Tiny Thought Guy Book Reviews: Page 8

A few points about this book review page:

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.
3) If you click on the image of the book it will take you to Goodreads.com or Shelfari.com
Reverence for Life - Albert Schweitzer
ISBN: 875292038
A Reverence for Life is small book that provides a short, yet wonderful insight into the life and thoughts of one of our great humanitarians. Albert Schweitzer was a theologian, a doctor, a musician, an author, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952: all notable achievements; however, I believe that his greatest achievement was not for himself, it was for humanity as a whole, in both his actions and with his words.

Albert set up his own rudimentary hospital in Africa and spent many years tirelessly helping the sick and infirm. He used his own funds and the assistance of friends to set up and run his hospital and, even when in ill health himself, he was dedicated to lessen the suffering of other human beings.

In addition to humans, Albert also became a champion for Mother Nature, advocating for the humane treatment of animals of all kinds. Congruent to his words, Albert went so far as to create a compound to care for orphaned monkeys. It was Albert’s belief that, “A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.”

When we look at human potential through the lens of what we contribute to the world, how we act in service to others and how we encourage others to be the best they can be, I can think of very few people who exemplify these qualities more than Albert Schweitzer.

This small book is only a very basic overview of Dr. Schweitzer’s life, but it is enough for people who aren’t aware of his contributions to humanity and, in my mind, it shares the most important message of Albert’s life, “Man can no longer live his life for himself alone. We realize that all life is valuable and that we are united to all this life. From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship to the universe.”
Safari to the Soul - Denis Waitley
ISBN13: 9780967174204

Having worked with NASA, Fortune 500 CEOs and Olympic athletes, and having written numerous best-selling books on personal achievement, such as “The Psychology of Winning” and “Seeds of Greatness”, it might come as a surprise to some that Denis authored a book titled “Safari to the Soul” as well. “Safari to the Soul” was written well after his initial books on success and I see this book as a culmination, an evolution, of all the wisdom Denis gained from those years in the arena of personal development now being expanded to encompass more of a universal, dare I say “spiritual” context. As such, “Safari to the Soul” might well be the most profound book he has written thus far.


Safari to the Soul” was derived from Dennis Waitley’s personal experience while on safari in the Masai Mara in Kenya and he shares his adventure using a combination of journal entries and introspective dialogue. More than just a travel log, Denis takes his experiences from the safari and he interweaves them with the profound realizations that came to him during, and after, his time in Africa.   


The interconnectedness between the Masai people, the animals and their environment and how each one has a role to play in assuring mutual survival is not a concept limited to the wilds of Africa, but rather a concept that applies to everyone on this planet regardless where we live. Seeing this symbiotic relationship and being able to absorb the information in an environment free from all the sensory stimuli that pervades Western Society, Denis came to some personal realizations that can apply to all of humanity. Some of the insights that Denis shares are:


 “With each species of wildlife that becomes extinct, a part of us dies as well. In West Africa, the elephants of Timbuktu are the only large mammals remaining in the region. What we do to the web, we do to ourselves.”


Most of us are trying to be cheetahs. We charge through our lives as if life were a race finish first.”


…while there are dangers in trying to become a leader without thoroughly knowing your field, there also dangers in thinking of yourself as an expert–especially the danger losing your sense of wonder. Instead of being driven by curiosity, you become driven to defend what you’ve previously researched, invented, created, marketed or published. Reciting safe answers now, you stop saying the liberating words, ‘I don’t know.’”


“Serenity is achieved when you learn to convert failure into fertilizer, stumbling blocks into stepping stones, and misfortunes into learning experiences.”


While some of the aforementioned insights might already be familiar to those readers who are interested in the Spiritual/New Age genre, when they are combined with Denis’ personal experience, they make for an engaging read. With a high level of personal disclosure Denis reminds us that personal achievement/success is not a term that can be universally applied and it evolves into different forms as we ourselves evolve.


One final note -  the book opens up with a substantial amount of detail about the people who run the safari company and their history,  and, while it will be useful for those wanting to go there at some point in the future, me being one of them, some people might find it too lengthy.

The Time Has Come...to Accept Your Intuitive Gifts! - Sonia Choquette
 ISBN13: 9781401917357

Sonia Choquette’s book, “The Time Has Come…To Accept Your Intuitive Gifts” is an uplifting, little treasury of her personal quotes, with a smattering of related quotes from various other prominent people throughout history, all pertaining to intuition.


