American Veda by Philip Goldberg [updated Jan 05, 2016]

By Philip Goldberg

Foreword by Huston Smith

“An illuminating, gracefully written, and remarkably thorough account of India’s spectacular impact on Western religion and spirituality.”

—Deepak Chopra

“American Veda shows us how we got to where we are. It chronicles a revolution in consciousness and describes India’s lasting influence on our culture, from gurus, meditation, and yoga to sitar music and aromatic curries. Savor it.”

—Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul’s Potential

In February 1968 the Beatles went to India for an extended stay with their new guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It may have been the most momentous spiritual retreat since Jesus spent those forty days in the wilderness. The media frenzy over the Fab Four made known to the sleek, sophisticated West that meek, mysterious India had something of value. Our understanding and practice of spirituality would never be the same.

With these words Philip Goldberg begins his monumental work, American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West (Harmony Books; Hardcover; November 2, 2010), a fascinating look at India’s remarkable impact on Western culture, with a foreword by Huston Smith. Goldberg’s eye-opening chronicle shows how the ancient philosophy of Vedanta and the mind-body methods of Yoga have profoundly influenced the nation, producing a radical shift in the worldview of millions.

What exploded in the 1960s actually began more than two hundred years earlier, when the United States started importing knowledge as well as tangy spices and colorful fabrics from Asia. The first translations of Hindu texts found their way into the libraries of John Adams and Ralph Waldo Emerson. From there the ideas spread to Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and succeeding generations of receptive Americans, who absorbed India’s “science of consciousness” and wove it into the fabric of their lives.

Charismatic teachers like Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda came west in waves, prompting leading intellectuals, artists, and scientists such as Aldous Huxley, Joseph Campbell, Allen Ginsberg, J. D. Salinger, John Coltrane, Dean Ornish, and Richard Alpert to adapt and disseminate what they learned from them. The impact has been enormous, enlarging our current understanding of the mind and body and dramatically changing how we view ourselves and our place in the cosmos.

With fascinating stories of key players and the times they lived in, Goldberg paints a compelling picture of this remarkable East-to-West transmission, showing how it accelerated through the decades and eventually moved from the counterculture into our laboratories, libraries, and living rooms. Now physicians and therapists routinely recommend meditation, words like karma and mantra are part of our everyday vocabulary, and Yoga studios are as ubiquitous as Starbucks cafés. The insights of India’s sages permeate so much of what we think, believe, and do that they have redefined the meaning of life for millions of Americans—and continue to do so every day.

In 2009, Newsweek ran a provocative essay titled “We Are All Hindus Now.” American Veda tells exactly why and how that came to be. It is not only the very first popular history of Indian religion and philosophy in America, it is a stirring tribute to India, whose ancient traditions continue to influence our everyday lives.

About the Author

PHILIP GOLDBERG is the author or coauthor of nineteen books, including Roadsigns: On the Spiritual Path and The Intuitive Edge. Based in Los Angeles, he is an ordained interfaith minister, a public speaker and seminar leader, and the founder of Spiritual Wellness and Healing Associates. He is director of outreach for and blogs regularly on religion for the Huffington Post. Visit or for more information.

Philip Goldberg on American Veda: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West

In 1968, the Beatles went to India for an extended stay with their new guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a spiritual retreat that exploded the ancient philosophy of Vedanta and the mind-body methods of Yoga into popular Western culture, an introduction that actually began when translations of Hindu texts penetrated the thinking of John Adams and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the ideas spread to Thoreau, Whitman, and succeeding generations of receptive Americans, who absorbed India’s “science of consciousness.”

Philip Goldberg, author, director for, and Huffington Post blogger on religion, traces this movement from Emerson to the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation.

How Indian Spirituality Changed the West (Philip Goldberg)

Philip Goldberg, author of American Veda, discusses how American culture has been influenced by Indian Spirituality.

Carl Jung: The Wounded Healer of the Soul ~ Claire Dunne [updated Oct 28, 2015]

“Carl Jung: Wounded Healer of the Soul” is a spiritual biography of one of the most important figures of the twentieth century, a man whose ideas revolutionized modern psychology. Through over 150 full-color and black and white illustrations, including rare photographs and never-before-seen artwork by Jung himself, his life and work comes vividly to life.

By combining Jung’s voice with the impressions of his contemporaries, author Claire Dunne gives the reader a multi-dimensional view of this complex genius. A book that will deepen and expand the understanding of both novice and expert. “Claire Dunne’s sensitivity of feeling for her subject allows us to meet Jung in all his diverse complexity — his contradictions and paradox, human failings and strength, his greatness and creativity. We meet a man at once transparent to transcendence but also earthy, practical, a craftsman of wood and stone as well as souls.” — From the introduction by Jean Houston.

This beautifully illustrated biography tells the story of one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. Carl Jung continues to be revered today as a true revolutionary who changed our views of psychology, introduced the West to Eastern spirituality and brought into general awareness such important concepts as archetypes, the collective unconscious and synchronicity.

In this book lecturer, author and broadcaster Claire Dunne chronicles Jung’s journey of self-discovery from his childhood, filled with visions both terrifying and profound, through to his early adulthood when he pursued more material goals, to his rediscovery of spirituality at mid-life. Special attention is paid to the tumultuous relationship between Jung and his one-time mentor Sigmund Freud, the unconventional yet vital role performed by his student Toni Wolff, and the revelatory visions Jung experienced following a close brush with death.

The words of Jung himself and those who shared his work and private life are presented verbatim, interspersed with Claire Dunne’s lively and accessible commentary and an evocative array of illustrations including photos of Jung, his associates and the environments in which he lived and worked, as well as art images both ancient and contemporary that reflect Jung’s teachings. Jung emerges as a healer whose skills arose from having first attended to the wounds in his own soul. This is an essential book for everyone interested in psychology, spirituality and personal development.

Claire Dunne is an author, broadcaster and producer who has lectured around the world on Carl Jung and many other subjects. Born in Ireland and a resident of Australia for many years, she founded two Australian multicultural radio stations and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her contributions to multicultural education and broadcasting.
Claire Dunne: Carl Jung–Wounded Healer of the Soul

Claire Dunne is an author, broadcaster and producer who has lectured around the world on Carl Jung and many other subjects. Her diverse career in radio, television and film ranges from documentaries on Sigmund Freud to the history of the harp. Born in Ireland and resident in Sydney for many years, she was awarded an OAM honour by the Australian Government for her work in multiculturalism, Celtic culture and ethnic broadcasting.

Claire Dunne’s acclaimed illustrated biography “Carl Jung: Wounded Healer of the Soul” was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and is being translated into a number of languages. Originally published in 2000 to great acclaim, this new edition has a specially written introduction from the author and a foreword by Olivier Bernier, Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

Claire Dunne reads from ‘Carl Jung: Wounded Healer of the Soul’

BE THE CHANGE: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World – Ed and Deb Shapiro (updated Oct 21, 2015))

From running an orphanage to being a political adviser, from being held in a prison cell to living in a crowded city, meditation has changed people’s lives. Be the Change is a fascinating exploration of how meditation can not only awaken our latent potential, but also transform the world, creating the foundation for a caring and compassionate future.

As a prisoner in a Chinese jail, Kirsten Westby was able to find solace by sitting quietly in contemplation. Deeply affected by walking on the moon, astronaut Edgar Mitchell went from exploring outer space to discovering the vastness of inner space. Coping with HIV, Mark Matousek found healing through group meditation. Seane Corn used her yoga and meditation expertise to work with child prostitutes in LA.

In the last few decades, people in all walks of life have begun to realize the profound benefits of meditation. While this ancient practice is personally transformative by calming the mind and reducing stress, awakening the heart, and deepening insight, can meditation also change the world for the better? We invited many of today’s most notable voices explore this issue, reflecting on how looking within has resolved issues such as anger and fear, inspiring them to work toward a more caring and peaceful future.

Be the Change was conceived in response to a need to make sense of what is happening in the world at large. We wondered, “Could something as subtle and understated as meditation also have an affect on business, conflict resolution, or politics?” And on an even wider scale, “What change could happen if something so simple were to become a global movement?”

Interwoven among our own thoughts on the subject are the words of more than one hundred meditation practitioners from various walks of life, from Ellen Burstyn—Oscar award-winning actress—to Jon Kabat-Zinn—director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, from Marianne Williamson—bestselling author and renown inspirational speaker—to Richard Davidson—Professor of Psychology at Wisconsin University.

Enlightening and inspiring, Be the Change is essential reading for all who desire to make a difference in their own lives and in the world.

From the foreword by the Dalai Lama: “I strongly recommend anyone interested in meditation not to simply read what these people have to say, but to try it out. If you like it and its useful to you, keep it up, and if it isn’t, just leave it. Treat this book as you would a cookery book. You wouldn’t merely read recipes with approval, you’d try them out. Some you’d like and would use again. Like cookery, meditation only makes sense if you put it into effect.”

From the foreword by Robert Thurman: “Thank goodness Ed and Deb have so beautifully enfolded the gifts of all the fascinating individuals in this book, within the moving stories of their own lives and transforming experiences! In this living book Ed and Deb have masterfully woven the many voices into a symphony—the insights and stories harmonize and contrast with each other in a marvelous rich flow that is both calming and energizing, creating a single collective yet selfless voice.”

Ed and Deb Shapiro are the award-winning authors of 16 books on meditation, personal development, and social action. They are featured bloggers for,,, and They teach meditation workshops worldwide, and work as corporate consultants. They are the creators and writers of the Daily Chillout inspirational text messages on Sprint cell phones. Their books include: Your Body Speaks Your Mind, winner of the 2007 Visionary Book Award and finalist for the Nautilus Book Award; Voices from the Heart, with contributors such as President Gorbachev, the Dalai Lama, and Bishop Tutu; and Meditation: The Four Step Course to Calmness and Clarity. They have taught meditation and personal development for over 25 years. They currently reside in Boulder, Colorado.

Look Inside

Spirituality – The 7 Principles of Spiritual Practice ~ “Meditation”

The Mystery Experience: A Revolutionary Approach to Spiritual Awakening by Tim Freke [updated Sept 30, 2015]

Prepare for the journey of your life. Literally. This book does not aim to make your life carefree, to make your problems disappear, to turn you into a saint free from blemish or blame. In fact, you may end up utterly bewildered by The Mystery Experience at times. But you will also be intrigued. Curious.Questioning. Loving. Loved. Overjoyed. Seduced out of the numbness of banality. And most importantly, awake. Gloriously awake, and full of wonder.

Philosopher and author Tim Freke leads us on a journey through the nature of the ‘Mystery Experience’, via quantum physics, Gnosticism, the essence of Tao, meditation, Walt Whitman, Greek mythology, Buddhism, Dub Punk musician Jah Wobble, and Carl Jung. But what is the ‘Mystery Experience’? You can taste it by simply focusing your attention on the mystery. But what is the mystery? The mystery is life. The mystery is the journey. The mystery is you. The mystery is me. The mystery makes you want to say, simply: WOW. No one has the answers, but asking the questions is what makes us come alive.

