Caught in the Days of Yore with Stan I.S. Law
Jesus Christ may very well be the most renowned historical figure anyone can think of; one can hardly travel in any of the four corners and find people who have never heard of him. As you might imagine, very strong debates are raging onwards to this day in an attempt to come to a consensus on how exactly he lived his life and the road he had traveled.
There are those who prefer to base their beliefs on religious texts, while others seek to explore this man’s life through the scope of historical factuality, perceiving him first and foremost as a regular human being at his core. Unfortunately there are lot of missing pages from the book of his life, most notably the eighteen years spent furthering his education from the age of 12 to 30.
Thankfully, Stan I.S. Law has decided to attempt and bridge this gap with his book Yeshua, where he essentially explores this very specific period in history shrouded in secrecy. To make things clear, while the author does primarily draw from research into Jesus’ life as well as Indian and Middle-Eastern history, the book still remains a work of fiction. He bases himself on the bits of information he was able to acquire and extrapolated from that, drawing as realistic of a painting as possible of arguably the most crucial years in his development.
Without giving anything away, we follow the young boy as he grows into a man, travelling to Persia, India, Syria and Egypt in a quest to reach his very own personal enlightenment, drawing countless social and religious observations along the way. Thankfully he isn’t left completely to his own devices on this journey as he befriends the son of a wealthy caravan owner, forming a bond for the ages. Yeshua is an exploration of various religions, what it meant to prophecize a new one in those times, and basically how regular people just like ourselves lived and saw the world.
A Never-ending Search
You would think that in this type of book things would be pretty straightforward and the plot would get most of the attention, but as we’ve become accustomed to with Stan I.S. Law, this is a novel that has much more to offer than that.
One of the primary focuses of Yeshua is the development of religion throughout the ages, what sparked it to evolve the way it did. Reading the author’s descriptions of the many religious beliefs in that part of the world and the systems which people followed (and in some cases, still do to this very day) is quite educative and enlightening in its own right, revealing many curious pieces of information which our schools will probably never deem fit to cover.
He really underscores the various similarities between them as well as the extent to which they borrowed from each other, showing that despite their differences, many religious systems are mere divergences from a core set of beliefs. Rest assured, Stan I.S. Law is not the kind of author who gets preachy in any way, shape or form. He is all about the thoughtful objective exploration of concepts and ideas, putting forth the information we need to reach our own conclusions, however long that might take.
In addition to the religious teachings he brings us, the author also does a superb job of exploring that time and place from a societal perspective. He delves into great detail into the prevailing hierarchy, the day-to-day tasks and trials people were confronted with, how they sought pleasure, comfort and personal progress.
We basically get the chance to become one with those societies and at least experience a fraction of their lives, which were surprisingly similar and yet still different from ours. He discusses the stagnation that came as a result of a long-standing ruling class, and just to mention it once again, the incredible circumstances surrounding the foundation of a whole new religion in these rather fundamentally traditionalist times.
A Realistic Approximation
As I mentioned before, there is a considerable mystery surrounding these missing years from the life of Jesus and despite all the religious and historical texts we have, the amount of knowledge we can infer from them on the subject remains rather limited. Nevertheless, that did not deter the author one little bit and as a result he gave us a very believable plot, tracing a very human and realistic journey that could have very well happened.
The pace is a bit slow at times to allow for the mandatory moments of introspection, but on the whole I’d say it moves at a reasonable pace that matches the sort of atmosphere the author was gunning for… one that smells of never-satiated curiosity and yearning for unattainable knowledge.
The characters themselves were mostly interesting and our protagonist does justice to the overall perception most of us have of him. Most importantly I believe, they all felt properly fleshed out and developed, whether through their descriptions, actions or dialogue. I even had the impression that the author refined them in his mind to a greater extent than he was able or willing to communicate on paper.
The Final Verdict
To draw the curtain over this review, Yeshua is, in my opinion, an invaluable book for those who consider themselves spiritual scholars. It will be immensely attractive to those of you who like to delve into matters regarding ancient religions, societies and personal enlightenment.
I would certainly categorize it as a thinking reader’s kind of book, with the real meat of it being Stan I.S. Law’s meditations and the questions he pushes us to ask ourselves. All in all, I highly recommend Yeshua to anyone with a bit of patience and a burning desire to learn.
Stan I.S. Law
Stan I.S. Law is the pen name used by Stanislaw Kapuscinski when writing his fictional stories, which tremendously lean in the direction of philosophical science-fiction.
In the few years after his retirement from the job architect, he gave himself to literature completely and has graced us with many unique and remarkable novels that have the gift of touching us in ways none other can.
Amongst the many books he released are the Avatar and Winston trilogies, as well as Yeshua and Keys to Immortality. He was nominated for the CBC Literary Award and the first book in The Avatar trilogy was on the New York Times bestsellers list.