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This book review is reprinted from Volume 22, Summer 2009 edition, with permission from Homeopathic Links.
Homeopathic Link Publishers
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9750 AB Haren
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The Other Song: Discovering Your Parallel Self
Homeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai, 2008,
paperback, 410 pages, U5$45,
Reviewed by Jay Yasgur, R.Ph., M.Sc., USA
Rajan Sankaran has written so many books that his bibliography has become muddled.
So which volume should the neophyte begin with? Perhaps it is this one, The Other Song, because in four hundred pages he covers it all: The Source of Stress, The Two Songs, The Levels, A Map to the Inner World, Three Postulates, Our Coping Reactions (Mechanisms), Technique of Reaching the Depth, Doorway Through Doodles, Metaphors, Awareness: The Way to Healing and Case Studies, to which he devotes some seventy pages.
It is in 'A Map to the Inner World' that Rajan describes the energy or essence of the three kingdoms and the periodic table. It is in this chapter that Rajan proposes that:
"... each of us lives two lives simultaneously [this initially appears contradictory], a careful observation of human nature shows it to be true. To quickly recapitulate the earlier observations, one is our life as a human being where energy sings the human song. On delving deeper, we find a completely different world inside which seems to sing the 'Other Song' altogether, another melody. This other melody is not innately human but is a reflection of a pattern that we have borrowed from nature - be it from a plant, a mineral, or an animal. Therefore this energy pattern is appropriate to nature, not to us. We have borrowed it to cope with our perception of reality.
The natural world consists of the animal, the plant, and the mineral kingdoms. The energy of each of these kingdoms is very different, as outlined below. As humans, we borrow an energy pattern (from one of these kingdoms) which corresponds to our inner way of perceiving and reacting. Depending on which kingdom is the 'source' of the 'Other Song' within a given individual, human beings can be mapped into one of these three kingdoms. There is an innate difference in the basic problem issue of persons belonging to each of these three kingdoms." - p. 92
He summarizes the 'Other Song' as found in the three kingdoms as 'heightened sensitivity' (plant), 'survival, competition, and victim/aggressor issues' (animal), and 'a feeling of deficiency in his own make-up, his own structure, or a fear of losing a part of this structure' (mineral).
Before ending this work Dr. Sankaran delves into some of his most recent ideas dealing with case taking, gesture, criteria for identifying words of importance (movement, non-human-specific, obdurate, picturised [sic], queer, repetitive, synonym), dreams, and the seventh level of experience.
Sankaran finishes this book by discussing drawing ('Doorway Through Doodles') and 'Metaphor' before allowing some 70 pages of case studies to serve as dessert.
This book is a compendium of Rajan's thought. It you want one book to cover it all and perhaps serve as a guide for the rest of your 'Bombay Method' voyage, this volume is recommended. Rajan should have considered including an annotated bibliography of his other books. One could then use that reference material to serve as 'index'. This would help the reader find the right volumes to pursue particular ideas further and deeper. As it is now, his broad bibliography tends towards confusion. An annotated dock to help in the selection of the appropriate vessel would have been quite helpful.
The book's typography is set in a sans-serif font. This is unfortunate as it causes the eye to tire easily. To this day, I don't understand why authors choose sans serif fonts for lengthy material. For short text passages to emphasize or add 'colour' sans serif fonts have advantages. For novel-length books a well chosen serif font reduces eye fatigue tremendously. Used for an entire book, the sans serif font becomes nothing more than an affectation.
There are a number of helpful charts to assist in the representation of his ideas.
The paper, cover and general quality of this book are all excellent and thus a guarantee of durability.