The Healing Power of the Gospel
A review by Max G. of
This is an incredibly excellent book! I just finished The Gospel According to Acharya,
and it was just "what the doctor ordered"—just what I needed to add to my ongoing quest for open-minded
enlightenment. It not only reinforced my faith in the true hope for freedom of all mankind from the self-shackles
of religious dogma, but proved an added foundation block in my own spirituality and quest for a better
understanding of what a higher power truly is in my life, as well as a more sensible, factual concept of "God,"
both historically and realistically. The book's grounded logic and well-sourced research did not shake my faith in
the mysteries of life; it only served to enhance and personally reinforce it in an entirely new light.
Acharya's erudite writing style is solidly academic but not staid; obviously well-studied, yet,
lively—all the while keeping the "common touch." And, I absolutely LOVED her tongue-in-cheek humor at the ends of
certain chapters, serving as a reminder to not take ourselves (or sanctified scripture) too seriously. Moreover,
her vocabulary and choice of words is exquisite: Each word—and picture!— Acharya uses in this book is obviously
hand-picked to individually convey the exactly precise meaning she intended for its particular usage, and her
beautifully natural poetic phrasing is a true example of what my favorite communications professor called a
"meeting-of-meanings." For me, it is the utmost pleasure to read her truly original and uniquely refreshing works -
all of them.
Recovery from physical addiction - and spiritual abuse
Also, as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous with 11 years of sobriety—a program which depends upon
the healthy state of one's spiritual condition—Acharya's book was an additional plank in my understanding
of my own spirituality. Twelve Step Fellowships often say that "religion is for those afraid of going to Hell...and
spirituality is for those who have already been there." There IS a difference—an important one—especially for
recovering alcoholics (and addicts) like me, even though true spirituality is more elusive to discover than simply
succumbing to the blind rituals of religion.
Acharya points out how brutal and bloody wars "in the name of God" have been steadily killing
millions over the centuries; yet, religion continues its genocide in other, more subtle ways, too. I have seen
far too many desperate alcoholics leave the spiritual program of AA glaze-eyed and announcing they have
found the answer in a "religious" church somewhere, only to see later those very same mesmerized poor
souls drunk again—and scratching their heads wondering, "What happened?"—or worse: You can read or hear
about their death from the ravages of alcoholism. It happens all too obscenely often—largely because churchified
guilt trips made them feel worse and somehow immoral, yet showed no compassion that the affliction is only because
of an honestly inherited genetic propensity to alcoholism through no fault of their own. It's a
family—inherited-disease, not contagious and NOT caused by staying away from a particular church or religion
that professes to have all the answers.
Then, too, are the still-drunk and/or horribly hung-over newcomers I see coming to their very
first AA meeting out of desperation, only to turn around and walk right back out the door again when they initially
see or hear the word "God" in the 12 Steps (but not bothering to notice the added caveat: "...as we understood
Him"). There are also those who, out of politeness, might stay until the end of the meeting, but label
themselves as a "recovering Catholic," or a "recovering Baptist," never to be
seen again. They usually go unadvisedly to their doom, still bearing the gaping trademark religious wounds of
judgmental "checkin' up on ya" churches and their self created, tiresomely punishing "God"— the one trapped in
their tortured minds. That's sad; it puts a whole new twist on the meaning of pious "priestly abuse," and not just
of young boys.
Religious abuse is PTSD of the very worst and most recurring kind. That very real
psychological damage is nigh-impossible for some of the sickest ones to overcome, and keeps untold numbers of
addled alcoholics and addicts perpetually handcuffed to their drug of choice, with no defense and no escape—all,
incredibly, "in (or because of) the name of God."
Plugging the hole in the soul
But there is hope - not only for them, but for all of us who have also been abused by religion.
Acharya may not have realized she wrote a book that can help recovering alcoholics and addicts (and perhaps
recovering Catholics and Baptists, too) understand why they have a seemingly unfillable spiritual void - ironically
because of "God"—but she most certainly did! Addiction has been called a "hole in the soul." If they
have the capacity to read about an unconventional concept of a "God"—one that may at first seem totally
foreign to their unconscionably strict religious upbringing and programming—many alcoholics and addicts could
actually be helped in their need to fill that spiritual hole they attempt to fill with alcohol, drugs, and other
substances such as too much food, for example. That is, if only they can just get past their understandable
resistance to the concept of a power greater than themselves which some call "God" but which—as Acharya
explains so simply and clearly—is just the universe as a whole.
Unfortunately, the Twelve Steps were written in 1935 in an archaic language, and the word "God"
was used for want of a better label describing a higher power, but it was left open to mean the god of our
understanding. Stumbling up against the word "God," most people who could recover, instead, tragically
wind up in institutions or in the grave because of the man-made "God" of sanctimonious so-called "scripture"—while
bombastically demanding genuflection, to boot. It's time for such balderdash to end, and Acharya's book is a great
help toward that goal!
Perhaps the best interpretation of religion was worded unintentionally by the immortal and
humorous raconteur Jean Shepherd, narrating "A Christmas Story" in that neo-classic Ralphie and the Red Ryder BB
Gun movie: "Some men are Baptists, others, Catholic; my father was an Oldsmobile man..." Yes, Virginia, some
people's concepts of religion do NOT have to be taken so seriously.
So, Acharya is right: The world's religions have killed millions of people in wars fought for
"God"—and we humans can also tally the ever-increasing death toll as religions continue to kill countless
others who wonder why accepting God's supposed "Son" into their lives could not get them sober and keep them alive,
as the church fathers admonish is the ONLY answer to their uncleanliness. Would the
self-righteous clergy and congregation treat a cancer patient the same way? Don't answer that, lol.
As 12-Steppers say: "I don't have to understand God (whoever, whatever that might be);
God only has to understand ME." The Gospel According to Acharya does not contradict that basic
philosophy one iota.
Liberating mental constructs
In short, The Gospel According to Acharya S kept me wide-awake - even on a day I was home
from work sick with bronchitis intending to sleep all day. The Gospel's actual
healing therapy that quiet day at home affected a much more valuable inner-health and peace-of-mind necessary
to my overall vitality and well-being—an assured comfort I'd been needing to find for decades. It energized
me with a renewed understanding within my own spiritual quest, and I would definitely recommend reading ALL
of Acharya S's books—even to obtain her artfully done calendar and hang it on your wall for a daily,
surprisingly new and eye-opening learning experience. Are you ready to learn again? I dare you to open your
eyes wider than they have been for a long time.
To close this enthusiastic, yet admittedly lengthy, book report/treatise: not only does
Acharya's exhaustively learned research broaden one's educational horizons, but it also wakes us all up in so
many different ways of personal discovery that—purely by experiencing them—will bring a more profound
understanding of what we have all been missing by blindly believing and perpetuating the centuries of hackneyed
religious brainwashing and its cunningly-planned blueprint for mass subjugation. It is time for us ALL to break
free of those lies, chains—and, indeed, ridiculousness—of religion. The untiring research conveyed in the
important works of Acharya S/D.M. Murdock can help us do that and become the happy, joyous and freedom-loving
people we want and deserve to be—if we wake up and work for it.
I have now resolved to keep extra copies of Acharya/Murdock's book(s) with me at all times.
These I will hand out to those poor, confused, religiously challenged newcomers tentatively peeking
through the doors of 12-Step meetings, wondering why everyone inside is so jovially and freely laughing, unafraid,
and— for goodness sakes—NOT side-stepping God-launched lightning bolts!
Applegate Valley, Oregon
For more information, see The Gospel According to Acharya S.