Showing posts with label Enlightenment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Enlightenment. Show all posts

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Celestine Prophecy - A Cautionary Tale

The Book

A really great idea, poorly executed, and yet James Redfield has sold something like 23 million copies of The Celestine Prophecy. Why? Well, because it's a really great idea for a novel, I suppose.

But just imagine if Dan Brown had written The Celestine Prophecy (23 mil.) in addition to The Da Vinci Code (80 mil.). If I were Redfield, I'd ask Dan Brown to help me write a revision of The Celestine Prophecy for the 25th anniversary of its publication coming up in 2018 (published in 1993, you do the math). It would sell another 20 million easy.

Because there's a lot to like in The Celestine Prophecy: jungles, the Andes, Machu Picchu. But there's also a lot to hate there too. I've tried three or four times over the years to read it but I just couldn't do it. And I like this kind of novel, one that tries to teach you something, especially something about consciousness, enlightenment, awakening--all that crap. Heck, I even write books like that myself and I still couldn't choke it down.

The problem is, it's just so poorly written, and that's where the cautionary aspect of this blog post comes in. The Celestine Prophecy was originally self-published, and it shows. Redfield sold 100,000 copies out of the back of his Honda--Accord-ing to lore (sorry, couldn't resist)--so at that point it must have been tough for the editors at Warner Books, which scooped up the publishing rights to the book after that, to talk much sense into Redfield. And what did they care, really? I'm sure they were happy to keep the printing press churning out twenty-dollar bills. This was an unholy union that I suspect damed the movie version to hell, Satan's spawn that it is, but we'll get to that in a moment.

You might also like: These articles about Eckhart Tolle

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Daily Tolle #7

This quote encapsulates well what both The Power of Now and A New Earthare all about:
"Most of the thousands of letters and emails that have been sent to me from all over the world are from ordinary men and women, but there are also letters from Buddhist monks and Christian nuns, from people in prison or facing a life-threatening illness or imminent death. Psychotherapists have written to say that they recommend the book to their patients or incorporate the teachings in their practice. Many of those letters and emails mention a lessening or even a complete disappearance of suffering and problem-making in people's lives as a result of reading The Power of Now and putting the teachings into practice in everyday life. There is frequent mention of the amazing and beneficial effects of inner-body awareness, the sense of freedom that comes from letting go of self-identification with one's personal history and life-situation, and a newfound inner peace that arises as one learns to relinquish mental/emotional resistance to the "suchness" of the present moment." 
Eckhart Tolle, Author's Preface to the Paperback Version of The Power of Now

Read the entire book: The Power of Now - The Entire Book

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Daily Tolle Number 6

"Avoid watching [TV] programs and commercials that assault you with a rapid succession of images that change every two or three seconds or less. Excessive TV watching and those programs in particular are largely responsible for attention deficit disorder, a mental dysfunction now affecting millions of children worldwide. A short attention span makes all your perceptions and relationships shallow and unsatisfying. Whatever you do, whatever action you perform in that state, lacks quality, because quality requires attention. 
"Frequent and prolonged TV watching not only makes you unconscious, it also induces passivity and drains you of energy. Therefore, rather than watching at random, choose the programs you want to see. Whenever you remember to do so, feel the aliveness inside your body as you watch. Alternatively, be aware of your breathing from time to time. Look away from the screen at regular intervals so that it does not completely take possession of your visual sense. Don't turn up the volume any higher than necessary so that the TV doesn't overwhelm you on the auditory level. Use the mute button during commercials. Make sure you don't go to sleep immediately after switching off the set or, even worse, fall asleep with the set still on."
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth , pp. 232-3

This advice also works well for computer use.

You might also like: The Power of Now - The Entire Book

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Response to Atheist Op-Ed About Miracles

Professed atheist posted an op-ed piece to the Lexington Herald-Leader today called Miracle: Just a puzzle science has not solved.

I posted the following response, to which a not-so-cleverly-disguised Richard Dawkins, himself (Hawkins? Rhymes with Dawkins? Come on, Richard, we know it was you!) posted the below rebuttals.*


Existence itself is supernatural and something that science will never be able to explain until it changes its antiquated philosophical framework. Where did the universe come from and why did it arise? What was there before it arose? Science is but a tiny sliver of Consciousness (God), which many have experienced through direct contact with reality, but which science lacks the philosophical tools to comprehend. So all this eyewitness testimony is simply ignored. A good book on the subject is The Self-Improvement Book Club Murder, which I just happen to have written.

