In the course of our lives, we struggle to establish careers and relationships that we hope will infuse us with a sense of purpose. While important titles, wealth, power, and possessions may represent a life that is successful in the eyes of others, pursuit of these achievements prompts us to seek more of the same again and again. However, it is only through a fundamental understanding of faith in God that we can discover His purpose for each of us in life, and can in turn pursue a meaningful existence and achieve lasting happiness.
In his authentic and profound book The Spirit of Happiness, Dr. T. Byram Karasu explores the psychological barriers that prevent so many of us from allowing faith to become an integral part of our lives and from becoming truly serene and fulfilled human beings.
We all experience many difficulties and conflicts in our daily lives, meeting challenges at work and in relationships, suffering through illness, losses, and failures, feeling anxious, depressed, or simply empty and purposeless. If we view such ordeals through the wisdom of the Holy Bible, which Dr. Karasu presents to us here as the ultimate self-help book, we can learn to understand and identify with God's Holy Purpose. Psycho-spiritual exercises, including meditations and affirmations based on God's word, are placed at the end of each chapter to help focus the reader's spiritual intention and lead the way to a more joyful and rewarding existence.
Beautifully written and deeply moving, The Spirit of Happiness begins where most self-help books end.
Karasu, a practicing psychiatrist, begins where his recent book The Art of Serenity left off: he assumes that readers know that God loves them and that they now need to understand how to live godly lives. He offers several areas where people can and should strive to be godly: at work, during failures and tribulations, in marriage, in child-rearing, with friends and in community. The book draws heavily and sometimes superficially on the Bible as the most important source of wisdom for human growth. But readers may wonder at Karasu's shallow and selective use of the Bible, as when he highlights fundamental teachings as "God wants me to enjoy life" and "God wants me to speak from my heart." The book's gender-exclusive language ("man's holy purpose," "there is no salvation of man by man," etc.) is dated, an odd editorial decision given that so many readers of inspirational self-help books are women. Also surprising is the book's lack of relevant case studies and composite examples from Karasu's practice. Karasu's advice is sensible but generic; he makes blanket statements about human tendencies but does not give readers much to grab onto. Still, his observations about common emotional and spiritual pitfalls can be helpful, especially in the chapter on marriage.