Wherever you’re coming from, you will find this journey rewarding. The only real requirement is that you’re willing to wonder about life … to be curious and open … to be an explorer. Now prepare to leave base camp, because we’re about to set off on a grand adventure.

Tim Freke has spent his life exploring the ‘Mystery Experience’ and sharing it with others. He has an honours degree in Philosophy and is an internationally respected authority on world spirituality. He is often featured in documentaries and interviewed by the global media, such as the BBC and the History Channel. He is the founder of the Alliance for Lucid Living (ALL) and author of more than 30 books that have established his reputation as a scholar and free-thinker. He co-authored the acclaimed The Jesus Mysteries, which was a Daily Telegraph ‘Book of the Year’ and a Top 10 bestseller in the UK and USA and his book Jesus and the Lost Goddess was cited by Dan Brown as an inspiration for The Da Vinci Code. For more information see
Tim Freke – Stepping into the mystery experience of life – recorded in Glastonbury UK

Timothy Freke (born 1959) is a British author of books on religion and mysticism.[1] [2] Freke is perhaps best known for his books, co-authored with Peter Gandy, which advocate a Gnostic understanding of early Christianity and the Christ myth theory,[3] including The Jesus Mysteries: Was the “Original Jesus” a Pagan God? and The Laughing Jesus: Religious Lies and Gnostic Wisdom.

Tim Freke’s Beautiful Interview, The Mystery Experience @ Boutique Hotel Casa Angelitos in “HQ”

A great conversation with Tim Freke, (Bestselling Author and Internationally Respected Authority on World Spirituality), that took place in a great location in San Miguel de Allende, Gto., México, called Casa Angelitos,

The Mystery Experience, Tim Freke

Written and Voiced By Tim Freke. Directed by Nick Ralph.

Fingerprints of God :The Search for the Science of Spirituality by Barbara Hagerty [Updated Sept 22, 2015]

From the award-winning NPR religion correspondent comes a fascinating investigation of how science is seeking to answer the question that has puzzled humanity for generations: Can science explain God?

Is spiritual experience real or a delusion? Are there realities that we can experience but not easily measure? Does your consciousness depend entirely on your brain, or does it extend beyond? In Fingerprints of God, award-winning journalist Barbara Bradley Hagerty delves into the discoveries science is making about how faith and spirituality affect us physically and emotionally as it attempts to understand whether the ineffable place beyond this world can be rationally —even scientifically—explained.

Hagerty interviews some of the world’s top scientists to describe what their groundbreaking research reveals about our human spiritual experience. From analyses of the brain functions of Buddhist monks and Carmelite nuns, to the possibilities of healing the sick through directed prayer, to what near-death experiences illuminate about the brain and consciousness, Bradley Hagerty reaches beyond what we think we know to understand what happens to us when we believe in a higher power.

Paralleling the discoveries of science is Bradley Hagerty’s own account of her spiritual evolution. Raised a Christian Scientist, she was a scrupulous adherent until a small moment as an adult triggered a revaluation of her beliefs, which in turn led her to a new way of thinking about God and faith.

An insightful examination of what science is learning about how and why we believe, Fingerprints of God is also a moving story of one person’s search for a communion with a higher power and what she discovered on that journey.


The first sign that Barbara Bradley Hagerty had a future as a writer appeared in her kindergarten report card.

“Barbie always listens very carefully to the stories we read, and asks questions about why people do the things they do,” the teacher wrote, adding, “She’s very dexterous with the scissors.” Bradley allowed her scissoring skills to go fallow, but her curiosity about stories and her desire to tell others what she had found out led her into journalism.

After graduating from Williams College with an economics degree, she shunned investment banking for the lowest-paying job she was offered: as a copy kid at The Christian Science Monitor. When Bradley informed the managing editor that she wanted to be a foreign correspondent, she found herself at age 23 working on the foreign desk, editing all coverage from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union just as President Reagan was demanding that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall. Three years later, Bradley became the Monitor’s economics correspondent in Washington, soon moving on to cover the Iran-contra scandal as the Justice Department correspondent.

At 29, she was posted in Japan as Asia correspondent for the Monitor’s nightly television news program, World Monitor. She traveled throughout Asia for three years, covering, among other events, the rise of Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and that country’s first “free and fair” elections in a quarter-century, which the military junta marked by imprisoning all of the democracy party winners. Bradley’s coverage prompted her quick exit from the country, to the relief of the Burmese military intelligence officer assigned to her, who had staggered behind her each morning as she did her eight-mile run.

It was while on a fellowship at Yale Law School in 1994 that Bradley, suffering from a bad case of stomach flu, first experienced the wonders of Tylenol – an event that was instrumental in leaving the faith of her childhood, Christian Science, and launching an intense spiritual search. She joined National Public Radio in 1995. Among her most memorable moments there was her first day covering the Justice Department, when Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr delivered his salacious report about President Bill Clinton to Congress. While at the Justice Department, Bradley reported on an array of national and international stories, ranging from the Clinton impeachment to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Her coverage earned her, along with other NPR reporters, the Peabody and Foreign Press Club awards.

In 2003, the (newly married) Bradley Hagerty moved to the religion beat at NPR as the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and the culture wars under George W. Bush were unfolding. The awards for her religion reporting include the Religion Newswriters Award and the 2009 Gracie Award for Women in Radio and Television. She was one of 10 journalists selected for a Templeton-Cambridge fellowship in science and religion in 2005, where she and her colleagues spent weeks questioning world-class scientists and theologians at Cambridge University. At Cambridge she realized she must finally address her recurring question: Is there more than this? Fingerprints of God is her attempt to answer that question by diving into the emerging science of spirituality.

Barbara Bradley Hagerty lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Devin Hagerty, professor and international security expert, and her yellow Labrador retriever, Sandra Day.


Barbara Bradley Hagerty: Fingerprints of God

Bethanne Patrick talks to Barbara Bradley Hagerty about her new book, Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality.

LIVING IN THE LIGHT — 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION Follow Your Inner Guidance to Create a New Life and a New World ~ Shakti Gawain [updated July 2015]

Are you searching for deeper meaning and purpose in your life? Do you sense that you have an inner wisdom that can be a guiding force for you, yet wonder how to connect with that intuitive self? How do you know which inner voices to listen to?

For over thirty years, Shakti Gawain has helped readers address these questions. Living in the Light has given literally millions of people clear and gentle guidance to create a new way of life — one in which we listen to our intuition and rely on it as a guiding force. The key lies in bringing the light of our awareness to every aspect of ourselves, including our disowned energies — our shadow side.

With great insight and clarity, Shakti shows us the transformative power of bringing awareness to every part of ourselves. Simple yet powerful exercises on subjects including creativity, relationships, parenting, health, money, and transforming the world help us put these teachings to practical use in our daily lives.

Living in the Light is a comprehensive map to growth, fulfillment, and consciousness. As we grapple with personal, national, and global challenges on many fronts, this classic work is timelier than ever.

Shakti Gawain is the bestselling author of Creative Visualization, Living in the Light, The Path of Transformation, Creating True Prosperity, Developing Intuition, and several other books. Her books have sold more than six million copies in thirty languages worldwide. A warm, articulate, and inspiring teacher, Shakti leads workshops internationally.

For more than thirty years, she has facilitated thousands of people in learning to trust and act on their own inner truth, thus releasing and developing their creativity in every area of their lives. Shakti has appeared on such nationally syndicated shows as Oprah, Good Morning America, Sonya Live, Larry King Live, and New Dimensions Radio, and she has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Body Mind & Spirit, and Time magazine. Shakti Gawain was cofounder of New World Library along with Marc Allen. Shakti and her husband, Jim Burns, also cofounded Nataraj Publishing Company, which New World Library acquired in 1998. They make their home in Mill Valley, California.


LIVING IN THE LIGHT by Shakti Gawain – Official Book Trailer

This is the official book trailer for the 25th Anniversary Edition of Shakti Gawain’s LIVING IN THE LIGHT: Follow Your Inner Guidance to Create a New Life and New World.

For over thirty years, Shakti Gawain has been guiding readers toward conscious living. LIVING IN THE LIGHT has given literally millions of people clear and gentle guidance to create a new way of life — one in which we listen to our intuition and rely on it as a guiding force.


BJ Gallagher ~Best-selling author, speaker, and human relations expert.

Shakti Gawain Is Still ‘Living in the Light’ – An Interview

Years ago I read Living in the Light by Shakti Gawain and loved it. I gave the book to my mom who called me when she finished reading it and said, “That’s the way you live YOUR life!” Mom, she was right — Shakti’s book describes very well how I’ve always lived my life — I just didn’t know anyone else did it. I had never heard other people talk about living by intuition and heeding their own internal guidance system. I felt affirmed and validated after reading Shakti’s book.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the publication of Living in the Light by New World Library, so I thought it would be interesting to check in with the author and see what she’s up to lately. I figured it would be a real treat to interview an author who’s been such a positive influence on my life, and tens of millions of other lives, too.

BJ: What is it you want people to understand about how to “live in the light”?

Shakti: We all have within us a deep wisdom, but sometimes we don’t know we have it. We live in a culture that doesn’t acknowledge or validate human intuition and doesn’t encourage us to rely on our intuitive wisdom. Much of the Western world emphasizes rationality and reason, but overlooks or ignores the enormous value of intuition and instinctive wisdom. When I wrote Living in the Light, I wanted to share about how I live my own life and to encourage people to tap into their own inner wisdom.

It’s so practical to connect to that source of guidance on a day-to-day, hour-by-hour basis. Your intuition will tell you where you need to go; it will connect you with people you should meet; it will guide you toward work that is meaningful for you – work that brings you joy, work that feels right for you. Listening to your internal guidance system will lead to a rich, fulfilled, happy life. That’s been my experience… and millions of folks can attest to it in their own lives as well. Of course life is not always easy and in fact, some are very difficult. This is all part of the process of being human.

BJ: What’s the relationship between your rational mind with your intuition?

Shakti: Your intuition is not the same thing as your mind. In fact, intuition is really the opposite of your mind — and you need to use BOTH in living your day-to-day life. The mind is the enemy of intuition, according to many New Age adherents, but I don’t buy that. I look at everything in terms of polarities — two ends of the same continuum. Young/old, male/female, individuality/conformity, work/play, freedom/constraint, right/left, day/night, life/death, rational/emotional, and so on. Mind and intuition are at opposite ends of the same continuum and our goal is to strike a healthy balance between the two. It’s not a question of either/or… it’s a question of both/and. We shouldn’t ignore any guidance that comes from the mind – we should listen to our minds AND balance mental messages with intuitive messages. We need both to navigate our way through life.

: Care to talk about what you are working on these days? Writing a new book? Doing workshops?

