Sample Book Review Paper on The Life we are Given by George Leonard and Michael Murphy

The book focuses on Integral Transformative Practice as a pioneering program, aimed at transforming the human mind, spirit, heart, and entire body. The authors ensured the program is able to achieve balanced body functions through the comprehensive and long term Integral Transformative Practice. In order to provide proof that the program is effective and efficient, the authors included stories acquired from a group of students who had applied Integral Transformative Practice and witnessed how it had tremendously enhanced their spirit, body, mind, and spiritual capacities while achieving growth and development.  Thus, the book was authored to advocate for Integral Transformative Practice among people willing and desiring to achieve joy through transformation. They however had to acknowledge the transformation and joy can only be achieved by applying the program for a prolonged period of time coupled with commitment (Michael & George, 1995).

George Leonard and Michael Murphy asserted that, they had tried their ideas on how to realize extraordinary human capacities. Their ideas were based on the desire to determine if human beings leading busy lifestyles could change and enhance their human functions through application of a long term practice. This is because, for a long period of time they had a vision allied to human evolution and transformation of communities and societies inhabited by people with busy lives. As a result, they had to work together as well as separately during their adult lives driven by the inspiration that all human beings possess untapped abilities and talents with vast potential (Michael & George, 1995).

For example, human beings possess vast abilities to love, learn, create, and feel deeply for someone else. There are however few tragedies that are pervasive yet difficult to justify leading to the waste of the vast abilities and talents. This notion was also affirmed by James Agee who asserted that, every human being has the potential ability within his/her limits to fully realize that the lifestyle she/he is leading is not fully tapped. This is often due to people cheating and choking the abilities they can embrace and enhance in order to avoid limitations attributed to common, aghast, and inclusive crimes witnessed across the world (Michael & George, 1995).

For example, global nations report cases of murder almost on a daily basis. Thus, human beings ought to recognize they are perpetrators as well as the victims of crime, wars, diseases, poverty, famine, ignorance, and lack of justice. These aspects limit human beings’ thinking abilities. Consequently, their feelings become numb and perceptions towards global social, economic, and political cultures twisted. As a result, human beings continue to suffer from material deprivation and high cases of injustice (Michael & George, 1995).

The authors of the book therefore aimed at reducing the number of people who leave this world feeling they wasted their abilities and talents. They believe that, human beings were given life on a restricted timescale to experience it amidst calculated dimensions inhibiting their abilities and talents. As a result, they should not describe life as a wasted or missed opportunity as a private manner. This is because factors attributing to life wastage are public. These factors include drug use, abuse, and addiction, illnesses, crime, and general unhappiness. The authors asserted that, these factors emerge from failure among human beings to grow, develop and enhance the God-given talents and abilities to ensure they lead happy, comfortable, satisfying, and full lives (Michael & George, 1995).

The book also aims at encouraging people to get deeply involved in a lifelong learning process involving practices such as the Integral Transformative Practice. This will support people striving to encourage communities to achieve a sense of togetherness while promoting good health. Good health can be achieved through the consumption of diets with nutritional values while engaging in physical exercise. Good health and a sense of oneness however should involve people avoiding despair, cynicism, and other factors leading to social ills and instabilities such as drug abuse and criminal activities. This will ensure human beings leave the world having led their lives in a full and satisfactory manner due to enhancing God-given capacities (Michael & George, 1995).

The group of students gathered to assist the authors in affirming Integral Transformative Practice enhances human potentials played their role for a period of two years. The experiment was therefore a learning journey for both the students and authors to fulfill their lifetime’s visionary quest. Based on the experiment, it is evident the body and spirit are joined in order to be influenced by the mind. For example, the best books are authored by writers who allowed the mind to influence the body and spirit positively to produce a literature that is educational, entertaining, sensational, and informative. This however does not mean they did not suffer from writers block, anxiety, and other limitations. It proves they allowed the mind to influence and push the body and spirit to persist in pursuing greatness and adequacy. Human beings should therefore acknowledge that, embracing normalcy and pursuing for extraordinary outcomes requires a positive mind and willing soul. This can only be achieved through good health, devotion, and cultivation of untapped abilities and talents. Thus, future transformations can only be achieved through social togetherness among people with bodies, spirits, souls, and minds that believe in achieving a vision and dream successively (Michael & George, 1995).


Michael, M. & George, L. (1995). The Life we are Given: Integral Transformative Practice. New York: G. P Putnam’s Sons Publishers.