Why Me, Why This, Why Now

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Robin Norwood was a marriage, family, and child therapist specializing in the treatment of chemical dependency and codependency. She became famous as the author of the best-selling WOMEN WHO LOVE TOO MUCH: WHEN YOU KEEP WISHING AND HOPING HE’LL CHANGE (1985) and now devotes most of her time to inspirational writing. In WHY ME, WHY THIS, WHY NOW, she poses what she considers life’s toughest questions and offers her own spiritual answers.

The questions treated in her eight chapters are: “Why Is This Happening to Me?”, “What Is My Body Trying to Tell Me?”, “Is There a Bigger Picture I’m Not Seeing?”, “What Is the Point of the Pain?”, “Why Are My Relationships So Difficult?”, “How Did I End Up with These Relatives?”, “Where Am I Going and When Will I Get There?”, and “How Can I Help Myself and Others to Heal?”

Her answers are based on that synthesis of astrology, eclectic philosophy, environmental and peace activism, predominantly Hindu and Buddhist religion, and modern humanistic psychological theories called “New Age” or “Age of Aquarius” awareness. All of her answers involve the belief that the human soul is repeatedly reborn until it achieves perfection. Norwood relies heavily on the doctrine of karma, which holds that a person’s past lives determine his present condition and that his present life choices will affect his future lives.

By realizing that the soul’s mission is to achieve enlightenment through confronting and solving life’s toughest questions, the individual will also come to realize that all other immortal souls have the same mission. This will lead to a sense of unity which, according to Norwood, is the true spirit of the dawning Age of Aquarius.

Readers sympathetic to New Age rhetoric will find Norwood’s book inspiring. She writes well, is admirably candid about her own problems, and fills many pages with dramatic anecdotes based on her professional experiences. Nevertheless, skeptics who question the immortality of the soul or the notion that stars and planets influence human destiny will not delve deeply into WHY ME, WHY THIS, WHY NOW.