Top critical review
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This reviewer was still "scratching his head" as to the entire meaning
on 3 December 2012
An insight into the secret alchemy of food is what the author promises with this fairly hefty book, explaining the link that exists between food, nourishment and spiritual awakening.
This is a possible controversial opinion or assertion for many, as the authors state that "...science is beginning to assert what the ancient mystics and seers of the past have known for millennia, that there is an unseen, but viable life force that permeates all things, and we are not separate from this vast sea of energy." Pretty heavy-going for sure and this review shall not debate the merits, or lack thereof, of the claims made. Whilst it is true that we can get more than "just" nourishment from food, it is not entirely clear to this reviewer at least that we receive benefits within a general diet. Of course, spiritual fulfilment can come by participating in specific religious ceremonies, but this book is more than that.
Despite its great layout and engaging photography, this is not the lightest of reads when you take into account this is supposed to be an enlightening experience, a "light bulb" moment if you will. Perhaps it is just a little tongue-tied, verbose overall, leading to the central message being lost at times. Yet if you take the book as a series of components, then individual elements within can still be quite interesting and actionable, even if you don't subscribe to and follow the central theme being promoted. Once you get to the recipes then there is a good, interesting selection on offer. The photographs of the dishes do draw you in and get your taste buds salivating. Each recipe is well-written, contains all the key information and easy to follow. Unfortunately there are probably not enough recipes to make the book worthwhile for those who don't "get" the message, but if you get the chance to look at the book in a bookstore you might find enough to tip the balance.
One should always remain open to new ideas and concepts but this book just feels not so beginner-friendly and it is debatable whether the casual reader will invest the time to really look into things as this reviewer was still "scratching his head" as to the entire meaning after a first glance. Many might not even give it so long. Half the text, make it even more beginner-friendly, add a few more recipes and then things might be a different proposition. Of course, if you "get" the ideas from the get-go, you may have a compelling, comprehensive resource on your hands. So in short, take a look at this book with a neutral mind and go on from there.