Shakti: Yes, yes, and yes! I’d love to talk about what I’m up to. The book I’m working on right now is on relationships — about how we can use our relationships as paths to consciousness. By viewing our relationships with friends, family, and co-workers as mirrors, as teachers — we see that they are reflecting back to us exactly what we most need to learn. I plan to finish the book this Winter for a Fall 2013 release.

In addition to that book, I have a couple more I plan to write: The first is titled Write Your Book! for people who have a message to share and want to write a book. I believe that everybody needs to tell their story — to be heard, to be seen, to be acknowledged, to be understood. We all want that, deep down inside — and writing a book is a great way to make sense of your own experience and to share it with others.

The other book I’d like to write is my own life story. I did one already, when I turned 40 and wrote Return to the Garden, but now I’m 63 so it’s time to do it again. I think a lot of people will identify with it.

BJ: I think so, too. A wise editor once told me: “That which is the most personal is also the most universal.” So I’m sure that many people will identify with your life story.

Shakti: I love that advice! “That which is the most personal is also the most universal.” Perfect.

BJ: What else is up next for your work in the world?

Shakti: I’m very interested in the dialogue we have with the inner parts of ourselves. I’ve been influenced by the work of Hal and Sidra Stone and am developing ways to help people get in touch with the disowned parts of themselves. I conduct small, intimate, one-day workshops at my home once a month or so — and I do individual coaching with people as well.

A few years ago I took some time off to deal with a few health issues — my body was letting me know it needed some attention and healing — so I didn’t write or do workshops for a while. But now I’m refreshed and renewed and my health has restored, so I’m having a wonderful time with the new direction of my work.

I’m especially interested in relationships since that is a part of life that causes enormous pain for many people. When I was younger, relationships were a source of pain and frustration for me, too, and now I understand why.

BJ: I love hearing your perspective on relationships! About 20 years ago I attended one of your workshops and recall how you said, “People who really want to be in a relationship are IN one.” I’ll never forget the impact your statement had on me. I have said for many years that I want to get married again, I want to have a life partner — but when I look back over the years, my behavior tells me something different. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to get married — I’ve dated dozens of great guys, and had some good relationships — but somehow, they always ended. So… I suspect that while I SAY I want a man in my life, maybe deep down inside I really don’t. Maybe I want freedom more than I want partnership. What do you think?

That’s exactly the kind of thing I was talking about earlier in our conversation. Freedom and relationship are polar opposites — they both exist on the same continuum. You DO want a relationship — and you DO want freedom — what you really want is BALANCE, you want wholeness. But there is some inner conflict — fear, anxiety, some disowned part of yourself that is keeping you free, but also keeping you out of a relationship. That’s exactly the kind of thing I help people with in my workshops and my coaching.

The disowned parts of ourselves are what get in the way of us having the relationships we long for, the careers we don’t know how to create, and the goals we want to achieve. It is by getting in touch with ALL the parts of ourselves — by having a gentle dialogue with all the “selves” we have inside — that we integrate them into a more comfortable, peaceful way of being with ourselves. We have to get good at being with ourselves before we can hope to be good at being in relationships with others.

Tending Life’s Garden Between Ignorance and Enlightenment VI Written by Venerable Master Hsing Yun [Updated Nov 3, 2014]

A garden of plum blossoms and lush willows will look forlorn if they are surrounded by withered branches and dead leaves. When our morals and character are flawed, we cannot win the respect of others no matter how great our accomplishments. Therefore, we should never stop tending to our life’s garden, trimming and ridding it of its impurities and decaying matter. In Tending Life’s Garden, volume six of the popular Between Ignorance and Enlightenment series, Venerable Master Hsing Yun meditates on this theme of tending to life with wisdom and compassion. He charts a sound and empathetic course for tending to the causes and conditions of human suffering. This volume also offers ways to celebrate and enhance the beauty in the garden of life, inspiring people of all generations and walks of life to realize their potential for growth. Tending to life’s garden is ultimately about renewal, just as trimming a rose bush is about expecting it to bloom more beautifully. Venerable Master Hsing Yun captures this spirit when he reminds us, ‘When we pour our life into the stream of the universe, the whole world will jump and dance with us. Then, any season, any age can be the spring of life.’

Review by by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Master Hsing Yun present ideas on ways to tend our moral, emotional and spiritual gardens. Here is an excerpt on attention.

“The mind is like tangled silk that needs sorting to be in good working order. It is like an ancient mirror that requires a good polishing in order to shine, or a wild horse that needs to be tamed. The mind is our master, leading the daily activities of our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body. Within our everyday activities, a single thought may ruin our lives or reputations, or help us gain success and fame. Buddhist sutras compare the ungoverned mind to the likes of thieves, vicious beasts, monkeys, and kings. Therefore, it is absolutely critical to govern the mind! So what kind of power can we use to subdue the mind? The following are three suggestions that anyone can follow.

“1. Know how to cultivate the mind. We repair furniture when it is broken, water pipes when they leak, and clothes when they are torn. If the mind has become smeared by greed, ignorance, and arrogance, how do we repair it? We need the instruments of compassion, joy, generosity, meditation, morals, and practice to treat it.

“2. Know how to calm the mind. The mind is like a monkey or a horse. If we are not careful, it will commit all kinds of unwholesome deeds. Ming Dynasty scholar Wang Yangming said, ‘It is easy to capture a bandit in the mountains; it is difficult to catch the thief in the mind.’ Calming the mind is like soldiers apprehending bandits or the police arresting thieves. Where are our soldiers and police? Right thinking is our soldier and right view is our police. We have to make good use of them in order to calm our minds.

“3. Know how to use our minds. We are often manipulated by the mind but do not know how to use it properly. It is said that the mind labors for its physical form. It is often influenced by our desires and external circumstances. It is driven by sight, sound, smell, touch and perception from outside. The greed, anger, and ignorance of the mind keeps pushing and working against us. So we must master our minds.”

2014_03_29 Fo Guang Shan Founder Master Hsing Yun

Entangled Minds Extrasensory Experiences In a Quantum Reality by Dean Radin, PhD [Updated Sept 14, 2014]

Is everything connected? Can we sense what’s happening to loved ones thousands of miles away? Why are we sometimes certain of a caller’s identity the instant the phone rings? Do intuitive hunches contain information about future events? Is it possible to perceive without the use of the ordinary senses?

Many people believe that such “psychic phenomena” are rare talents or divine gifts. Others don’t believe they exist at all. But the latest scientific research shows that these phenomena are both real and widespread, and are an unavoidable consequence of the interconnected, entangled physical reality we live in.

Albert Einstein called entanglement “spooky action at a distance” — the way two objects remain connected through time and space, without communicating in any conventional way, long after their initial interaction has taken place. Could a similar entanglement of minds explain our apparent psychic abilities? Dean Radin, senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, believes it might.

In this illuminating book, Radin shows how we know that psychic phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis are real, based on scientific evidence from thousands of controlled lab tests. Radin surveys the origins of this research and explores, among many topics, the collective premonitions of 9/11. He reveals the physical reality behind our uncanny telepathic experiences and intuitive hunches, and he debunks the skeptical myths surrounding them. Entangled Minds sets the stage for a rational, scientific understanding of psychic experience.

Scientist Dean Radin suggests that civilization is going through a developmental stage. Describing the world as made up of adolescent-like tribes, he says that it may take some great threat to force these tribes to work together.

The New Reality: Quantum Entanglement & Consciousness Revisited ~ Dean Radin

he New Reality: Quantum Entanglement & Consciousness Revisited – Dean Radin

Aug 16, 2012

In this interview Dr. Dean Radin talks with Merryn Jose about the topics of entanglement, psi phenomena in science, intention, telepathy, quantum physics and more!

Dr. Radin is Laboratory Director at the Institute of Noetic Sciences in California. He worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories and GTE Laboratories on advanced Telecommunications systems, and for nearly two decades he has conducted research on psychic phenomena in academia and in three Silicon Valley think tanks.

At Stanford Research Institute he served as a scientist on a highly classified program investigating psi phenomena for the U.S. government.

His book The Conscious Universe won the 1997 Book Award from The Scientific and Medical Network, and it has been translated into eight languages. The majority of Dr. Radin’s professional career has focused on experimentally probing the far reaches of human consciousness, primarily intuition, gut feelings and psi phenomena. His interests in these topics were motivated partially by sheer scientific curiosity, but also by an appreciation that these experiences are responsible for most of the greatest inventions, artistic and scientific achievements, creative insights, and religious epiphanies throughout history.

Dr.Radin’s new book is entitled, Entangled Minds and has appeared in the movie What The Bleep Do We Know?!- Down The Rabbit Hole Extended Director’s Cut.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead ~ Brene Brown [ Updated July 14, 2014]

Brene Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection) examines vulnerability and imperfection in her latest, which takes its title from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship in a Republic.” Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, is the first to admit that vulnerability makes her uncomfortable, but posits that daring to fail is the only true way to be wholeheartedly engaged in any aspect of life.

“Experiencing vulnerability isn’t a choice—the only choice we have is how we’re going to respond when we are confronted with uncertainty, risk and emotional disclosure,” she says.

Laying out a roadmap for change, the author includes chapters on eliminating blame and shame from work and education, and daring to be the adults we want our children to be. At the same time, she explores what drives people to feel vulnerable and how to address common coping mechanisms in what she calls the “Vulnerability Armory.”

But the core of her message is understanding the difference between guilt and shame, and developing “shame resistance.” Brown’s theories—complete with personal and not always flattering examples from her own life—will draw readers in and have them considering what steps they would dare to take if shame and fear were not present.

Agent: Jo-Lynne Worley, Worley Shoemaker Literary Management. (Sept.)

Click Here To Look Inside

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past twelve years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Her groundbreaking research has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Brené’s 2010 TEDxHouston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top ten most viewed TED talks on, with approximately 6 million viewers. Additionally, Brené gave the closing talk at the 2012 TED conference where she talked about shame, courage, and innovation.

Brené’s newest book is, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Gotham, 2012). She is also the author of The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), and I Thought It Was Just Me (2007), and Connections (2009); a shame-resilience curriculum being facilitated by helping professionals across the globe.

Brené lives in Houston with her husband, Steve, and their two children, Ellen and Charlie.

Daring Greatly, Brene Brown

Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” —Theodore Roosevelt

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.

In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Dr. Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, Daring Greatly will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, schools, and communities.

Dr. Brené Brown on Faking It, Perfectionism and Living Wholeheartedly – Super Soul Sunday – OWN

In her book Daring Greatly, Dr. Brené Brown identifies 10 qualities people living a wholehearted life have in common. Here, she discusses two with Oprah. Watch to find out why Dr. Brown says inauthenticity is contagious and why perfectionism is really another form of fear.

WAKING UP IN TIME: Finding Inner Peace in Times of Accelerating Change. ~ Peter Russell [Updated July 2, 2014]


The first part of the book, “The Quickening,” sets the scene. It opens with the increasing pace of life we are all experiencing today. I show how this trend is not limited to modern times, but can be traced back through history all the way to the beginning of creation. What we are experiencing today is the culmination of billions of years of ever-accelerating development.

