Five Souls in a Dream, copyright and written by Elias Aractingi, with illustrations by Christiane Walegren.
The book consists of eighteen chapters, each exploring the important part played by meeting people, interrelationships and learning, family, financial matters (Parterna), Safety (and freedom), and dreams. A Prologue identifies Sam, the protagonist, as a 63-year-old Portland store owner, now semiretired to a small ranch where he makes additional income by doing small appliance and plumbing jobs. He has a close relationship with a local hospital nurse although each preferably retain their own homes. The story is about an unusual dream Sam experiences one night. It covers years and begins as he seemingly awakens on a strange deserted pathway where gradually, and sequentially as he finishes each encounter, he meets other individual souls embodied within tangible bodies with which he can exchange words and actions. With each encounter he learns different lessons over an extended period of time until he again ‘feels something is missing’ that he needs to find to fulfill his destiny and he moves to the next. Each soul represents a different phase of his learning experience and he discovers such factors of importance as the importance of his unconscious as well as his conscious thoughts, that persons he meets become whom he needs them to become, nothing in life is guaranteed so the ability to re-bound is paramount, that “love heals all wounds and is the ultimate escape”, and more.
Discussion/Conclusion: The raison d’être given by the author for provision of this book perhaps is best set forth by the protagonist as he is conversing with one of his souls in a dream sequence. The soul called Safety says “I don’t have all of the answers (with respect to what’s next? in his activity). You know these things evolve and change. What I can say for sure is that you need to tell the world about your dream.” …“Because this dream has taught you things about yourself that most people wish they could know.” Still not convinced because of his inadequacies, she tells him not to worry because “You’ll meet who you need to meet!” Amusingly perhaps and certainly pragmatically acknowledging the author’s opening acknowledgements, this statement appears to be a truly prophetic declaration. He states “Experience has led me to believe that one’s greatest positive impact in this world is cultural. This book is my cultural message. But it owes its final form to a number of contributors.” He continues to thank his early supporters because “when you start writing, you are usually insecure and vulnerable…” and continues by acknowledging the fact that the final version is “longer than originally envisioned”, “improved in shape and contents”, “format”, “final edit and polish” as a result of considerable editorial assistance from dedicated members of Kirkus Reviews. So to conclude, this author’s originally somewhat nebulous thoughts, ideas and concepts gradually were molded into the final product that offers the reader a philosophical discussion that may provide enlightenment on many aspects of life, and finalized because “You’ll meet the people you need to meet”.
4* Interesting approach to understanding life’s components