Reviews written by Miriam Knight
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Suzanne Jauchius’s memoir about growing up with an abusive mother and having to hide her impressive psychic abilities from her and a string of equally abusive husbands was like a soap opera. It was addictive - every page brought a new melodrama, so you keep reading compulsively to find out what happens next. You want to shake her as she ruefully admits to one bad choice after another, but you cheer her on as she gropes her way out of a prolonged dark night of the soul towards the light of self knowledge and acceptance of herself and her gifts.
Writing such an intimate memoir was a courageous act and, I would guess, the culmination of her own healing process. I think the core messages of the book are ones that we can all take on board: there are no victims, only accomplices; connecting with the natural world is essential to grounding oneself; and finding community supports you in finding inner peace.
As a working psychic Suzanne takes great pride in her psychometric skills and ability to get messages from objects and situations, which she has validated in a wide range of police cases and readings. She is a bit dismissive of the fuzzy emotional impressions of many new age psychics. I suspect that this view is colored by her own history of hiding her emotions and talents from her critics as a defense mechanism.
Anyone who has hidden or suppressed their own intuitive abilities out of fear of ridicule or worse can resonate with her struggle for validation. Ultimately, however, the psychic aspect of the story is only a byplay in her struggle to find validation and acceptance as a human being.
The lessons she learns the hard way are universal, and the fundamental one is that we can’t find ourselves in the eyes of others. We must do the inner work of erasing the tapes of our childhood, and releasing the baggage that has kept us from being whole and vibrant and joyful. Suzanne was lucky enough to have found some wonderful mentors along the way, and this book may be her way of paying their kindness forward. In any event, it’s a darn good read.
A Synthesis of Wisdom and Compassion
Wow! What a marvelous example of integral thinking, bridging cellular biology and spirituality. The Code of Authentic Living provides a deeply compassionate counterweight to the alienation and isolation of the individual so prevalent in our time. Reflecting the truism in mystical circles that states, “As above, so below, ” Joan King applies the principles of how the components of the cell interact and cooperate as an interdependent community to illuminate our understanding of what human beings need to thrive.
Dr. King emphasizes the importance of discovering one’s core values and living in alignment with them. “In order to unlock our full potential,” she suggests, “we must be part of a community whose values are harmonious with our own.” Just as all the mechanisms of the body are brought into play to achieve balance and homeostasis, so should the individual seek out supportive elements within society that let him or her maintain equilibrium. Equally it is up to each individual to contribute creatively to the greater whole. A good example is Cicely Saunders, who was moved by the pain, fear and loneliness of the dying and the helplessness of their families. Determined to do something about it she founded the Hospice movement. There are now thousands of hospices around the country providing an invaluable service.
Dr. King gives pragmatic suggestions for engaging in social action and delivering the most fundamental requirements of a healthy society – protecting the vulnerable, welcoming diversity, overcoming conflict and prejudice and finding creative outlets for the individual spirit.
This book is an amazing achievement and would make a fine workbook for any community or spiritual organization. There are discussion points and exercises at the end of each chapter that help internalize the change one needs to “be”.
If we could apply to politics and government the same guidelines for authenticity that Dr. King has so beautifully articulated, what a tipping point that would be.
James Cameron summed up the message of this film best in his acceptance speech at the Golden Globe awards: " 'Avatar' asks us to see that everything is connected, all human beings to each other, and us to the Earth. And if you have to go four and a half light years to another, made-up planet to appreciate this miracle of the world that we have right here, well, you know what, that's the wonder of cinema right there, that's the magic..."
Talk about New Consciousness!
This film is magic. It returned me to a state of childlike wonderment. Cameron has created a world of incredible beauty and innocence on the one hand and savagery and survival on the other - much like our own - where you must understand and respect all living things, before you can live in safety and harmony. This electrifying adventure story breaks all precedent for cinematic effects. Seeing it in 3-D amazing if you can, but see it you must!
While obesity isn’t a disease it is certainly an epidemic that contributes to disease, and losing belly fat is one of the best things you can do for your health and appearance. Celebrity wellness trainer Jorge Cruise has come up with a relatively easy way to lose the fat and keep it off. It is not a diet, but rather an education in a way of eating for life that minimizes sugar and refined carbohydrates through a carb swap system. The emphasis is on good quality protein, healthy fats and vegetables with a small amount of complex carbs.
He goes into just enough science to let you understand the vital importance of making changes in how you eat and drink. The program trains you to read labels and reject the overwhelming majority of processed food that is laced with sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup or aspartame. That means most soda is out and water is in; wine is good, mixed drinks no; dark chocolate is fine, nix on the candy bars...
Jorge tailors the approach to a modern lifestyle that includes fast and slow food restaurants, and minimum time or inclination to cook. He shows how healthy and tasty dishes can be prepared from scratch from fresh wholesome ingredients in 15 minutes or less. Most of the book contains recipes showing the healthy equivalent or alternatives for dozens of fast food restaurant dishes and supermarket items.