Why does evolution accelerate? The answer lies in the fact that new evolutionary breakthroughs often facilitate future advances. Multicellular organisms, sexual reproduction, and the emergence of nervous systems have each done their part to hasten the pace of evolutionary change. Now, with the emergence of human beings, two new features are speeding development yet further. Speech allows us to share our experiences and understandings with each other, giving us the ability to accumulate a collective body of knowledge. While our hands, one the most versatile organs Nature has evolved, have given us the ability to take the clay of Mother Earth and reshape it to our own ends. Combining these two evolutionary breakthroughs has made us the most creative species this planet has ever known. And the more we apply that creativity, the faster things change.

The second part, “The Crisis” focuses on the less welcome consequences of humanity’s rapid development, and the devastation we are bringing to the rest of the planet. How is it, we ask, that a species that is in some ways so intelligent can in other ways be so short-sighted? Where have we gone wrong?

These questions lead on to an exploration of our inner needs and the way our societies have seduced us – in effect hypnotized us – into a set of false assumptions about what it is we really want, and how to go about achieving it. Amplified by the might of our technologies, these errors of thinking are now having global ramifications. We see that the global crisis is, at its root, a crisis of consciousness.

If we are to navigate ourselves safely through this critical moment of history we must make a break with the past, and look at ourselves and our world with fresh eyes. This will entail a fundamental shift in thinking and perception – a shift in consciousness more profound and far-reaching than any in our history. It will mean awakening to the wisdom that lies within us all, of which the great sages have always spoken. This is our next step in evolution, not an outer step, but an inner step.

The third part, “The Awakening” is more spiritual in tone. It asks: How can we wake up? How can we liberate our minds from outdated habits of thinking and make the inner changes that are being demanded of us? The answer involves learning to be more in the present moment, less caught up in our judgments of the past and our attachments to future outcomes. One of the most important areas of practice is our personal relationships. It is here that we frequently meet the various patterns that we need to let go of, and here that we have the most opportunity to learn new ways of thinking and perceiving. As we do, we rediscover the true meaning of love.

The final part, “The Future ,” looks at where we may be headed. It considers some of the many prophecies that seem to foretell these turbulent times. And it looks behind their literal interpretations to deeper meanings, suggesting that they are metaphors for inner transformation and awakening.

Will we wake up in time, and avoid catastrophe? That is still an open question. If we do not, evolution on this planet could be set back to a new Dark Age perhaps; or worse, back to the primeval soup. On the other hand, if we do come to our senses, then it seems very likely that our rate of development – particularly our rate of inner development – will continue to grow faster and faster. What will happen if change is compressed from decades to years to months . . . ? We could be approaching a time of unimaginably rapid personal and social transformation – an evolutionary climax more profound than most of us have ever dared imagine?

Finally, we ask whether there could, after all, be a purpose to evolution? Recent work in cosmology suggests the answer may be “Yes.” The Universe seems to be set up so that conscious creatures like us can evolve, capable of knowing Creation in all its dimensions. Could we be on the brink of completing this process of cosmic self-discovery here on planet Earth? The answer to that is up to us.

Peter Russell is a fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, of The World Business Academy and of The Findhorn Foundation, and an Honorary Member of The Club of Budapest.

At Cambridge University (UK), he studied mathematics and theoretical physics. Then, as he became increasingly fascinated by the mysteries of the human mind he changed to experimental psychology. Pursuing this interest, he traveled to India to study meditation and eastern philosophy, and on his return took up the first research post ever offered in Britain on the psychology of meditation.

He also has a post-graduate degree in computer science, and conducted there some of the early work on 3-dimensional displays, presaging by some twenty years the advent of virtual reality. In the mid-seventies Peter Russell joined forces with Tony Buzan and helped teach “Mind Maps” and learning methods to a variety of international organizations and educational institutions.

Since then his corporate programs have focused increasingly on self-development, creativity, stress management, and sustainable environmental practices. Clients have included IBM, Apple, Digital, American Express, Barclays Bank, Swedish Telecom, ICI, Shell Oil and British Petroleum.

His principal interest is the deeper, spiritual significance of the times we are passing through. He has written several books in this area — The TM Technique, The Upanishads, The Brain Book, The Global Brain Awakens, The Creative Manager, The Consciousness Revolution, Waking Up in Time, and From Science to God.

As one of the more revolutionary futurists Peter Russell has been a keynote speaker at many international conferences, in Europe, Japan and the USA. His multi-image shows and videos, The Global Brain and The White Hole in Time have won praise and prizes from around the world. In 1993 the environmental magazine Buzzworm voted Peter Russell “Eco-Philosopher Extraordinaire” of the year.

Click here to take a look inside.




Acceleration – The Quickening Pace
Feedback – The Evolutionary Accelerator
Language – The Dawn of Thought
Hands – Levers for the Mind
Information – The Currency of Culture
Creativity – From Genes to Ideas
Today – Foundation for Tomorrow

Crisis – Sounding the Alarm
Crossroads – Choosing our Way
Malady – A Planetary Cancer
Self-Interest – Misdirected Needs
Happiness – The Mind’s Bottom Line
Materialism – An Addictive Meme
Fear – The Voice in Our Heads
Stress – The Wages of Fear

Dehypnosis – Breaking the Trance
Presence – The Timeless Moment
Enlightenment – A New Way of Seeing
Relationships – The Yoga of the West
Love – The Gift of Peace
Meditation – The Art of Letting Go
Maturity – Coming of Age
Freedom – The Emancipation from Matter

Challenge – Crises as Opportunity
Apocalypse – Premonitions of Transformation
Setbacks – Constructive Extinctions
Compression – The Collapse of Time
Singularities – The Shape of the Future
Omega – A White Hole in Time
Purpose – A Design to Creation?
Knowing – A Conscious Universe
The End – Or the Beginning?

Peter Russell – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Jun 29, 2014
Peter Russell holds degrees in theoretical physics, experimental psychology, and computer science from the University of Cambridge, England, where he was a student of Stephen Hawking. Following university he went to India, to study meditation and Eastern philosophy. In the 1970s, he pioneered the introduction of personal growth programs to corporations, running courses for senior management on creativity, stress management and sustainable development.

He coined the term “global brain” with his 1980s bestseller of the same name in which he predicted the Internet and the impact it would have on humanity. His other books, which include Waking Up in Time: Finding Inner Peace in Times of Accelerating Change, and From Science to God: A Physicist’s Journey into the Mystery of Consciousness, and his visual presentations and videos have won international acclaim and awards.

Peter’s work integrates Eastern and Western understandings of the mind, exploring their relevance to the world today and to humanity’s future. Peter’s website:

Peter Russell ‘The Great Awakening’ Interview by Ian McNay

Peter Russell ‘The Great Awakening’ Interview by Iain McNay

Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life By Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Cassandra Vieten, Tina Amorok [updated May 10, 2014]

Living Deeply transcends any one approach by focusing on common elements of transformation across a variety of traditions, while affirming and supporting the diversity of approaches across religious, spiritual, scientific, academic, and cultural backgrounds. Each chapter in the book ends with Experiences of Transformation, exercises drawn from wisdom traditions or scientific investigations meant to enhance your direct experience of the material.

Opportunities to actively engage in your own transformation and that of our world are woven into the fabric of your everyday life. Learning more about the terrain of consciousness transformation can not only give you a map, but can help you become the cartographer of your own transformative journey. Research over the last decade at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) has systematically surveyed hundreds of people’s stories of their own transformations, as well as conducting over 50 in-depth interviews with teachers and masters of the world’s spiritual, religious, and transformative traditions.

No matter who you are,where you come from, or what your current path is – whether you seek to transform your life completely or simply make adjustments that will add a layer of richness and depth to your life – exploring the many ways that transformation is stimulated and sustained can hold great power. Weaving together cutting-edge science with wisdom from teachers of the world’s transformative traditions this book explores how people experience deep shifts in their consciousness, and how those shifts can lead to healing and wholeness.

Research over the last decade at the Institute of Noetic Sciences has explored in depth the phenomenon by which people make significant shifts in the way they experience and view the world. Focusing in particular on positive transformations in consciousness, or those that result in improved health, well-being, and sense of meaning, purpose,and belonging, hundreds of people’s stories of their own transformations were included in the research, as well as in-depth interviews with over 50 teachers and masters of the world’s spiritual, religious, and transformative traditions.

Authors Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Ph.D., Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D., and Tina Amorok, Psy.D. – will begin conducting workshops based on the information they have gathered for this book. These workshops will blend the rigors of science with the deep wisdom of the world’s spiritual traditions. Drs. Schlitz, Vieten, and Amorok will offer key insights from the decade-long qualitative and quantitative research study, of how people transform their lives. The workshops will include rigorous inquiry, group dialogue, and direct experience about the kinds of transformations in consciousness that change a person’s worldview to one that is more connected to others.

For more information about the Signature Education Workshops, please visit

Also available is a companion DVD.

No matter who you are, where you come from, or what your current path is – whether you seek to transform your life completely or simply make adjustments that will add a layer of richness and depth to your life – exploring the many ways that transformation is stimulated and sustained can hold great power. Weaving together cutting-edge science with wisdom from teachers of the world’s transformative traditions this book explores how people experience deep shifts in their consciousness, and how those shifts can lead to healing and wholeness.

Research over the last decade at the Institute of Noetic Sciences has explored in depth the phenomenon by which people make significant shifts in the way they experience and view the world. Focusing in particular on positive transformations in consciousness, or those that result in improved health, well-being, and sense of meaning, purpose, and belonging, hundreds of people’s stories of their own transformations were included in the research, as well as in-depth interviews with over 50 teachers and masters of the world’s spiritual, religious, and transformative traditions.

Authors Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Ph.D., Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D., and Tina Amorok, Psy.D. – will begin conducting workshops based on the information they have gathered for this book. These workshops will blend the rigors of science with the deep wisdom of the world’s spiritual traditions. Drs. Schlitz, Vieten, and Amorok will offer key insights from the decade-long qualitative and quantitative research study, of how people transform their lives. The workshops will include rigorous inquiry, group dialogue, and direct experience about the kinds of transformations in consciousness that change a person’s worldview to one that is more connected to others.

Click here to browse inside.

Cassandra Vieten, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist, Executive Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (, and Scientist at the Mind Body Medicine Research Group at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute in San Francisco, CA.

Her research on mindfulness-based approaches to dealing with addictions, mood disorders, and for stress reduction during pregnancy and early motherhood has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the State of California, and several private foundations. She is author of Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child’s First Year.

Her research has also focused on spiritual practices and health, and how people make significant changes in their lives toward more meaning, health, and well-being. In addition to Mindful Motherhood, she is coauthor, along with Marilyn Schlitz and Tina Amorok, of Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life.

She is an avid soccer player, lives in the Northern California Bay Area, and is mom to an eleven year-old daughter.

