When I read metaphysically oriented books, it is usually with two goals in mind. The first and foremost is my own personal growth and development. I’m reading to learn and expand my horizons. The second is to help others. As I read, I am often thinking about how the concepts and examples can help my clients. Adventures of the Soul: Journeys Through the Physical and Spiritual Dimensions is a book that both expanded my horizons with a few new concepts and provided some great information for me to use in teaching my clients.
Adventures of the Soul is the first book by James Van Praagh that I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. I’ve heard Van Praagh speak on various online seminars produced by Hay House, so I knew that I was on the same page as him, so to speak, when it comes to metaphysical beliefs. However, some great speakers aren’t great authors. That’s not the case here. Van Praagh’s relaxed writing style feels like a friendly conversation. His own material on our souls’ journeys both here and in the afterlife are interspersed with personal anecdotes, popular culture references including relevant movies, and information from other books. I ended up with a reading list of quite a few other books I wanted to read as a result of reading Adventures of the Soul!
The premise of Van Praagh’s book is that our journey on earth is to learn to vibrate with the pure love of the Spirit. Our human incarnations provide us with the opportunities to face challenges which help us grow. Van Praagh expands upon ways in which we can raise our energetic vibrations, thus improving our soul and our quality of life. He concludes the book with several guided meditations for one to use in this quest. While these are actually the types of meditations that initially turned me off the concept of meditation when I was a teenager, they are likely very helpful for many others who need guidance in beginning their meditation practice.
Van Praagh also spends a good deal of the book discussing the afterlife, reincarnation and what he has learned through his years as a medium. As someone who has only spent a few years working professionally as an intuitive and a medium, this was the section of the book where I found the most new (to me) information. Van Praagh’s concepts of the various layers of the place where we go after our mortal deaths expanded on details which I’ve not yet encountered in my work with the other side. I was aware that different layers exist, but I’ve not had reason or desire to probe further into information about them. Because so much of the other detail Van Praagh gives resonates with what I experience in my work, I’m inclined to trust his descriptions of details of those things I’ve not yet encountered. This book gave me a foothold for doing more exploration in that area should I ever choose to do so.
One of the things that I appreciated most about Adventures of the Soul is that Van Praagh emphasized the concept of taking what works for you and leaving the rest behind. He quotes Buddha as having said, “`Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.’” It’s refreshing to read a book from an author who doesn’t see himself as the absolute authority on the topic he’s writing about, a sign that Van Praagh wasn’t letting his ego interfere with his mission as he wrote the book.
(Attached below is a PDF of questions that could be used for book group discussions. Feel free to alter or edit these questions for your own personal use in a group discussion or personal journaling.)
© 2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC