Each surprising story begins and ends with a quote that elucidates the moral and meaning meant to be taken from the tale. The book’s sweep is suggested by their provenance: many come from philosophers or ancient texts, others from Philip K. Dick. The result is an inspirational odyssey into the meaning of life, death, and more, told through narratives gathered throughout the author's life richly immersed in spiritual text, Rahal's own musings, and “letters from friends.” With lyrical prose, Rahal weaves most entries with a whimsical element of the fantastic and clear moral or philosophical implications, like fables of old. In "A Child's Game," a story crafted to impart the guidance that "prayer is the medium of communication with higher levels of awareness," a young boy lovingly waters his flowers each morning yet unknowingly floods the ant colony nearby.
Exploring perception, mindset, and accepting things that can not be controlled, "The Boxer" centers on two men who have the same nightmare of being forced to fight each other. While one wonders how he wound up in the precarious situation in a state of frozen fright, the other accepts his fate and does his best to win the battle. Rahal explores complex themes with warmth and wit, offering lessons and illumination on topics of enlightenment, self-consciousness, and spiritual well-being.
Takeaway: Surprising, polished spiritual fables illuminating existential questions.
Comparable Titles: Marilyn McFarlane's Sacred Stories, Jay Iyer’s Little Flowers.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
In this compilation of short stories, anecdotes and vignettes, Vlado Rahal attempts to awaken the “dreamers”—you and me—who are clinging to reality as truth. He warns: “You are a victim of illusion and unhappiness if you live your life through things in this world.” —Blueink Review
U Dream, Inc. is a ranging anthology whose stories work to bridge the gap between temporal and spiritual realms.
Vlado Rahal’s expansive anthology U Dream, Inc. juxtaposes unrelated stories to moral and spiritual through lines.
In prose that is deliberate in its avoidance of contractions, the book evokes oral traditions and ancient tales. It is made up of a series of vignettes, short prose, quotes, letters, and prayers. As a collective, they are used to explore the vast spectrum of human experiences and the intimate details of being alive.
The tales are framed by quotes from various luminaries, ranging from Socrates to Philip K. Dick. Their diverse perspectives exist in contrast to the text of the book, which is narrated with directness, at the audience and using “you.” Parabolic and contemplative in nature, the tales demand involvement, but in such a way that they almost force their own opinions on others. They integrate moral and spiritual lessons into otherwise innocuous stories: a whimsical anecdote about a child interacting with ants, for example, is used to encourage embracing prayer as powerful. And the book’s morality tales coexist with historical, biblical, and science fiction narratives, as with the futuristic entry “U-Dream Inc.” Indeed, at times it seems as though the book has covered every genre possible.
However, the book’s generous sampling is detrimental in the end. It engages in a whiplash-inducing amount of jumping between places and time periods: While one page may feature the thoughts of a merchant on the Silk Road, the next deconstructs AI and the impact of technology on humanity. Literary allusions abound as well, with references to Candide and Icarus playing in. And endearing animal characters, including Littlebee, evoke children’s classics with their playful innocence, though existing in contrast to the dense and provocative topics that surround them.
The book is consistent in its exploration of spirituality, though. It weaves rhetorical questions and blunt truths together and invites critical engagement, referencing spiritual figures from diverse traditions, including Jesus, Osiris, and Baba Yaga. Its wide embrace of a spectrum of belief systems to convey an overarching spiritual message distinguishes it but also leads to a text that reads variously like a manifesto and like a haphazard expedition through time, beliefs, and human imagination. This work culminates with a prayer.
Celebrating the profound impacts of the written word, U Dream, Inc. is a ranging anthology whose stylized stories delight in seeking meaning in all that is around us and work to bridge the gap between temporal and spiritual realms.
Reviewed by Kelley Lynne Moncrief
Oct 6, 2023
In another galaxy, the company U-Dream Inc., develops photon-based computers—mind-reading machines that blur the lines between games and dreams and make any fantasy seem real. But NIAM, the artificial intelligence that U-Dream employs, has been infected with a virus that snares its users in a nightmarish world while stealing their memories. The only hope is the company’s specially trained group of operatives, who seek to reveal the falsehoods of NIAM’s parasitic fantasies and awaken those trapped. Kirkus Reviews
A theoretical physicist and former atheist shares insights on what led him to reexamine his view of the world in new book
LARNACA, Cyprus, Jan. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Vlado Rahal, Ph.D., a theoretical physicist and former atheist, shares insights on what led him to reexamine his view of the world in his new book titled "U Dream, Inc." (published by Balboa Press).
His early quest to understand the meaning of life led the author to study physics and mathematics, believing back then that the most fundamental natural science should provide the answers he was seeking. He went on to earn numerous degrees, including a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, and thought he found the answers he sought — thus he embraced atheism. He maintained the conviction that his atheist belief system was right for almost two decades and lived accordingly as a staunch materialist until several unexpected events occurred in late 2000 and early 2001. When his atheist worldview could no longer be reconciled with what he was experiencing in his life, Rahal decided to reconsider it in an attempt to explain his experiences. This book is the means he chose to share some of the insights he made along his inner journey.
"This world is not real. It never existed, it does not exist, and it will not come into existence in the future. We all dream, and, while sleeping, we think that the things we see in the dream are real; but as soon as we awaken, we perceive the mistake," the author explains. "We who can create and cannot therefore deny that we are creators, created this world in our imagination. We can awaken anytime we want. This is the liberating truth everyone will arrive at when the time is right for him or her in this new age of human experience."
Visit https://www.balboapress.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/846699-u-dream-inc to purchase a copy and learn more about the book.
"U Dream, Inc."
By Vlado Rahal, Ph.D.
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 174 pages | ISBN 9798765237205
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 174 pages | ISBN 9798765237212
E-Book | 174 pages | ISBN 9798765237199
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
About the Author
Vlado Rahal, Ph.D. holds a doctorate degree in theoretical physics from Rockefeller University and an MBA degree in finance from Columbia University. He worked as a trader and portfolio manager in New York City and London before retiring to Cyprus to write.
Balboa Press, a division of Hay House, Inc. – a leading provider in publishing products that specialize in self-help and the mind, body, and spirit genres. Through an alliance with the worldwide self-publishing leader Author Solutions, LLC, authors benefit from the leadership of Hay House Publishing and the speed-to-market advantages of the self-publishing model. For more information, visit balboapress.com. To start publishing your book with Balboa Press, call 844-682-1282 today.
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