Appreciating Differences - Jack Falt - Ottawa area, Ontario, Canada

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Book Review by Jack Falt

Gault, R. Danielle, Natural to My Soul, Toronto, ON: Self Published, 2002, ISBN 1-58909-065-9,  167 pp

Perhaps you have thought about writing a book that would share your philosophy of life with others, but you never quite got around to doing it. Danielle Gault has written such a book. She uses herself and her family to illustrate her ideas.

The book is about the life journey of the soul using the four lower chakras, yoga movements, Yoga and Ayurvedic wisdom spiritual gurus, the four elements, and some of Jung’s soul psychology. These are woven around the story of her husband and herself, both of whom had been married before and lost a spouse through tragic circumstances. After they were married they went to India on a spiritual search to find a spiritual guide.

A major portion of the book takes a chapter for each of the four elements. Depending on the situation we shift our energy to a specific chakra. Charkas are energy points on the body. The word chakra is a Sanscrit word meaning wheel. For those who can see chakras, they look like coloured spinning wheels. There are seven major energy points and many other minor ones. However, we tend to have a favourite one that we use as our main mode of being. It is similar to our having a dominant function or a preferred temperament.

Air represents the way we think and how we think about ourselves. This is the heart chakra. When this chakra predominates, we are trying to figure out who we are and the meaning of our lives. If we stay at this level too much we can become detached from the world, looking in on it as an observer, rather that being a participant.

Fire is the source of our power. This chakra is at the solar plexus, just below the naval. This is the part that energizes us to action. We are in a ‘get things done’ mode. This can create a ‘fools rush in’ kind scenario if we are not careful.

Water is for reflection and the development of our emotions. This is the mid-abdominal chakra, just below the naval. Through it we note our reactions to our thoughts and actions. This stirs our imaginations. We become aware and we can never be quite as naive again.  If this part of us unbalanced we become secretive and hidden, masking our true selves from others.

Earth is our foundation. This chakra is at the base of the spine. It keeps us grounded and let’s us know if we are off course. When this part of us is unbalanced, we are not truly aware of our surroundings and we tend to live above the laws of the land.

The three higher chakras are at the throat, the brow and the crown of the head. These are represented by the element ether. These are only briefly mentioned in the book.

While each of us has one mode that is stronger than the others, we do need all four to be in balance and harmony. We need air for our sense of identity, fire for our personal power, water to understand our needs and the needs of others, and earth to have a solid foundation. It is Jung’s process of individuation. In Jung/Myers terms it is developing our functions of sensing, intuiting, thinking and feeling.

I think you will enjoy reading this book. If you are familiar with Eastern ways of thought, you will find yourself at home with the terms used. If these are new to you, the book will be a gentle introduction to a rather different way of thinking. If they are open to these concepts, clients might find reading about someone else’s life journey comforting. While the author experienced tragedy in her life, she did come out of these experiences greatly enriched.

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