You Were Not Born to Suffer (Book Review)

According to Buddhist philosophy, life is dukkha (suffering). This is, in fact, the first of four noble truths that constitute the core teachings of Buddha. These truths were transmitted by Buddha in the first sermon after his enlightenment and they describe the nature of reality which is allegedly unbeknownst to many people. The second noble truth deals with the origin of suffering which is usually craving or attachment to negative actions or negative mental states that lead to such behaviours. The third noble truth states that it is possible to put an end to suffering while the fourth noble truth describes the path, or the lifestyle, one can follow in order to be free from suffering.

In a recent post, I addressed the subject of happiness and the power of intuition on our individual journey as a way to deal with suffering – and eventually put an end to it. That post was inspired by the book You Were Not Born to Suffer written by Blake D. Bauer, an international speaker, teacher and consultant with expertise in areas such as psychology, alternative medicine and nutrition. I will be bold and say beforehand this is a must-read if you are a wellbeing enthusiast. The book includes and explains several building blocks that are extremely important to enhance human wellbeing both at the individual and collective level. Some of these are self-care, authenticity, inner child healing, healthy relationships, and financial freedom.

What I like the most about Blake’s book, however, is the fact he not only brings hope and light, but he also invites us to reflect on a very important question which is how can we thrive every day rather than just get by and survive? In other words, how can we live the best version of ourselves and of our life? How can we be happy and lead a meaningful existence? Blake suggests we must be free from our mental, emotional and physical suffering, if we ought to live with greater wellbeing. This requires the death of our ‘Self’ as we know it, the idea or image of who we think we are or were told to be. Such experience can be hard, and no one else can do it for us. As a result, few people commit to the self-exploratory journey of knowing oneself and of making peace with one’s life and past as a result of acquiring such knowledge.

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

As Blake states in the book, the ‘death of Self’ – or rebirth as I prefer to call it – is probably the most effective path to achieve optimal mental, emotional, and physical health. Throughout the book, you will find many insights and practical exercises with the intent to help you expand your consciousness and guide you through the different layers of your being. Blake offers you practical suggestions such as visualizations and written exercises as well as self-reflection questions and affirmations at the end of each chapter. You will also find plenty of inspiring and powerful quotes from thought-leaders such as Hermann Hesse and Ralph Waldo Emerson throughout the entire book. These quotes have been clearly hand-picked to help you anchor the concepts and views the author offers you.

All in all, I think this book is a great option if you want to explore different layers of your own being and find out what aspects you need to heal in order to evolve and achieve a greater quality of life. To put it simply, this is not an only blah-blah-blah kind of book, it is actually a very practical one. The exercises will enhance your self-reflection and with that comes great personal power and self-confidence. I recommend you read it slowly, take one chapter at a time or read by themes that you feel guided to work on first. Due to the variety and complexity of its themes, you can surely expect changing results within yourself.

You can learn more about the author here and follow the book’s page on Facebook here.

Blake D. Bauer is the author of the international bestselling book You Were Not Born To Suffer. Each year he helps thousands of people who cannot find effective support from conventional psychology, medicine, or religion. Blake is a world-renowned teacher and speaker with an extensive background in psychology, alternative medicine, nutrition, traditional healing, and mindfulness meditation. Based on both his personal experience overcoming deep suffering, addiction, and adversity, as well as his professional success with over 100,000 people worldwide, Blake’s pioneering work integrates what he’s found to be the most effective approaches to optimal mental, emotional, and physical health. 

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