As with all reviews on this website, our goal is not to provide a complete overview of the book, but rather to examine how the book relates to the meaning of life.
About the book: The Meaning of Life by Mae Louis was released in 2012. According to the book, "Mae Louis was born in Brooklyn, New York. She earned a BS degree in nursing from New York University. She currently resides in Tampa, Florida. The author has dedicated her life in the search for the real essence and meaning of life, to lead others in their quest for spiritual awareness and awakening, empower those lost souls toward inner embodiment of wisdom, knowledge, and insight."
With that said, all books that were previously reviewed on this website could in some sense be attributed to authors many would consider to be naturalists. Louis however is a supernaturalist, as her belief in meaning and purpose stems from God or higher powers. It is clear in the opening of the book, and increasingly reiterated as the book progresses that Louis has had a hard life. It appears that she did not have good parents or a stable home. When this occurs, it can be quite tragic and have long-lasting effects on a person — physically and psychologically. Unfortunately, the book's strangeness exponentially grows the deeper one descends. As a result the book veers way off the path of meaning into an inconsequential montage of spacetravel, psychic abilities, guides to how to buy a house, choosing/testing a soul mate, and offbeat poetry. In this review, just a few of these will be review a bit further.
Spacetravel and Being Psychic: One of Louis' claims is that she can spacetravel. Although it is not clear from the book, it sounds like she is referring to astral projection, or rather an out-of-body experience. Louis notes that when you reach a certain level of spirituality, you will be able to spacetravel. She claims to have traveled to China to meet Buddha, visited the pyramids in Egypt, and more... all for free. There are many people who claim that astral projection is a real phenomena and can be a very enlightening experience. However, it should be noted that all scientific evidence to date shows that astral projection is nothing more than a "mind trip." It is a mind trip in that it is not an out-of-body experience, but rather just an ordeal which occurs within the mind. If spacetravel is something you believe in or have experienced, that is okay. But, as will be shown below, there is reason to be skeptical of Louis' psychic abilities.
Besides spacetravel, Louis also states that she is psychic, having predicted a number of events. In addition, she claims to be able to communicate with animals and raise psychic shields (which can protect from hurricanes and the sun—in case you forget your sunscreen). As proof of being able to communicate with animals, she provides an example of a time she knew a dog was thirsty, and then later confirmed that with the owner. For psychic shields, she notes that she prayed to God and cast a shield over Florida after the terrible BP oil spill to protect it from hurricanes. Many more similar examples were provided throughout the book. These examples were disappointing because they do not appear to help Louis' cause. Many of us throughout life have had strange coincidences. These coincidences mathematically are bound to happen because we have so many events and interactions occurring every day. So these are not good examples of her abilities and consequently weaken her points. A video about coincidences and mathematics can be found below for reference.
Angst and Resentment: The author also appears to have a lot of angst and resentment built up from years of abuse. Not only from her childhood, but also her adult life. Although issues like racism are horrific and can be damaging to the psyche, some comments the author stated really take away from her attempt at coming off as spiritual and morally superior. For example, the following quote is disappointing, "Suffice to say, I am quite certain honest souls exists amongst us, I have not been fortunate enough to meet one." Not being able to name one honest person in life is sad. But it may also stem for deeper personal issues. For example, at one point Louis tells a story about picking out trees to be planted in her "gated" community. According to her, she picked out a tree, but, when the company came to deliver it, she notes it was not the same tree. She apparently knew this because she claims to have developed a photographic memory over the years. Thus she concluded that the man from the company was not honest and not a good person. Furthermore, she claims to be able to look into a persons soul upon first glance to determine whether they are good or evil. Although these examples may or may not be true, they really detract from the book's positive points; and to be fair, the book actually does contain a lifetime of wisdom in between the bizarre psychic self-affirmations. Countless examples like these can be found throughout the book.
Meaning of Life: Although in this review thus far we talked about oddities and negative self-affirmations, there are one or two interesting lines about the meaning of life which can be found below.
I can assure you (just as I have), when you ultimately find your true selves (your own meaning of life), it will effectively modify your destiny, and further resonate down to future generations to come.
To value the real meaning of life: Is essential in the directive path, towards self-realization of higher spiritual quest, in search of enlightenment. I cannot emphasize this enough, we all have the full capability to be in control of our destiny. Foremost, the crux of the matter is, retaining the embodiment of total goodness as much as possible. In the spirit world, re-negotiations are improbable.
Seeking a religious purpose in life, sets forth the foundation to pave the way to pureness.
Life’s complicated juxtaposing (side by side) maze, consists of a purpose within a purpose.
It is clear that Louis strongly believes in God, karma, and reincarnation. This is a bit interesting as in the beginning of the book she talks about being Catholic. Yet she talks about visiting Buddha through spacetravel and proclaims that she is over 4,000 years old (through reincarnation). Thus, although there are a few quotes on meaning and purpose, the majority of the book reads more like a mixture of a self-help guidance on everything from marriage to managing money, stories of people mistreating her, evilness of peoples' souls, and bouts of poetry. So the quotes extracted above can be deceiving; they are excerpts related to meaning in a sea of confused emotions.
Overall, this book may appeal to those interesting in self-help, psychic abilities, spacetravel/astral projection, cross-religion spirituality, etc. However, the book just wasn't my cup of tea. It wasn't because Louis is a supernaturalist, it was more or less because the negativity, poor examples of psychic abilities, etc., drained the positivity from the wisdom provided. If Louis would have been able to leave some of those examples and thoughts out of the book, it could have turned out to be a decent reflection on life. Her examples of how to find a soulmate are good, but only to be tainted with ways to test them (for example, offer them $100 to see if they accept... if they do, be forewarned). Clearly Louis has a lot of wisdom about living life, and not giving into darkness. But her poor examples and resentment end up weakening her life-long wisdom. So it is unfortunate that this book receives a low overall score; and despite the title it also rates low on the meaning of life relevance scale.
We rate the book the following:
Overall - 2
Meaning of Life Relevance - 3
Uniqueness – 5
What did we miss? Do you agree with Louis that "Seeking a religious purpose in life, sets forth the foundation to pave the way to pureness."? If you like the site, help support us by purchasing the book on Amazon.