Fellows like Dawkins live entirely in their minds, and so have never experienced reality directly. To him, science and the material world is all there is. If he could shut down that voice in his head for a minute and live life through his body (i.e. his own little slice of this reality we share) he might be quite surprised what (and some might say Who, with a capital W) he would find there.

Aaron Hawkins:
Well I feel that eyewitness testimony is not enough to prove anything. If you were to go around believing everything that people said they saw, then you would have to believe in bigfoot, werewolves, vampires, and aliens just to name a few of the things that now exist just because someone said they saw it. This is not enough evidence to base a decision on. You have to look at motives and understand reasons that people say what they say. Am I calling them liars? No, there are many explanations and maybe they did see what they said they saw, but by no means does this hold enough weight to call it proof of existence.   
As for the later part of your post that isn't plugging your book, you say that Dawkins has closed himself off to the reality that would show proof of existence. While I may agree with you that he is science based and as such leaves no credibility to superstition, mysticism, or metaphysics. You base your ideas on the same line of thought, only reversed. Perhaps if you shut the "good" book and started living in the real world you would see his views. Not that I am literally trying to get you to do so, it just shows that your argument gets us no where.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Daily Tolle #5

"Nonresistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe. Through it, consciousness (spirit) is freed from its imprisonment in form. Inner nonresistance to form--whatever is or happens--is a denial of the absolute reality of form. Resistance makes the world and the things of the world appear more real, more solid, and more lasting than they are, including your own form identity, the ego. It endows the world and the ego with a heaviness and an absolute importance that makes you take yourself and the world very seriously. The play of form is then misperceived as a struggle for survival, and when that is your perception, it becomes your reality."

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, pp.208-9

You might also like: The Power of Now - The Entire Book

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Do You Believe in Magic? Comments on a Psychology Today Article

About a year and a half ago, a friend of mine brought this Psychology Today article (Do You Believe in Magic? : Eckhart Tolle, the Dalai Lama, and the Future of Psychotherapyto my attention and I posted a couple of comments. I'm not sure why--maybe PT reposted the article--but new comments began showing up in my email in the last week or so, and I was moved again to respond to some of the responses posted by the author of the original article, a psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen A. Diamond. I thought you might enjoy reading the exchange:

Your Comments on Tolle

Dear Dr. Diamond,
Spoken like a true Aristotelian.
But perhaps you should read Tolle's books before you comment on them. And if you could refrain from ad hominem attacks on people (even gurus) that would be lovely.
Also, the colorful language you use to subtly slur ideas you don't agree with is probably counter-productive, if your goal is an honest discussion. Probably better to present their ideas objectively and then tell us where you disagree.
Interesting stuff about Jung and the Dalai Lama though. Thanks!

Reply to Todd

You are welcome for those things you found interesting. But tell me/us: What is your take on this topic?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another Review The Self-Improvement Book Club Murder on Amazon

Another Review The Self-Improvement Book Club Murder on Amazon, this one from Tom Thompson, of Southern Pines, North Carolina. Tom gave it 5 stars and wrote:
"Great book! I enjoyed it very much. Not at all what I expected. Nice review of the self-improvement literature intermixed with a murder mystery complete with detectives, suspects, and Catholic priest. The author really goes into some depth with the whole Aristotelian model vs. wisdom/in- tuition. Highly recommended for those wishing to explore this area more deeply and from a new angle."
Thanks, Tom!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Power of Now is in the Public Domain

I'm happy to report that Eckhart Tolle has seen fit to allow his seminal book, The Power of Now, to slip into the pubic domain, which means it's now free. I've posted it in its entirety to my Pages section (right). Let me know if you find this format helpful.

Please take a few moments to take a look at it. Click once or twice on each page to enlarge the print to your liking. A page or two each day while seated at your desk between tasks or clients is guaranteed to change your life.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Enlightened Life in Just 3 Words

The translation of the Tao to Ching that I cut my teeth on was the one (pictured) by Stephen Mitchell. I'm no Chinese scholar by any means but I've read several different translations and the one by Mitchell strikes me as having been written by someone who not only knows Chinese (and English) but who also embodies the Tao, as the Tao te Ching says all superior men do upon hearing of it.