While the book says it is “For People Too Tired to Diet or Exercise”, Jorge does suggest walking and some toning exercises in the last chapter, but they are optional and not necessary for weight loss. I hope this book does become a bestseller, because it’s a useful and practical guide to a healthy eating lifestyle for the whole family.
This book delivers both more than I expected, yet less than I had hoped for. After reading the introduction, I was expecting much more of a scientific-spiritual bridge between cellular biology and medicine on the one hand and the influence of consciousness and the soul on the body. But in the end, Dr. Chopra focused on the latter.
The book does contain valuable information, mind you, combining the deep human understanding of a wise old family doctor with the spiritual guidance of a mystic. The problem is that the gems are somewhat buried in a plethora of semi-relevant anecdotes and case studies showing how our consciousness can change physical processes. I think it is fair to say that this book is a synthesis of many of Chopra’s books over the last twenty years, but lacks the brilliance and insight of his lectures.
In essence the book is about rediscovering the emotional and spiritual compass in ourselves that can make life a joyous, creative expansion of learning and being all that we can. That compass is the "still small voice" of our soul. This is certainly an important message for our time. Our soul not only guides us, if we listen, but helps nourish our body with life force. Dr. Chopra points out the many and myriad ways we distract ourselves and drown out its messages and starve the body and spirit of real nourishment.
Depending on where one is in one’s journey, therefore, the book can be a real revelation or an articulate restatement of things he has already written and we have already read. From an author as penetrating and prolific as Deepak Chopra, I was hoping for more of a breakthrough book; a unified field theory of the spiritual and the material. There are hints of it here, but room for much more.
In 1998 Neale Donald Walsch published The Little Soul and the Sun as a children’s version of his Conversations With God trilogy. Patrick Cheh’s wholly delightful animation takes the book to a new level, making it engaging for children from about 3 to 10, as well as their parents and teachers. The theme of bullying the film deals with is sadly all too prevalent in our society. The intent of this film is to help children (and adults) stop brooding over their victimhood and shift them into an empowered state of the spirit based on an expanded perspective of who they really are - souls having a human experience. The film deals with some pretty heavy philosophical issues with a light touch.
In a bonus talk to the parents, Neale expands on these themes, suggesting that nobody does anything inappropriate given their model of the world. Their perspective creates their perception, which in turn creates belief. Their beliefs create their behavior, which creates their experience, which creates their reality, which comes around and creates the next perspective.
If the film succeeds for even a few viewers in changing their models of the world, the positive cascade effect could be significant. Given the track record of the Conversations with God books, we have every reason to expect this to be the case.
With the revived interest in growing your own produce, the challenge is how to store nature's bounty to get the most benefit. I was delighted to come across this wonderful guide to natural storage of fruits and vegetables. It offers detailed instructions on how to turn even a closet or basement into a useful cold store, and for those who have the space outdoors, how to many different types of traditional root cellars. It is well illustrated and gives detailed do's and don'ts for each kind of produce, as well as a great collection of down home recipes in the appendix.
When weird things happen, most of us file them away as coincidence or as freaky-things-not-to-talk-about-or-people-might-think-you’re-crazy. Dutch filmmaker Renée Scheltema, however, was motivated by her own psychic experiences to find out whether science had an explanation for them, and how you tell whether they are real.
Trailing around with a camera after some of the top scientists, authors, psychics and healers in the world, she created a fascinating documentary that provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of understanding and ongoing scientific research into how consciousness can communicate across space and time and influence matter.
I’m not sure that the scientists are lot closer to an explanation of how or why this happens, but science has demonstrated pretty clearly that these phenomena are real. The consensus seems to be that all consciousness is interconnected through quantum non-locality or entanglement that may utilize zero point energy for transmission. In simpler terms, we are all connected through a global mind that may be under a central Guiding, Organizing, Designing influence - yes there does seem to be a spiritual component to it all.
Scheltema focuses on the “Big 5” psi phenomena – Telepathy, Clairvoyance (Remote Viewing), Precognition (predicting the future), Psycho-kinesis (Mind over matter), and Psychic Healing. There is such a wealth of material here, that I am impressed with how seamlessly she shifts among the interviewees to advance the exposition of some pretty complex ideas. The film does the general conscious awakening a great service with its matter-of-fact approach, and only the most closed-minded skeptic could fail to be impressed with the evidence presented. Bravo, Renée!
I did laugh out loud a few times, but mostly I found myself smiling as I read about the happenings in this Camelot of small town America, recalled with gentle humor by Andy Andrews. "Return to Sawyerton Springs" is a selection of “mostly true” reminiscences of a minister’s son growing up in a close-knit Alabaman community that regards Birmingham as the North.
