RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

  • Time and The Rose Garden
    Anthony Peake
    Time and The Rose Garden by Anthony Peake is a detailed and absorbing analysis of the work of J.B. Priestley, both as author and playwright. Born in 1894 Priestley wrote a prestigious number of novels, essays and plays reducing his output until his death in 1984.
    Peake provides biographical information reflecting on the impact of Priestley’s experiences during World War I including his own wounding and recovery. Also explained is Priestley’s fascination with time and moving away from the conventional views influenced by An Experiment with Time written by an Anglo-Irish aeronautical engineer, John William Dunne. Dreamers dreaming dreams and accessing information from the future – the circular nature of time is experienced with the underpinnings of new philosophical and scientific thinking about time. In more simple terms Priestley often examined his philosophical calculation that in certain circumstances the future can be perceived in dreams and it seems to be a subject that fascinated him – and is described in detail in Time and The Rose Garden.
    Also examined is Priestley’s transition from novelist to playwright. In his plays Priestley used the method of manipulating the audience’s memory -- living in the moment before – a feeling of déjà vu – or being able to look back at events and finding the seeds for whatever might come next.
    Of Priestley’s work perhaps it is Time and the Conways that comes up most often in the last decade with major revivals in New York and London and within that play there is the depiction of the faltering British aristocracy and economy between the wars, and also how one imagines time as the play’s narrative does not progress in a linear manner. Similarly another one of his plays, An Inspector Calls, which has received more appreciation in recent years, was successfully revived by the National Theatre in London and produced on Broadway.

    If one has the opportunity to encounter Priestley’s plays and writings in the future, Anthony Peake’s Time and The Rose Garden is an insightful guide. ~ Mark Kappel , NEWSNOTES DANCE BLOG

  • Find and Follow Your Inner Compass
    Barbara Berger
    “This 105 page warrior is the complete package. The author told me with her wit, examples and compassion how to listen to me, to find the small still voice and to follow it no matter what. I do believe many of us were taught to put others feelings and needs before our own, and it is wonderful to have my new little buddy tell me to just listen and follow my heart. I would recommend this simple slice of Heaven to anyone wanting the bottom line to self love. Thanks Barbara, it makes so much sense.”
    ~ Riki Frahmann, MysticLiving.com

