Reviews

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“We harbor the notion that somewhere, quietly, the noble trusts of beauty and truth – of the sacred – are being kept, cultivated, conveyed, perhaps by some unknown poet or monk in a faraway land. Darrell Calkins is that poet monk, and here in this extraordinary collection of epistolary essays from a distant country, these sacred and beautiful truths are shared in all their transformative power. This revolutionary text serves as an ethical and spiritual manual for life, for love, for work. The essentials of what it is to be, to be possessed of passion and compassionate purpose, and to express these esoteric qualities in the quotidian world, are explored with a radical grace. Deeply schooled in ancient philosophic and aesthetic traditions from the East and the West, Calkins limns these burnished wisdoms within his own signature wit and piercing insights to achieve the consummately articulate, integrated mastery of an utterly compelling voice. It is the voice of a great master in the old sense, and a living genius of our contemporary times. This is the book you take with you when you can take only one, for it is everything.”

— Ethan Dunn

“My words will not do justice to such a powerful book. I am fascinated and riveted each time I open it, find myself lost within its insight for minutes and even hours when I only plan to dip into a few pages, which is very rare for me to find with any book. I have often found expansively revelatory passages that uncannily, wonderfully resonate to that present moment in my life simply by flipping to a random page. Calkins’ insights into psychology, spirituality, the utterly complex working art of being human are no less than genius, a deep pleasure to read, often uplifting in keen humor, and profoundly refreshing.”

— Julia Richardson

“Having been searching for personal fulfillment and the ‘Meaning of Life’ for over 20 years, I am glad I have finally found a description of ‘how it works’. Not the answer to why we are here, but a tour through the laws that govern the course of our life and how we can affect things that matter for us. A lot of material is very amusing, like a good American comedy. I laughed a lot. Other bits had me crying with recognition or astonishment. Like nature itself, the succinct brilliance was often humbling. This book is the best philosophy I’ve ever read; it is the finishing school.”

— Robin Smail

“This book has touched me more than any other I’ve read. As anything REALLY worth while, it is out of the box, at times too abstract for a first time round read, and was uncannily relevant to my life. It has inspired me in a sustainable way, to approach life in a wiser, and more generous way. It is a book that touches on all essential aspects of a human being’s life and his existential struggles. It is here to assist, to lend a hand in what can result in an access to a form of a realistic redemption in the most down to earth way.”

— Herzl Tobey

“This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. No, it is the best book I’ve ever read. I’ve written in the margins, underlined sentences, whole paragraphs, sometimes whole pages-something I’ve never done with a book before. When I come back to a chapter, its as though I haven’t read it before. There is always something new discovered. It is immediate, moving, humorous and deathly intimate and serious. Re: is a rare and timeless work of art.”

— Samuel Levy

“I have always been surprised at the depth and originality I find inthis book. There are a wide range of essential subjects such as devotion, qualities, breathing, emotions, tragedy and transformation among numerous others that are explored in a very unique, witty, clear and concise way. I like the way the book is designed and organized; you can open it, read the chapters in any order you like and you will be absorbed in insights, discoveries, new understandings or possibly revelations. I especially love the delightful “lexicons” spread between the book’s different chapters. Re: is infused with a real love for life and its mysteries and passion are the blood of creation. The provocative, compelling letters and contemplations will expand your mind, widen your horizons and make you look at things in new, profound and enlightened ways… A powerful, inspiring must read.”

— Raphael Radoux-Rogier

“I am an avid reader of literature, philosophy and have been for nearly 50 years. This rare masterpiece of literature never fails to stimulate my intellect. Darrell Calkins delves into a wide variety of existential subjects in a simple, accessible language and takes each one to the next level. Re: is a groundbreaking work of art and the best universities would be wise to have this book as part of their curriculum.”

— Judith Jecmen

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