Key to happiness
Reviewed by Mohammad Imtiaz

The Manual of Enthusiasm
By Yamo.
Enthusiasm Inc. Pages 256. Rs 240.

The Manual of EnthusiasmWE generally complain of losing happiness after growing up despite the fact that we were not as independent in our childhood. People work hard to get things done, though the fact remains that things go on "effortlessly" in life. Reason being that we fail to follow our legend, and keep on loosing our true self. This is the tragedy of modern man that he keeps on doing things just because he is assigned to do them. People are trapped in the consumer culture and, therefore, lose the very purpose of life. They fall deaf to their inner calling.

Author Yamo narrates his story of learning about the "eternal fountain of enthusiasm" within self. He calls himself a spiritual power who "at an appropriate point of time will appear to meet people".

The Manual of Enthusiasm is a product of an organisation Entheos that claims to ignite minds. The book not only gives true meaning of enthusiasm but also explain it in various aspects of life. The word "enthusiasm" is derived from Greek "entheos", meaning "the God in You". This God is not a purusa but a state of mind, in which the man is connected to his true self, the source of eternal fountain of energy. This state is called Sat-Chit-Anand.

Divided into two parts, Basics and Applied, and written on the pattern of a self-help book, The Manual is "designed to restore enthusiasm in individuals and organisations".

The first part takes care of the fundamentals, consisting of three chapters, namely Enthusiasm: The God in You, The Paradise Lost, and Reclaiming the Eternal. While explaining the concept of God, the author condemns many religions for "misguiding" people and emphasises that one should find the kingdom of God within oneself instead of wandering here and there. Enthusiasm is a very natural state of mind. Still, people complain of losing it and getting trapped in a vicious circle of unhappiness.

The book highlights the procedures meant to regain enthusiasm. First, the author urges the reader to do a self-analysis, for which he provides a chart. After diagnosing, he attempts to provide many therapies. He stresses on three things: exercise, food and sleep. For an enthusiastic body, we should take little less than what we think our hunger is, along with walk and sound sleep. People get their best ideas while walking. The reason being an interesting observation by the author that our body is still a "hunter-gatherer civilisaton", while we have produced so much comfort in the modern world. He calls sleep "the biggest luxury life offers", and condemns those who kill it for long working hours. Sound sleep adds to our productivity. Creativity comes not under workload, but in a free mind.

The second part of the book discusses enthusiasm in different aspects of life. In the race for money, people forget the meaning of "home". A chapter refers to the unstable and loveless families. The author says we base the foundation of our relationships upon need and possessiveness, instead of love. While discussing the enthusiasm among students, the author criticises the education system, especially the Indian one. No student is "dull"; every one is special in his own way. Yamo has presented a list of world-famous persons who got success without the help of formal education. He has tried to redefine education.

In the last chapter, Enthusiasm in Sex, the author says the only way of rising above the "animal" instinct is to accept sex with open mind.

This book may be helpful in making you realise your uniqueness and redefine the meaning of enthusiasm.