Thought Guy Book Reviews: Page 6
1) Some of these covers have changed over the years, so they might not appear the same as the current covers.
2) All of the books that you see here have a positive review, if you want to know why this is so, please refer back to page 1 of the reviews.
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With a wonderful, light-hearted attitude, Peter McWilliams shares his thoughts, and quotes from many of the greats in history, as he discusses how our thoughts form our reality. Indeed, from the very first sentences in the book we get the essence of everything that the author is trying to say,
“A simple thought. A few micromilliwatts of energy flowing through our brain. A seemingly innocuous, almost ephemeral event. And yet, a thought—or, more accurately, a carefully orchestrated series of thoughts—has a significant impact on our mind, our body, and our emotions.”
On this journey to help us purge our mind of negative thinking, all aspects of life are discussed and no excuse is left undisturbed. Life-threatening illness, the death of a loved one, failed relationships, addictions and many other “reasons” for negative thinking are all addressed, as are the negative emotions that are often associated with some of life’s most trying circumstances.
Simply bringing our negative thoughts into the light of awareness is not enough, so Peter emphasizes the steps we can take to focus on the positive aspects in our lives. Pro-active steps to better thinking include: meditation, visualization, using affirmations, having an attitude of gratitude and learning forgiveness.
This is quite a lengthy book, and the information is quite extensive, so if you’re expecting a quick read this might not be what you are looking for. On the other hand, if you truly want to make your life better, and if you are truly interested in reading a book that will help eliminate stinkin’ thinkin’, then this could be precisely what you need to read.
Believe in Yourself - Joseph Murphy
Perhaps best known for his outstanding book, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind,
Joseph Murphy was also the author of more than 30 books, including this small
one, Believe in Yourself.
It’s been awhile since I read, The Power of your Subconscious Mind, so I can’t say that I remember
it all that well; however, from what I recall the message in the two books is essentially
the same: you are what you think and if you truly wish to be successful you
need to use the conscious mind to program the subconscious mind with success thoughts.
By focusing our thoughts on the positive and then enlisting the help of our imagination to see our desires as already fulfilled we start a process of manifestation that will ultimately be realized to the direct extent that we believe in that vision and stay focused on it.
One of the analogies that really cemented this concept for
me (pun intended) was that of the architect on how they are able to use their
imagination to conceive of, and then proceed to draw, in exact proportions, what
they imagined. These drawings and designs are then the blueprints that
eventually lead to the physical manifestation of their ideas. Houses,
buildings, whole cities are first conceptualized, then materialized, and we take
it for granted, yet it seems that in our personal lives many of us don’t
utilize this amazing power of creation.
Dr. Murphy’s message in this book helps reinforce how important it is for us, as individuals, to use our imagination to see an ideal for ourselves and then to unwaveringly hold on to that vision until it becomes our reality, “According to your faith it is done unto you.”
As with many/most/perhaps all of the books in this genre, and
by this genre you can use whatever label you like: New Age, New Thought, Metaphysical,
Transformational, etc., there is a component that delves into aspects of
reality that some people might not be totally comfortable with. This is to say
that when dealing with the topic of the mind there is inevitably a discussion
of the “unseen” or the spiritual side of our existence as well. This will also
lead invariably to the label of “God” being used as well as some Biblical quotes. Personally, I don’t find the
use of these labels to be “religious”, I see these terms used merely to define
a point of reference to facilitate discussion. As I have said in earlier
reviews, I do not have any religious affiliation, nor do I enjoy reading books
that promote one particular religion; therefore, if I felt that this book, or
any of the books in this genre were too “preachy” or dogmatic, I would likely
not read it and I certainly would not post a review.
If you have come to a point in your life where you are interested in a deeper understanding of the nature of reality, how are thoughts create reality and you realize that this discussion necessitates some exploration of the more “ethereal/esoteric” mind-stuff, then this book, and the others written by Joseph Murphy would be valuable additions to your reading list.
In Tune with the Infinite - Ralph Waldo Trine
Ok, to put this in perspective, this book has been on the market for about 115 years!!, and it is still widely published to this day. Ralph was/is regarded as one of the original founding voices of the New Thought movement, and with books like, In Tune with the Infinite, it is easy to see why.
Unlike some of the other books from this era & in this genre, such as Prentice Mulford’s book, Thoughts are Things, this book is linguistically easy to read.
