"I’ve always been like this: a rebel who wouldn’t settle for anything less than that which would steal his heart away."

This philosophical investigation by the author is designed to lead the reader to conclusions about the nature of the universe and the meaning of life. In so doing, the reader will travel the same path that the author took. In Part I of his book, Kfoury recalls his time as a young man newly come to the US from strife-torn Lebanon. His quest begins when he attends a meeting of Native Americans while living in Los Angeles. The meeting includes a “smudging ceremony” in which smoke is used to purify the atmosphere and awaken the mind to the color and sacred elements of the natural world. Never having considered these aspects before, the author is prompted to learn more and begins a lengthy study of religion, culture, myth, and philosophy at his local library.

In Part II, Kfoury has come to Florida to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot. There he meets Gaia, a fellow skydiver who surprises him by visiting the same library he goes to in the evenings. The two of them begin to chat, acknowledging the remarkable coincidence of their common interests in culture, mythology, and, most importantly, the underlying search for the meaning of life implied by their choice of reading material. Kfoury and Gaia, whose name is synonymous with Earth, have long, soulful conversations about God and religion as the author becomes convinced that most of the world’s religions are based on imagination rather than fact.

Later, back in California, he begins dabbling in the business of finance. In a favorite café, he encounters a man calling himself Pythagoras who shares knowledge of the rules of finance such as the Dow Theory. Meeting this mysterious, highly knowledgeable figure a third time, Kfoury is surprised when Pythagoras says, “Gaia sends her regards.” At that third encounter, Pythagoras gives him a scroll called The Golden Principles, encapsulating all that the author has learned on his life journey thus far. Among its list of wise sayings is the proposition that monotheistic religions worship a “man-god” and are “therefore destined for war,” and the suggestion that, by contrast, a matriarchy is a social contract, a “culture of life.” The advice offered includes practicing random acts of kindness, accepting uncertainty, and examining one’s actions each night before sleep in order to better oneself for the next day. The scroll concludes with “Live your life in exclamation, not in explanation.”

Kfoury has seen the world through the eyes of an investor, a student of martial arts, an aviator, and a tech analyst. In his book, he speaks not as an expert but takes on the role of pilgrim or student. His book reads like a textbook of the subjects he has examined to educate himself: religion, mythology, psychology, and the art of financial trading. His writing style engages the reader by presenting this plethora of factual, potentially dry material through events and conversations. At times his guides, Gaia and Pythagoras, seem a bit too wordy; but they have much knowledge to convey. Throughout, it is clear that the author wishes to share what he has gleaned with an audience that may be as naïve on these subjects as he once was. Kfoury’s book provides guideposts for a serious seeker to reach a deeper understanding of eternal verities through focused exploration.

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