Friday, November 9, 2018

The Golden Sequence: A Manual for Reclaiming Our Humanity Book Review

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A few weeks ago I was provided a review copy of The Golden Sequence: A Manual for Reclaiming Our Humanity. The book is written by Jonni Pollard, whose work is focused on mindfulness.


The book is filled with very interesting and thought-provoking information and lends itself to being reread and studied again and again. Below I highlight some of the topics the author discusses in detail and illustrates with many examples.

Pollard starts off by telling his own history with organized religion, his eventual rejection of it and finally his realization that there has to be more to life. He ended up traveling to India and studied in the Vedic Tradition: "The Vedic perspective of reality states that our existence is governed by an unlimited creative intelligence that pervades all levels of our physical and nonphysical universe as one whole unified reality" (p. Xvii). If we feel connected to the universe, we can tap into our intuition.

The author sees himself as a guru (and discusses the negative connotations that have become associated with the term) that helps humanity. He stresses that the golden sequence that he outlines is a practice and it is not enough just to acquire knowledge about it.

Pollard goes on to point out that most of us are disconnected from the world around us and that leads to dehumanization, stress, anxiety, depression and health problems. And instead of dealing with our situation, we usually either try to escape or put blame elsewhere. He also states that the isolated way we live today does not match the way we have evolved - living in small tribes totally connected to nature. As a result we live in an age of depression. Many readers can probably relate to these points.

He goes on to discuss the Four Golden Insights:

  • life is sacred - we are all connected and essentially the same because we all depend on the same life support system; everyone has the same right to the sacredness of life
  • love is our nature - by nature the author means our spontaneous and automatic responses that are innate; love makes us nurture connections with ourselves and others
  • wisdom is our power - first, wisdom is not dependent on age or experience; rather, wisdom is intuitive intelligence that is expressed within love; when we are wise we love ourselves and those around us; he gives the example of when we know in our gut that something is true and right, this feeling is not a fluke but something we can cultivate. A large part of the book discusses how to access our wisdom.
  • fulfillment is our purpose - the author points out the importance of having a purpose, finding what fulfills us the most.
Pollard outlines twelve ways of wisdom. He points out that the terminology he uses does not matter all that much but what he means by each, and he describes each one in detail and gives many examples:
  • witnessing
  • insight
  • devotion
  • discernment
  • grace
  • compassion
  • creativity 
  • benevolence 
  • enthusiasm 
  • generosity 
  • friendliness 
  • humor

The Golden Sequence is filled with many insights and encourages the reader to turn the sequence into a practice, not simply have knowledge of it. I think that is a very important point. But I also believe by reading the book we can gain much from it immediately and start to question our own practices and how we live our lives, often disconnected. We can then start to be more present and reconnect with ourselves, those around us and nature. And in the process we can live the connected life that we are meant to live.

Be well,