Dances with Spirits: Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World

Calvin Helin
Open Road Media (2014)
ISBN 9781624671715
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (10/14)

Award-winning author, Calvin Helin, draws from the wisdom of the culture of the Native American and their ancestors to introduce a new perspective and vision in “Dances with Spirits: Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World.” He gives guidelines for finding balance in the midst of today’s complex economic emphasis, sophisticated technology, and the diminishing influence of the “we” feeling of community. 

Helin examines today’s economic model and its impact on our economic, social, psychological and spiritual world view. He explores the American cultural mindset including trends leading to “unbridled consumption” and excesses in consumer debt as a means of creating a higher standard of living. He then explores an economic model that puts its emphasis on social and spiritual well-being as well as our economic needs. He concludes by discussing how we might incorporate the ancient wisdom of the past for a more holistic model that includes a social and spiritual dimension.

The book is formatted to include numerous illustrations, charts, and graphs. Another important element is the inclusion of Native American philosophy expressed in poetic verse. These poems direct the reader’s attention to key principles for a simple life, tell of intercultural experiences, and challenge the reader to follow the spiritual instinct of the heart.

Helin writes with compassion and understanding. His insights are brilliant, his research thoroughly documented. I appreciated the extensive index and comprehensive bibliography which includes newspapers, unpublished materials, articles, and books. These provide excellent sources for additional reading, study, reflection and assimilation.

Helin’s Indian heritage, recognition as an international speaker, entrepreneur, lawyer, bestselling author, and activist for self-reliance add to his credibility and the validity of his conclusions.

“Dances with Spirits: Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World” by Calvin Helin is an amazing amalgamation of economics, philosophy, spirituality, self-worth, and man’s psychological and physical well-being. Helin invites the reader to reconnect with nature, the close social relations of a family, friends, community, and deeper spiritual life.

I heartily recommend this book to anyone disillusioned with today’s economic model, the fast pace of modern technology, and the prevalence of social networking desirous of experiencing the legacy left by the heroes of modern mythology

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