The tale meanders along like a babbling brook on a lazy summer day, creating a mood of innocent well-being. The stories are like a time capsule of the values of neighborliness and kindness that his upright, church-going community held dear. Andrews is a fine storyteller, and "Return to Sawyerton Springs" will strike a chord with anyone nostalgic for a simpler time.
The Ledge of Quetzal by Jock Whitehouse
In the same way that poetry communicates with the reader on a different level of consciousness, Jock Whitehouse’s narrative of his hero’s magical journey to ultimate surrender evokes a deeper recognition of truth than any autobiography could have. Using interesting time jumps and juxtapositions, the book interweaves Mayan history, myth and archaeology with the search of Daniel Bancroft for the meaning of the visions and experiences that draw him to the Ledge of Quetzal in Mexico.
Daniel tries to fit into society’s norms, and fails repeatedly. It is only after a “chance” meeting with the teacher who would connect him to his intuition and his guides that he starts on the path to wisdom and awakening. In a magical experience reminiscent of Indiana Jones, he experiences complete surrender to divinity and is transformed by it. The apocalyptic visions of 2012 become a time of testing for all humanity. Daniel becomes the mirror of our divinity to anyone who has the courage to look and accept it. Will we look in this mirror and see our divine selves and choose the way of love and paradise? Or will we reject this reality and see only chaos and despair? Either way, we will be right, so let us choose wisely.
It takes courage for a Jew to write critically of Israel and brave the inevitable backlash from co-religionists. Kim Chernin, a psychotherapist, has dug deeply into her soul and psyche to present her personal view of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She strives to present both sides with balance and objectivity, acknowledging the influence of her own history as a Zionist who immigrated to Israel and then left.
While there have been immense historical wrongs against the Jewish people, and they have had to learn to fight for survival, Chernin’s willingness to justify Israel’s heavy-handed military actions against the Palestinian people eroded as the pain of their daily lives weighed heavily on her. I think the value and importance of this book is in the intellectual and emotional process Chernin goes through to get beyond the historical rights and wrongs of both sides and focus instead on the brutalization the conflict has inflicted on all of them. I remember a quote from Golda Meir when she was Prime Minister that is particularly apropos. She said, “I can forgive the Arabs for killing my sons, but I can never forgive them for turning my sons into killers.”
Chernin point out that “Realpolitik has been steadily failing since the 1940s and will continue to fail precisely because it doesn’t have a sufficiently complex view of reality – one that requires fundamental change on the part of the participants so they can hold to the agreements on which everything depends.” There are no easy answers, and all the peace agreements in the world will be hollow until both sides start seeing each other’s humanity and accept their mutual right to a decent life.
The book does point to glimmers of hope in this direction. There are quite a few initiatives on both sides to further peace and reconciliation. One of the most notable is Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, an organization that teaches conflict resolution and has established a number of schools where Arab and Israeli children learn together.
This book was written over several years, and it is interesting that in the Afterword Chernin reflects that, “Almost every opinion I held when I began this book I no longer hold… Looked at more clearly, facts turned out to be opinions... and opinions are preferences or beliefs. As Lao Tse said, “The more you know, the less you understand.”
This book is fun, engaging and has something for every fitness level! The basis is a selection of simple but effective 90 second exercises that should not take more than 3 minutes a day or 15 minutes total a week - any one can cope with that, right?
The vook is based on Pete Cerqua's hardcover book by the same title published in December, 2008. Pete is one of New York's most respected and in-demand fitness trainers, and the embedded video in the vook lets his energy shine through. It is also really useful to see the exercises demonstrated rather than trying to imagine how to do them.
He also offers recipes and guidelines for healthy eating and quick emergency weight loss. Can't wait to try them out...
For a few weeks I staunchly resisted opening The Lost Symbol because I had other books claiming my attention. Two days ago I cracked it open and was immediately sucked into the world of Dan Brown, emerging bleary-eyed and contemplative. While many elements echoed The Da Vinci Code – reluctant hero, damsel in distress, fanatic villain, wise mentor, ancient secrets – they are such archetypes that Brown can be forgiven for the resonance. He really is a master storyteller who weaves history, suspense and arcana into a fairly compulsive page-turner full of adrenalin rushing action, and a labyrinth of unexpected twists and turns. The dialogue can get a bit forced on occasion, especially when presenting paragraphs of obscure factoids, and I did find myself skimming a bit.
But this is first and foremost a thriller, and since I don’t want to give away the plot, I'll focus on what might be the impact of The Lost Symbol.
Like good art and literature generally, I think this book both reflects and will affect the collective psyche. It taps into the same profound yearnings to understand life’s mysteries that rocketed The Secret to popularity a few years ago. It dangles the notion that there are indeed answers out there that “they” (government, illuminati, the Church, anyone in power, etc.) are keeping from us - grist for the mill of our inner conspiracy theorist. His research is exhaustive and meticulous, and I noticed that there are already three “guides” to the book out there or on the way.