  • Find and Follow Your Inner Compass
    Barbara Berger
    This practical book has a simple message, that we should tune into our Inner Compass and pay attention to our inner emotions as a link to the Universal Intelligence. The author shows us how to manage this so that we become self-referred rather than other-referred. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • Soul Comfort
    Alistair Conwell
    This is a reflective book on grief through the related concepts of consciousness, love, death and transformation. Death implies grief for the survivors but this will be affected by the person’s understanding of life and death. The author’s overall view is that death does not extinguish consciousness but transforms and distils it by removing the outermost layer of the ego to reveal a deeper soul consciousness. To see death spiritually is to experience grief in the same way and be open to transformation. He also takes NDEs as actual experiences of death. Conwell’s propositions are both factual and poetic, inviting deeper reflection as the reader progresses. He sees consciousness as a connective ground, love as indestructible, death as a transition to a new state of consciousness, grief as the pain of love, and transformation as a part of the spiritual journey. This is uplifting while being based on deep insights into the processes involved. My only caution is the overuse of ‘merely’ – one can understand why it is used but death is not ‘merely’ the conclusion of a single chapter of life. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • Enso Morning: Daily Meditation Gifts
    Jacob Watson
    This collection of morning blessing letters was written over a six-month period as part of a thesis at Matthew Fox’s University of Creation Spirituality. Each contains seven sections: welcome, silent meditation, affirmation of physical self, then of the emotional and spiritual self, blessing for the day and gift of the day. They are very simple and direct and, although indexed at the front, the gift is not revealed until the end. Readers are reminded each day is a real gift and that the quality of our lives largely depends on the attention we give to everyday matters and sensations. Sometimes he uses imagery, as in imagining you are standing under a waterfall that washes out your feelings and the corresponding blessing is that whatever is not necessary can fall away, keeping us clean, fresh and pure. The best way of using this book is as intended, namely as a morning ritual, either opened at random or by selecting a particular appropriate theme. It is an inspiring exercise. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • My Double Life 1
    Nicholas Hagger
    As one of his friends remarked, Nicholas Hagger’s double life not only refers to the contrast between his mystical journey and intelligence work for MI6, but also to the fact that he has crammed in double the amount of experience into his life. In this first volume, he describes his background, upbringing and education, then his career up to 1973. The book consists of 15 episodes of contrasting dualities such as literature and law, wisdom and intelligence, establishment and revolution, illumination and nationalism, meaning and disenchantment. Nicholas uses the symbolism of 8 clockwise and 13 counter-clockwise spirals in a pinecone to illustrate these tensions. Worcester College Oxford plays an important role in the story. His knowledge of Roman coins enabled him to gain a place and be in contact with Sir John Masterman, the Provost, whom he later found out had played a crucial role in World War II intelligence, and gave him the necessary introduction to Whitehall. Later, in 1978, he was discussing his experiences with the then Provost, Lord Asa Briggs, who urged him to write up the full story of his experiences, especially the Gaddafi revolution in Libya. His father wanted him to go into law and politics, but he chose literature and poetry instead. He was an early reader of Colin Wilson’s Outsider and took life as an existentialist very seriously, even knocking on Sartre’s door in Paris as a form of free act. He also visits Colin Wilson on a number of occasions, which he finds extraordinary stimulating intellectually. Among other important meetings are those with Montgomery, Hemingway, Blunden, E.W.F Tomlin in Japan, a drunken Peter O’Toole in Oxford and Ezra Pound in Italy. Pound told him that T.E. Hulme had said to him in 1915 that a writer should be able to put his essential message down on half a postcard, and that the rest was application and elaboration. Nicholas’ main teaching postings were in Iraq, Japan and Libya. In Japan, he also becomes a private tutor to Prince Hitachi, the brother of the Emperor, and speechwriter for the Governor of the Bank of Japan. He immerses himself in Zen and has an important encounter with Junzaburo Nishiwaki, who summarises the manifestation of the Absolute and the wisdom of the East in the formula +A +-A = 0, which Nicholas applies to the dialectic of his life episodes. During this time in Japan, he has a chance to visit China in the spring 1966, and is the first to discover the Cultural Revolution by interviewing senior Chinese officials - Western journalists were about six months behind. In late 1968, he becomes a lecturer at the University of Libya and begins his intelligence work while also writing as a journalist. A number of his articulate articles are printed in the appendix. Nicholas has written separately about this time in his life as he was on the inside of another pro-Western coup that was meant to take place on September 5, but was pre-empted by Gaddafi on September 1, partly as a result of an article published by Nicholas on 24 August. This leads to a tumultuous period where his marriage collapses and he is beaten up and nearly executed. He vividly describes the challenges of life under this regime, but puts up an inner resistance so as not to succumb to these psychological terrorist tactics. His personal encounter with Gaddafi is fascinating – he tells Gaddafi’s ‘executioner’ that his is the power of the pen rather than the sword. The reader learns in detail how the intelligence services operate in such a scenario, which gives everyday life a tremendous intensity. In the meantime, he is going through a purgation of suffering and loss at a personal level. The next important development is his work as an unofficial ambassador for the Prime Minister Edward Heath in relation to black Africans and their liberation movements, but more especially with respect to the influence