Transcendence, Saving Us From Ourselves, a Review by Sujay Desai

Transcendence, Saving Us From Ourselves, a Review
By Sujay Desai

In Saving Us From Ourselves, Navin Doshi presents the sterling truths of ancient Indian philosophy as a coherent solution to the complex issues that humanity faces in the modern age. Although we have achieved tremendous technological and material progress as a human race, the basic problems of war, greed and the whole gamut of human maladies continue to plague and perplex us. In response to these dilemmas, Mr. Doshi illuminates the profound wisdom of the Indian sages regarding human nature and society. When we cultivate a greater awareness of ourselves within and our outer world, we can move towards higher states of being and transcend the dysfunction which permeates much of the world today.
Mr. Doshi thoroughly explores the domains of the body and the mind along with the interrelationships between the two realms. He deftly explains that while the two are autonomous and independent, they are causally interconnected in the development of the total human self. If we focus on one at the expense of the other, then we will suffer from imbalance. The overall goal is to gravitate towards greater discipline and a movement from a self-centered (aham) view to a selfless (aum) existence.
Furthermore, we learn that nature is an often misunderstood or largely ignored aspect of our modern existence. For most of us who live in urban or suburban America, our contact with nature is quite infrequent and inconsequential. We tend to think about nature very rarely. However, we depend on nature in very important ways. The looming water crisis in the Western U.S. is an immediate example. On the whole, Western civilization has sought to subdue the natural world and greedily extract from it all possible resources. This exploitative view of nature can have disastrous consequences for our sustainability as a human race. If we look at the devastation that we have inflicted on the planet, we will notice that our desire to dominate nature could ultimately spell the end of mankind. In Transcendence, Saving Us From Ourselves, Mr. Doshi emphasizes the importance of a symbiotic relationship between humankind and nature.
Mr. Doshi poses some fascinating parallels between his theory of the human self and society as a whole. In Chapter 5, we see that the traits of the human being manifest themselves in the realms of economics, government, mathematics and other fields. Mr. Doshi puts on full display the holistic view of the world that is a trademark of Indian philosophy. We learn that the idea of separateness is a Western illusion, and that all the facets of human existence and society originate from the universal consciousness, or Brahman.
For the reader, Transcendence, Saving Us from Ourselves is a prayer that exhorts all of humanity to strive for greater peace and harmony in all areas of existence. If we can harness some of the wisdom beautifully captured in this book, then we may witness increased clarity and happiness in our own lives. Ultimately we can only hope that humanity can embrace Mr. Doshi’s vision of unity amidst all of life’s diversity.

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