The book can be read on several different levels: as a jolly good read, as pop history, as a popularized introduction to esoteric ideas, and/or as a big wake-up call. I’m not sure it will have the same impact as the Da Vinci Code, because the conclusions are more personal and require reflection.
The ending straddles the border between magic and plausible possibility, between victimhood and the dazzling power of creation. I recall the immortal words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and they are us…” The Lost Symbol would suggest, “We have met God, and God is us…” Let’s hope this work is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Armageddon - History or Destiny
Michael Baigent examines the apocalyptic perspectives of the three Abrahamic religions, and the disturbing agendas of their respective fundamentalists - in effect a "plot to end the world" in order to bring about the coming of the messiah. He links these agendas to the politics of today, and if he doesn’t succeed in scaring you, you probably weren’t paying attention.
Baigent traces the traditions of Armageddon and the end times using the same investigative approach we saw in his other books, like Holy Blood, Holy Grail, The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception and The Jesus Papers. In a fascinating tour through history, he explores the earliest apocalyptic visions found the Bible, Isaiah and Revelations. He shows how they have evolved within different religions and sects, and how they have been used by those in power through the centuries and down to the present day.
The agendas Baigent describes call for world domination centered on the city of Jerusalem – either physical, as in the Caliphate of the Mahdi of Islam or the second coming of the Christian messiah, or spiritual, as in the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple. Although each religion’s view anticipates a messiah being sent by God, none of these monotheistic religions seems open to the possibility that they are talking about one and the same God or messiah.
Even more alarming is their attitude, documented by Baigent, that killing non-believers to herald in this era of peace is perfectly acceptable – even admirable! These ideas are seeded in the minds of children in Madrassahs, parochial schools and through home schooling. US politics has been increasingly manipulated by the views of the religious right, using the principles of freedom of speech and religion in the Bill of Rights to deny both to those not agreeing with them.
Baigent is concerned that it may already be too late to stop the slide of civilization over the brink of global conflict. Baigent is saying that the only way to de-fuse the power of militant religions is through the direct and unmediated experience of the individual with God. That is why, he believes, only those awake to the mystical traditions within these religions – Christian mysticism, Sufism, and the Kabbalah – have a chance of reversing this race to Armageddon… in essence “fighting fire with fire.”
Baigent believes that the influence of fundamentalism on our American political system is potentially devastating to our freedoms. Whatever one’s own views on religion, I think the questions he raises about what we really value as a society are important. There are no easy answers, but at the very least we must think hard about the questions.
Guardians of Being is another delightful collaboration between spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle and Patrick McDonnell, the creator of the Mutts cartoon characters. Despite the cartoon illustrations, unless your child is a little Buddha, this is really a book for an adult’s inner child.
The charm and quirky humor of McDonnell’s cartoons marries perfectly with the deep peace and serenity of Tolle’s words, lifting the combination to a new plane and calling you into the moment like an irresistable siren song. It is the perfect book for the bedside, coffee table or “Throne Room,” and would make a wonderfully subversive gift for Type A personalities.
A Film of Beauty, Integrity and Inspiration
When I sat back at the end of this film, I reflected on the astonishing feat Peter Rodger had accomplished. Like stuffing a genie into a bottle, Rodger covered an incredibly wide spectrum of beliefs about God from people and communities around the globe, did a genius job of editing them into a seamless whole, and crammed it all into a 93-minute film.
“Knowledge seems to be flowing at an unprecedented rate,” says Rodger at the beginning of the film. “Wisdom seems to ebb at an unprecedented rate. Truth is being diluted by too many voices, all keen to reference the name of God. But what exactly is God? I decided to go around the world and ask people what they think. I’ve no idea where this will take me.”
Rodger takes us with him on a magic carpet ride across 23 countries over three years. He interviews celebrities and unsung heroes, clerics and believers, atheists and universalists, city dwellers and indigenous tribesmen. He captures their practices, faith, cynicism, pain, passion and celebration in a kaleidoscope of sheer, glorious humanity set against a backdrop of amazing scenery. Rodger was assisted only by Patrick Ellis, who doubled as B cameraman and sound engineer, and Alexander van Bubenheim who composed the score, incorporating local sounds to create an extraordinary, original soundtrack.
The approach of the film is almost Socratic – asking questions and letting the answers given build layer upon layer of understanding. We come to recognize how universal is the search for meaning, community, certainty, and comfort in times of sorrow. The answers and interpretations range from total rejection of the idea of a God, to the absolute certainty of the fundamentalist that one’s truth is the only way to salvation. The middle ground is poignantly expressed by two clerics in Jerusalem – one Jewish and one Moslem. “God is here in the space between us,” he says, as the two war-weary peacemakers embrace and walk down the road with the lights of the Holy City twinkling in the background.
