An ancient and little-known group of principles from China, the “Bright Beautiful School of Thought,” and “Ming Chia,” are brought to light for today’s readers in Dr. Glen Hepker’s book A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health. The Bright Beautiful School of Thought instructs that taking personal responsibility for one’s own health and well-being and for training oneself in healthful ways of thinking, relating to others, and caring for one’s body lead to a healthy, happy, and fulfilled life. Ming Chia promotes a way of life in which miracles—rather than being extraordinary and rare occurrences—manifest themselves in each moment of life for those who are awake and aware.
Affirming that such teachings do not conflict with but rather complement many cultural traditions and religious tenets, Hepker shows how they address one of humanity’s major flaws by replacing the commonly accepted belief of “you are there, and I am here” with an awareness that all people everywhere are in virtually the same situation.
The author holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a counselor and wellness coach. Hepker is also a master instructor of Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung, Kung Fu, and the health and wellness arts of the Ming Chia/Tao Chan philosophies, which he teaches at his Mason City, Iowa, wellness center and school.
Hepker has done Western readers a great service in bringing forth these teachings, and his work will be especially appreciated by those who take a philosophical rather than a religious approach to life. However, the book would be more reader-friendly had the author employed a conversational tone and paid greater attention to punctuation, word usage, and sentence structure.
While the book’s cover design is effective, neither the cloud-like shapes around each page number nor the small, low-contrast, black-and-white illustrations at the beginning of each chapter do anything to enhance the text. In addition, the page layout places the book and chapter titles at the very top of each page without correct spacing, giving the appearance that the format was not properly considered.
Hepker does, however, have something to say that is of value. A skilled editor could have helped the author express his thoughts in a way that would engage and enlighten readers while honoring the depth of his message.