But the translation by Gia Fu Feng & Jane English contains one phrase that is superior for what I would call its "arrestiveness,"that is, its ability to put thinking on hold for a moment, to arrest thought, one of the main goals, I would argue, of the Tao te Ching. This one simple phrase incapsulates the entirety of the enlightened life in just 3 words.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Review from Author Neil Chethik

My friend, Neil Chethik, author of Fatherloss: How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms with the Deaths of Their Dads and Writer in Residence at the Lexington Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning read The Self-Improvement Book Club Murder over the weekend and submitted the following 5-star review to Amazon:

"I love self-improvement books (so much that I wrote one called FatherLoss), so I was particularly fascinated by Wright's descriptions and selections of the most important self-improvement books. Wright's book is fun, too, with a moody yet brilliant detective who puts together a complex trail of clues to figure out the murderer in his book club. A delightful book!"

I met Neil a couple of weeks ago at Mayfest arts festival, where he was kind enough to buy one of my books.

Thanks, Neil!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I found a thought provoking blog post called Are You a Dramaholic? by Carolyn Shannon. In the article, Carolyn draws a distinction between negative and positive drama. She writes: "For years my life was filled with negative drama thriving on the attention it brought me." After many years, says Carolyn, she became wise to her own patterns. "As I stepped onto the path of self awareness I began to realize I was a Dramaholic! I was as addicted to drama as anyone hooked on cigarettes, alcohol, sex or food."

Carolyn gives hope to all the drama addicted people out there, telling them that they don't have to give it up. They simply have to shift focus from negative drama to positive drama, "the WOW moments," as she calls them. "How often a parking spot is right there when needed; how many kind or friendly people we come into contact with each day; unexpected gifts of time, love, money or compliments; all the beautiful pictures Mother Nature keeps creating to awe us" are all excellent examples.

Monday, August 23, 2010

An Excerpt from A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Trying to become a good or better human being sounds like a commendable and high-minded thing to do, yet it is an endeavor you cannot ultimately succeed in unless there is a shift in consciousness . . .
In Hindu teachings (and sometimes in Buddhism also), this transformation is called enlightenment. In the teachings of Jesus, it is salvation, and in Buddhism, it is the end of suffering. Liberation and awakening are other terms used to describe this transformation. (pp. 12-13)
You might also like: Abundance

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Eckhart Tolle Says Flowers are the Enlightenment of Plants

I hope you enjoy these pictures from the Arboretum in Lexington, Kentucky, my hometown. It's one of my favorite places. I go there as often as I can. Be sure to click on the pictures for some incredible resolution.

If you read Eckhart Tolle Says Birds are the Enlightenment of the Animal Kingdom you had to know this was coming. Now if only I can find some precious stones laying around I'll have the trifecta.

"Using the word 'enlightenment' in a wider sense than the conventionally accepted one, we could look upon flowers as the enlightenment of plants," Tolle writes in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose.

"When you are alert and contemplate a flower, crystal or bird without naming it," says Tolle, "it becomes a window into the formless. There is an inner opening, however slight, into the realm of spirit. This is why these three 'en-lightened' life-forms have played such an important part in the evolution in human consciousness since ancient times."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Eckhart Tolle Says Birds are the Enlightenment of the Animal Kingdom

One of the many things I enjoy about being back in Lexington is the natural beauty we have here. From the descent into Bluegrass Field over lush green horse farms, rendered Emerald Isle green by too much rain this spring, to the birds (and other critters) in my mom's backyard, Lexington is still a city carved into the countryside. (Be sure to click on the pictures for some incredible resolution.)

Eckhart Tolle says that birds are the enlightenment of the animal kingdom. Watch them for any length of time and it becomes difficult to disagree. (I'm not so sure about chipmunks but they are awfully cute.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Scientology Demystified-The Ultimate Business Model

This is not a pro-Scientology article.

