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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
The Greek Gods Among Us by Michael Mahana is an illuminating take on crossing psychology with Greek mythology. Mahana breaks away from the traditional norm of looking at gods as objects of worship but rather views them as metaphorical images of our inner self, and that each god caters to a particular desire that requires balance as each of them dominates a particular province in our psyche. Mahana offers this radically different way of viewing experience as a more effective way of dealing with concepts like guilt, stress, and responsibility. Personification allows us to view such abstractions more concretely. This book should not be mistaken for religion. No dogma is involved, and the ancient Greeks did not so much believe in their gods but rather were inspired to emulate their virtues. It invites us to view gods in grounded reality, as images of our choices and experience.
Mahana, armed with a background in Comparative Literature and Cultural Anthropology, analyzes Greek gods to uncover the god archetype of the human psyche. He effectively frames a god-human parallel by fusing his own research with experience. Thinking of aspects within ourselves as personified gods allows us to relate and understand ourselves better. This must not be construed as a method of god-blaming if something in our lives goes awry, nor is it an invitation to take a leap of faith. It is more of an alternative approach to look for meaning within ourselves. We are more likely to see patterns when we see images and deal with them more effectively. The Greek Gods Among Us merits five stars for its figurative approach to psychology. It is a great read for those who are into self-improvement.