In this self-help volume, a psychiatrist with a penchant for philosophy and a fascination with physics diagnoses “existential pain” and provides a prescription to alleviate it based on developing individual identity, self-affirmation, personal accountability, and accepting change.
The first half of this book offers a metaphorical and historical observation of why humanity has been slow to address the perennial enigma of change. The author advises us to first accept the fact that change is imposed by something over which we have no control, and then to embrace it in order to become self-affirmed, highly evolved individuals. Quoting Hume, Einstein, Dawkins, Hawkings, and others, Dr. Albert de Goias’ aim is to “use scientific argument to prove the existence of the mind or soul as a distinct entity, not just a function of the body.” He also asks readers to make a commitment to develop their own conscious energy in order to earn new insights and stimulate personal growth.
The book’s second half is focused on fostering creativity and caring for the body as well as the mind. It also introduces the modes and reasons for facing change, accepting change, and influencing change. It is possible, de Goias contends, to manage one’s own existence and then use that arcane ability and conscious energy to take on the challenges of managing others, in business, family, educational and community environments.
The book reads like a series of lectures, reminiscent of Werner Erhard’s EST and the Forum, MindSpring, or other cultic “training” of the 1980s designed to reward participants with personal power and success. De Goias presented his treatment format—designed to cure existential angst, emptiness and weakness—to corporate executives during the 1980s, hence the book’s argot and approach.
At times the prose is vague and elusive, but it is generally an encouraging and inspiring book that might be more useful and accessible had it been more aggressively updated from its original 1989 edition.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.