There is nothing better than to read brilliant writing by an author who has something new and innovative to say about spirituality. Iliyan Kuzmanov’s “The Devil I Know Him” includes a skilful and unique narrative that goes far beyond the understanding of dark paths, revealing to us a sacred way to enlightenment hidden within the human essence.
This novel is a surprising mystical gem that explains the immense capability of human will and faith. Behind our initial expectations of one-sided orthodox interpretations of such a bone-headed idea, we find a deep intellectual study that dissects the concepts of Good and Evil.
Iliyan Kuzmanov’s second novel is an enigmatic spiritual tale and a modern philosophical quest that explores different cultures and religions in search of freedom. Following his debut book, which explored the idea of personality, free choice and critical thinking, the bestselling author unveils “The Way”, casually guiding us towards the Eightfold Path of enlightenment in an idiosyncratic way.
The book masterfully draws intellectual bridges between the esoteric Buddhist wisdom known as Tibetan (Vajrayana), Indian Hinduism, Chinese Taoism and Legalism, Christian mysticism, Sufism, Roman cults, Egyptian religions, and Persian Zoroastrianism.
Iliyan provokes a palette of passion and emotion in his reader, breaking clichéd narratives while somewhat resembling a Taoist Road Trip, which is not a compliment given lightly. This novel paints the tale of an unusual mystical journey, a shamanistic pilgrimage if you will, a sole quest about individual submission to spiritual teachings and personal revelation.
Using modern means of expression, Iliyan draws an ancient anamorphic Buddhist painting, a distorted projection of the Devil and Lotus, a flower like no one. The lotus rises from the depths of a muddy river, blooms, and thrives. A story about a human who rises from the darkness of the world into a new way of thinking and living. A tale about love, faith, sacrifices, rebirth, and growth, by a mysterious purification of the spirit in fire.
Each character in the book serves as a sacred gate that opens a different mystical universe for the reader. It is an unsurpassed mastery to juggle symbolism with such ease and embroider a myriad of layers of perception. A turbulent overturning of the senses, and the reader can’t help but feel as if they have found themself in a darkened room full of flickering candles. Hazy reflections in which they search and finds answers without the need to even ask a question. A lost Taoist art of weaving words with profound meaning and repercussion.
The story of the Devil was captured by Kuzmanov accurately and presented elegantly in Faustian prose. A portrait of an unequal struggle. A failed conflict reminiscent of a forgotten Hindu epic between the fallen devil and the Eternal Order (Sanatan Dharma). A simple story about a man, about a devil, about someone lost far in the past and someone you long since parted ways with.
An awakening in tyranny, rigid in rituals and dogmas to reach Bodhisattva. A pilgrimage of Siddhartha and his companions, an ascetic renunciation of everything earthly to reach enlightenment in a journey to Nirvana. A work of mystical art that not only makes you think, but floods you with emotions, forces you to stop thinking and just feel… until you cease feeling too…