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Light from the East


News day / Void of banality and run-of-the mill clichés, Did the Right Sperm Win?’ brims with signature eastern tenets embraced long before the dawn of western civilisation.

Hoffman-Jackson takes a page from the teachings of revered teachers presenting timeless testimonies on love, detachment, and self-determination.

Knowingly or unknowingly, she invokes the ghosts of Lao Tzu and renders a western version of his Tao Te Ching.

Each anecdote is pithy, poignantly delivered, and a welcome exercise in philosophical thought. But nothing really prepares us for the writer’s metaphysical ride. “The Psychic”, her opening salvo, makes a statement on the aura, an intangible, sensitive and pulsating field of energy that cloths the human body.

Inexplicably, we are drawn to some people and repulsed by others.

How should we respond to these chemical reactions? In “The Body Clock”, Hoffman-Jackson is at her sagacious best.

It’s deftly metaphorical and evokes Zen-like enquiry. Yet, it remains grounded in a captivating exchange between two mates. The dialogue shifts from biological cycles to a more a philosophical discourse.

Only when we grasp life’s energetic flow can we reap abundantly of its magnanimity. “How much time do you have left on your body clock?” Hoffman-Jackson asks. “The present exists so briefly it cannot be ignored,” she answers. “The thoughts that just flashed across your mind are already in the past…You need to live for the future by starting to live now.

Your choices and decisions made in the now will determine who you are in the future.” “I Love You” sounds a warning against attachment.

We conflate passion with love. In our misplaced sentiments we are vulnerable, victims of our own ignorance.

Love is sublime, never driven by sensibilities.

We forego pain and disappointment if only we practise detachment.

The avatars and mahatmas of yore have long advocated such.

To grasp the essence of authentic love, Hoffman-Jackson seeks guidance from the Good Book (Bible) relaying 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, of which an excerpt reads; Love suffereth long, and is kind.

[Love] seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things…endureth all things.” And in ‘I will pray for you,’ she lays bare her Christian faith inviting us to explore the efficacy of Psalms 109.

“Life is not fair!” is Solomonic in tone.

We meet four young brothers, all holding different approaches to living. Only one emerges a success. For the other siblings life proves unforgiving, even tortuous. We are cautioned against upsetting nature’s balance – its homeostasis or the Yin and Yang principle in eastern lore. Surely, there is a definitive correlation between health, success, and happiness and our attunement to the cosmos. We must never overreach. Outside of this fundamental law we are swept up by the vagaries of life, doomed to irrelevance and the dustbin of history.

In an impressive play of words she recommends that we tweak the title. If “Life is not Fear”, she argues, “then it’s a whole new game.” She then prods us to meet “our challenges without the tentative reservations that limit our excellence…” In “My best conversation…

ever”, we discern vestiges of St Ignatius’ call for silence. Be still and listen. In quietude we open the channels to hidden treasures hitherto unknown. In silence we confront our demons; and in silence we find our helper and redeemer. We are now equipped to surmount the most Herculean of challenges. Therein are teachings that echo a Taoist saying, “Have the patience to wait! Be still and allow the mud to settle.” Later, in “Live life like a FTSE company”, she draws an interesting parallel between our life and the daily operations of a business.

We are charged with responsibilities.

The buck stops with us – the CEO of our lives. Yes, destiny (not fate) is in our hands. If only we take heed. The writer calls for strategic planning, a mission statement, and goals.

“For most people…tasks are done without any deep thought. But what if you actually think of yourself in a different light? Try, if you can to separate each role; know when you are required to act as a Chief Executive Officer as opposed to an Operational Manager and act as such.” And by the time she delivers the eponymous, “Did the right sperm win”, we are all disciples of truth mindful that our existence is purposeful, eternally valid and unique.

With stream-like ease lessons in pedagogy flow as Hoffman-Jackson injects new life into a genre that is exhausted and ironically grasping for meaning.

Undoubtedly, her trove of pronouncements has added a transformative, almost magical edge to the field of personal development.

Did the Right Sperm Win? by Vinette Hoffman- Jackson (c) 2016 Youcaxton Publications, UK Available at Amazon Ratings : Highly recommended

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