If you wanted to make a lot of money what would you do? First, come up with a product or service that everyone wants. Second, find a way to be the only company that can market the product or service. Third, find a way that you can legally pay no taxes on the money you make.

Scientology, the creation of L. Ron Hubbard, has figured out how to do all three. And it's a very old business plan he put into action.

The product is enlightenment. Who wouldn't want that? Inner peace, right? Joy? No fear of death? Scientologists call enlightenment "clear."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An Excerpt from Karen Armstrong's Book, Buddha

"Letting go" is one of the keynotes of the Buddha's teaching. The enlightened person did not grab or hold on to even the most authoritative instructions. Everything was transient and nothing lasted. Until his disciples recognized this in every fiber of their being, they would never reach Nibbana. Even his own teachings must be jettisoned, once they had done their job. He once compared them to a raft, telling the story of a traveler who had come to a great expanse of water and desparately needed to get across. There was no bridge, no ferry, so he built a raft and rowed himself across the river.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Incentivize Big Dance to Improve Academics

This article was originally published by Technorati on 17 March 2010.

Toward a more enlightened approach to college basketball . . .

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan reportedly wants to ban teams from the NCAA men's basketball tournament for poor academic performance, according to ABC News. While Duncan doesn't feel he can compel schools to comply with this idea, he intends to urge them to do so.

The move, should it be applied to this year's Big Dance, would rule out number 1 seed University of Kentucky (my alma mater), the University of Louisville (from my home state; what a proud moment for me) and the University of Tennessee (probably tainted by its long border with my home state) and at least nine other teams, based on low graduation rates alone.

If the Obama administration were serious about this initiative (which it isn't), surely the Department of Education could come up with a (dis)incentive package that would turn the heads of university presidents.

Allow me to suggest a few options. First, why not name an Academic Champion of the NCAA tournament? Give the school with the highest graduation rate/average GPA to reach the tournament a banner, a trophy and a cash prize.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Enlightened Billionaire Warren Buffett

This article was originally published by Technorati on 18 March 2010. To see all my Technorati articles, click Lifestyle in the Contents listing on the sidebar.

Warren Buffett may be rich and famous, but that doesn't mean he's resting on his laurels.

At a point in his career when most other rockers flame out with alcohol and drugs, Buffett continues to enjoy the creative process. He's out there making music as if he were still that skinny kid from Indiana struggling to make it in the LA music scene of the mid-1980s as frontman of a little known rock band that will one day become the legendary Guns and . . .

Wait a minute. No, sorry, that was Axl Rose. Who's this Buffett fellow again?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How We Know Stuff

The following is a portion of a much longer article called The Philosophy of Success.

How do we come up with ideas?

Robert Persig in his cult classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,says:
"The formation of hypotheses is the most mysterious of all the categories of scientific method. Where they come from, no one knows. A person is sitting somewhere, minding his own business, and suddenly . . . flash! . . . he understands something he didn’t understand before. Until it’s tested the hypothesis isn’t truth. For the tests aren’t its source. Its source is somewhere else. (p. 113)
And our good friend Eckhart Tolle says this in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, naming Einstein, himself:

"The surprising result of a nationwide inquiry among America’s most imminent mathematicians, including Einstein, to find out their working methods, was that thinking “plays only a subordinate part in the brief, decisive phase of the creative act. So I would say that the simple reason why the majority of scientists are not creative is not because they don't know how to think but because they don't know how to stop thinking!" (Chapter 1)
The way these scientists are coming up with their ideas isn't Aristotelean at all! These are mysteries being described! The Philosopher (as Aristotle was known in the Renaissance) would not approve! So maybe the truth is that Aristotelian thinking (or the Aristotelian faith, you might say) has only survived by its reliance on other modes of thought.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How Quantum Physics Relates to the Awakening Process

Below is an email by Dr. Stanley Sobottka, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Virginia, upon the end of his tenure as Leader of a Yahoo! Group called Open Awareness Study Group. Dr. Sobottka's website is A Course in Consciousness.

The email came my way by my blogosphere friend, psychiatrist, Dr. Colleen Loehr (see her blog A Window is Where the Wall is Absent).

Dr. Sobottka explains in the most basic of term the difference between classical physics and quantum physics and what the latter has to say about consciousness and the awakening process. It is reprinted by permission.

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