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Friday, August 5, 2011

Review of Search For Wisdom: Find Peace, Love, & God

How we love Fridays...I know I do.  Today's book review presents a novel way to understand God.

Disclaimer: As a Christian, I do not agree with Landau's analysis of God.  I encourage Christians to read widely to understand the religious playing field to stimulate interfaith dialogue.

Dear Weekend,
Please stick around a little longer than usual.  I am glad to see Brittani this weekend!

As always,
-Steve
Comments always welcome...particularly at my blog. :)
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Search for Wisdom: Find Peace, Love, & God.
Leo Landau
Published by CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1461138884
182 Pages (Includes front and back matter)

Review by Steven King, MBA, MEd

Throughout the ages, mankind has been trying to reconcile the question: What is God? Various answers have been given suggesting that God is a personal deity, a cosmic force, or a type of all pervading energy.  In attempting to answer the question, Leo Landau has written a treatise that purports that all things are in God, which constitutes a type of panentheism.  While his read on panentheism is novel, such a religious take declines pantheism, or the belief that God is all things.

If one imagines the religious landscape akin to a tree, then in Landau’s system divergent religious expression constitutes different branches which all find its root similarly. The thrust of Search for Wisdom is that it does not matter what pathway you are currently on—each pathway will ultimately bring you to the same endpoint.  The only way to “experience” this reality is get busy on whichever pathway life has dealt us.

The book follows a rather disjointed arrangement.  First, a small investigation is given to quasi-scientific analysis.  Essentially, Landau purports that God is manifest in what is known as dark energy.  Dark energy is an unproven phenomenon that some experts allege is responsible for the accelerating rate of expansion of the universe.  Sadly, Landau offers no critical analysis of this subject—his only divulged academic credentials to make such claims arise from his biographical statement on his website; indicating that he was originally a physics student at UCSB but settled into a baccalaureate program in religions studies since it seemed to be a better fit.

Next, Landau turns to a variety of worlds’ religions and offers a suitable synopsis of two of the world’s major religions: Buddhism and Hinduism, Islam (which he just labels as The Koran), and then Taoism (which he labels The Dao).  The author does wield an interesting motif that, at the heart of divergent belief, is a common thread: the quest to know God or live a life pleasing to him on some level.  An attempt to harmonize divergent religious opinion does pave the way for informed interfaith dialogue.

In the latter portion of the book, Landau speculates as to a metaphysical synthesis of each religious tradition which he briefly describes.  In essence, his message is simple: live in the moment and have eternal peace and true freedom—separate from constraints of formal religion.

Any book that opens lines of communication is welcome in the diversity of religious texts that exist presently. Landau’s assertion that God is a dark energy is posited and hardly proven by his weak scientific analysis.  This book is commended as an easy read to open interfaith dialogue but is to be regarded as woefully lacking in scientific corroboration.

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