For three decades, scientist and anthropologist Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Ph.D. has pioneered clinical and field-based research in the area of human transformation and healing. She is a thought leader on matters of individual and social change whose respected voice offers new insights into the most pressing challenges of our time. A researcher, speaker, change consultant, and writer, Marilyn’s books include: Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life and Consciousness and Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind Body Medicine. She serves as the CEO and President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, where she has worked for 15 years.

Waking From Sleep: Why Awakening Experiences Occur and How to Make Them Permanent ~ Steve Taylor [Updated Mar 08, 2014]

How much of your waking time are you fully awake? How often do you stumble through the day on auto-pilot, half asleep and out of contact with yourself, instead of feeling connected and alive?

In this astounding book, Steve Taylor suggests that our normal consciousness is really a kind of ‘sleep’ from which we sometimes ‘wake up’, into a more intense and complete reality. Waking from Sleep provides what is perhaps the first ever clear explanation of higher states of consciousness, or ‘awakening experiences’.

This book examines the methods that human beings have used throughout history to induce awakening experiences, including meditation, sex, nature, sport, psychedelic drugs and sleep deprivation; how higher states of consciousness were normal and natural to some of the world’s peoples (and still are in some cases); and how we can make ‘wakefulness’ our normal state again. By fully explaining awakening experiences, this book makes them much more accessible, and may even lead to a revolution in our psychological development as human beings.

Steve Taylor is a lecturer in psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University, and the author of several best-selling books on psychology and spirituality. These include Waking From Sleep, The Fall, Making Time and his new book Out of the Darkness.

His books have been published in 11 languages, including Dutch, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, Polish, Spanish and French. His work has been described by Eckhart Tolle as ‘an important contribution to the shift in consciousness which is happening on our planet at present.’ Steve is also a researcher in transpersonal psychology at Liverpool John Moores University.

Steve’s articles and essays have been published in over 30 academic journals, magazines and newspapers, including The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, The Journal of Consciousness Studies, The Transpersonal Psychology Review, The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, The Scientific and Medical Network Review, Psychologies, Soul and Spirit, Resurgence and The Daily Express. His work has been featured widely in the media in the UK, including on BBC Breakfast, BBC World TV, Radio 4 and 5, and in The Guardian and The Independent.

Steve regularly gives workshops and talks and is a member of the Scientific and Medical Network. Steve lives in Manchester, England with his wife and three young children.

Interview with Conscious TV –

Steve Taylor Waking From Sleep Interview by Iain McNay

Steve Taylor 2 – ‘Waking From Sleep’ – Interview by Iain McNay

Steve Taylor – ‘Waking From Sleep’ – Interview by Iain McNay

Author of “Waking From Sleep – Why Awakening Experiences Occur and how to Make them Permanent” (Hay House). He suggests that our normal consciousness is really a kind of sleep from which we sometimes wake to a more intense and complete reality. “Waking from Sleep” examines the methods that human beings have used throughout history to induce awakening experiences, including meditation, sex, nature, sport, psychedelic drugs and sleep deprivation; how higher states of consciousness were normal and natural to some of the world’s people (and still are in some cases); and how we can make ‘wakefulness’ our normal state again.

Steve Taylor 3 – ‘Waking From Sleep’ – Interview by Iain McNay

KARMA AND REINCARNATION: Unlocking Your 800 Lives to Enlightenment By Barbara Y. Martin and Dimitri Moraitis [updated Feb 26, 2014]

A comprehensive, visionary guide to the karmic cycle and its role within our life-both the life we’re living and the lives to come.

There is life after death, and Barbara Martin has seen it. Now for the first time comes her inspired, firsthand account of the intricate world of spiritual rebirth. The award-winning authors of Change Your Aura, Change Your Life reveal the afterlife in a work based directly on Martin’s personal explorations of the world to come and awe-inspiring clairvoyant experience with the spiritual world.

Both a fully practical handbook to the ins and outs of the karmic cycle and a field guide to the spiritual plane and how reincarnation works, Karma and Reincarnation:

-Brings together the design of the world beyond and the mechanics of karma;

-Gives practical guidelines and tools to deal effectively with karmic situations and avoid generating adverse karma;

-Helps align readers with their spiritual purpose;

-Shows readers how to face and resolve their karmic troubles; and

-Provides essential keys to spiritual development.

A true spiritual wonder in a single, fully accessible volume, Karma and Reincarnation is perfect for both those taking their first steps down a spiritual path and longtime spiritual students.

To illuminate their teachings, Martin and Moraitis incorporate reincarnation stories from their many students as well as examples of prominent historical figures. Highly readable and informative, this definitive volume answers countless karmic questions for readers from all spiritual traditions.

Q&A with authors of Karma and Reincarnation

Many of us use the word “karma”. We may accept our misfortunes as karmic retribution for past mistakes, or welcome small blessings as a reward for our previous kindness. Yet, do we really understand what karma means? Do we know where it comes from and how it can manifest itself in our lives? Barbara Y. Martin and Dimitri Moraitis explain everything we need to know in their accessible book, Karma and Reincarnation: Unlocking Your 800 Lives to Enlightenment. They discuss the book in this Q&A…

Many people throw the word karma around without truly understanding what it means. What do you think our biggest misconceptions are about karma?

Not understanding how it works. Many people don’t realize the full scope of our past lives. They think that karma is a form of reward or punishment. Karma is a harmonizing law. The goal is to bring life back into balance and harmony. When you initiate a destructive action you disturb that natural harmony. Karma is the retuning process which can be painful at times. A constructive action accentuates the natural law of harmony creating more beauty in your life.

The other misconception is thinking everything that happens in life is karma. Karma is certainly a big part of our life but not everything that happens is karmic. There are other dynamics such as free will that come into the picture.

Karma and Reincarnation is a complete guide. What can readers learn here that has been absent from other books on the subject?

There has not really been an accurate depiction of the reincarnation process based on actual clairvoyant experience. All the material in this book is based on personal observations and interactions over a lifetime of study.

It is our hope the reader comes to understand the central part karma and reincarnation plays in the process of spiritual evolution. The soul takes approximately 800 lifetimes to reach maturity. In that time, we experience the joys and sorrows, the triumphs and tragedies of earth life. This builds character, making us rich and well-rounded. In addition, the book attempts to cover the board range of karma from personal to national and
even world karma.

You discuss how karma can impact entire nations. Does America have good karma?

It presently has both good and bad karma. The inception of America was built as a result of very good world karma. America is meant to be an example as to the potential that all countries have in the evolution of civilization. The global age is inevitable as humanity is growing and slowly, yet still painfully at times, heading into a more cooperative age. America has been at the forefront of this through its principles of liberty, equality and fairness.

Unfortunately, there have been times when America has taken advantage of its privileged position, and this creates negative karma. The recent economic crisis, although global in nature, definitely bears the mark of national karma. The actions we are taking now will determine whether we, as a nation, have learned the karmic lessons that these economic challenges have presented to us.

In Chapter 9, you analyze the karma of nature. What are the karmic implications of our current relationship with nature?

Nature is not there to use as we please. As with any relationship, there is give and take. Nature gives of its bounty to serve humanity and in return humanity is meant to help nature in its spiritual evolution. For example, how we treat animals is essential. When we show love and care to animals we help them in their own evolution. When we help animals, we are also helping ourselves to evolve. It’s our responsibility to treat them well. When we mistreat animals, we lose spiritual power and may find ourselves being mistreated in some way, not by animals, but by situations as a way to open our hearts.

Barbara, you’ve been to the other side and can recall your previous lives. What have you learned from those experiences? How have they informed the book?

The privilege of being taken consciously to the other side can only be described as sacred and holy. We are all familiar with the other side, but most of us do not bring back conscious memory. I have developed this skill over many years and it is always done as part of my own spiritual growth or in service to others, never just for the sake of curiosity. You realize there is so much more to life that you thought. You are never alone and there is a tremendous spiritual support system working with you at all times.

It is incredible to realize you have lived before and will live again. There is always wonder that such a thing is possible. Knowledge of past lives has given me much greater respect for life and for my own actions. You do not need to remember your past lives to progress, but you do need to make the most of your time here on earth.

What do you hope readers take away from Karma and Reincarnation?

To realize that karma and reincarnation is real. Too many people are not resolving their karmic challenges because they don’t realize what is going on. When you have the opportunity to resolve your karma but you turn away or react negatively, it gets tougher. So why wait? By working on your karma now, you progress faster and the karma is easier to handle. It is the hope that the reader will learn how to better use the gift of free will to make better choices that are in harmony with their divine purpose.

Barbara Y. Martin & Dimitri Moraitis: Karma & Reincarnation – Part 1/2

Barbara Martin & Dimitri Moraitis join Dr. Rita Louise on Just Energy Radio where they discuss the concepts of Karma & Reincarnation.

About the Guests:
Barbara Y. Martin & Dimitri Moraitis
Karma & Reincarnation

Barbara Y. Martin
Having been called, “The Mozart of Metaphysics”, Barbara Y. Martin is considered one of the foremost clairvoyants and metaphysical teachers working today. Barbara has been at the forefront of the metaphysical/New Age movement for over forty years.

Dimitri Moraitis is cofounder and executive director of Spiritual Arts Institute. Dimitri has been instrumental in organizing the teaching material and bringing Spiritual Arts Institute to the place it is today as one of the leading metaphysical schools in the country.

Together they have authored the books: Karma And Reincarnation: Unlocking Your 800 Lives To Enlightenment, The Healing Power Of your Aura and Change Your Aura, Change Your Life

GODS, GENES & CONSCIOUSNESS: Nonhuman Intervention in Human History by Paul Von Ward [ Updated Feb 25, 2014]

“Are we alone in the universe?” is the first fundamental question of conscious beings. The second question of an awakening consciousness is, “Has there been contact?” The third is, “To what effect?” This book provides answers to these questions that one can easily confirm in history, science, and human experience.

ABs, or Advanced Beings, refers to all categories of non-human, conscious entities involved in human affairs. They range from flesh-and-blood beings, “the gods who walked with men of old,” to the nonphysical and invisible entities who spoke to Moses, Mohammed, Joseph Smith, and thousands of others. To ethereal voices like Seth, the Pleiadians, and others who channel messages through individuals. To the voices of prophecy. To spirit guides and higher selves, and levels of consciousness tapped by Steiner, Cayce, Tesla, Einstein and others.

Use of the term, “advanced being,” does not imply that they are more advanced than humans in all respects. They have simply been experienced as having powers or technologies not available to humans. These powers may be like those of an angel who can appear and disappear instantaneously, or may involve the use of sophisticated technologies by flesh-and-blood ETs, whose spacecraft exceed current human scientific understanding. The primary focus and approach of this book is to demystify the so-called other-worldly or divine communications or beings. All such phenomena fit in our natural universe.

A MAY 2007 AMAZON.COM REVIEW: I cannot recommend this book too strongly for anyone serious about understanding both our human past and the implications of it for our current evolution of consciousness and improvement of society. I do a lot of reading in several related disciplines and this has been the single most helpful book I have read in many years. It has connected the dots in some key areas where I had yet had “blanks.”