That being said, the main premise of this book is very similar to others in the genre with the belief that our internal dialogue and beliefs are manifest in the external: essentially our thoughts create our reality, “…so far as the physical life is concerned, all life is from within outwards.” Thoughts are forces and when we realize the power within us and truly believe in that ability, then we can create a reality that we want rather than live in the reality that appears beyond our control, “Thoughts are forces, subtle, vital, creative, continually building and shaping our lives according to their nature. It is in this way that the life always and inevitably follows the thought.”
This of course means that we need to take responsibility for our thoughts and for the outcomes that come as a result of them, an idea that many people do not wish to entertain because it is far easier to place blame on external forces.
Compounding the problem is that fear thoughts will bring with them consequences that are in opposition to what we desire. We manifest what we think about not what we want.
“The mind is everything, what you think you become.” Buddha
For those reading my other reviews this may be redundant; however, I add it here for those that have not read my reviews from similar authors: if you are deathly allergic to some of the labels/terms associated with religion, terms such as God, Jesus or spirit, then you might not enjoy this book, nor the other New Thought Books with similar messages.
In order to have a conversation about the unseen world, the world of cause, we need to get over the dogma associated with the formal religions and see these labels simply as terms of reference for meaningful discussion. We can substitute any label we like, the essence remains the same.
Personally, I did not find this book to be ‘preachy’ or in any way advocating organized religion. The concepts on these pages, as with the other books in this area, if applied, have the power to transform our lives by allowing us to reclaim our power from the external. Of course this requires that we are honest with ourselves and that we take responsibility for both the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ alike..
I truly enjoyed the easy to read style in which Working with the Law was written and I appreciate the more modern terminology used in this book - compared to some similar books written by other “New Thought” authors (although I can’t find an original publication date, or much in the way of a biography for Raymond Holliwell, it is my understanding that the original publication date for Working with the Law was in the 1960’s).
The basic premise of Working
with the Law is that the universe functions with physical laws AND it also
functions with laws in the unseen/spiritual realm. We are quickly reminded
about some of the physical laws when we stick a fork in the light socket or
when the crystal vase slips from of our hands; however, many of us are unaware
of the spiritual laws, or we are skeptical of them.
Dr. Holliwell does his utmost to convince the reader that indeed the spiritual laws do exist and they include:
-Law of Thinking
-Law of Supply
-Law of Attraction
-Law of Receiving
-Law of Increase
-Law of Compensation
-Law of Non-Resistance
-Law of Forgiveness
-Law of Sacrifice
-Law of Obedience
-Law of Success
I have neither
the space or inclination to discuss each one of these laws, suffice it to say
that by making use of these laws you will be able to “…be on the outside what
you idealize on the inside.” As one reads the laws the reader comes to understand
the underlying theme that success in life is from the inner and THEN it is evidenced
in the outer. By improving the quality of our thoughts, by mastering our mind,
we work in harmony with the natural order of the universe and, in so doing, we
improve the quality of our life.
Working in harmony with things of course requires an understanding of them, not just a superficial knowledge. The author himself states, “Success, then, summarized, is the way we learn to use two valuable things—our time and thought. Knowledge alone is not success; it is the way we use that knowledge.” As the reader becomes familiar with the Laws and as the knowledge is absorbed AND applied it is my belief that the knowledge will be transformed into understanding.
From the very outset Raymond Holliwell states
that, “You cannot get the most out of these lessons by reading them once or
twice. They should be read often and studied with scrutiny. You will find with
each reading something clearer than before.” I would whole-heartedly agree with
those words and I will certainly re-read this book more than once.
Key to Yourself - Venice J. Bloodworth
I had never heard of Dr. Bloodworth until having stumbled
upon, or perhaps being led to?, “Key to Yourself” and after recently
having read several less than stellar books in this genre, I was very
pleasantly surprised with “Key to
Yourself.” Although her name may not be as recognized as Ernest Holmes,
Joseph Murphy , or Neville Goddard, Dr. Venice J. Bloodworth has produced a
very readable and empowering book.
From what I can ascertain, “Key to Yourself” was originally published in 1952, toward the end
of Venice Bloodworth’s life (she died in 1956), yet it does not contain a great deal of antiquated language or examples;
furthermore, the message that she shares
is as pertinent today as it was 60+ years ago; it is timeless. In essence, the
author advocates that our true power, the power to create and attract into our
lives that which we desire, is in the mind – in our thoughts. In Venice’s own
words, the process takes place in “The
workshop of the mind.”
If humans do create their existence in this “workshop of the
mind” then, “The greatest power man has
on earth is the power to think” and unfortunately it can also be stated that,
“All people think, the tragedy of life is
that so few of us think creatively or constructively; so few recognize the fact
that thought is a creative force”, and this latter belief is precisely what
this book is intended to overcome.
