June 22, 2012

The Bond. {Book Review}

Along with the train, I was riding the strength of “The Bond.”

On the air train from Kennedy to Long Term Parking, I opened a bag of M&M’s. I then offered them to the strangers around me. To put it mildly, this is out of character. But along with the train, I was riding the strength of “The Bond.” To offer to share made perfect sense as a choice. In fact, it was the only choice.

The author, Lynn McTaggart, gets no gold stars for style. It’s a clunky read. The subtitle is one you will almost want to cross out before you take the book out in public. But those points become irrelevant in the face of this book. Trafficking in the ideas this book presents, changes you.

Lynn believes we’re operating according to an outdated set of rules.

Her book, peering through the lens of contemporary science, finds flaws in the pervasive belief in an “I” as distinct and separate from “other.” Her premise is: “It doesn’t have to be like this. Not for one more day.” It can wake you.

The book wheels readers from cell wall membranes to solar flares, through serial killers and gated communities. We look into the Bloods and the Crips and their 12-year truce and explore a new altruism born in, believe it or not, Silicon Valley.

In “Light on Yoga,” Iyengar tells us that we will always be subject to impersonal forces. We are left curious about said forces and faced with a question. “What do we do about it?” This platform of curiosity is a starting point. It’s a gift.

Closely reading “The Bond” is time well spent because Lynn takes the wisdom within Iyengar’s viewpoint to heart and expands it. The book is a genuine source of answers and of further questions. It invites deep speculation into how we define ourselves.

Examining several forces to which we absolutely bow, Lynn encourages us beyond the thinking and behavior we have come to accept.

Solar flares, it turns out, correspond strikingly to war and peace times. Our own cell membranes define us daily in their allowing and blocking. Our cognitive processes are jumping to conclusions faster than we can say “Wait, could I have a look at that?” The very bodies we claim to own synchronize with what we see and hear faster than conscious response can manage.

We are products of our environment. We are, in fact, our environment—far before we are the creatures of intellect we’ve decided to portray.

And the show is going sideways. As Lynn mentions: “The current version has reduced us to our lowest common denominator.”

If you’ve ever had the thought that there has to be more to this satisfaction and happiness thing than what meets the eye, you might believe the same. And guess what? You’re right.

After an impressive sampling of what’s going down in the wide world of science, Lynn creates receptivity.

She gets a slam dunk in “Paying It Forward,” planting seeds and teaching with examples.

In part four, “Tools for a New World”, she provides workshop ideas and homework. The invitation is to catch a clue and live a more fulfilling life through getting over our illusion of self. Embracing the wholeness as service (to self and to all) is broken down into doable steps.

It’s juicy. It’s important. It’s so wow.

Jump on this sucker with both feet. And share your M&M’s.

{Note: I received this book for free, in return for a guarantee that I would review it. That said, I say what I want—good and bad, happy and sad.}

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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