Readings, Non Fiction

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 “The Wisdom Of Insecurity” by Alan Watts

This, written in 1951, is a book I had to put down 28 pages into it.  While I love Alan Watts and owe a great deal of who I am to my study of his philosophy, I felt this book was giving away too many answers to questions I wanted to figure out on my own.  So, I am keeping in to read over when I’m sixty to see if I may have missed anything along the way. 

Quote: “…those who justify themselves do not convince, that to know truth one must get rid of knowledge, and that nothing is more powerful and creative than emptiness – from which men shrink” (P. 10)

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 “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz

This was the book that opened my mind.  It presented life from a different perspective and enlightened me.  It was the right book at the right time… and it’s short and to the point, presenting four agreements to follow that will transform your life. It’s that simple.  This is one of those books that everyone should read.  

Quote: “All people live in their own dream, their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we life in” (p. 48) 

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 “The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff

This was a cute little book suggested to me by one of my professors.  Lao-tse labeled the operation behind everything between heaven and earth “Tao” or “the way”.  The author uses Winnie-the-Pooh to describe the concepts of Taoism. 

Quote: “A basic principle of  Lao-tse’s teaching was that this Way of the Universe could not be adequately described in words, and that it would be insulting both to its unlimited power and to the intelligent human mind to attempt to do so” (p. 5)

"She Comes First" by Ian Kerner

When counseling couples about sesual inmacy there are two books that I suggest they read. "She Comes First" isn't necessarily merely a "how-to" manual, but rather a book in which the author weaves together a deep historical discussion of sexuality with a broad description of anatomy and physiology.Too often when a couple wants to explore sexual intmacy they turn to the Karma Sutra or some acrobatic book that makes sex look like a lesson in contorton rather than how to connect energetically with your partner. This book should be read by both partners as both will learn from it. The book is long in parts, and could be cut down (skip the STD section). I'm still looking for an energetic book on sex.

"Passionista" by Ian Kerner

Like "She Comes First" this book focuses a great deal on male psychology and issues affecting male desire and is less focused on techniques. The book is m,uch more than how to give oral sex, which most books about men seem to give the majority of their focuse. This is not just focused on giving pleasure, but also on receiving. Again, I have both clients read the book as they will both learn a great deal. Every adult should make it a point to at least learn a little bit more than what was taught in our middle school sexual education course. The book is better written than "She Comes First".

 

 

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 “Can Love Last?” by Stephen A. Mitchell

Stephen Mitchell died while trying to answer this question. Thankfully he was able to answer a great deal of it before he passed on leaving his wife to assemble the latter part of the novel from notes and outlines.  One cannot help but find themselves transformed after reading it and it should be required for anyone who is in a relationship or plans to attempt one in the future. Whoever I do end up with will be quite thankful I took the time to read it.  

Quote: “When patients complain of dead and lifeless marriages, it is often possible to show them how precious the deadness is to them, how carefully maintained and insisted upon, how the very mechanical, totally predictable quality of love making serves as a bulwark against the dread of surprise and unpredictability” (p. 49). 

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“History of God” by Karen Armstrong

This is a novel that I have browsed through and used as a reference when I was researching the concept and history of religion.  The concept itself, looking at the history of God, to me is an amazing task and must have been an incredible journey for the author and likewise for the reader.  I plan on reading it in its entirety after I am out of school. 

Quote: “To make such human, historical phenomena as Christian “Family Values,” “Islam” or the “Holy Land” the focus of religious devotion is a new form of idolatry.  This type of belligerent righteousness has been a constant temptation to monotheists throughout the long history of God” (p. 391)

"Lies My Teature Told Me" by James W. Loewen

Having gone through school in the 70s and 80s, I was given a perception of History that was Eurocentric. Over the past ten years I have read several books on history in an attempt to deprogram the version I was given so that I may see the world from a big picture perspective. This book was amazing in that it showed how the information I was given thought most of my school career in regard to history was incorrect. This book not only gives a new perspective on the creation of the modern world, it also serves as a reminder to question the perceptions we created as children.

Quote: "Why don't textbooks mention arms as a facilitator of exploration and domination? Why don't they treat any of the foregoing factors? If crude factors such as military power or religiously sanctioned greed are perceived as reflecting badly on us, who exactly is 'us'? Who are the textbooks written for (and by)? Plainly, descendants of Europeans."

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“The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason” by Charles Freeman

An incredible look at what happened to the rise of philosophical thought when emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, creating, for the first time, an alliance between church and state.  Its history of the Christian movement is fascinating, as is the way the author attempts do present the information in a way that is both interesting and without bias. It’s a little slow in the beginning, but well worth the time.  

Quote: “Constantine knew so little about Christianity that he immediately ran into difficulties. First, Christ was not a god of war.  The Old Testament frequently involved God in the slaughter of his enemies, but the New Testament did not.  Constantine would have to create a totally new conception of Christianity if he was to sustain the link between the Christian God and victory in war” (p. 158).

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“Becoming Anna, The Autobiography of a sixteen-year-old”, by Anna J. Mitchener
This book was hard for me to read.  It is based on the first sixteen years in the life of Anna Mitchener.  It is a detailed look into the mind of, not a child, but a human being put through physical and emotional abuse by her family and the system that was supposedly created to protect her. Through the eyes if an innocent we are shown the abuse and neglect our mental health system is inflicting on those who are not yet old enough to protect themselves against involuntary hospitalization. 

Quote: “Her mouth was a perfect upside down U.  When I looked at her I though, Well, if people gat no other punishment for being nasty, self-righteous, judgmental bitches, at least they always pinch their own lips off” (p. 154).

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“The Power Of Reiki”, by Tanmaya Honervogt

I recommend this book because it is a good introduction to Reiki and is often referred to as the “pretty picture book”.  The information is generalized and only presents the western version of Reiki, but it provides a good stepping point for anyone interested in learning more about Reiki… and it does have some pretty pictures. 

"Fresh Fruit Cleanse" by Leanne Hall

I attended a class held by my friend Leanne Hall who introduced me to her 7 day fruit fast. I did the fast and had such amazing results that I placed it on my website. Recently she has published a book that not only has the 7 day fast, but recepies as well. Check her website and the book, it is something I highly recommend.

   
   
Readings, Fiction

I've read so many fictions book over my lifetime that I've lost count, but there are only a few that I read more than once.  I love each book listed below and will read them over and over again throughout my lifetime. 

   
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“The Hichhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series” by Douglas Adams

This is my favorite piece of fictional literature.  It is one of the most amazing representations of someone allowing their imagination to run wild without the annoying limitations of reality. The dark humor mixed with his rather educated perception of the world, and its insanity, will speak to anyone who’s grown tired of trying to make sense of it all.

Quote: “One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continuously stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right?”

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“The Complete Prose of Woody Alan” by Woody Allan

This is a collection of his three novels, filled with short stories, one acts, and essays show the subtle genius behind his neurotic sense of humor. 

Quote: “More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads.  One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness.  The other, to total extinction.  Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.  I speak, by the way, not with the sense of futility, but with a panicky conviction of the absolute meaninglessness of existence which could easily be misinterpreted as pessimism” (p. 363).

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“Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” by Richard Bach

This was the second book I read by Richard Bach, I was twenty, and it spoke to me.  I didn’t really know what metaphysics was at the time I read it, nor was I questioning my understanding of reality, but a lot of what he said moved me a great deal. I’ve read several of his other novels, all are inspiring, but this one is still my favorite. 
 
Quote:  “Argue your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours” (p. 100)

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“Cosmic Banditos” by A. C. Weisbecker

This book was given to me while I was in Key West in October 2005.  Hurricane Wilma (category 3) hit while I was there and I found myself one of the only tourists left on the island.  I read this book from cover to finish in two days.  It’s brilliant in that it teaches quantum physics using Mexican drug runners. It’s funny, and taught me a gre at deal about the subatomic world while cracking me up along the way.  It’s just been re released, which is a good thing since copies were selling for $200.00. 

Quote: “It’s simply better to live a subatomic sort of lifestyle than go off half-cocked about it and not get anything done. This, it seems to me, is the problem with most so-called philosophers. They never get anything done.” 

   
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