By understanding that ,regardless of what we wish to create,
the process first commences with a thought, then it develops in our imagination
and, as we visualize and focus on an outcome, the results are THEN manifested
in the physical world. It is not an ego based system where we alone create
everything, rather it is a system where we plant a seed in the conscious mind
and as it is nurtured in the subconscious mind it connects with the true source
of power, the Universal Mind. “Thought is the connecting link between us
and the Universal Mind, and considering this marvelous fact, we arrive at the
conclusion that we ourselves are channels through which the Universal Mind
pours itself into expression, and that thoughts are causes and conditions are
Of course, in order to reinforce the connection with the
Universal Mind (or whatever you wish to label it as) Venice goes on to advocate
the power and necessity of focusing on what we want rather than what currently
“is” and she reminds us that, “The
visible material things have no originating power within them. Everything we
see is a result of an idea; and we must realize this truth before we can rise
above and free ourselves from any condition.”
To that end, it is also important that we do not let the naysayers and cynics of the world deter us from what we wish to accomplish, for indeed, “The explorers, prophets and empire builders have all been men who dared to come out of the ruts, think new thoughts, and find new trails. Shake off the old worn-out prejudice, ignorance and superstitions.”
Thinking in this manner, Dr. Bloodworth herself
was able to discard her eye glasses as she changed her beliefs about her
failing eyesight and she used this “Spiritual Psychology” in her humanitarian
work to empower people from all walks of life - from prison inmates to school
children. By showing people that we can think ourselves into being happier,
more prosperous and healthier, Venice Bloodworth has given people one more key
to unlocking the power within.
As you read more of the book reviews I have written, pertaining to the early works in the New Age/New Thought/Law of Attraction genre, you will likely notice a similar theme running through my reviews: that I enjoy hearing about, and I resonate with, the message of self-empowerment that these authors all share.
In a world where we place more trust in the material: the world that we perceive through our 5 senses, authors in the New Age Genre, authors such as Robert Collier, try to share a view that supports a belief in the power of the unseen forces. These authors shared their views long before Quantum physics was a common idea and they went against the materialists to say that existence and life starts in the immaterial and then grows outwards. As Robert Collier states, “Everything must start with an idea. Every event, every condition, everything is first an idea in the mind of someone…For matter is in the ultimate but a product of thought.” And, although many people might still not be aware of this fact, some of the most advanced scientific research into the realm of the quantum world is indeed proving such bold statements, made by Robert Collier and his contemporaries, as being correct.
By extension then, “The creative principle of the universe is mind, and thought is the eternal energy.” In other words, our thoughts create our reality: literally! As this important truth becomes more accepted by us we are then compelled to take great care in what thoughts we allow to percolate through our mind. We also come to realize that if our subconscious mind is in control of our actions for 95% of the time it is extremely important that we don’t ignore this significant component of ourselves. As we learn to work with, this invisible force we are able to communicate with the universal, creative, force. Our subconscious mind is the direct link to the Universal Mind.
Once we connect with this force we can start to impress upon it with visualization/imaging and then we need to hold steadfast to the belief that what we desire is on its way. If we desire prosperity or success we must think prosperity and or success. “The secret of prosperity lies in so vividly imaging it in your own mind that you literally exude prosperity. You feel prosperous, you look prosperous, and the result is that before long you ARE prosperous.”
If we feel that our life isn’t going our way or that we have been unsuccessful in our endeavors, then we need to look at our fears and realize that when we live in fear we are bringing about the exact circumstances that we are hoping to avoid. We don’t get what we want, we get what we think about; therefore, if you want your future to be different than your past you need to change from thinking about what you don’t want to what you do want. “What you are going to be six months or a year from now depends upon what you think today.”
All of these ideas and many more are laid out in, The Secret of the Ages and Robert Collier shares them in a manner that is logical and easy to follow. His tone is supportive and not overly verbose.
I found this book review somewhat more difficult to write than my other reviews in the “New-Age/ Self-Help” genre because I quite enjoyed the earlier chapters and then there were some chapters that I did not care for. Some of the information in The Magic in Your Mind really resonated with me, and then some of the information was completely contrary to my views. I’m not saying that if a book doesn’t reinforce my views then it is no good; on the contrary, I believe that “If you simply believe everything you read, why read?” So, based solely on the quality of the information, I find this book to be well worth the read; however, I did find some parts of The Magic in your Mind to be contradictory to others parts of the book and I did find some of the ideas a little redundant.