This is a film of beauty, integrity and inspiration. Rodger says, “If I can touch one heart with this film then I have succeeded,” and I can say right now that he has.
The Human Antenna by Dr. Robin Kelly
This is a valuable addition to the growing stream of revolutionary books on holistic health care coming from medical doctors. They all start with the doctors feeling the same ache of knowing that the mainstream medicine they were taught to practice was not necessarily serving the best interests of their patients. Each of them finds his or her own path to discovering a way to focus on the whole patient – body, mind and spirit – and integrate other tools into their practice, like nutrition, energy medicine, guided visualization, and most importantly, taking the time to listen and understand the broader context of the patient’s life.
In “The Human Antenna” Dr. Kelly anchors each step in the narrative of his own journey to integrative medicine in the growing body of evidence that we are energy beings who respond to the world around us in ways that are not explained by conventional medicine but rather by quantum science. Dr. Kelly offers lucid explanations of sometimes complex physical principles and overlays them on principles of Eastern medicine in practice for thousands of years. He shows how the work of pioneers like Bruce Lipton and Carolyn Myss illuminate the interplay between the emotions, the environment and the manifestation of symptoms in the body.
He goes through the energy centers of the body and describes the kind of emotional blockages that are often linked with physical problems associated with each chakra. He illustrates each with case studies, therapies and exercises to relieve the imbalance, and give additional tools and resources in the appendices.
This book provides a wonderful overview of the importance of mind-body medicine, and would be an excellent introduction to the field for professional and layperson alike.
This is an immensely important book at this time of national debate on the future of health care in America.
While Dr. Saputo may be rushing into a political melee where even angels fear to tread, he is certainly no fool. An internal medicine practitioner for forty years, he began to see another side of medicine when medical science failed his wife, condemning her to a downward spiral of drugs and steroids. In desperation, they began to research and employ alternative therapies, and she was eventually able to regain her health.
When Dr Saputo shared his results with his medical colleagues, their reactions ranged from indifference to hostility. This was a major wake-up call to someone who had dedicated himself to being a healer. How could these doctors turn their collective backs on treatments that could relieve suffering? They had all sworn the Hippocratic Oath, “First do no harm…”, yet they closed their minds to a promising treatment protocol, just because it was not part of conventional medical practice. Dr. Saputo embarked on a mission to put the wellness of his patients ahead of the medical orthodoxy of the system and offer them the best healing practices from both conventional and alternative medicine.
In order to do that he had to create a new model of “health care” radically different from the “disease care” practiced today. To do so he faced the censure of his colleagues, the state medical board and even legal challenges. All he wanted to do was to offer his patients a choice regarding their own health care. (Sound familiar?)
The first part of the book cites chapter and verse about the incestuous relationship between the drug companies and doctors, researchers and politicians; it describes how hospitals and health insurance companies have morphed from service industries to profit-driven corporations, and all of them together have created the failed system we have today. He quotes one hair-raising fact after another from sources like respected medical journals, the Congressional Record, the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health:
o Medical mistakes are the leading cause of death in US
o No more than 15% of medical interventions are supported by reliable scientific evidence,
o The FDA approved bad drugs like Vioxx and Lupron, that cost tens of thousands of lives, but 90 studies that showed that vitamin D from sunshine reduces cancer risk by 50% have been suppressed
o Half of all bankruptcies in America are due to medical bills
o By 2017, 1$ out of every 5$ spent, will be on health care
o The US spends more money per capita than anyone, but is #37 in health outcomes in the world, just above Slovenia and Cuba
Dr. Saputo has created a group practice through considerable trial and error that offers a fascinating model that could revolutionize health outcomes, patient and doctor satisfaction, and still be more economical than the current system. He calls it “Integral Health Care”, adapting the philosophy of Ken Wilber. Depending on the needs of his patients, Dr. Saputo wants to shift the priorities from disease management focused on drugs, expensive diagnostics and surgery, to health management, starting with prevention and health education, then the greater use of gentler alternatives like herbs, chiropractic, acupuncture and guided imagery, with drugs and surgery as options of last resort.
His practice has pioneered the use of Healing Circles that include the patient, his/her health champion (the lead practitioner) and a panel of other complementary practitioners relevant to the particular case. Both patient and doctor satisfaction have soared with this approach. The problem is that the insurance companies will not cover much of it, even though it is cheaper and more cost effective, so this kind of enlightened health care is only available to those who pay out of pocket or pro bono.
Dr. Saputo thinks that a single payer insurance system would be a big step forward. The present system is untenable. It is as bad for patients and doctors as it is for the economy and the national deficit. It is time for an informed public to pressure the politicians, who seem to be paralyzed by the fear of losing campaign funding from Big Pharma and the rest of the medical-industrial complex.
