Saturday, February 15, 2020

Book Review: Embodying Soul by Keri Mangis


If I were to try to describe "Embodying Soul" by Keri Mangis in one word, it would be a struggle since this book offers its readers multiple layers to be explored. Thus any single word description would be just as valid as the next. First, it is an highly entertaining story full of wit, humor, and personal honesty, not to mention wonderful characters; personifications of emotions which add an extra element of insight and comedy through their voices.

You could say this book is about transformation, which it is. It's about how a quiet, bookish introvert from the Upper Mid-West struggles to find her own identity, and through it, her place in the world. It is a book about relationships and the roles we are forces to adopt.

It's an exploration about spirituality. The search of our true Self, be it through religion, science, or the various forms of spirituality is perhaps one of the important journeys we, as humans, can undertake. But ultimately, I think it's about Authenticity, a term which the author frequently invokes and calls to the reader to explore with her.

The search for our own unique Authenticity or Truth is essential to discovering who we are as person. By that I mean discovering our true nature by examining and peeling off labels either assigned to us by society or ones we pinned on ourselves. Ms. Mangis' search is a reflection of our own. She courageously exposes herself--warts and all--in a way that we each can identify with, regardless of our gender, upbringing, education, age or where we are in life.

Books about religion or spirituality tend to dry or filled with psychobabble. Not so here. The writing style of Ms. Mangis is refreshing honesty as is her ability to engage her reader that is deeply personal and revealing. One cannot but help to want to join her in her journey of self-discovery.

Through artful personification, Ms. Mangis creates delightful characters using her emotions--Fear, Anger, Joy, Depression and so on in a way that we can easily relate to. We meet her spiritual alter ego, Serene Voyager or "Seri", as she prepares to once again rejoin humanity in her pursuit of "The Great Truth", albeit with a mix of excitement and trepidation.

We're introduced to her Soul Realm guide, Rasa, who I can almost visualize as a wiser and brighter "Aunt Clara" from Bewitched. It's Rasa's job to help prepare Seri for her journey to come while giving tantalizing glimpses of her life to come. However, her most endearing character is her wild silver wolf named Endless Curiosity or "Curiosa" for short who leads the way forward; ever in search for Truth and knowledge wherever it leads. I'm sure I have one of her litter mates.

"Embodying Soul" by Keri Mangis is a delightfully entertaining book. It engages both the imagination as well as the intellect. I urge to pick up a copy of "Embodying Soul" by Keri Mangis and join her in her journey to find the "Great Truth". Perhaps in doing so, you will discover your own "Great Truth" along the way. 285 pages.