Spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer explores the question of human identity and shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and achieve happiness and self-realization.
©2007 Shanti Publications, Inc. (P)2011 Tantor
"Read this book carefully and you will get more than a glimpse of eternity." (Deepak Chopra)
I approached this book with an open heart and an open mind. I had read no reviews of it, had not heard of it, other than it being referred to by an acquaintance as a book that had made a positive difference in his life. I downloaded it from Audible and listened to it over two days.
As it commenced I felt connected to some of the examples being provided, including some which made me laugh out loud at how I winced or nodded thinking ‘oh damn, that’s me!’ - which set me up for feeling positive about the rest of the book.
As each chapter progressed I was reading it feeling a sense of anticipation. Anticipation of some practical insights; of some ways of connecting those insights about consciousness into my day-to-day realities.
What I found, however, was not a sense of progression but a sense of frustration.
Increasingly, each chapter would seem to be rather repetitious and not, (in any way obvious to me –and I acknowledge my potential lack of depth or existentially relevant skills) – provide any further insight than that already provided. Onward, I continued – convinced the lack of progression was mine not the author’s. Despite my developing misgivings, I continued reading, and in fact completed the book. Towards the end of the book I found I was ‘arguing’ with the author about inconsistencies.
The book for the most part presents as very respectful of all belief systems.
The broadness of approach, of language used, allows for the ‘idea’ of whatever the reader holds to be their version of ‘spiritual’ as able to be encompassed. In relation to this point, as an ‘open-minded atheist’ I appreciated this approach and was able to listen comfortably for most of the book.
Until Chapter 19 (final chapter). At this point the author seemed to fling to one side the inclusive language previously used. With the exception of one paragraph, all references exclusively and repeatedly use the term ‘god.’ Seven biblical quotations with relevant references were used while merely one sentence was used to encompass all other belief systems.
Another challenge presented in Chapter 19 was the concept of being judgemental.
Perhaps it is my naïveté. To say that someone is…(whatever the next word).. then one is being judgemental; whether, and irrelevantly, positive or negative.
“It is like the unconditional love of mother. A mother devotes every moment of her life to a child who is physically or mentally challenged. She thinks the child is beautiful. She doesn’t focus on the shortcomings. In fact, she doesn’t see them as shortcomings.”
What patronising judgements! To use the emotionally-charged elements including (but certainly not limited to): 1) a child; 2) a child with some sort/level of disability or challenge; 3) the expectations of the role of a mother; 4) the presumption that a mother will unquestioningly view her ‘challenged child’ as ‘beautiful’.
I can’t recall the section, however one part of the book left me particularly bemused. While we are exhorted to transcend judgement, we are provided examples of being judged. The author asks who do you think god would rather talk to: a whinger or someone seeing only the positive? It is answered for us, that god would obviously prefer the positive person. Is this not utterly judgemental? Particularly when the parable of the prodigal son was also proffered (a parable which provides me with a personal sense of how unfair, rather than non-judgemental, that people can be) is held aloft for us to be inspired by.
So, I would have to say that, in my opinion, this book is worth listening to as a beginning moment on a journey of consciousness. It does not, however, provide any real maps or practical methods about how to get anywhere. It is rather repetitive in its approach and does not develop the initial ideas presented to any useful extent. It does provide a starting point for challenging oneself about journey of self-actualisation.
The performance/presentation of the book is very good and I would be very happy to listen to other productions by this narrator.
Amazing! Worthy of all 5 stars. Would recommend to anyone who is open minded and seeking to become more conscious in their everyday life. Easy to listen to and easy to understand.
Overall was a good book but not a lot of new information. A good refresh and reset if your in a rut. A healthy dose of perspective. I'd recommend getting it.
This and the Seat of the Soul are definitely the pick of the self help books.
Whilst Eckhart Tolle and others write beautifully I find them of limited practical help. Michael Singer and Gary Zukav impart gems that you can bring into your life.
Okay, I love Tolle, Dyer, Chodron, Chopra, Ruiz, Byron Katie, and many others, and that won't change. But for the clearest explanation of how to disregard that 'nut' running commentary in my head, this book wins hands down. It is funny, I mean oh so, 'oh my goodness of course' belly laugh funny, and sensible and simple. I love simple. If you really want to understand who 'you' are...the real you behind the insanity, this is a great book. I found the narrator to be fine, not perfect but I had no problem listening to him. Listened all the way through first day and started over.
"Changed my Life!"
I have listened to this book about 8 times. Everytime I re-listen I hear something new.
It has chaged my life and given me freedom. Thank you Michael Singer for sharing this wonderful way of living.
"Amazing Content, Awful Sound"
Amazing content. The book really ties together a lot of spiritual concepts and just says it how it is. I've read a lot in this genre and am hearing things elucidated like never before. I LOVE the description of the energy waves and the Dao as well as the description of the stuck energy in the heart. I've experienced this phenomenon in Vipassana meditation but it was never explained as plainly/nicely as this.
Peter's voice is fine, but he starts each sentence with a burst and then trails off at the end of each sentence. I'm listening on quality Beats speakers so it's not my system. The result is that the volume has to be turned up louder to hear the end of the sentence, and it makes the beginning part way too loud. To the mixing/mastering engineer: please USE A COMPRESSOR! It's maddening.