This book needs to be read by every politician, medical practitioner and citizen. It is a manifesto for what health care should be, and what it can be with honest and intelligent reform.
"The Hope" captures the very heart and soul of Andrew Harvey’s lifelong spiritual journey, and seems to be a synthesis of all the passion and wisdom he acquired along the way. The reader is caught up in a kaleidoscopic swirl of prose, poetry and prayers of saints and mystics against the background of Andrew’s extraordinary life experiences. The book can move you to tears one moment and overwhelm you the next with the torrent of prose and erudition, but always Andrew’s impassioned desire to share his hard-won wisdom shines through. It is filled with diamonds of inspiration for all agents of change wanting to help birth a world of justice and compassion.
Andrew Harvey, one of today’s best-known mystics, lays out his new vision for Sacred Activism – an amalgam of the activist’s passion for social change with the inner peace and unity consciousness of the grounded mystic or spiritual seeker. He makes a strong case for the need to merge the two into a symbiotic union – a “third flame” – in order for each aspect to compensate for the shadow side of the other:
“The mystic’s shadow of narcissism manifests as an addition to transcendence, as an escapism from responsibility from the real, as a sometimes passive and childish belief that the Divine will take care of everything, and as a subtle but devastating denial of the reality of evil and the heartbreaking misery of the world…
“ The activist’s shadow of narcissism …manifests…as a messiah complex, as a dark ego-reinforcing delight in humiliating and destroying one’s opponents, and as a depreciation of ordinary life in favor of heroic sacrifice. It also manifests as an addiction to doing for its own sake, with exhaustion, body neglect and burnout seen as signs of authenticity and badges of courage.”
He implores activists on the front lines to keep themselves strong in body, mind and spirit to avoid burnout, and gives detailed examples of spiritual and physical practices to help. He warns against being naive about the existence of evil in the world, and points out that what we detest in our adversaries is somehow also present in our own shadow side. Prayer, patience and working through one’s shadow issues, however, will make us more understanding of the other side, and more effective, and Divine Grace achieved through earnest spiritual practice is the best protection.
Andrew concludes with a call to action, and calls for readers to set up “Networks of Grace.” Using a tactic from terror cells, he suggests turning this sword into a plowshare by coming together in “imaginal cells” of 6 to12 to provide a support system for each other in the challenging work of Sacred Activism.
In the end, the book describes the path we all travel, with all the zigs and zags of a drunkard’s walk. The times we live in, however, with our demonstrated and escalating capacity for destruction, lends an undeniable urgency to the need for powerful agents of change. Andrew’s impassioned plea is that we heed the call, but that we avail ourselves of all the help and protection the Universe is just waiting to lavish upon us, if we will only ask for it.
Andrew’s website is: www.andrewharvey.net
Jessica Maxwell’s exuberant prose tumbles across the page like a whitewater raft, carrying the reader through the rapids, shallows, twists and turns of a pretty amazing life journey. This book has everything one could want: drama, adventure, romance, irreverent humor, spirituality and deep wisdom all woven through with magic… and it’s all true!
Have you ever had a coincidence, synchronicity, or –go on, say it – a miracle that changed your life? Well Jessica had a whole slew of them. The first few amazing happenings, like seeing her just-deceased father’s face in the clouds, caught her attention. Being a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic, however, it took a lot of effort and persistence on the part of the universe to nudge, badger and slam her onto the path back to God, enlightenment, Source, whatever you want to call it.
"Roll Around Heaven" describes the sometimes painful, but always amazing and even miraculous experiences that moved her from being militantly anti-religious to becoming what her spiritual mentor calls a holy woman – a mentor she calls the Holy Pig Farmer, and yes he does farm pigs.
Like many stories of personal transformation, it started with a cosmic 2 by 4 delivered squarely to the ego by 9/11. Work dried up, she lost her house, her marriage was down the pan...you know, everyday life. Being a journalist specializing in nature and adventures in far-flung places, Jessica was curious and open to experiences of all kinds. When something as weird as personalized cloud formations happened, she was determined to understand how and why. This fierce need to know magnetized some amazing teachers to her, including a handyman, a rabbi, swamis, gurus, ministers and a golf-playing Indian mystic.
She began to be able to see auras, like the aura of a major league pitcher extending out to the batter before striking him out and winning a playoff for the Seattle Mariners. Spanning dimensions of space and time, she was visited by orbs, angels and the energy bodies of Jesus, Ganesh the Hindu God, and a delightful centegenarian spinster who had just passed. She discovered first hand the incredible healing power of prayer, and the ineffable bliss of connection to all that is.
