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The Independent Critic

 Book Review: Soul Boom by Rainn Wilson 
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If you approach your reading of "Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution" expecting to experience the quirky hilarity of Rainn Wilson's iconic Dwight Schrute character from "The Office," then you're likely to find "Soul Boom" a bit of a disappointment.

It's not that there's no humor to be found in "Soul Boom." There's most definitely humor to be found here, however, "Soul Boom" for the most part gives us the other side of Rainn Wilson - a more contemplative fellow, devoted family man, and longtime spiritual human being raised in and still following the Baháʼí faith and fiercely devoted to climate issues.

In an increasingly challenged world, Wilson's "Soul Boom" explores the role spirituality can play, and in his opinion should play, in developing solutions for this complex world. The book reads as part spiritual autobiography and part spiritual manifesto, a weaving together of Wilson's own spiritual beliefs with a broader spectrum exploring a variety of spiritual paths and how they all lead toward solutions to help create the better world that so many of us long for these days.

While "Soul Boom" isn't immersed in Wilson's more humorous side, I'd expect his devoted fans to still be happy here as he still brings humor and his incredibly unique perspectives to needed conversations. Wilson's basic stance is that we have a world that is in need of profound healing and a unifying understanding AND that the spiritual traditions of the world all help provide this understanding. In a relaxed and relatable way, Wilson's approach to spirituality - the non-physical, eternal aspects of ourselves - applies to people of all beliefs and/or religions including the skeptics, agnostics, and atheists. Wilson offers up a variety of genuine insights along with Kung Fu and Star Trek references sure to make readers reflect and smile.

With "Soul Boom," Wilson digs deeper into ancient wisdom in an effort to foster transformative answers to life's biggest questions and the biggest challenges facing us today. It may not be the book you expected from Rainn Wilson, but it's likely the book we needed Rainn Wilson to give us.

When I was in seminary, one of my very first assignments was to write a very detailed spiritual autobiography. There are times when "Soul Boom" feels very much like this assignment. While Wilson's journey through his spiritual life is engaging, it feels less focused given the book's stated purpose of exploring "why we need a spiritual revolution." At times, "Spiritual Boom" needs a little more revolution. However, for those who've grown tired of the conflict-filled social media world and a world where it seems like we have more problems than solutions, "Spiritual Boom" is an engaging and entertaining breath of fresh air offering us entertaining and enlightening ideas on how we can all work together to make the world a better place for everyone.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic