The Little Book on Meaning: Why We Crave It, How We Create It
The Little Book on Meaning is truly a salve of a book; it is a positive and inspiring message for anyone with questions about life—and that’s pretty much everyone, right? Laura Berman Fortgang, “personal coach” and author of several motivational books, addresses the human need for meaning in our existence and the struggle to discern what that meaning might be. Interwoven with the text are Fortgang’s own experiences as a mother, an interfaith minister, and simply, a person.
Fortgang tackles life’s meaning in five sections. “Mystery” explores the unknown, sacred aspects of life, and how we “live in the question marks.” Section two, “Minister,” discusses the relationships between humans and their inherent meaning, which Berman Fortgang says “always comes back to love.” “Magnificence” covers the feeling of awe in everyday life, of looking deeper and seeing the world with an eye for beauty. In “Mind,” Berman Fortgang talks about the power of our minds for both positive and negative, and retraining them to help us achieve a more meaningful life. The final section, “Mystic,” is about walking “the line of worldly sanity and mysticism,” of opening oneself to enlightenment and experiences with a higher power. Fortgang posits that the future of belief is a Modern Mysticism—an accessible path for everyone to a connection with the something larger than ourselves. Sounds pretty “woo-woo,” as Fortgang would put it, but she makes you believe it’s true, or at least acknowledge that it could be.
The joyful thing about reading the work of an interfaith minister is its inclusivity. Fortgang mentions various religions and belief systems throughout the text, everything from atheism to Sufism, with equal respect and openness. And she is not just open-minded about religion, which is really the genius of the book’s appeal. Fortgang’s sincerity and genuine feeling shine through all five sections brightly, and lend it an intriguing depth not that will keep you thinking long past bedtime.