My extensive formal and personal study in Christian theology/Biblical studies, psychology, cosmology, the “paranormal,” and such have led me to find that virtually every element of the author’s historical reconstruction rings true. That is not to deny that some aspects of it are necessarily a bit speculative, as Von Ward would acknowledge. But the critical outline of the story is significantly in tune with the clear implications coming out of the fields mentioned, and others, particularly archaeology.

Especially helpful and on-the-money is Von Ward’s explanation of how and why theology and science, via the institutions that drive them, both avoid the kind of observations he brings out. This is massively important for our society and the world. He has new conclusions I’ve not encountered before, but they are based on solid work by many scholars in various fields. Now, these scholars are often not in the mainstream for the very reason that the mainstream tends to avoid looking at the larger picture.

So, if you are tied to only conventional, “accepted” authorities, this book may not be convincing. Still, I’d hope you would give it a hearing, and perhaps follow up on some of the many great footnotes and bibliography, which are extensive. All readers: do take the time to look up the footnotes, even if you read them all at once as I tend to often, to avoid constant flipping back and forth–there are many gems there.

This book is so valuable, I wish there were a way to get it to be standard reading, at least in the many relevant courses in a college curriculum. It is important as a stimulator of further questioning and research, as well as in its conclusions. Besides academia, it is a must-read for all serious seekers of an understanding of where we come from and where we are going–and OUR OWN POWER to affect that. Reviewed by Howard Pepper, President of Nurture Press.

Some of the hypotheses covered in this book are:

* During the Homo sapiens’ natural path of development on earth, more advanced beings (ABs) entered the picture. The intervention of their colonies and cataclysmic physical events have dramatically shaped human history.

* Modern history is largely the story of human survivors from the last major cataclysm that greatly altered the surface of our planet. A significant element of the story is a period of AB technical assistance to the survivors.

* A symbiotic relationship developed between humans and the AB colonies that has influenced human development to the present time.

* As the ABs deserted their Earth colonies, humans experienced separation anxiety and developed supernatural religions that retarded the intellectual and psychological maturation of the species.

* Two major impacts of the human-AB experience have been the development of what may be called primary materialism (focused on technical domination of nature) and exclusive supernaturalism (the separation of humans from the creative powers of the universe).

* This dual diversion from the natural perspective of viewing human life as an integral part of a conscious, self-learning universe caused the atrophying of human awareness of and conscious use of their inner senses.

* The fractured human consciousness must be restored to its wholeness, with a synthesis of all ways of knowing, if humanity is to achieve its natural potential.

Paul Von Ward, a thought-provoking and powerful speaker, engages his audience in a profound expansion of consciousness. He can be contacted for lectures, seminars, and workshops on a variety of related themes and topics. For more information, e-mail the author:

Nonhuman Intervention in Human History.
Paul Von Ward
Overview by the Author

My research for this book started with a 2,000 year-old question. Why have the four Abrahamic religions-claiming to worship one alleged divine being first known as Yahweh-experienced such internecine violence throughout their common history? Seeking explanations for interreligious conflict, I discovered a deeper issue: the unverifiable assumptions of supernatural religion itself.

When Osama bin Laden, Ariel Sharon, Pope John Paul II, or George W. Bush uses mental, psychological, or physical coercion against others, he obtains religious support by persuading people that his policies reflect their god’s will. These men claim the being they worship is The True God, while the others’ gods are false. They are not alone; all who worship “the divine one” assume it is unique.

Why do the personalities of “Yahweh”, “Father”, “God”, and “Allah” reflect various cultures instead of various cultures reflecting one god?

The religions represented by these men have taught their followers they have exclusive access to the supreme power. Convinced that their beliefs derive from a unique divine revelation, the faithful in each religion willingly violate the natural rights of others, including their right to life. They conduct crusades and jihads against nonbelievers, inquisitions and witch-hunts against other followers, defamations of opponents, and terror campaigns that maim or kill innumerable innocents.

With so many different versions of an alleged single god, how did human consciousness evolve to the point where unprovable beliefs have such an impact on our lives in the knowable realm? This question leads to prior ones. How did the first concept of divine beings arise? Where did the notion of a supernatural (unknowable) realm begin? Who picked Yahweh from among the gods to be “the supreme divine being” in charge of that supernatural realm?

 Gods, Genes, and Consciousness hypothesizes that the answers lie in a misinterpretation of actual human interactions with nonhuman beings. It further postulates that all modern supernatural religions came from comparable, but varying retrospective revisions of that history–where humans came to believe their own projections accurately represented a reality beyond human knowing.

The exercise of “theocratic” power…

Why Is This a Problem? A leader (whether in the White House or in a cave) who justifies policy on religious grounds succeeds if he can arouse enough people’s emotions. To do so, he engages in psychological manipulation by his use of religious code words. This exercise of “theocratic” power can occur only when followers accept the assertion that his policies reflect the will of the “divine reality” they worship.

People usually do not realize that such leaders take advantage of the energetic association of contrived words with natural human emotions to mobilize their followers and to serve their own agendas. These self-defined spokesmen for a god call their own actions a sacred duty and those of others satanic. They call their followers holy while opponents are called evil. They wreak terror calling it peace-keeping and label the other’s war terrorism.

Believers are susceptible to such manipulation because the very nature of a supernatural religion involves unprovable assumptions. Its adherents have come to accept that a realm lacking in factual reality is more real than their collective experience. Thus, blind faith in their own visions leads to real acts of violence and murder-whether launched from Washington, Rome, Jerusalem, or Mecca.

In the popular movie A Beautiful Mind we saw an otherwise intelligent, creative, and loving man endanger himself and others based on his own “divine reality”. How did humanity slip into something like that schizophrenic state where an “imaginary reality” exerts such power over our emotions, thoughts, and actions? How in the evolution of consciousness did humans come to give precedence to unverifiable beliefs over knowledge? How did humans come to worship nonhuman entities as divine and follow their self-defined spokesmen?

I believe the answers can be found in the history of ancient human interactions with “advanced beings” and in its re-writing to serve the interests of a few. A psychological look at the historical record gives a plausible explanation for the current split in human consciousness between natural and supernatural thinking.

What Are Advanced Beings?

I use the term “advanced beings” or AB’s to refer to all entities perceived by humans to be superior to themselves. It encompasses the ancient gods, their angels and devils, and also modern ET’s. It includes gods who walked with Biblical heroes or took them into the heavens, and the invisible “voices” who spoke to Moses, Mohamed, Joseph Smith, and others. The term also refers to ethereal beings like those known as Seth and Pleiadians, and other messengers channeled by humans. It applies to spirit guides, ascended masters, and fields of consciousness tapped by people like Tesla, Steiner, Cayce, and Einstein.

All these AB’s (past and present) can fit into a natural model of a conscious universe. Yet, some have been labeled, by one religion or another, as divine beings who require human worship. Since the attribution of supernatural or divine godship cannot be tested, it requires blind faith, acceding one’s power to a priest, minister, rabbi, imam, or guru’s interpretation of the reputed god’s message. These intermediaries gain a psychological advantage over believers.

Forgotten History?

Humans can no longer recall the beings from the heavens (skies) described in the Bible, the Hindu Vedas, Greek myths, and traditional legends. Most academics now interpret them as fanciful figments of primitive human consciousness. Scientists with materialist and Earth-bound paradigms assert such beings could not exist in the past or present. The religious hold the dubious assumption that while other people’s gods must be imaginary, the unseen god they worship is real. The evidence in this book leads to the opposite conclusions: AB’s described in early history likely represent an external reality and the gods now worshiped derive primarily from within the human mind.

The book Gods, Genes, and Consciousness reviews the historical and current evidence for tangible AB interventions in human history. Its chronological perspective and generic rational analysis demystify early myths, so-called sacred writings, and modern “paranormal” communications. It allows comparison of ancient descriptions of AB encounters in legends and religious texts with modern reports of interactions between humans and nonhumans or other dimensions.

What Is the Evidence?

The book summarizes how religion, metaphysics, and traditional stories treat AB’s. It compares these perspectives with scientific studies of nonhuman consciousness and other dimensions. Juxtaposing studies of the fossil record, DNA family trees, archaeological anomalies, the history of science and technology, cultural institutions, and the development of alphabets and world languages reveals considerable congruence with the AB-intervention hypothesis.

A new look at prehistory suggests early Genus Homo followed a natural evolutionary path with no inclination to worship unseen gods. Widespread evidence points to AB’s with advanced technologies intervening decisively in human development in Africa, and Sumeria and Egypt (the Cradle of Western Civilization). An interdisciplinary analysis shows the AB-intervention hypothesis offers a plausible explanation for the presently documented, punctuated fossil and phylogenetic records of Homo sapiens physical development.

A re-analysis of extant texts indicates a symbiotic interaction between early humans and AB colonists on Earth could have resulted in emotional dependence conducive to cults (2,000 to 4,000 years ago). Dominance by AB’s could have led to the inferiority complex found in concepts like the “fall of humankind”. Twentieth-century reactions of traditional peoples to European colonization, sometimes known as “cargo cults”, provide an apt analogy for this complex.

If, as the record suggests, the ruling AB’s pulled away from humans, those left behind could have experienced separation anxiety that led to ongoing worship of the now absent AB’s. They prayed to them for continued protection. Seeking to re-link with their former gods, the cults appear to have developed re-ligious rituals to induce the AB’s to return or to gather the faithful in the “heavens”.

 As a hoped-for “second coming” passed, memories of AB-gods appear to have evolved into speculative ideas about “supernatural” beings (less than 2,000 years ago). Prophets and writers reinterpreted biblical texts about real AB’s to suggest they were ethereal beings. Original texts were treated as metaphorical.

Hebrew, Roman, and Arabic priests assumed the task of interpreting the newly imagined supernatural realm. They created symbols and liturgy to perpetuate the faith among believers and to gain new converts. History turned into myth.

In the final stage of the Roman Empire, priests joined with political leaders to develop a theocratic government. Subsequently, supernatural religions have sought to impose their beliefs on natural, secular institutions of government.

The Current Situation

Christianity (Catholic and Protestant), Islam, and Judaism has each come to see itself as the exclusive interpreter of the role of AB’s in human development. These offspring of the original Israelite tradition all agree with the Nicean Council’s supernatural re-designation of the AB Yahweh (portrayed as one god among several in the Dead Sea Scrolls). Each now claims the exclusive channel of communication with that “supreme god”. The result is perpetual conflict.

Conflicts born in the Middle East now involve six continents. They roil social institutions, economies, and governments. Who defines life for abortions, fetal research, suicide or death penalties? Who decides the when and how of human sexuality? Can the state impose a religious limitation on civil marriages? Do humans have dominion over or responsibility for the living Earth? Should a priesthood or common sense set a society’s cultural norms? Do schools provide education or indoctrination? Should governance come from those who claim authority from above or be derived from the free will of citizens? Must humans feel guilty and dependent on religions that preach a fallen or sinful nature? Does any group have the right to impose their theocratic ideas on others?

