiritual journey.

In India he finds Lahiri. The miracle cure however is not to be found without
extreme effort. Joseph, wrapped up in his own life and problems does not notice
much of the goings on around him.

It is soon apparent that Joseph is not the only person fighting inner demons.

Billy, Joseph older brother is according to me one of the unsung heroes in this
journey. He carries the burden of standing by impotently as he and the rest of
Joseph's family watches Joseph fight a battle he thinks he is fighting alone.
Typical of humanity, Joseph has convinced himself that his fight against his
inner demons are a solitary act and that it touched none but him.

[It might interest the reader to know that at this stage me and the author had
A difference of opinion.  He felt as if Joseph had a very good understanding of
what his family was going through.  He mentioned that Joseph left implicitly
with the aim to spare his parents and brother some further grief.

Although I concede with Joseph having some understanding of the anguish
his family must have undergone, I perceived Joseph as only partially and peripherally
aware of the suffering they went through due to his inner battle and later
his very real physical battle for survival.  It is amazing to read a book where
the author can relay a story in such a manner that I as a reader felt I could differ
from the author himself based on my own life experience]. 

Billy's constant support is however a testimony that the act of observing can be
An equally painful and isolating experience. Billy however never gives up on
Joseph.

Not only Joseph and Billy is fighting an unseen terrible force but sometimes the
savior turns out to be the one in need. This is definitely the case in this
journey. Were Joseph not so caught up in his own suffering he might have noticed
the suffering of those around him.

This journey tough me two very valuable life lessons. Although the book itself
is set against Eastern mysticism and Greek mythology the basic construct of all
religions soon become apparent. With relief I found that I need not defend a
different belief system to that of my own, rather I find myself overjoyed to say
that this journey has made it clear that the basic religious constructs of all
religions is echoed in the Physicians creed - first do no harm.

I seldom read a book twice. I simple feel that my memory of a story is of such a
nature that no real need exists for me to read any story twice or more when the
world is full of other great stories to be read. In Lifting the Wheel of Karma
this is however not the case. I feel the book has many other journeys it will
take me on if only I am willing to get on the ride. A ride I'm looking forward
to.

The story is beautifully written with a precise and linear construct line
throughout. The facts in the books are carefully researched and are interjected in
such a fashion that it serves to fill your journey with the same riches as that
of Indian spices and colorful Saris.

I again find myself with an inadequate rating system. On a scale from 1-5, I give this book 6 stars.
This is a book I will recommend to everyone and which I would gift to anyone with
pride and the knowledge that I helped them on a personal journey of their own.

It is impossible to read this book and not walk away with a feeling of coming
full circle. I, now am left wondering what my Dharma might be.
I hope that this book will get you dear reader to wonder about that as well,
What is your Dharma in life?
 
Interview
I asked:
How long did the research take and how much of it do you do yourself?
Paul replied:
Okay, so, first...research. This took me twenty-five years. No kidding. I knew nothing significant about India when I started and it would be fair to say that I have read 50 or more books on India. I had to learn so much about India in so many different areas, because I knew my novel needed to be accurate -historically, culturally, mythological, and even socially. India's history goes back over 5,000 years; I sought out sources of information that went all the way back to the original Indus Valley settlement.

I asked:
Have you been to India? If so share some of your impressions.
Paul replied:
After decades of research I finally visited India several times, even living there for several months, which was an adventure in many ways. I immediately connected with India in so many ways. Certainly it's completely different to my experiences of living in the U.S., but that was also a good deal of its charm for me. Expanding my horizons by seeing how other people live is always a priceless adventure to me.
I asked:
Your blurb says it is a mix of Greek mythology with Eastern mysticism. I found a lot of parallels with Christianity and shared belief systems. Was this intended?
Paul replied
o    The Greek Mythology connection is in the sense that I believe there are supernatural forces that affect, influence, and ultimately guide the course of our lives and journey, in the same way that Greek Gods interacted with humans, changing the course of their lives and of humanity, for example, in the way that Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals, thereby changing the course of humanity...at least according to Greek Mythology.

There are most definitely familiar patterns of Christianity in my novel, as well as eastern philosophy. I believe this is because all of the great religions of the world have common foundations -love, forgiveness, healing, and redemption.
I asked:
Do you believe in reincarnation?
Paul replied:
o    As for reincarnation, I most assuredly do believe in it. For me, it explains a great deal...but I don't want to give too much away.
After all is said and written, this is a must read for all.  I can't recommend it enough!
I again want to thank Denise Jones for all the trouble she has to go through to get this to sound as if I can speak the English language!  Thanks Denise.

1 comment:

  1. What a stunning review! And I loved your interview questions. Good job Wanda!

    ReplyDelete

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