Some of her profound thoughts include:

  1. An intuitive insight is almost always better than any answer your ego could come up with on its own.”
  2. If you accept that you are Divine, your sixth sense makes sense. If you reject your Divinity, then nothing makes sense.”
  3. Intuition doesn’t compete with reason—it compliments it. They’re natural partners and designed to work together. The key to their compatibility, however, is to not confuse the faculty of reason—also a gift from Spirit—with the blathering of the ego, which bears no gift at all.”


Some of the supplementary quotes are:

  1. Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.” - Euripides
  2. Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the information society precisely because there is so much data.” – John Naisbitt
  3. The power of intuition will protect you from harm until the end of your days.” – Lao Tzu


with numerous other quotes from the likes of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, Robin Williams, Mahatma Gandhi etc.


In addition to the profound words, the book is made even more useful because its small physical size makes it very convenient to take it along in a purse or perhaps an inside coat pocket. Then, when you need that quick quote of inspiration, or when you need to remind yourself that your intuition needs to be heard, this book will be close at hand - or close at heart.
Co-creating at Its Best: A Conversation Between Master Teacher - Esther Hicks, Wayne W. Dyer
ISBN13: 9781401948443
This book, “Co-creating at its Best”, is derived from a live presentation/discussion between Wayne Dyer and Esther Hicks (channeling Abraham). For those that are unfamiliar with Abraham, it is a name given to a group on non-physical entities that Esther Hicks communicates with in order to bring more awareness to humanity and while this book gives a brief introduction to Abraham, this book does not extensively present background information on either Esther or Abraham.

Now, I realize that there is a great deal of apprehension when the term ‘channeling’ is used and this review is not intended to debate, for or against, the concept of gathering information from a non-physical source, I am only sharing my views as it relates to the information in this book.


The information itself is presented in a simple question-answer format with Wayne Dyer asking the questions and Esther/Abraham providing the answers. This easy to read format, combined with the fact that book is small and approximately 160 pages in length, makes for a leisurely read.  The structure of the book also enables the reader to skip segments/questions that don’t interest them and yet still be able to follow the general flow of the discussion.


Some of the specific questions and topics covered in the discussion include: what is inspiration, can a few people influence the many, dealing with bad news, past regrets, dharma, overcoming obstacles and, for me, the 2 most important concepts; the power of ‘thought momentum’ (essentially the idea that, as we continue on a particular train of thought those thoughts become more powerful and have a greater impact on our lives and it is far easier to change our situation if we become aware of the negative thoughts before they get going too quickly)  and the idea that, “ …the Universe doesn’t hear what you say; the Universe hears how you feel.” This is to say that hollow words don’t have anywhere near the power to create that our emotions have.


Not being overly familiar Esther/Abraham I can’t say if fans of their material will be happy or not, I personally liked her part of the dialogue and I feel that I benefited from the information. On the other hand, being more familiar with Wayne Dyer’s work and generally a fan of his writing, I can’t say that his part of the dialogue was his best work. Although I have no way of knowing what the directive was for how the questions were supposed to be phrased, I would have preferred questions that didn’t include so much of his personal journey.
The Future of God: A Practical Approach to Spirituality for Our Times - Deepak Chopra
 ISBN13: 9780307884978
The main reason I like Deepak Chopra’s latest book, “The Future of God” is that it stands as a viable alternative to the “militant atheist’s” bible, “the God delusion.” Indeed, even though Deepak does not make the statement himself (at least I have not read specific words to that effect), it seems to me that “The Future of God” was written as a direct response to the “avowed enemies of faith.” As such, many references are made to the militant atheist tribe and their self-proclaimed conquistadors.

 

Deepak does clearly state in this book that he has no issue with those who have no faith in a higher power, he simply takes exception to the fact that, ‘This disturbing movement centered around Professor Richard Dawkins cloaks its vehement, often personal attacks in terms of science and rea-son… I have no harsh things to say about atheism without the militancy.’

 

Building from there, Deepak incorporates three stages of personal development that one progresses through on the path to God: unbelief, faith and finally knowledge. In other words, “They are stepping-stones from ‘No God’ to ‘Perhaps God’ to ‘God in me.’” The first stage of ‘Unbelief’ is characterized by reason and doubt and individuals, atheists, take the position that the physical is all that there is. The second stage, ‘Faith’, is when individuals hope that God is real and while this can be a positive influence, there is also the negative side of faith which is fanaticism. The third and final stage, ‘Knowledge’, is the stage where we are able to assert unquestioningly to ourselves that God does exist. The transition from stage to stage is not a clear cut, well-defined process, rather it is a gradual progression and it is bi-directional, in that while progress can be made, there will also be times when we can also digress.

 

Woven into the three stages are: numerous references and discussions that have taken place with said militant atheists, statistics about the state of religion and faith, anecdotal stories about the power of faith and various scientific discoveries pertaining to the nature of reality.

