On The Howard Stern Show, 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stated that she believed science and religion could be one word – compatible. Reverend Dr. Leonidas A. Johnson’s new book, Phenomenal Vision: Eyesight to Life Sight, does just that. In eloquent yet accessible prose, Rev. Dr. Johnson beautifully articulates his concept of ‘spiritual sight’ – the ability not just to interpret one’s environment literally with one’s eyes, but to make sense of said interpretation by sight on a superior mental and ultimately spiritualistic level. In short, Rev. Dr. Johnson speaks about what one would log line as ‘being’ rather than simply acting within the sphere of ‘living’.
Rev. Dr. Johnson’s soliloquies about bridging the gap between the literalness of sight and the strengthening of faith are as interesting as his own, multilayered past. A celebrated reverend who prides himself on helping his congregants see the light, Johnson is also a certified optometrist whose personal and professional breakthroughs are reflected back to him in the health and wellbeing of his patients. In a press release, Rev. Dr. Johnson articulated his beliefs as the following, ‘I’ve spent my life helping people to see, both as a licensed optometrist and also as an ordained minister.’ He goes on to elaborate, ‘The title of my book, Phenomenal Vision: Eyesight To Life Sight, came after contemplating the impact vision has on one’s life, not just physical but eternal…How can you see physical beauty if you are physically blind? Conversely, how can you have an abundant life if you are spiritually blind? Vision should never be taken for granted and vision that incorporates physical, mental and spiritual vantage points is not ordinary but phenomenal and leads to a phenomenal life.’
The book is very much an extension of this philosophy. It feels like a certification of long-held beliefs that Rev. Dr. Johnson has wrestled with objectively for his entire life, and that in all good conscience he now believes have concrete, thoroughly researched, and thoroughly vindicated answers. Johnson never comes across as too confident, nor ever unsure. He is willing to ponder ambiguity as much as he is willing to state what he has come to believe is spiritual fact, the result making the reader’s experience a somewhat paternal one. Johnson is also careful not to come across as unworldly, or mutually exclusive to his medical and professional experiences. The book never strays into outright faith, nor ever feels as if its writer is speaking in tongues or exclusively to a certain choir.
Johnson knows not everyone who picks up a copy of Phenomenal Vision will respectfully see certain aspects of his viewpoints, and in return he is mutually respectful of the reader’s individuality in that regard while stalwart in his assertion that said outlooks and philosophies in Phenomenal Vision’s pages will prove fundamentally true in just about every way. For the hardest of atheistic hearts, the book may not convince you entirely. But Johnson will inspire you…