I bought this book after watching an interview of the author on Oprah since I had wanted to learn more about Sufism and Rumi for a long time. Although during the interview Llewellyn was very impressive, this book is not. I was reluctant to write an unfavorable review, so I went ahead and read the book the second time, did a lot of research on the internet and watched Llewellyn's almost an hour long video called "We Are All One: Full Interview with Llewellyn Vaugh-Lee" and his interview with Oprah on the internet before writing the review.
According to the book's definition, "Sufi is a name given to a band of mystics who are lovers of God". The goal in Sufism or a Sufi is to become one with God by mediating and chanting (dhikr). Some of the concepts are similar to other spiritual teachings such as "Divinity of humans" (Holy Spirit or God living in every human like Unity teachings), "The real reason of unhappiness or feelings of unfulfillment is the result of separation from God" ("A Course in Miracles") ," Living in the world but not of it" (Bible) and "Living in the presence of God every moment" (Marianne Williamson's writings)
After finishing it, I was terribly disappointed by the book which is terribly dry, abstract and repetitious. ( "The mind and the ego can never grasp an experience of total unity in which there is no distinction between observer and observed, but the heart's experience of His unity is reflected into our ordinary consciousness." )I learned more about Sufism from a three minute video of Jonathan Brown from Georgetown University, a video clip of a documentary about Sufism by PBS on the internet and Rumi's official website maintained by his descendants(Mevlana Rumi), than reading this book.(Mevlana Rumi's website also has a list of recommended books in English. If you click on each book's web link, it takes to Amazon.com, where you can buy the books.)
However, my major disappointment about this book was the dedication of one third of the book, fifty pages, to Carl Jung and his dream work while briefly mentioning Rumi, two pages, the first person comes to mind in many circles talking about Sufism. (Since I did a lot of reading about Jung years ago, I did not buy this book to learn about Jung but Sufism) Not to mention, there was no coverage of Omar Khayyam or Al-Ghazali "whose influences extended beyond Muslim lands and Western philosophers and theologians" according to my internet research.
In this age of separation, alienation and strife, we need more enlightened spiritual teachers like Llewelly and his message of universal love and unity. ("God is all there is, everything is God's expression of Himself and God is love."/ "Whatsoever you turn, there is the face of God") One can't help but admire his command of the English language when he talks, brilliance, level of spiritual enlightenment, and dedication of spreading the message of universal love (Sufism) to masses. I wish he would write the way he talks because if readers, who don't know much about the subject matter unlike him, don't understand the book, the message is not going to reach the target audience. (I highly recommend watching his an hour long video called "We Are All One" on the internet to really appreciate him.)