 

If one truly looks at the “facts”, the “hard questions” have not been solved by science and to discount a potential cause, simply because it does not fit into one’s belief system, is certainly not science, it is dogma. For those who do not wish to open their eyes, the world will always be dark.

 

So, in the final analysis, an ardent militant atheist would likely not enjoy this book, nor would any religious fundamentalists because, “The Future of God” is written to encourage a deeper exploration of the mystery of existence. As evidenced by the prolific endorsements from some of the world’ s leading professors, in many diverse fields, it is apparent that this latest book from Deepak not only provides readers with a philosophical view of faith, but also one founded on leading edge science - rather than the pseudoscience advocated by the naysayers. If you already know all the answer to the mysteries of life, then you won’t enjoy, or benefit from, this book. If, on the other hand, you feel that God doesn’t have to be an old man with a beard sitting on a cloud, if you feel that there is ‘something more’, if you are curious about the nature of reality and you are open to possibilities, than this could be the book you are looking for.
Unlikely Heroes: 37 Inspiring Stories of Courage and Heart from the Animal Kingdom - Jennifer S. Holland
 ISBN13: 9780761174417
If you’re an animal lover or just enjoy hearing stories to warm your heart, you can’t get a book more appropriate than Jennifer Holland’s latest book, ‘Unlikely Heroes: 37 Inspiring Stories of Courage and Heart from the Animal Kingdom.’ Her other books, are also amazing, but when you combine awesome animals with heroic stories, how can you not be ‘wow-ed’?

Along with the dog stories that you might expect, there are many other animals; like a bunny working in a hospital, a Gorilla helping an injured child, hero horses, cows and even mine sniffing rats, all get some well-deserved recognition in this book. Regardless of which animal the story revolves around, all of these encounters are life-affirming and remind us that compassion can transcend all logic and physical bounds.

The other wonderful thing about this book, and the other books by this author, is that the stories can be read numerous times and they never lose their impact. This is one of those books that will get you through a day of “Blahs”, and, for less than $14, this book makes an inexpensive gift that will lift the spirits of anyone who receives it.
Thoughts Are Things: The Things in Your Life and the Thoughts That Are Behind Them
 - Ernest Holmes, Willis Kinnear
 ISBN13: 9781558747210

In, “Thoughts are Things”, Ernest Holmes and Willis Kinnear team up to provide the reader with a reminder that “…the key to living a life of inner peace, contentment and fulfillment is to think in creative, positive, self-affirming waysEvery thought has a consequence. And every experience has a causative thought behind it.” The information pertaining to this central theme is presented in a very unique way -  Willis Kinnear discusses various life challenges that people face on the even numbered pages, known as “The Challenge” pages, and Ernest Holmes provides some personal elucidation and related affirmations on the odd numbered pages, appropriately named “The Solution” pages.


For example, opening the book to pages 36-37, the reader will see the heading on page 36 as, “Success” and the heading on page 37 reads, “Words have Power.” Under the “Success” heading, Willis Kinnear starts the dialogue with this information, “There is an old familiar saying that ‘Nothing succeeds like success.’ To this rather obvious idea perhaps we should add the not-so-obvious one that ‘We always succeed.’ What is meant by ‘success’? It may be defined as the fulfillment, accomplishment or achievement of those ideas which preeminently occupy one’s thinking.” And, on the opposing page, Ernest Holmes starts his side of the discussion with, “You are either attracting or repelling according to your mental attitudes. You are either identifying yourself with black or with abundance, with love and friendship or with indifference” which he then follows with several affirmations, including “I know that my acceptance only good in my experience penetrates any unbelief in my mind, casts out fear, removes doubt and clears away obstacles,…


Although some of the paired heading don’t seem to have a direct connection, the information on both pages is, in-and-of itself, useful and empowering; however, due to the fact that the discussions are limited to a single page, or a pairing of two pages, some readers might not get the full scope of what they are looking for in such a brief discussion. Personally, while I find the format interesting and the book worth reading, I would read any number of the other exceptional books that both of these authors are associated with before I would read this one again.

You Were Born Rich: Now You Can Discover and Develop Those Riches - Bob Proctor
 ISBN13: 9780965626415
Yes, “You Were Born Rich” does provide ways in which we can change our thinking to create more physical wealth in our lives; however, Bob Proctor also provides a superb transition from some of the earlier books on the power of thought & the Law of Attraction, written by some of the pioneers in the genre; people like Prentice Mulford, James Allen, Robert Collier etc. by adding some of his personal wisdom and a modern perspective. This is to say that the principles you will read about in “You Were born Rich” are ancient and timeless, the grammar and the context used by some of the earlier authors in this genre can be a little dated; whereas, Bob Proctor’s book puts it into context for the modern era.