None of these issues will ever be peacefully and democratically resolved as long as the position of one or more of the parties involved claims his rules come from a supernatural realm to which only people who believe like he has access. If one refuses to reveal all evidence of his AB, why should another believe it?

In my view, reintegration of our fragmented species consciousness, and the resulting elimination of religious fratricide, will require an “all evidence-on-the table” re-examination of assumptions relating to nonhuman interventions in human history. The mounting evidence strongly indicates all religions should subject themselves to public examination of their unquestioned assertions regarding their own origins. An unwillingness to do so should expose their lack of credibility as a legitimate participant in making political and social policies.

Transcending Supernaturalism

The book concludes that surmounting religious conflicts will require more than attempts at religious tolerance and efforts to integrate science and spirituality. As in individual therapy, species healing depends on a reality check, a review of the basis for any assumptions that contribute to debilitating illusions. Many wishing to dissociate themselves from their religion’s negative history blame its reactionary fanatics. They probably have not thought about how their own unexamined practices may enable the fanatics’ blind faith. One’s belief in his non-self-evident god lends credence to others’ claims of access to another supernatural, divine god. Anyone asserting his religion derives from a historical “divine” event cannot logically deny the fanatic’s right to make a similar claim.

I believe humans must try to objectively re-examine the historical record of AB’s and revise religious beliefs as they revise beliefs based on new scientific evidence about the physical universe. Until they do so, the untenable model of supernaturalism will perpetuate a global consciousness inhospitable to dialogue and consensus. While war or terrorism results from arguments about whose “divineness” is real, genuine peace and natural human progress will elude us.

Humans need rituals and practices that help navigate the cycles of nature and its challenges, to celebrate an individual’s passages, to serve the community, and to maintain the deepest values of human life. Such will be the functions of transformed religious institutions in bringing humanity back to its natural roots.

© 2006, Paul Von Ward

The Divinity of Dogs :True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man’s Best Friend ~ By Jennifer Skiff [ updated Dec 5, 2013]

“My dogs have been the reason I have woken up every single day of my life with a smile on my face. I am among the ranks of millions of people who appreciate the souls of dogs and know they are a gift of pure love and an example of all that is good.”

—Jennifer Skiff

The Divinity of Dogs is about the moments you learn something profound about life from an experience with a dog. Featuring more than seventy stories culled from hundreds of submissions to the author’s website, these inspiring and heartwarming true stories show where love, tolerance, comfort, compassion, loyalty, joyfulness, and even death have provided experiences that have led to spiritual enlightenment.

You’ll meet Little Bit, the Chihuahua who detected a small lump in her owner’s breast, a growth even doctors couldn’t find. There’s Emma, the devoted Rottweiler who ferociously grabbed her owner’s arm at the moment he was trying to commit suicide, saving his life. You’ll be inspired by Luna, the Retriever who dragged her owner to safety after she collapsed late at night in a field. And you’ll fall in love with the many dogs who simply provide steady comfort when needed— dogs like Bo, the Boxer who soothed his mistress after the loss of her son. The author also weaves her own experiences with dogs throughout the book, showing how they comforted her through mistreatment as a child, a divorce, and a cancer diagnosis.

The stories that make up The Divinity of Dogs provide hope, help, and healing for readers in the complex and difficult times in which we live. Whether you believe dogs are divine or are actually a gift from the divine, The Divinity of Dogs gives you permission to accept what you know: dogs are healers, educators, protectors, and tangible examples of pure love.

Jennifer Skiff is an award-winning television producer, journalist, and author of God Stories. An advocate for animals, she is a Trustee of the Dogs’ Refuge Home in Australia and a Director of Pilots N Paws in the U.S. She lives in Maine and Australia.

Jennifer Skiff on The Divinity of Dogs

Best-selling author Jennifer Skiff talks about the book, The Divinity of Dogs and describes what happened to her that proved our dogs stay with us after they’ve passed. Warning: tear-jerker!

“Divinity of Dogs” Author – Jennifer Skiff

Published on Nov 4, 2013

Join Alex Cearns from Houndstooth Studios as she chats to Jennifer Skiff about her new book, “The Divinity of Dogs”.
For more info about the book head to

God Is Not One:The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World–and Why Their Differences Matter By Stephen Prothero [updated Oct 29, 2013]

Stephen Prothero, the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy, makes a fresh and provocative argument that, contrary to popular understanding, all religions are not simply different paths to the same end… and why this matters greatly for us. Readers of Huston Smith and Karen Armstrong will find much to ponder in God Is Not One.
Book Description

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, dizzying scientific and technological advancements, interconnected globalized economies, and even the so-called New Atheists have done nothing to change one thing: our world remains furiously religious. For good and for evil, religion is the single greatest influence in the world.

We accept as self-evident that competing economic systems (capitalist or communist) or clashing political parties (Republican or Democratic) propose very different solutions to our planet’s problems. So why do we pretend that the world’s religious traditions are different paths to the same God?

We blur the sharp distinctions between religions at our own peril, argues religion scholar Stephen Prothero, and it is time to replace naïve hopes of interreligious unity with deeper knowledge of religious differences.

In Religious Literacy, Prothero demonstrated how little Americans know about their own religious traditions and why the world’s religions should be taught in public schools. Now, in God Is Not One, Prothero provides readers with this much-needed content about each of the eight great religions. To claim that all religions are the same is to misunderstand that each attempts to solve a different human problem. For example:

–Islam: the problem is pride / the solution is submission
–Christianity: the problem is sin / the solution is salvation
–Confucianism: the problem is chaos / the solution is social order
–Buddhism: the problem is suffering / the solution is awakening
–Judaism: the problem is exile / the solution is to return to God

Prothero reveals each of these traditions on its own terms to create an indispensable guide for anyone who wants to better understand the big questions human beings have asked for millennia—and the disparate paths we are taking to answer them today.

A bold polemical response to a generation of misguided scholarship, God Is Not One creates a new context for understanding religion in the twenty-first century and disproves the assumptions most of us make about the way the world’s religions work.

Stephen Prothero is the New York Times bestselling author of Religious Literacy and God Is Not One, and is a professor of religion at Boston University. He and his work have been featured on the cover of Time magazine, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, National Public Radio, and other top national media outlets.

He writes and reviews for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Slate, and other publications
God Is Not One by Stephen Prothero

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, dizzying scientific and technological advancements, interconnected globalized economies, and even the so-called New Atheists have done nothing to change one thing: our world remains furiously religious.

For good and for evil, religion is the single greatest influence in the world. We accept as self-evident that competing economic systems (capitalist or communist) or clashing political parties (Republican or Democratic) propose very different solutions to our planet’s problems. So why do we pretend that the world’s religious traditions are different paths to the same God?

We blur the sharp distinctions between religions at our own peril, argues religion scholar Stephen Prothero, and it is time to replace naïve hopes of interreligious unity with deeper knowledge of religious differences.

In Religious Literacy, Prothero demonstrated how little Americans know about their own religious traditions and why the world’s religions should be taught in public schools. Now, in God Is Not One, Prothero provides readers with this much-needed content about each of the eight great religions.

To claim that all religions are the same is to misunderstand that each attempts to solve a different human problem. For example: Islam: the problem is pride / the solution is submission Christianity: the problem is sin / the solution is salvation Confucianism: the problem is chaos / the solution is social order Buddhism: the problem is suffering / the solution is awakening Judaism: the problem is exile / the solution is to return to God

Prothero reveals each of these traditions on its own terms to create an indispensable guide for anyone who wants to better understand the big questions human beings have asked for millennia—and the disparate paths we are taking to answer them today.

A bold polemical response to a generation of misguided scholarship, God Is Not One creates a new context for understanding religion in the twenty-first century and disproves the assumptions most of us make about the way the world’s religions work.

Title: God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World–and Why Their Differences Matter
Author: Stephen Prothero

Original Wisdom – By Robert Wolff (updated Sept 11, 2013)

Volumes of commentaries, arguments, political and cultural viewpoints have been splashing in the news media over the subject matter on ‘Bumiputra’ or sons of the soil. Even until today ethnic supremacy has become an issue of political time-bomb.

In the midst of such constant political bickerings and tension this author concluded and lamented that we have no idea what we have lost, after several years of association with the Senoi aborigines in the deep jungles of Malaysia.

This brings back the spiritual lessons that we can learn from the film ” Avatar” – if only we, the so-called civilized and modern technocrats, can harmonize and live in revered respect for the native tribes’ culture rather than enslaving and destroying their value systems and compartmentalizing their living surroundings into an unnatural habitat.

Bringing in bulldozers and destroying the flora and fauna and chopping down the trees all in the name of development and progress will only invite a ‘karmic retribution’ that is yet to, but will surely come. ~ Evolutionarymystic

• Explores the lifestyle of indigenous peoples of the world who exist in complete harmony with the natural world and with each other.

• Reveals a model of a society built on trust, patience, and joy rather than anxiety, hurry, and acquisition.

• Shows how we can reconnect with the ancient intuitive awareness of the world’s original people.

Deep in the mountainous jungle of Malaysia the aboriginal Sng’oi exist on the edge of extinction, though their way of living may ultimately be the kind of existence that will allow us all to survive. The Sng’oi–pre-industrial, pre-agricultural, semi-nomadic–live without cars or cell phones, without clocks or schedules in a lush green place where worry and hurry, competition and suspicion are not known. Yet these indigenous people–as do many other aboriginal groups–possess an acute and uncanny sense of the energies, emotions, and intentions of their place and the living beings who populate it, and trustingly follow this intuition, using it to make decisions about their actions each day.

Psychologist Robert Wolff lived with the Sng’oi, learned their language, shared their food, slept in their huts, and came to love and admire these people who respect silence, trust time to reveal and heal, and live entirely in the present with a sense of joy. Even more, he came to recognize the depth of our alienation from these basic qualities of life. Much more than a document of a disappearing people, Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing holds a mirror to our own existence, allowing us to see how far we have wandered from the ways of the intuitive and trusting Sng’oi, and challenges us, in our fragmented world, to rediscover this humanity within ourselves.

Robert Wolff was raised among the indigenous peoples of Indonesia. A psychologist and educator who has lived in Suriname, Southeast Asia, and Europe, he has taught at the University of Hawaii and currently lives on the Big Island.

Click here to take a look inside.

Below are two stimulating reviews on the book Original Wisdom

A book Review – By Linda Anderson

The Senoi aboriginals of Peninsular Malaysia are shy, nonviolent tribal people who rely on oral history among their tribes to pass on ancestral wisdom. Despite worldwide changes going on around them, the Senoi are described as the most peaceful people on the planet and extremely dedicated to preserving their traditions and survival methods orally.

