Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tempting the Devil in the Name of God - Amazing Title, Amazing Book

Through this blog I'm invited to review books from time to time, and on the vast majority of occasions I let them pass.  But sometimes I'm hit with a title that peaks my interest, such was the case with Howard Beckman's book, "Tempting the devil in the Name of God". 

Hot and cold, sun and moon, darkness and light, on Earth as it is in Heaven, as above so below.  Life is often a study in contrasts.  To truly appreciate peace it helps to have known chaos, joy results from having known sorrow, and understanding abundance can only come from having known want.  

''Tempting the Devil in the Name of God'' is an autobiography of one man's life that speaks exceptionally well to this duality of existence.  From the depths of drug dependence and lengthy stays in prison, to the re-awakening of a spiritual journey.  The author provides insights that can help anyone seeking to find peace, contentment and the road back to the Divine that resides within us all.

I would venture to say that everyone has faced challenges in life, has had obstacles to overcome.  I hope that for most it hasn't been anything as devastating as a heroin addiction, or incarceration in a Thai prison.  But even if your challenges aren't as severe or the obstacles aren't as harsh, it helps to know that incredible odds can be beaten.

This biographical work reads like a novel, starting out near the end in Thailand just before the author is incarcerated for heroin possession, having fled bail in the United States.  The result is a protracted stay in a Thai prison described in lurid detail, with the author eventually being thrown into a "hole" like dungeon, solitary confinement.  It then retraces his life, from his involvement with the Hare Krishna movement to experimentation with marijuana and heroin through to dependence and drug dealing.  

I don't wish to give too much away, but knowing that eventually the author would be released I was turning pages, anxious to learn of his rebirth.  It was that part of the story, learning how Mr. Beckman put his life back together that had me anxious to get to the end.  Rediscovering his spiritual path, travelling to India to learn about Eastern traditions and Vedic astrology, expanding on the knowledge already gained from his early days in the Krishna movement before it became corrupted.  

I'm convinced this book can serve as inspiration for anyone seeking to find peace, for anyone looking to put past troubles, issues behind them, for anyone seeking a spiritual path. 

I have had the good fortune to connect with Mr. Beckman both by email and over the phone. The author is 13 years my senior, but when speaking with him I was amazed at how energetic and youthful he sounds. I've known so many bitter people, those who can't let things go no matter how far in the past events may be, and they age before their time.
Reading this book has already helped me deal with the stresses in my own life. We all have stress, but a book like this can provide that wonderful but often elusive element we all need, perspective.

If you are looking purchase a copy of the book you can find it at

Or you can order the book directly from Mr. Beckman's website: