As an account of personal growth through New Age techniques, Health, Wealth, Love, Beauty, Harmony is inspiring.
Bodybuilder Karen Gravit’s Health, Wealth, Love, Beauty, Harmony is a New Age guide to cultivating well-being in five major areas of life.
When extreme exhaustion, sharp abdominal pains, dental decay, and other ailments started to affect both her weightlifting workouts and her daily life, Gravit took to alternative health treatments to heal her body. Herbal remedies, essential oils, yoga practices, and transcendental meditation became her daily solace. Following the inner “Universal Power,” or UP, that guided her throughout her childhood, she came across the Five Tibetan Rites, concepts that promote “whole well-being”: health, wealth, love, beauty, and harmony.
After Gravit found confirmation for the discovery in the stars, she practiced the five rites, which include five body movements that focus on specific energy centers in the body associated with a corresponding concept. Each of the five chapters in this book discusses one of the Five Tibetan Rites, describing what parts of the body are affected by the rite’s defect or positive attention and how Gravit improved that area of her life by focusing on it.
The book is organized with purpose, moving through each of the five rites in turn, first by discussing the symbolism of the rite (each rite corresponds with a letter that matches the body’s shape during the movement), then by sharing instructions for performing the movement associated with it, and finally by sharing Gravit’s personal life experiences with the rite’s affiliated concept. However, without precise definitions to introduce the book’s New Age terms and methods, its suggestions for meditations and actions remain hazy.
The prose is extravagant, layered, and often overcomplicated. Its passive tone leads to muddled meanings, and vague word choices mean that ideas are often danced around rather than clarified. Much of the book’s metaphysical content is nonspecific and abstruse. Phrases like “internal blockages” and “higher existence” are undefined, and the book’s depictions of physical yoga movements are too abstract to help when it comes to understanding the shapes of the poses. The book’s perspective shifts within its instructions are disorienting, as are the numerous shifts between the past and present tense.
The book cites resources including the work of Deepak Chopra, but without further scientific inquiry, its suggestions for actions like spinning counterclockwise to improve health are insufficiently supported. It includes medical advice with grandiose claims, but also without the necessary backing. While the improvements Gravit was able to make to her life and health are inspiring and the book’s positive attitude toward self-improvement is empowering, its disregard for medical science and limited view of the universe subvert its authority.
As an account of personal growth, Health, Wealth, Love, Beauty, Harmony is inspiring; as a guide to New Age healing, it is cluttered.
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