They are a subgroup of Malaysia’s Orang Asli people (translated as “the Ancient Ones,” because they are believed to have lived on the peninsula since ancient times), and are particularly famous because of other published works that described their extraordinary mental health through the use of dream interpretation and lucid dreaming.

They exist deep within the hilly jungles of Malaysia where there are no roads or towns. Because of their distance from civilization, they live lives of self preservation, personal and communal responsibility, and self reliance, with a deep, inherent respect for their natural surroundings. They exist with a definite knowing of their connection to all creation.

Mr. Wolff, the author of “Original Wisdom” and a psychologist and educator who lived in Malaysia, spent a significant amount of time visiting, living with, and studying the Senoi (spelled by Mr. Wolff as the Sng’oi) in the ’60s as part of a governmental study group and for personal research.

Mr. Wolff is considered the only person to both write about the Senoi and actually live with them and speak their language. During this time he learned of their unique methods of natural healing, ways of living, and preserving their cultural knowledge, passed down through their generations by word of mouth.

The Senoi do not know how to write and have no written language. During several of Mr. Wolff’s visits with one of the indigenous settlements, he decided to thoroughly learn and write down their language, and, to further educate them, teach them to write out their own words using phonetics and spelling.

The Senoi were puzzled by his desire to write and the need to make “scribbles”; they could not understand why he did not instantly remember and recall the words. The aboriginals could easily remember all acquired knowledge; it was apparent to Mr. Wolff that anything they heard and understood only once, they knew, without the need for repetition.

Mr. Wolff went on to explain that he later learned this is not unusual for indigenous groups such as the Senoi, and that people whose minds have not been cluttered with so many day-to-day facts and details have no problems with memorization, and perhaps why it’s believed oral history is as accurate as, if not more than, the written history progressive civilizations rely upon.

What makes his experience with the Senoi extraordinary is the story of his native training experience to hone his shamanistic skills to the same level of expanded perceptual insight the Senoi shamans possess.

When a shaman discovered Mr. Wolff’s inherent gift for bringing through wisdom after falling into trance during a special ceremony, he offered to show Mr. Wolff the ways of the Senoi shaman so he could tune into his natural surroundings and become one with all living things.

Mr. Wolff was led through the jungles using only the gentle, subtle leadership of the shaman to find his own way to increasing his innate awareness. He was never instructed with specific advice nor given hallucinatory plants.

The Senoi culture shares the belief that is held by so many other indigenous settlements that healing is an intrinsic capacity of human beings. All Malays believe that the root of all sickness is disharmony of the individual’s internal and external environment. Even if the disease may have been the result of an invasive organism, the disharmony was the original cause and allowed the invasion to take place.

That is why the Malays embody harmony in all their actions–soft, gentle, and polite, they do not offend or embarrass others, and they make gentle movements, walking carefully and speaking softly.

The Senoi believe that sickness is a warning that something is wrong, and there is a need to stop and make a change. It can be a behavior that needs changing, but it can also be a thought, feeling, or even a word, and it must be done to enable complete healing. The Senoi know that healing is solely in the hands of the ill person, and that no one else can do it for them.

When there is disharmony, the local healer only assists to bring back harmony, and sometimes gives herbs to help a person cope with the symptoms, all done without payment. But the ultimate goal, through the efforts of both the healer and ill person, is to restore balance to their environment, both physical and social.

Mr. Wolff also observed a daily ritual that contributed to the aboriginals’ well-being. During the times he would live in the village, he would take part in dream sharing with the group the next morning. They believe the world we live in is a shadow world and that the real world is behind it; at night they are able to visit that real world and the next day bring forth wisdom from it.

After everyone was awake, they would sit around in a group and listen to each other recount important aspects of their night’s visions and messages. After one person’s recount, another might add their thoughts, insights, or very subtle advice. Oftentimes, many individuals wove together parts from each other’s dreams to become one significant message for the entire group.

All of these things contributed to their wonderful health, overall contentment, and self sufficiency. What Mr. Wolff remembers most during the times he lived with them is that they most often expressed joy. Although sadness was sometimes expressed, voices were never raised in anger, and they lived with a childlike, uncomplicated innocence.

Mr. Wolff stressed the increasing importance of preserving the wisdom of folk medicine and traditional healing as Western culture infiltrates ever-widening areas of the remote world where people practice time-honored, ancient healing methods. Mr. Wolff aptly describes this dilemma:

“Science is so sure that it is the only truth that it has become incapable of accepting other ways of learning about reality. Medicine, as a scientific discipline, for instance, is certain that all other forms of healing are quackery and are not to be tolerated; they must be rooted out, destroyed. Such arrogant insistence has eradicated much knowledge and wisdom in the world.”(p. 5)

It has only been in the twentieth century that medicine has replaced healing, and Mr. Wolff felt that soon no one would remember the old ways, since it seems they are being erased by intolerance and our rush to create man-made chemicals.

During his travels in Tonga he had a conversation with a woman who was a gifted native healer. She agreed that a lot of age-old knowledge has been lost; but, she acknowledged, there have been and will always be people who “know,” who retain the knowledge in their minds and their hearts. When it is needed the most, she said, it will be within each of us to find.

Another Review by J.W.K.

The aboriginal Sng’oi of Malaysia are often described with words like “pre-industrial” or “pre-agricultural,” but it is a mistake to think of them as living in a former stage of what of our more “advanced” society has become. As Wolff shows in this book, it would be more precise to say that are living in another world – a better world.

Having spent half his youth growing up among Sng’oi, Wolff says this: “I learned early on to be in two different realities.” One reality was oriented around the clock, efficiency, technology, and harsh realism.

The other was fluid, timeless, almost dreamlike – a world in which “people touched each other,” a world in which “we knew animals and plants intimately.” The bulk of this book is spent fleshing out differences between these worlds, in an attempt to teach us Westerners another way of knowing, another reality. Yet in the process of doing so, it quickly becomes apparent that the modern world doesn’t quite measure up.

As slaves to an alienating industrial system, we civilized people must pay rent to live. A completely self-domesticated species, we live in a state of complete dependence on big industry and agriculture. We are ignorant of the flora and fauna that support our life, and helplessness to a capricious global market. Thus, the condescending glance “modern” humanity casts at so-called “primitive peoples” is extremely ironic.

Traditionally referred to as “Sakai,” or slaves, by modern Malaysians, the Sng’oi do not take offense. Says one Sng’oi man, “We look at the people down below [literally, from up in the mountains] – they have to get up at a certain time in the morning, they have to pay for everything with money, which they have to earn doing things for other people. They are constantly told what they can and cannot do. No, we do not mind when they call us slaves.”

At one point in the book, Wolff recounts a number of silent educational trips into the rainforest with his friend/guide, Ahmeed, who was subtly trying to teach him to interact and connect with the forest on his own terms. After days of walking, Wolff became thirsty. It was precisely then that Ahmeed decided to sneak off and leave him to find water on his own.

After searching for hours, he not only discovered water – he also discovered another way of seeing. “When I leaned over drink from the leaf, I saw water with feathery ripples, I saw a few mosquito larvae wriggling on the surface, I saw the veins of the leaf through the water, some bubbles, a little piece of dirt… How beautiful, how perfect.” His perception suddenly “opened,” and a deep feeling of connection enveloped him. “The all-ness was everywhere, and I was a part of it… I could not be afraid – I was apart of this all-ness.”

Contrast this with our culture, a culture walled-in with fear; a culture that “learns – has to learn – to shut off the senses, to protect oneself from all the noise.” Unlike the Sng’oi, who are brought up to listen, watch and feel their world in depth, our culture inhabits apsychological straightjacket.

We are brought up to act like machines only to find ourselves replaced by machines built to act like humans. Perhaps our fear of the natural world explains why our economic system has set out to expand and colonize every wild space left on the globe.

In the other world Wolff experienced, every day – indeed every second – was a miracle. Life, by no means perfect, was nevertheless full of smiles, stories, songs and dance. It was a world without fear and domination – until Komatsu bulldozers started coming to clear away the forest.

The topics Wolff address in this book vary from indigenous medicine to education, from dream interpretation to surviving the onslaught of civilization. This is not simply anthropology or ethnology, but a critique of modern industrial civilization and it’s “Development Scheme” in the gentle voice of someone intimate with the Sng’oi.

In all, the book amounts to nothing less than an alternative way of being. I found it refreshing, insightful and transformative – three criteria for any great book.


Religion Book Review: Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing by Robert Wolff

Published on Aug 25, 2012

This is the summary of Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing by Robert Wolff.

Richard Moss – Inside Out Healing [updated FEB 18, 2015] ]


Out of the Darkness From Turmoil to Transformation by Steve Taylor [updated Aug 26, 2013]

In Out of the Darkness, bestselling author Steve Taylor tells the stories of more than 30 people who have undergone permanent spiritual awakening after intense trauma and turmoil in their lives.

Read about the young woman who was reborn after suffering terrible injuries in the 7/7 bombings in London, the man who found enlightenment after becoming paralyzed in a fall, the man who underwent transformation after attempting suicide, and the recovering alcoholic who shifted to a permanent state of enlightenment after hitting ‘rock bottom’ and losing everything.

Steve has also interviewed several spiritual teachers whose awakening occurred after intense psychological turmoil, including Eckhart Tolle. In addition to telling these people’s stories, Out of the Darkness explains why turmoil has this transformational effect and illustrates the almost infinite capacity of human beings to overcome suffering. It shows how close – and how natural – spiritual awakening is to all of us.

Steve Taylor is an author and teacher whose main interests are spirituality and psychology. He taught courses on personal development at the University of Manchester in the UK for several years, and is now a researcher in transpersonal psychology at Liverpool John Moores University. He is the author of Waking from Sleep, The Fall and Making Time. Steve lives in Manchester with his wife and young children.

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Steve Taylor: Out of the Darkness: Part 1

Steve Taylor is a lecturer in psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University and researcher in transpersonal psychology at Liverpool John Moores University. He has written for many magazines, newspapers and academic journals, including Psychologies, The Daily Express, The Guardian The Journal of Humanistic Psychology and The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. Steve lives in Manchester with his wife and young children.

Out of the Darkness tells the stories of more than 30 people who have undergone permanent psychological rebirth after intense trauma and turmoil in their lives. From suffering terrible injuries or developing life-threatening diseases, to hitting rock bottom as a result of addiction, these people have all shifted into a state of appreciation, connection and intense well-being.
Steve Taylor: Out of the Darkness: part 2

Steve Taylor – Out of the Darkness and The Fall (Turmoil to Enlightenment)

Steve’s research looks at how humanity suddenly changed from being peaceful to war like from around 6000 years ago. Humanity suddenly had an ego explosion where people became more individualistic and separate. Also in his new book “Out of the Darkness” Steve discusses a number of cases where people were going through some of kind of inner turmoil to then suddenly transform into an enlightened state of awareness. Where the ego collapses and allows a higher awareness of consciousness to shine through.

Listen to Steve’s fascinating interview and learn about his popular books on the subject.

Spiritual Awakening – Steve Taylor, UK

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