In general, the premise that U.S. Andersen advocates is that there is a universal “Secret Self” (or subconscious mind) that is separate from our ego based “Surface Self”, “Between the surface self and the Secret Self lies and opaque wall, impenetrable to the gaze of the ego and yielding its secrets only to one who has expanded his consciousness beyond the limits of his conscious mind.” It is only through overcoming the dependence on our five senses that we are able to connect with our Secret Self, “To get outside and free from the grip of the senses is the only path to discovery of the Secret Self.”
In other words, Andersen is saying that our physical senses only perceive an infinitesimally small portion of reality and we then use this information to support the egoic notion that we are separate from everything else. So, how does one escape this invisible prison? By making use of our imagination, primarily through visualization, we can create a new reality that frees us from the physical limits that confine us. As many others have stated throughout history, it is our thoughts that create our reality and, echoing this belief, Andersen states, “It is deeply significant that we exist by grace of thought, and it is even more significant that at any particular time we are the sum total of the thoughts we hold in mind.” Andersen goes on to say that, “A man is with his mind twenty-four hours of every day, and he never ceases to think. He is influenced a thousand times more by the thoughts that cross his consciousness then he ever is by the situations he encounters in the sensual world.”
Aside from the essential message about the power of our thoughts, the book also delves into: how fear robs us of our power and how risk taking is a necessary ingredient to personal development/success, how knowledge can actually inhibit growth, the fact that guilt and hostility are “accoutrements” of the ego that need to be dispelled and the important role that intuition plays in our lives.
In all, an empowering book with many positive points to ponder.
As a final point for anyone considering this book, I should mention that U.S. Andersen has a writing style that might be considered more “intellectual” than some of the other authors in this genre. This is neither negative or positive, I just wanted to make mention of this point in case some potential readers have challenges with more “scholarly” authors.
How to Be Rich: Compact Wisdom from the World's Greatest Wealth-Builders
- Napoleon Hill,
Joseph Murphy, Wallace D. Wattles, Robert Collier, Julia Seton, et al.
ISBN 13: 9781585428212
One of the key words in the title is “compact” because this book is essentially a compilation of many snippets of information/wisdom from some of the most recognized names in the personal development field: Napoleon Hill, Joseph Murphy, Robert Collier, Wallace D. Wattles, James Allen, Julia Seton, Ralph Waldo Trine and more.
In and of itself, How to be Rich provides some worthwhile information for those seeking to enrich their lives; however, for those who are familiar with the aforementioned authors, the content will be familiar and likely not particularly useful. For those not overly familiar with the writings of the early “New Thought” authors, How to be Rich could provide a cursory summary to some of the more common books in the "New Thought/New Age" genre, thereby serving as a decent resource to direct the reader to more comprehensive material.
Regardless of whether or not the reader is familiar with the
many authors who contributed to How to be
Rich, I believe that it is important to remind the reader that “Rich”
doesn’t exclusively apply to money. Indeed, the person reading this book with
the sole purpose of discovering detailed techniques to accumulate vast sums of
money will likely be very disappointed. The premise of this book, in my view,
is that money is a by-product of “right living” and when we organize our inner
world correctly, THEN we will have the outer abundance to go with it. As Theron
Q. Dumont so poignantly stated, “Thought, not money, makes money.” Or, as Wallace D. Wattles says, “Poverty and
wealth are the results of internal states of mind, and only as mind changes
will material change. Environment is only a big mirror in which we see
In their own way the other authors share a similar message and they also deal with topics such as: the real value of time, the importance of gratitude, the power of the subconscious mind, the destructive forces of fear and the key role that visualization plays in the manifestation of wealth. Overall, regardless of what particular aspect of wealth each author discusses, the consistent message is that our inner world, our thoughts, are the primary cause of our outer world and if we want to have a rich life we first need to have our inner world in order.
So, to sum up my views: for those who have yet to embark on the adventure of consciously re-organizing their inner world this book could serve as a good overview of some superb authors. Readers familiar with the authors included in this book will likely prefer other titles written exclusively by that specific author.
As a young mathematician at Cambridge University Peter Russell had some deep, fundamental questions about the nature of the universe and he realized that math, or the sciences in general, could not adequately address his questions. Leaving Cambridge on his quest for knowledge Peter studied with Indian sages and he became intrigued with religion, philosophy and even quantum physics. Peter Russell uses his unique blend of life experiences to connect these seemingly diverse fields into one interconnected whole. In the end, with his easy to understand approach, Peter does a fantastic job of leading the reader to see how the concepts of Science and God are not mutually exclusive and how indeed they are part of the same whole.