If you didn’t know, I’m affiliated with publishers and a publicity group as a volunteer book reviewer. I don’t often receive requests to review a book apart from those affiliations, but when I do, I write an honest review and keep in mind not every book out there is written with my core values in mind.
I received The Fifth Disciple: Choose Again and Find True Happiness by Cynthia Bove after a representative from the publisher saw one of my earlier reviews. Here is the book description off the Amazon page:
This book correlates teachings from several profound texts, namely the spiritual philosophy of A Course in Miracles and a rendition of The Gospel of Thomas, a collection of Sayings from the time of Jesus. The hidden keys unearthed from these combined resources will help us delve deeper into the metaphysical meanings of life, and strive to answer universal spiritual questions that have eluded mankind’s awareness for generations. We will endeavor to understand our purpose in life and our reason for being. Our aim is to methodically decipher how to draw closer to our Source, and to understand how to overcome past obstacles that have prevented that joyous reunion from occurring. As we embark upon the path of forgiveness our perceptions will change as to what we consider real and important. We become joyfully reacquainted with a different Guide than we have traveled with in the past, One who will smooth our way and make straight our path. With these keys in hand, we will gain the knowledge that enables us to see beyond form to the formless, and unite once again with the flawless Vision that sees our True Self as it really is.
I’m as simple as they come, that’s probably why my faith in Christ runs deep and intimate, because my faith truly is that of a child’s. I’m lousy with philosophy and theories, and my college grades would reflect that. The Fifth Disciple is a well-researched book that explores the parallels between A Course in Miracles and the Gospel of Thomas. The Gospel of Thomas contain sayings attributed to Jesus but is not a true book in the Bible. If anything, it is more aligned with gnosticism. A Course in Miracles, in the acim.org website states that it is an “universal self-study spiritual thought system that teaches the way to Love and Inner Peace is through forgiveness.”
The book is full of history and philosophy and it is obvious the author immersed herself in the two books to pen this one. It reads like a high-level college text book to me, and I admit, more than not I was lost. That isn’t the author’s fault, but whatever side of the brain it takes to understand philosophy, I don’t have it. For those who are students of this, it would add to your collection.
If you’re looking for a tangible read on forgiveness that features sayings from Jesus, I would make the Gospels from the Bible your first step. If you’re desiring answers about Jesus that would help you form an opinion about pursuing Him beyond a religion, I suggest you take a chapter a day from the New Testament Book of John (not 1 John, also in the Bible) and ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you through those pages. In a month’s time, I believe you won’t only have answers, I believe you will have an eternal grasp on forgiveness and peace.
The Fifth Disciple is well-written for the intended audience, but my take away is that audience will be those well versed in philosophy and spirituality. I’m sorry, but that audience doesn’t include me.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.