What Is Man: From the World of Ro and Mo
Readers searching for a primer on the religious views of twins Rohan and Mohan Perera (known as Ro and Mo) will find it late in their book What is Man. There, they discuss their overarching belief, writing, “You can say that we are Christian, but NOT in the traditional sense. We believe in Love, Truth, or Conscientiousness if you will. Although all things in the universe are physical, we believe we originate from a non-physical source. You can call this God or spirit. We like to call it love.” Similarly, they promise an “unfamiliar but compelling perspective to life.” Although What is Man does offer a perspective that is at times compelling, the book trods well-worn ground — chapters begin with brief Bible passages and quotes from the likes of Jesus, Plato, and Aristotle, while the book’s introduction promotes the idea that “the answer to the meaning of our life … lies with our spirit.” What is different, however, is the book’s capacity for finding new and insightful approaches to age-old questions. From its attempts to interrogate existing scientific theories to the twins’ relentless rhetorical questioning, What is Man explores what it means to live a meaningful life.
The central focus of What is Man is the tension between material wealth and the spiritual world. Repeatedly urging readers to become one with God, Ro and Mo claim that “the world as we know is but momentary and will come to an end. Perhaps not in our lifetime, but it will come to an end, even if it takes billions of years. Thus, the consciousness of the material things in life is like ‘borrowing’ the feelings of being alive and this alive feeling is not permanent.” Again, elsewhere, they ask, “Do you want a fabricated success in the ego-driven world of money or do you want to become part of a loving and creative consciousness?” For Ro and Mo, the answer is obvious, although they are sometimes short on specifics as to how one actually becomes “one with God.” Perhaps part of the reason why is that the book doesn’t necessarily ground itself in the teachings of the Bible, instead using passages to punctuate their own ideas rather than the other way around. Lacking such a solid foundation, the book sometimes circles back on itself, offering up repeated variations of their central belief that “the true achievement lies in reaching the summit of mount Zion, and that is to become one with God.”
But the book does offer up some more unique approaches. One of them is the way the brothers interrogate the ideas of famous scientists, Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein among them. They do well to avoid dismissing these scientists’ ideas, instead posing a series of rhetorical questions designed to get the reader thinking. This approach works because these questions serve as a jumping off point, giving the book something concrete to work off of. And because the questions posed are insightful and personal, they allow for different answers among different readers. It’s perhaps the book’s most useful insight that the ultimate goal of a meaningful life may be universal, but the path is personal.
World of Ro and Mo
Rohan and Mohan Perera