I’m having some difficulty reviewing this book. Ms Armstrong is a favourite author and I think we could all use more compassion in our lives so I expected to love this title. But I didn’t. I found it difficult after the first few chapters to imagine myself capable of carrying out the suggested steps and am left with a faint feeling of failure. I’m sure that wasn’t Ms Armstrong’s intention.
She opens the book with an explanation of man’s neurological evolution. We inherited a ‘reptilian’ brain whose destructive impulses are magnified by our modern abilities. If we are not to destroy ourselves, we need to train ourselves to rise above the fight or flight level of function and Ms Armstrong suggests the twelve steps as a means to that training. She draws heavily on Buddhist principles and less on the monotheistic religions. Perhaps that’s where my reading of the book came adrift – I expected her emphasis to be the other way round.
This book was a quick and fairly enjoyable read. I feel I’ve learned a lot and have certainly come away with food for thought but the steps don’t resonate with me at this time.