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BOOK REVIEW: Life is Beautiful: 12 Universal Rules by James Cusumano

This is a book that is designed to take you through what the author sees as the twelve universal laws of existence, and how you can use them to create a life of fulfillment.

Right off the bat, what is cool about this book is how scientific and structured the writing is. It doesn’t float from one ephemeral idea to another. I know any mainstream scientist would think any writings on spirituality and consciousness described as “scientific” is blasphemous, but as a left-brained spiritualist, I seriously loved the step-by-step breakdown of how the author defines and makes sense of the non-physical world and its “laws”.

There is a part of me that geeks out over complex concepts, spiritual or otherwise, being broken down into bite-sized pieces that even an infant could swallow. This is how the author breaks down his 12 Universal Rules of Spiritual Physics. You take it bit by bit, yet still seem to move forward at a pace that keeps things feeling less like a scientific research paper (which even scientists can hate reading), and more like you’ve got an old wizard explaining what you’ll need to know on the spiritual journey ahead of you.

The last two chapters are the author’s answer to some of the great questions that haunt humans: ‘what is my purpose here and how can I live happily doing it?’ So in other words, your personal life purpose--one of my favorite topics to work with. As someone who does help people accept their divine purpose, I particularly like the eight questions the author asks us to help us find it. Realizing your purpose often requires us to think outside of the box, because if it was in there, you would have already found it. So as you consider those questions, make sure your answers are your own and not society’s.

As a somewhat seasoned spiritual practitioner, I didn’t always agree with every definition or explanation the author put forth for things like the ego (it is described in a way that, in my work, I would label as the traumatized ego) or reincarnation (I go more into my thoughts and work with reincarnation here). But all in all, I think the book is a great starting place for someone who in their heart knows there is more to existence than a great cosmic “whoops!”, but needs someone to frame the magical as practical. Or at least something worth, perhaps paradoxically, considering critically. You definitely get that here.

That being said, if you are someone who breaks out in hives at the thought of combining spirituality and structure--you may still enjoy this book. It doesn’t steal the magic of the unknown but does crack the door open in the minds of people who focus only on the known and throw out the rest as junk. However, it does spend a decent amount of paper on scientific experiments that didn’t work as they “should have” or come up with results that defy common logic. I personally like this, but I realize many people may not. Just keep it in mind.

I don’t think this is a perfect book, but I still really liked it for what it was trying to do. In that respect, I would recommend this book to someone who is starting to open their mind to the possibility of more. From a professional standpoint, I also think the sections about understanding your purpose and manifesting a joyful life are useful. And as with all spiritual texts, read it with an open mind, but not so open that you discount your own wisdom.

I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. These words and my opinions are my own.


James A. Cusumano has led many lives. Drawing on his successes as an entertainer, scientist, corporate executive, and entrepreneur, Dr. Cusumano shares his multifaceted guide to life-long success and personal fulfillment. This easy-to-follow guidebook, Life Is Beautiful: 12 Universal Rules, demonstrates how anyone can manifest into their life literally anything that leads to their long-term happiness and helps create a better world.


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