Monday, December 3, 2012

The Rainbow Bridge by Brent N. Hunter

The Rainbow Bridge: Bridge to Inner Peace and to World Peace is an ambitious book written by Brent N. Hunter with the purpose of finding a common, global,  philosophical and religious unity for the purpose of achiebing peace on the global scale as well as within each person's individual life.  While most authors may focus their work on either the individual or global scale- Hunter's purpose is to address both, with the concept of the Rainbow Bridge.  The Rainbow Bridge is much more than a concept, but rather a type of  hybrid Eastern styled religion- a new age belief that attempts to combine various elements of various Eastern religions and Western religions and beliefs.  The Rainbow Bridge may also represent a place- similar to the concept of heaven or nirvana.  In the spirit of  the ever growing popular ecumenical movement, Hunter focuses on the common bonds and least controversal elements among various religions rather than the theological differences.  One problem with unifying opposing religions is that each is mutually exclusive- Christianity, Islam, and Buddist thoughts and theologies are in direct opposition to eachother.  In practice, these religions and beliefs are opposed to eachother and basically to find any unity, one must pick and choose the most basic, and benign ideas and beliefs- to create a caferteria styled hybrid religious concept.

Adding legitimacy and universal appeal to the Rainbow Bridge Concept, the author appeals to the collective knowlege, teachings and thoughts of countless mystics and leaders from an array of religious, philisophical  and political institutions. The wisdom and teachings of notable leaders is combined  and reinforced with the Eastern and new age practice of meditation.  In the author's own words "in attempting to create my own way of understanding the world, I have integrated spiritual knowledge from my background and life experiences, which includes the core heart wisdom of the Baha'i Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Earth - based traditions, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Native American and Indigenous traditions, Taoism and more." Page 5  Furthermore, the author explains belief as a relative path in which one's truth progresses and grows- in which the book represents his current understanding of truth implying that it can and may change or evolve in the future.  The concepts of mediation, reletavism and growth are more in alignment with Eastern and new age religious beliefs and traditions. The infinity symbol depicted throughout the book is a tribute to the idea of eternal life.  Yet unlike the biblical or Western religious concept of eternal life, the Eastern concept of eternity is vague and relative to the believer and is represented by many beliefs and paths including reincarnation.

The concept of ten Rainbow Bridge in of itself is relative based on the preference of the beliver.  It is not specifically defined.  In fact the author does not promote the idea of a personal God exclusively but acknowleges that the reader may be an agnostic or atheist in which the definition of God might simply mean a "higher power", "Source", or an intellectual component of one's own "higher self" or even an astronomical feature such as the "Helix Nebula"!  Rather than teaching the reader an entirely new theology, it invites the reader to come as they are with whatever he or she believes, and teaches the reader how to insert his beliefs into the idea of the Rainbow Bridge. Apparently, the Rainbow Bridge can also refer a place, such as to the eternal afterlife as well- analogous to the idea of heaven but without the theology or biblical connections.  In fact there is even a focus on the Rainbow Bridge and how it relates to the death of a pet, offering hope and posssibly comfort for grieving pet owners.  Perhaps this is an area that the author felt that religious institutions generally overlook.  Acknowledging the loss of a pet is a way to draw in a large segment of the population.  The concept of an animal passing over to a relatively undefined, yet comforting  non offensive, all inclusive place where one is reuinited, the "Rainbow bridge", is also applied to human beings who die as well. People can cross over to the Rainbow Bridge as well. 

Drawing from various religious sources, traditions and leaders, a portion of the book contains various "universal principles", or life lessons or rules that help the reader.  These brief passages address topics such as life, death and morals.  Many are very vague and relative, yet this basically allows the reader to fill in the blanks with whatever his or her existing beliefs are.  For those without any set of beliefs, there may be a void in any deeper meaning.  There are refernces to the popular, yet secularized Eastern concept of Karma, and references to the world as a "matrix".  There is a section on different types and methods of meditation.  The photograph on the back cover depicts the Helix Nebula, which is given supernatural, spiritual significance in  meditation.  In fact this nebula is made into a sort of diety in which the seeker is advised to direct his prayers or intentions to the nebula.  The Helix Nebula is a conduit that leads to the "Eye of God" or "The Source".

 The book also addrssses global implications of the Rainbow Bridge in regards to issues such as terrorism, govenment and business.  Quotations from various leaders and speakers and religious leaders are included in the back of the book as well.  In the end of the book is a summary of beliefs of teh Rainbow Bridge.  If the reader is still cofused at the end of the book as to the purpose of the book, then the last few pages will be sure to clarify the book's purpose and its connection to the larger, global quasi religious- social movement whose purpose is to promote global and inner peace.  There are additional resources such as an online community, a TV series and even a boardgame as well. 

Overall a lot is covered by this book! Practically, the author offers simple and effective tidbits of self help strategies that might help the reader. Nevertheless, this book is promoting a hybrid, new age, Eastern religious ideology, which will be in direct contrast to readers who specifically follow any Western based faith such as those who place their faith fully on the bible.  For example, the references to relativism and multiple paths, the idea of an undefined or variable higher power and the interpretations of eternal life are in direct opposition to the teaching of Christianity and the bible. This book may be welcomed by secular nor agnostic readers- who do not subscribe to the concepts of absolute truth and the bible.

As a blogger, I recieved this book, associated with Spirit Rising Productions for the purpose of writing this review. 

No comments:

Post a Comment