The fascinating thing about this journey is how universal were both her questions and the answers that presented themselves. It brought her back to a perception and love of God that would be at home in any religion true to its original spirit. The message of the book is that we are all brothers and sisters, and we can all know the bliss of God within if we just show up and ask. It is a message that is not preached, but shared as by an intimate friend, and given wings by wit, eloquence and a generous spirit.
I predict that this book will be another blockbuster for Beyond Words/Atria, possibly rivaling the success of "The Secret". I expect it to be a powerful force for awakening and giving rise to a new consciousness.
A Useful Little Guide!
You’ve probably suspected that all those unpronounceable ingredients on food labels weren’t good for you, but now you can know exactly what they do, and how bad (or good) they are. Deanna Minich is a respected nutritionist, and her approach is both scientific and conservative. She explains what each substance does for the product – coloring, preservative, flavor enhancer, emulsifier, etc. – and then what it does to or for you. She has a useful section on allergies and sensitivities, and what to look out for, as well as a ranking system that tells you what additives are good for you, neutral or should be definitely avoided.
I am definitely of the school that says if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. It was therefore a surprise to discover that some of the ingredients I had been shunning weren’t bad after all. There weren’t many in that category, however, so I felt quite vindicated overall.
This little guide is small enough to slip into a pocket or purse so you can take it with you shopping until you learn what to avoid. I think this small volume could pay big dividends for your health.
The Physics of Changing the World
As the streams of science, philosophy and religion converge, it is fitting that a quantum physicist should be making the case for the existence of God. In his new DVD, "The Quantum Activist," Prof. Amit Goswami is proposing what amounts to a new science based on the primacy of consciousness – both objective and subjective. The format is that of a college lecture against a kaleidoscopic background of well-chosen images and video clips. The viewer is led, step by step, and with compelling logic to the conclusion that there is one consciousness that permeates and unites us all, and that we have both power to change the world and the responsibility to start by changing ourselves.
Goswami is Professor Emeritus of physics at the University of Oregon, and will be recognized as one of the scientists in "What the Bleep do we Know." He is the author of ten books, including the standard textbook for quantum mechanics.
Reared in the sacred Hindu Tradition by his Brahman father, the young Amit got his first experiences of universal consciousness playing in the jungle forest near his home in India. Reenacting the epic stories of the Mahabharata, he felt at one with the world around him. His inquiring nature steered him into theoretical physics, and he got his doctorate in 1974. Torn between playing the academic game and trying to understand the underlying fundamental principles, he chose to focus his career on integrating science and spirituality.
Subtle phenomena like thoughts or intuition can’t be understood in the context of the traditional scientific belief that everything is matter and that all phenomena can be reduced to interactions among their underlying physical components. They are more the province of religions, which believe in downward causality from God, but can’t reach consensus about this internal reality. Goswami's work steps into the gap between the two worldviews and shows how they can be reconciled and integrated by viewing consciousness - or God - as the prime mover of all phenomena.
Quantum physics is the physics of possibility and what collapses the wave form of possibility into matter is consciousness. How does consciousness interact with matter? If you believe in duality – i.e. that we are separate from God-consciousness or quantum consciousness – then how is it that quantum physics experiments have demonstrated the action of consciousness upon matter? Since dual objects cannot communicate without a mediator, you have a quantum paradox. If, however, you can accept that consciousness (God, Brahma, whatever you wish to call it) is the ground of all being, and matter consists of possibilities of consciousness, then consciousness can choose from the field of possibility without any dualism, and the paradox disappears.
If you come to this film with an open mind, it is difficult to resist the seduction of Goswami’s meticulous logic.
1. If universal or God-consciousness encompasses all that is, and
2. Our consciousness is part of the whole, then
a. we are all part of God, and
b. we are all connected to each other
That was the “Quantum” part. Now comes the “Activist” part:
3. Trying to solve problems by rationality is not enough;
4. In order to change our world we must change ourselves, but
5. In order to change yourself you have to change your consciousness
6. When we do change ourselves, because we are interconnected we can change the world!
In his own quiet way Amit Goswami is a revolutionary by teaching that we don't need any intermediaries to have a direct connection to quantum or God-consciousness. If this is indeed the next evolutionary step for humanity, move over monkeys – it is time for the hundreth human effect!
No matter where you are along your path of self-discovery, Waiting for Autumn should grab and hold your attention.
It is a candidly autobiographical account of Daily Om founder Scott Blum’s journey from devastating personal loss to exploration of cosmic dimensions he never imagined existed, and eventually to the discovery of his life partner and soul mate.
Most of the elements of Scott’s story are universal archetypes: love, loss, pain,, despair, seeking answers, the hero’s quest, life-threatening challenges, meeting new guides and teachers, overcoming limiting beliefs, personal growth, restoration of wholeness through acceptance and finally completing the circle back to love.
