The following review was contributed by: NORM GOLDMAN: Editor of Bookpleasures. CLICK TO VIEW Norm Goldman's Reviews
To read Norm's Interview with Gunnar Jensen CLICK HERE
Here is a question I don’t believe many of us will have the answer to by the end of this review: “What if you were to accept whatever comes to you, instead of always wanting certain things to happen in certain ways.” (As my mother used to say, “Man plans and God laughs!” Unfortunately, you are not the master of your future). This is only one of the many stimulating questions Danish author Gunnar Jensen poses in his most unique book, What If…?
No doubt, a book that devotes one hundred and seventeen pages to asking all kinds of similar thought provoking questions is bound to compel attention. And that it does, when you read through all of the sections of What If, where Jensen muses over such topics as the existence of time, religion and spirituality, karmic evolution, forgiveness, getting all the help you need, giving and receiving, getting what you want, health and habits, the big picture, the big picture, illusion and reality, and trusting the universe.
Readers seeking answers to these questions will not find them from Jensen, who candidly states in his Prologue that he does not know more than anyone else. All he can do is to pass on some of his comments and reflections. However, he does recommend that we keep an open mind when wrestling with these questions and issues.
While this may at first glance prove difficult in the face of information that challenges the accepted beliefs we may have been taught, it is essential that we nevertheless seek out new meanings and relinquish these preconceived perceptions pertaining to the topics Jensen touches upon. For example, Jensen tells us that if we can keep a certain distance from the incident you will be able to have a neutral and objective feeling about the whole thing. If we think about this for a moment, we can see how many of us shy away from even considering other points of view for fear that perhaps it will complicate our lives. This is particularly in evidence when we ponder over other people’s religious beliefs. However, when you really think about it, and as Jensen states, the bottom line is that even though there may be differences in religious ceremonies and the manner in which religious conceptions are applied, the belief in an almighty and all-encompassing power or in some kind of spiritual and eternal life is common to all religions.
Many of Jensen’s reflections reveal an animated inquisitiveness that will unquestionably spark our mental creativity as we search for their answers. We are informed that Edwin Hubble and Steven Hawking explain the origin of the universe as the big bang. But what started the big bang?
How often do we worry about things that are never going to happen and consider the energy we waste in trying to prevent things from happening that would probably never happen? Would we not have a more productive life if we lived in the present instead of thinking about the past or always contemplating what if of the future?
What if ultimately serves as a point of debarkation for anyone who earnestly desires to pursue a path of spiritual growth. Moreover, What if challenges readers with inquisitive minds- encouraging them to observe, think, ask, test and arrive at self-gratifying conclusions.
For readers ready for a more detailed approach to many of Jensen’s questions, a short bibliography is included. Oh yes, one more added plus, if you are looking to break the monotony of conversation around the dining room table, you may wish to pose some of the questions included in What If. It will certainly add food for thought!