of China and the Soviet Union. He makes significant trips to Brussels and Tanzania. In the meantime, he takes work at an ESN school and lives in London. Here one gains an insight into what it is like to be a spy in terms of surveillance, bugging and one’s room being ransacked for papers. One has to be in a constant state of vigilance and acquire techniques for shaking people off. During this period, he also has his most important mystical experience in September 1971 (an appendix tracks these experiences in more detail). He was aware of the timeless flow of light and love, to which he surrenders. All this is described in detail with diary entries from the time. It gives him the insight that his vision of truth was in conflict with the deceptive world of intelligence, itself in thrall to the agenda of the New World Order, about which Nicholas has written separately. This deception even extends to his relationship with his first wife’s new husband, who is in different branch of security. Even at Oxford, Nicholas had been warned that working for intelligence would eventually take over his life and control it. The culmination is a meeting with a senior intelligence officer where he is asked to sign a document saying that he will never see his daughter Nadia again. It is, of course, an impossible demand and they don’t expect him to sign. Later, he finds out that the reason for his severance is a change of attitude to China and that the Prime Minister can no longer take the risk of having an unofficial ambassador. The official warns him that if the Chinese try to recruit him, they will know. He reflects that his exposure by the KGB in Fleet Street following the defection of a man he had been working with meant that he was operating with the full knowledge of the KGB and was therefore too much of a risk for the SIS to work with. Hence this ruthless demand to secure his severance and his conclusion that the SIS was ultimately an insensitive and inhuman organisation. He has had no contact with them since 1973 but has written this extraordinarily revealing account to set the record straight. He mentions one other significant aspect, namely that his projects would be denied publicity, and indeed it is surprising that his voluminous writings have not received more recognition. His experience of nationalism at this time was an important factor in his development of a universalist philosophy. In the epilogue to this volume, he reflects on his double life as lecturer, poet, then teacher, agent and journalist. The layered pairs of opposites in the 15 episodes represent the tension between the positive and negative aspects (+A and+- A or double helix) that impel a transformation within the central self. I think he is right that this pattern and unity of episodes and layers is universal ‘as an archetypal pattern of transformation and progress through experience towards a vision of the unity of the universe.’ We all have a chance to live at this soul-based contemplative level beyond our ego-based activity of hedonistic enjoyment, but we do not all avail ourselves of this opportunity. However, I also agree that nothing is wasted in terms of our experience and that ‘all experiences are essential to the final form of the self and to the pattern of its life…. in all lives the potential for a successful quest is present.’ It is the work of what he calls the central self to unite and reconcile these episodes and conflicting sequences so that ‘behind the unity of each being is the unity of book reviews www.scimednet.org Network Review Spring 2016 59 Being’ and the same transforming law of Nature that governs not only the process and structure of pinecones but also that of human lives. The inner and outer journey that Nicholas describes in this first part of his autobiography takes the reader to the heart of the human condition with its tension between opposite forces and the significant choices we all have to make in the course of our lives. One of these concerns the depth at which we ultimately live - things may be more comfortable on the surface, but there is greater intensity and fulfilment if we engage with the depth of life as well, with plus and minus, time and eternity, life and death, each of which is necessary to the other and to the unity of the whole. Nicholas has made a profound statement with this account of his life, and I look forward to reviewing the second volume in the next issue. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • How to Become a Miracle-Worker with Your Life
    Dr. Bruno R. Cignacco
    Some readers may have come across the ancient Hawaiian healing technique of Ho-oponopono involving the four short phrases I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you and thank you. This impressive and very thorough book tells you all you need to know in terms of the principles, procedures and the way that the technique is related to the structure of the mind. The technique was famously used by a certain Dr Len to transform the condition of patients in a psychiatric ward simply by using this form of prayer without even meeting them. Of course, it is controversial to link these two events together, but there does not seem to be any other apparent explanation, given the circumstances. This presupposes a fundamental oneness of mind and interconnectedness of life. An essential component in the book is the effacing of subconscious memories and the removal of psychological blocks on the basis that we are responsible for everything that happens in our lives. The summaries at various points in the book demonstrate the author’s profound grasp of the principles of the mind and he gives practical tips for the application of the key aspects, including love, gratitude and inspiration. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • Paradise and Promises
    Marlowe Sand
