Crisis can compel a person to search for deeper meaning or truths.

That’s what writer Chetan Parkyn did in 1979 when, at age 27, he found himself questioning everything.

“In the following years, I experimented with all the wisdom traditions I could find, always anticipating finding ‘the system,’” he recalls.

Parkyn finally found “Human Design.” The concept is based on charting an individual’s birth time and location and positions of the sun, moon and planets at the time of birth to determine her or his personal HD chart.

The individual then uses the data to tap his or her innate ability to make focused, deliberate decisions, writes Jakub Stritezsky (, a certified HD teacher and analyst. An HD chart helps you use your body’s intelligence to guide you and make decisions based on what’s fixed and reliable within you, not your mind, he adds.

“The mind is always influenced by the outside conditioning and propaganda and doesn’t reflect your uniqueness,” Stritezsky explains. “(Human Design) can show you how to live not according to rules, advice and opinions of others but as an original human being — as yourself.”

On the surface, HD may sound like astrology, but Stritezsky insists the data interpretation differs significantly.

As a novice, I found that to be true; HD appears more technical and dense with its own jargon.

I struggled to come up with ways to explain HD to newcomers like myself. Parkyn’s writings allowed me to persevere. His “Book of Destinies: Discover the Life You Were Born to Live” and “Human Design: Discover the Person You Were Born to Be” helped make HD more manageable.

That’s not to say the books aren’t easy reading.

In “Human Design” Parkyn begins by challenging the common advice to “be yourself and everything will be fine.”

“The problem is this: How many of us know what being ourselves actually means,” he writes. “Who is this ‘true self,’ — the private inner being that hides behind the mask it wears for most public interactions, that real person we are when stripped of our ego and acts of social graces aimed at winning respect, approval or popularity?”

He also notes “millions” pass through life without fully realizing our true selves or unlocking the power of our individuality.

“Instead, conformity and responsibility in adulthood have combined to distort or shrink our true natures,” writes Parkyn. “Along the way, we’ve picked up and collected traits and acceptable responses that are deemed the ‘norm,’ so there’s always a tendency to act as we believe we should act or how we’ve been trained to act, all the time keeping our inner beings bound and gagged.”

Carola Eastwood, Parkyn’s wife and partner, coauthored “Book of Destinies.” It builds on the first book by showing the reader how to chart her or his “Life Theme.”

“Just like the storyline of a book or the theme music to a movie, there is a unique, consistent and recognizable undercurrent to your whole lifetime,” they write. “It is your Life Theme, which is your melody — your part in the symphony — and only you can play it. Knowing and accepting your particular Life Theme is truly transformative. Embodying this awareness gives you reassurance and clarification about your life purpose.”

“Book of Destinies” and “Human Design” are available from most booksellers. For more information on Parkyn and Eastwood’s work, go to

Golden writes the Courier’s weekly faith and values column. Email her at