Scott’s actual experiences, however, raise this memoir to a whole different level of engagement for the reader. Scott meets Robert, a local character panhandling and dispensing philosophy on the streets of Ashland, Oregon. Robert is far beyond what he seems to be and leads Scott though a process of spiritual awakening and development for which he seems to have been destined. Scott discovers the ability to travel between dimensions of time and space, and his work on the other planes becomes so absorbing he loses his anchor in this one.
The experiences Scott describes are so far out, that while the story of his life rings true, I had to ask him directly if they really happened. Scott assures me that they did, although he has compressed the time line for the sake of the flow of the narrative.
After finishing the book in one weekend of compulsive reading, I closed the cover and sat back to muse upon whole new vistas of being and possibility.
Finally! A clear and comprehensive overview of the real contributing causes of osteoporosis, and what you need to do to overcome it. It is always refreshing to see health guidance that is truly holistic, and written with intelligence and integrity. Keith McCormick, a chiropractic physician specializing in bone fragility management, distills the complex and interactive lifestyle, nutritional and environmental factors involved in osteoporosis and osteopenia, its precursor. He clearly explains the biochemistry involved, and offers bone-building strategies that can dramatically reverse the condition with a combination of corrective nutrition, supplementation and appropriate exercise.
It is said, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." This book and its authors have appeared just as we are starting to market this new company. It is as if they were looking inside my head and heart and saw my internal struggle between wanting to serve the highest good, but needing to make money and feeling that that was somehow less "spiritual".
Judith and Jim are both psychologists, bestselling authors and highly successful marketers whose approach is based on consciousness and integrity. Their "soft sell" approach combines solid marketing techniques with perceptive insights that help us reframe our whole attitude towards selling, seeing it as spiritual service rather than simply a money-based transaction. With this new mindset, a cold call can be approached as an adventure in sharing good news and making new friends, rather than something to be dreaded and put off as long as possible. Selling from the heart is all about relationships and authenticity, and it is incredibly liberating!
I was looking for a d.i.y. book on metabolic typing, but I was surprised to find so much more. Paul Check's institute, which published the book, specializes in helping people achieve their greatest physical potential. His holistic approach to health is the best, the most comprehensive, and the easiest to understand and apply that I have seen in a long time. It is the embodiment of holism.
Using questionnaires identify physical and lifestyle areas of concern, Chek points you straightaway to how to deal with them. Whether you have digestive, sleep, pain, movement or stress issues, he offers practical solutions that intuitively make sense, so you are motivated to follow them. The book is generously and sometimes humorously illustrated, so you have no questions about what he describes or how to do an exercise. It is as useful for the couch potato as for the serious athlete.
Published in 2004, it is no surprise that it continues to be a popular seller.
"The Genie in Your Genes", is one of the most useful books I have come across in a long time for anyone in the therapeutic professions. The importance of the mind-body connection in diagnosis and healing has been gaining increasing traction through the work of such ground-breaking pioneers as Candace Pert, David Feinstein and Bruce Lipton. What Dawson Church has done is to weave the work of the many scientists and researchers in this area over the last century into an impressively comprehensive overview, and in a narrative so lucid that anyone should be able to understand it. In fact reading this book was one "Aha" moment after another for me, as I read things I had heard, and even lectured on many times before, but somehow they were placed in a context that made fresh and compelling sense.
The implications of this work are profound, not only for understanding the mechanisms at play in disease and wellness, but also for understanding the power of perceptions and beliefs in creating the social and political realities we must deal with every day. I would make this book required reading for just about every discipline, and certainly all therapeutic modalities.
This CD and DVD set is available online and at Starbucks. Do the world a favor - get a stack of them and give them to friends, neighbors and anyone who needs a lift. These disks capture something incredibly precious - the simple joy of making music together. By taking the same song and flowing it seamlessly around the world from instrument to instrument, singer to singer and country to country, it demonstrates that we are indeed one world. However much the styles and settings may differ, or politics and language divide us, we can all come together and laugh and sing and "be all right."
If palmistry reveals your character, why shouldn’t the face be even more revealing? According to Jean Haner, the ancient Chinese believed that your face reflects your true inner spirit, the blueprint of your original design. Her purpose in “The Wisdom of Your Face” is to show how face reading can provide the answers to two essential life questions – Who are you? and What is your calling?
If nothing else comes out of reading the book, it will get you to really look at and “see” other people, and focus on what drives and motivates them. It is incredibly powerful sensitivity training, and most impressively, it even seems to work!
This compact little book is one of the best introductions to crystals I've seen in a guide of any size. It is easy to use and beautifully illustrated with many helpful photographs. Silveira focuses only on the main members of the quartz family - clear, tangerine, amethyst, citrine, smoky and rose. With obvious love and mastery of her subject, she shows how to identify the various forms, and describes the origins and the metaphysical properties and uses of each variant. The last section describes her personal experience with crystals, and includes tips on selecting and arranging them for special applications and how to energize and cleanse them.
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