"I loved this book"
I listened to this book over and over. There is a sense of peace and surrender that comes over me after I finish a chapter.
Quieting the mind chatter.
It gets really good at chapter 14 and beyond
lean back and let it pass through you.
Keep this book handy. You will refer to it over and over again.
"A straightforward solid spiritual guide"
Listen to the narrator for yourself. I found the narration good and the reader had appropriate deference and sensitivity to the content. I did not agree with the harsh judgements regarding the narrator, it was fine for me.
This book feels like a good distillation of the many books I have read on Buddhism, positive psychology and just good ways to live fully. I recommend this for anyone who feels blocked in life.
"Finding your authentic self"
Peter Berkrot's performance is soul searching, but at the same time allows me to laugh at the
Probably should have been listened to in one sitting, but definitely one that I will listen to a second time.
The single greatest element of this book was the "Allegory of the House." Essentially, one will gain greater insight into the concepts shared after having progressed through the book up to the Allegory itself. However, I feel the Allegory itself could serve as a stand-alone. I kept waiting for the book to give more credit to divine intervention. While this is not for everyone, many people relate to this concept. The author does bring this point around in its own chapter near the final points of the book. If the God themes aren't for you, you'll be ok. If the God themes are your thing, you'll also be just fine.
The story did nothing, if not to help you find that other people are experiencing the same inner nuance you are. For instance, the author, at the very beginning, relates to the reader by admitting that he has tried to tell the voice in his head to 'Shut Up.' This relatively regular theme of intermittent candor is refreshing.
I think Peter did a respectable job. My concern with his reading of this work lies solely in his volume level. Sporadic is the best word for it. At times, his volume is normal, and easily received, While other times, when he seems to be attempting to do the author justice, he lowers his voice for dramatic effect. More than a few times I struggled to comprehend what he had said, forcing me to rewind the audio and re-listen. I'm not sure what this does for my stats on the mobile app but I was concerned. ;^)
"Inspirational and worth striving towards!"
This spiritual book taught me to detach more and to let go, which isn't new to me, but it's presented in a different way. I love it!
The only criticism I have is with the narrator. He tended to drop the volume of his voice on the last word of the sentence. I'd have to go back and listen again to get the one word.
An inspiring view of self and our ability to obtain happiness. Gives a biblical basis for forgiveness and happiness in relation to today's world views.
"Great topic, poorly explained"
Fluctuation in voice to add dramatic effect caused volume to fade too low to hear at times. Too much attempt at dramatization.
Any book on the topic of consciousness will have a couple of useful nuggets and this book was no different. Just hard to stay interested between the literary style and narration.
The Power of Now may be advanced and take great concentration, but I found it much clearer and that it did a phenomenal job of explaining the topic. I recommend that book instead.
"One of the best I've purchased."
I've listened to more than 50 audio books on spirituality, Buddhism, enlightenment, awakening etc., and this is the first time I've felt compelled to write a review.
The author offers many great metaphors and stories to help the listener really understand the concepts discussed. I can already see how easy it 'could be' to change my behaviour, my perception and my experience of the life that flows through and around me - concepts I'm looking forward to playing with from this moment on.
In summary then, this audiobook offers many of the concepts and ideas that others do, but in a way that helps the listener to think about how he / she can apply them in a practical way to day-to-day life situations, and in turn step that much closer towards awakening.
"Getting rid of that voice!"
I have listened twice and keep going back for reinforcement.
It really helped me to shut up that constant chatter, as an over thinker? I now understand that it wasn't over thinkimg but the voice/chatter in my mind overtaking.
Easy to listen to and follow - good sense of humour helped
Highly recommended for anyone who wants to be able to shut up that chatter and really think!
The concept of ones self.
No but I will
I feel I understand myself much more and I have a new out look in life. This book is truly life changing. I have shared this book with my friends and family and everyone loves it and cant wait to share it as well.
"Just The Tonic"
This is my second listen and l felt moved to listen to it. l found more this time than the first.
This book is awesome in content, spirit and truth. The narrator is clear, dramatic and engaging.
Just the Tonic for the journey.
love this so much it takes you all the way from a busy self obsessed mind to going beyond into disattachment and freedom. think I'll listen twice
"Good but not revelatory"
Good read and with some new perspectives. At times I was expecting more but perhaps I was expecting too much.
This is the first book I have read that made a distinction between the voices in your head (internal dialogue) versus the impartial observer.
Through many examples the book explains how to separate your thought processes from yourself. The challenge is to see and separate while understanding your transient role in this universe.
I chuckled quite a bit in some parts and scratched my head in other parts.
Definitely a book to listen to over and over again. Like its guidance to seek happiness in everything I shall be returning to this book to try to gain more of the knowledge it seeks to impart.
Highly recommended, this book from start to finish had me wanting to hear more... will be listening again.
"Great wisdom in this book"
Very inspirational, heartfelt experience whilst listening to these teachings. What a wonderful world we live in. If only we could let all its wonder be part of who we are.
"Great entry to Eastern thinking. "
Very accessible and common sense explanation of applying Eastern meditative thinking to modern western life.
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