Book Review: “Being” by Karl J. Forehand

Book Review: “Being” by Karl J. Forehand May 11, 2021

The cool thing about being a writer is that if you do it well enough and for long enough, you’ll get to meet other writers who are out there doing their thing. Some time ago, Karl Forehand was one of those folks I had the pleasure of meeting. Of course, by “meet,” I mean that we’ve only spoken online, chatted on each other’s podcasts, and now, have even become colleagues here on Patheos. Oh, and we’ve each published multiple books on Quoir Publishing (the best publishing house you’ve probably never heard of). But you get the idea.

The thing about Karl is that he is not like me. We have different personalities, different interests, and approach things in different ways. We are not similar in age, nor do we have all that similar of tastes (he’s a vegan, after all). I don’t say this to be negative. Quite the contrary! I say this because, while we are very different, we both do our darnedest to be our most authentic selves. And call me bias, but we both do a damn good job of it.

This is why Karl’s latest endeavor, Being: My Journey Toward Presence and Authenticity, is such a good book. It’s real. It’s vulnerable. And it’s everything you would want in a book about spirituality and the power of being present in this ever-evolving present moment.

What I particularly liked about Karl’s book is that, while it had the sort of Rohr-esque style prose you would come to expect from any modern-day mystic, it also had a collection of poetry that affords the reader the ability to use the other side of their brains. This makes Being stand out from other books from the same genre, and will assuredly keep his readers turning the pages through ’til the end.

If I may be so bold, this is the type of book modern people of faith are going to need as they traverse this life. As Karl Rahner once said, “In the days ahead, you will either be a mystic (one who has experienced God for real) or nothing at all.” I’m confident Forehand has experienced God for himself, and that reality shines through on the pages of Being. There are no pretenses, no need to proselytize, and nothing to necessarily prove. It’s more of a book about direct experience, and how one man’s experiences have led him to discovering the God who desperately wants us to live as our authentic selves, ever-present and “here.” Not “over there,” or stuck in the future or past, but here and now.

If you’ve read Karl before (both his books Apparent Faith and The Tea Shop come to mind) this book will be similar territory. I know first-hand that he’s helped many people with his previous books, and I’m confident this one will be no different. For those who haven’t yet read him, you’re in for quite a treat.

To that end, pick up his book, Being, from Quoir Publishing/Shaia-Sophia House. Then thank me later.


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About Matthew Distefano
Matthew is a best-selling author, blogger, podcaster, long-time social worker, and hip-hop artist. He is an outspoken advocate for nonviolence, happily married, with one daughter. Outside of writing, his interests include gardening, hiking, and European football. He lives in Northern California You can read more about the author here.

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