    This powerful narrative about being a student of Andrew Cohen for 15 years takes the reader on a poignant, sometimes ecstatic and often painful journey ‘from love and liberation to painful alienation and, finally disillusionment.’ The opening scene is indicative: three women are up to their waist in freezing water where they are expected to remain – as a punishment – for an hour. It is an incredible scene for our time, especially as the women intone one of Cohen’s mantras, face everything and avoid nothing. He promised freedom, enlightenment and the destruction of the ego, emphasising impersonality. There is no doubt about his charisma and the heightened states experienced by the author and others, but it drew them into a mesh of manipulative hierarchy and subservient dependence where people give away their power and lose their internal locus of control. They experience feelings of guilt, doubt and inadequacy and become afraid of rejection. All this makes it hard to leave, especially as they are cut off from their families, who think they have been brainwashed. In Marlowe’s case, this involved breaking up with her husband (seen then as liberation) and taking her children on the journey. As you can imagine, this has a profound effect on them, which Marlowe only fully realises at a later stage. At the end of the book she fully understands how exactly the Cohen movement exhibits the standard characteristics of cults – the power structure, unquestioning commitment to the leader, mind-altering practices, elitism, us vs them, shame and guilt used to manipulate members, socialising only with group members. In 2013 the group was effectively disbanded and Cohen is still on sabbatical from teaching. If I compare Marlowe’s story with my own, I can recognise some features – my parents thought me brainwashed when I took up meditation with the Brahma Kumaris, and likewise my association with Aivanhov and Peter Deunov. Group members are encouraged to think of themselves as special and families do not take kindly to being put in second place. However, what seemed missing from Cohen was the love that should be at the centre of any spiritual group worthy of the name. They did have a good outward-facing programme in London and I liked and respected the people I met there. Although this is the narrative of one person, it can still serve as an important cautionary tale as we try to navigate between social conformity in a materialistic culture and the draw of a fulfilling spiritual path of service and growth. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • Upside Down Mountain, The
    Mags MacKean
    Mags Mackean is a former BBC journalist turned intrepid explorer of both outer and inner realms as she sets off on shamanic journeys to the Pyrenees, the Amazon, Tibet and Egypt. The upside down mountain of the title is Bugarach, a sacred mountain less than an hour from where I live and am writing this. The principal theme is descent – into the realms of the body, buried feelings and the dark unconscious. Mags points out that none of us can escape descent in the form of grief, illness and death, uncomfortable features of the wholeness of life that require and elicit our utmost determination and courage. I have only one experience so far of Bugarach, where the oldest rock is on top – hence the characterisation of the upside down mountain with its own powerful sense of presence that has drawn seekers of all kinds, some a good deal wackier than others. The weather conditions often mirror the writer’s internal moods reflected in her powerful and evocative prose describing the transformative process way beyond the comfort zone of most readers but which can potentially take them to their own edge ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • Book of Becoming, The
    Ron Alan Meakin.
    The author took up the study of philosophy and shamanism later in life and has been retired from the construction industry since 2010. This books shows that he has put his time to excellent use with a wide-ranging study of some of the most fundamental themes in philosophy as indicated by the subtitle: why there is something rather than nothing – a metaphysics of esoteric consciousness. His point of departure is a deep understanding of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus and the way its principles have books in brief Network Review Winter 2015-16 65 www.scimednet.org been worked out. The first part explores the nature and structure of the cosmos and consciousness based on the Hermetic distinction between the subtle and material realms and their interaction. Each chapter helpfully summarises the story so far, which includes the role of the creative vis formatrix or formative principle that is also expressed in the law of attraction where the inside becomes the outside. In this overall process, death plays an important creative role in evolution as the many possible forms of the One are made manifest as co-creation. The universe is a realm of interaction and self-regulation whose bedrock is consciousness. Evolution is a basic form of self-becoming but our challenge is whether we can evolve rapidly enough to resolve the difficulties of our own making. In this respect, the interaction of the subtle and the material as realised by individual human beings is crucial. This opens up the possibility of a concentration of goodness in the creation of a unified planetary environment based on Gaian principles. This in turn depends on how many of us can wake up – in which process this book is an important signpost. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • I Am Here
    Georgi Y Johnson
    This is a profound book to live and work with over a period of time as one deepens one’s spiritual insight into life. The five sections are entitled I Am Here, Consciousness, Awareness, Emptiness and Here Am I, each interwoven with the other. Who am I? What is the meaning of ‘am’ in I am? What does being here entail? Each of these chapters/aspects is summarised right at the beginning and then expanded on throughout the book. The chapters contain a seed line out of which they grow. Here is a sample of the style: ‘Before we were conceived, whether or not we believe in life before birth, there was love. This love was pervading through the plane of divided forms, blending, attracting, and moving male and female, sperm and egg towards collision.’ Here again: ‘Through the need to care for form and preserve it, we can neglect the existence from which form was born, confusing the manifestation for that which is manifesting.’ Now can dissolve as it expands to an eternal dimension behind time. The words in this book are transparent to a deeper mystery for those who can intuit it. Observation of an event is different from awareness of it, its felt sense. Behind all this is stillness and perhaps the potent energy of emptiness. And beyond that is unity. Ultimately, I am here for you. Although dense, there is much food for thought and reflection in these words. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • Most Clarifying Battle, A
    Landis M.F. Vance
    Readers will be inspired by the courage, persistence and tenacity of the author, as well as by her lucidity and compassion. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

