The books that’ll help you make sense of life (and one that may not)

I spent a lot of 2015 writing my own books, ‘BeingYou is Enough’ and TurningInside Out  hence not leaving as much time to read others, however I did manage to enjoy some gems.
I found myself wondering if Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love) had been peering into my head because she says exactly same things I often say or think. She validates my own idea that everyone is creative and needs to express themselves, no matter who they are. Gilbert normalises self expression and delivers her message in a down to earth manner, with maybe a little ‘magic’ thrown in. (I went against her advice of not quitting your day job though!)
I love Anne’s humour and self deprecating style, I think it’s something that’s infused into my own writing. If you’re ever feeling a little lost or overwhelmed by life, read Help Thanks Wow and you’ll be able to face life again with a little more lightness.
I f**king love Greece and Henry’s book, (even though written in the late 30’s) describes the country and the people that I also experienced. After writing the Tropic Of Cancerabout his hedonistic time in Paris, he was invited by fellow writer, Laurence Durrell to spend some time on the Island of Corfu. Henry instantly fell in love with the place and travelled like a nomad all over Greece for a year where he vowed not to write a single word so he could completely immerse himself in the experience. By the end when he begrudgingly had to go back to the States, he felt transformed by the great spiritual awakening that Greece had given him.
Whether you believe in orbs as spiritual beings or just specks of dust on the camera lens, it doesn’t matter as Lexenehas taken some extraordinary photographs and conveys some incredible messages of hope and wisdom that we all could benefit from.
In the follow up to his hugely successful account of his Near Death Experience in Proof of Heaven, Eben goes further and tries to connect the dots from all the similar stories he’s received to his own experience and subsequent mediations and consciousness exploration. I couldn’t help but notice that my new book, shares some of the same ideas about pulling the stories together and teasing out the core messages and insights.
I must admit, I’m only half way through the Magus and I will finish it I promise, but I got bored with it. Again this is set on a Greek island which is why I initially picked it up.  Did I mention that I love Greece, which is where I wrote the first half of Dying to Know – is there life after death?
I loved this book. It takes the Christian message, turns it upside down, shakes out all the bulldust and crap and you’re left with the core teachings of Jesus. For example, Adyashanti explains that the real Greek translation of the word ‘Sin’, means to miss the mark. Yep, that’s all. You’re not doomed to burn in hell forever, it’s just that you / me have maybe misunderstood something and hence ‘missed the mark’. Nothing too serious, let’s make amends and move on and love one another. If you don’t like Christianity, then you’ll love this book.
It took me ages to plough through Waking Up, picking it up and putting it down about 5 times. Even though he doesn’t say he’s Buddhist, Harris’s messages very much are, which is a little ironic as the title says ‘Spirituality without the religion’.  However he does away with the religiosity of Buddhism and plucks out the core philosophy about the ‘no self’ and ‘emptiness’ which I had previously leant in Buddhist school, so it wasn’t new for me.  I felt he was trying too hard to convince me of his argument which in fact wasn’t an argument, as I tended to agree with him. I didn’t have any deep insights, but maybe other people will.
I had started to read this at the end of 2014 and carried over to 2015 and it’s not for everybody as its channelled material, where the author is just the conduit for a ‘higher’ source of information. (I experiment with channelling in my new book, ‘Turning Inside Out’ with some strange results) Some of the messages inside The book of Love and Creation are very much the same as in Sam Harris’s book and Dr Eben Alexander’s.
The 3rd book in the series (I didn’t read the first) and I found it just as informative as the previous. Still the same core messages as you get with Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, Sam Harris etc yet packages them in a very different way.
I’m currently reading the 4th book in the series and this time Paul’s challenging the nature of reality and I’m finding it resonates with other channelled material, Buddhist teachings, other books I’ve read along with my own meditations.
 If you want to get an idea of what’s involved in traditional publicity for a book, then you’ll be blown away by what’s involved. Emmatakes you through each step and demystifies the process.
My medium friend Tammy Movliatti who I feature in Turning Inside Out, put me on to this book and it hits the nail on the head. In what many other books take hundreds of pages to explain, Sydney Banks does it in 142 short pages. Written simple prose style, he has done what other teachers have struggled to do and that is highlight what the missing link is. I won’t give it away, but if you’ve struggled with mindfulness, mediation and trying to understand that you are not your rambling thoughts, Banks delivers the killer blow that so many spiritual books and teachers have a hard time explaining.
Take away notes from the 2015 reading list.
          Many authors are trying to say the same thing, just in  different ways. 
          You are not who you think you are.
          Your consciousness exists outside of your brain.
          Reality is not solid, yet your version of it can be extremely beautiful.
          Go to Greece, everything about it is extraordinary (and they needs your tourist dollars)  and if you’re going to stay anywhere, stay here. 39 Steps on Skopelos and you could be sitting somewhere like here.
 
 

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