At the start of Let Your Soul Evolve, co-author Phil Diaz admits that “there is nothing new in the specific information contained in it,” meaning his book. Diaz and his co-author P. D. Alleva, as well as several other chapter authors, want to give readers more options to help themselves evolve in a spiritual, holistic sense. They call their framework “Spiritual Growth Therapy,” which they describe as “a method of psychological healing that uses the science of vibrational healing, manifestation, philosophy, native healing from all cultures, Ayurvedic medicine, hypnosis, and current psychology.” And rather than explore our past, as many therapy approaches do, they want to shift us to the present.
The book does not flow particularly well, and it often fails to live up to its own claims. In a section titled “A History of Healing,” the authors really don’t provide much history. Chapter one didn’t flow well and was difficult to understand. In it, Alleva uses a triad to illustrate three vital qualities (balance, purpose, and fulfillment), then converts it to a triangle, then a three-dimensional pyramid, and then divides it into three layers. That didn’t help me to better grasp his concepts. And there was no history of healing until the third chapter, which was a mere three pages.
Diaz does suggest an interesting thought in the preface: “In my own practice as a therapist (with supposedly mental ill people),” he writes, “I have learned that many patients can cope with their supposed symptoms but have problems with the way the world around them responds to those symptoms.” In other words, the patient is not the real problem. The real problem, Diaz suggests, is the reactions of people to the patients and their behavior.
There is some truth to that, but there are also many patients who are not able to effectively cope with their challenges.
As for which methods might help a person, the book seems to suggest that there is an effective therapy for everyone — but that you must just keep trying different things until you hit upon the right one. Some of the less conventional approaches to behavior modification that the book highlights relate to energy. Quantum energy, string theory, vibrational energy, and vibroacoustic frequencies all pop up in the text, as well as two things we are perhaps more familiar with, biorhythms and biofeedback. Oddly, though, there is very little mention of the soul evolving, which from the book’s title I would expect more of.
Alleva, toward the end, tells us about what he calls the “Eleven Principles.” At a difficult time in his life, he writes, “an idea floated into my thoughts that became the Eleven Principles, and the heart of Spiritual Growth Therapy.” He builds the drama further: “you must live and abide by them,” he writes, “for if you do not, the universe will teach you these principles the hard way; believe me, the hard way is not the way you want to choose.”
Sounds ominous, right?
But how disappointing: his principles were not nearly as profound as the build-up made them sound. An example of a principle: “Treat your body as a temple; eat healthy foods and stay active.” Not too mind-blowing there. Another: “Always pursue your passion.”
While each of the eleven principles provides valuable advice, it seems overly dramatic to claim that they came to the author in some kind of epiphany. These ideas are — as the authors admit — nothing new.
Let Your Soul Evolve: Spiritual Growth for the New Millennium
First Edition Design Publishing, July 2014
Paperback, 150 pages