  • Gift of an Angel, The
    Wendy Jane Erlick
    Written with great humility, The Gift of an Angel is a searingly honest and courageous account of the author's life, her spiritual journey and her relationship with her personal angel. There is great wisdom and much learning between these pages and it is not possible to absorb all that The Gift of an Angel has to offer in one reading. All those who are on their own spiritual journey will benefit from reflecting on the many contemplative insights in this very enjoyable and absorbing book.
    ~ Judy Piatkus, http://www.judypiatkus.com Publisher, Entrepreneur, Coach

  • Gift of an Angel, The
    Wendy Jane Erlick
    Customer Review
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    A courageous memoir
    By J. Piatkus on 8 January 2018
    Format: Paperback
    Written with great humility, The Gift of an Angel is a searingly honest and courageous account of the author's life, her spiritual journey and her relationship with her personal angel. There is great wisdom and much learning between these pages and it is not possible to absorb all that The Gift of an Angel has to offer in one reading. All those who are on their own spiritual journey will benefit from reflecting on the many contemplative insights in this very enjoyable and absorbing book.
    ~ Judy Piatkus, Amazon

  • Crystal Prescriptions volume 6
    Judy Hall
    This book is extremely detailed and gives a wealth of knowledge. Even someone like me that isn't too familiar with crystals is able to understand all the is said in the book. The items that Hall speaks about is intriguing and something I would never associate with crystal healing.

    This book is a long read and isn't something you can do all at once because of the volume of information. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves crystals or wants to know more. ~ Manuela Alonzi-Cheney, GoodREads

  • 365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World
    Pierre Pradervand
    “This beautiful book can help you to realize that blessings are all around you, and even more importantly, that you are a blessing.:
    Frederick Burks, Executive Director, Public Education and Empowerment Resource Service (PEERS)
    ~

  • 365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World
    Pierre Pradervand
    "365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World is a remarkable game-changing book. It is full of surprises and original insights which have the effect of changing your perspective on life, spiritual reality, the transformation of the world and your own power to be an agent of blessing. You will find you won't be able to stop blessing everyone and everything in your life."
    James O'Dea, former President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and celebrated author, activist and mystic
    ~ James O;Dea

  • 365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World
    Pierre Pradervand
    "365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World is a remarkable game-changing book. It is full of surprises and original insights which have the effect of changing your perspective on life, spiritual reality, the transformation of the world and your own power to be an agent of blessing. You will find you won't be able to stop blessing everyone and everything in your life."
    James O'Dea, former President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and celebrated author, activist and mystic
    ~ James O;Dea

  • You Are Not Your Thoughts
    Frances Trussell
    As a how-to guide this book contains everything you need to know. Useful for anyone who needs to learn to live in the moment, the techniques and method taught by Frances are easily implemented. ~ Marisa Peer, Leading International Celebrity Therapist and Best-selling Author

  • You Are Not Your Thoughts
    Frances Trussell
    This fantastic little book makes a big impact. A must read for those wanting to know what mindfulness is really all about and how to easily bring that into their lives. Every teenager needs a copy of this, probably most adults too. FIVE STARS ~ Olivia Buxton, Mail On Sunday Health

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