Book Review: Daily Downloads And Fortune Cookies From The Universe

Daily Downloads And Fortune Cookies From The Universe: A Collection Of Inspirational Thoughts To Enlighten Your Soul, by Robert Clancy

[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bostick Communications, without my request, in exchange in for an honest review.]

The cover of this book makes it plain that this book too is a part of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Soul [1] series that the author is writing, and even though I did not request this book, and was given it as a bonus by the author, as happens from time to time [2], the book makes a great deal of sense in light of the context of the overall worldview of the author that our souls are hitchhikers on a journey toward some unstated higher place, where the bookmark and fortune cookie and bumper sticker wisdom of this book, short and pithy proverbial statements, are designed as an external form of positive self-talk to replace and overcome the negative self-talk of doubt and fear that all too many people have as their unpleasant and continual internal companions [3]. The author does not bother to explain the statements made in the book, but rather provides the sort of statements that the reader is expected to repeat and meditate on as a mantra in order to encourage a positive mood, with a smile on the face and an attitude of openness to others that is supposed to attract goodness and happiness from the outside world.

In terms of its organization and structure, the book contains about 180 pages or so of short statements divided into various chapters on faith, hope, love, compassion, giving, peace, happiness, strength, and leadership. Some of the proverbs are designed to be enigmatic and paradoxical [4], such as the following statement on leadership: “Be a leader not a follower, and realize that sometimes you need to lead by following (161).” There is a lot that could be said about these sorts of statements and how they apply and in what circumstances, but the author does not provide a systematic explanation himself, which does not appear to be his general approach at least in the two books I have read from him so far, but rather leaves his wisdom to be unpackaged by the reader. Without at least some understanding of the author’s worldview, it is unclear the extent to which the author’s thoughts actually correspond to the larger themes of the chapters, as some of the proverbs and statements appear at first glance to be at best tangentially related to the book’s larger themes, unless one puts them into a particular context and worldview of Moral Therapeutic Deism and at least some kind of Eastern religious tradition where the world is conceived as illusion, where our minds create our reality, and where our souls are on a journey that lasts through several lifetimes, with the hope of progress along this journey through our own meritorious deeds.

With this worldview in mind, the book’s wisdom and encouragement makes a lot more sense. For example, when the author says that we should “Choose a path in faith and your guide will be a loving heart (7),” the author clearly assumes our hearts to be free of self-deception and delusion, and trustworthy guides for our lives. When the author states that “faith, death and love are all parts of life. The differences between them are; faith carries us through life, death ends our life and love carries us over to our next life (7),” some belief in reincarnation and the transmigration of souls is clearly presumed here, as in the movie What Dreams May Come, starring the late Robin Williams, who could have used some encouragement, clearly in retrospect. The author’s contention that “Eden isn’t a place. It’s the tranquility that exists in the garden of your heart (104)” makes sense only in light of a particular view of the outside world being an illusion that is the external projection of one’s own thoughts and feelings, which mean that a world full of suffering and loss implies that our own hearts are wayward and full of doubt and fear and torment, in some way causing and inducing the suffering that we see around us. The author’s clear optimism about the heart of readers is suggested by his statement that “your innocence from childhood is never lost unless you allow it to be. Shine bright by turning on your “young star” within (145),” which is a worldview that is appealing to many people who do not want sermons or lectures, but want to be encouraged in doing good deeds, feeling like they are good people full of love and tolerance, and who want to be told to trust their hearts and its feelings to guide them in the right direction. For such readers, this book will likely be music to their itching ears.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/book-review-the-hitchhikers-guide-to-the-soul/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/book-review-the-seduction-of-eva-volk/

[3] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/negative-obsessive-rumination-and-the-artists-enigma/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/wait-for-me-to-come-home/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/album-review-hopes-fears/

[4] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/opposite-proverbs/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Christianity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Book Review: Daily Downloads And Fortune Cookies From The Universe

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Worldview 2026 | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Born For Love | Edge Induced Cohesion

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