Originally released in the 1980’s, long before the recent resurgence in Law of Attraction literature, “You Were Born Rich” can re-ignite our divine spark by reminding us that we all have an immense power within us – the power of thought.

Bob Proctor reminds us that, “Through the years, history has recorded the results of great visionaries. In fact, everything ever accomplished was at first, and for a time, nothing more than an image held in the mind of the architect. Realize, now, that you too are the ‘mental architect’ of your own destiny” and if we aren’t happy with our current reality we have to start by changing our thoughts, “If you sincerely wish to change or improve your results in your physical world, you must change your thoughts and you must change them immediately.”

Furthermore, as the wise have cautioned throughout history, we are forewarned about the negative effects of fear, “A mind ‘saturated’ with fear of failure or images of unwanted results, can no more accomplish, create, or produce anything of value, than a stone can violate the law of gravity by flying upwards in the air;” and this eventually leads us to the concept that “…we hold on to old ideas and old things, because we lack faith in our ability to obtain new ideas and new things. This of course, leads to a condition of insecurity, which stems, at its root, from an inability to understand who, and what, you are. And, a lack of awareness of your true relationship with the infinite power will always leave you with a distorted image of yourself.”

Of course, being aware that we have power and being aware of those things that can drain our power make up only a small part of the material, the largest portion of “You Were Born Rich” is dedicated to how we can reclaim, and make use of, our inherent power. Although there is far more information in the book than I can include here, some of the significant discussions center around the power of: visualization, expectation and the subconscious mind. Essentially, “any idea, plan or purpose may be planted in the subconscious mind by repetition of thought empowered by faith and expectancy.”

And, speaking of repetition of thought, the ideas in this book will only work when we understand the material at a deep level, not just at the surface, intellectual level, so it may require more than one read to get the full benefit. Thankfully, Bob Proctor has made this a very readable book and readers will likely enjoy the information regardless of how many times they read it: I know I will.
The Key to Excellence (Life-Changing Classics) - Charlie Jones
ISBN13: 9781936354252
Although I wasn’t a really big fan of Charlie “Tremendous” Jones’s other book, “Life is Tremendous”, I decided to give this book, “The Key to Excellence” a try. Honestly, I added it to my order because I needed the extra few dollars get over the $25 mark for the free shipping. I must say though that this small book, and I would hardly call it a book because of its small size (it’s actually more like a large pamphlet with 42 pages), was an enjoyable read.

Charlie Jones must have been a real character in person because, even in print, the reader quickly discovers that Mr. Jones incorporates a good sense of humour into his material. To my amusement, I read, “You understand language and you’re going to understand politics. ‘Poly’ means ‘many’ and ‘tics’ means ‘bloodsuckers.’” Who doesn’t like to poke fun at a politician once-in-awhile?

In addition to the humour, Charlie Jones also does provide some valuable information in a little package – information that can certainly benefit those who read it AND those with whom they are in a relationship with. As an example, Charlie Jones discusses a contract he made with his children to get them to read more. For every book they read and provided a book report for he would put money aside. As he said to his son, “Read a book and give me a book report and I will put $10 in a car fund for you. Give me another book report, $10 in the car fund. So, in two years, if you read in style, you’ll drive in style. But, if you read like a bum you’re going to drive like a bum.” Charlie even went so far as to draw up a contract, which he provides for the reader at the back of the book, because he is a firm believer in the power that books have to transform our lives.

Practical information like the reading contract, the general advice on improving the quality of one’s life and the humour in which it is presented made the money spent on this book worth the price I paid for it ($2.96).
A Thousand Paths to Zen - Robert Allen
ISBN-13: 978-1840725612
This compact book, “A Thousand Paths to Zen” by Robert Allen, comes in at just under 500 pages and it contains a blend of the author’s personal insights on the topic off Zen, with a small number of thoughts from other ‘recognized’ Zen masters throughout history. The thoughts/ideas are very brief, with most of them being just a single sentence in length.

If you consider that, “Real Zen has no name. It is beyond all names. Anything that calls itself Zen, isn’t” you can see the quandary when making this topic the subject of a book. And, just as writing a book on a topic that can’t be accurately described by words is a challenge, reviewing a book with this same criteria is equally daunting; therefore, I don’t think a review delving into the validity of the individual thoughts presented by the author would serve a useful purpose. Perhaps those with far more experience in Zen would find it useful to debate the merits of each thought, but as a beginner I would merely say that a number of the thoughts resonated with me and there were countless others that led to a great deal of contemplation and introspection. A random selection of these thoughts are as follows:

“Try to get Zen and you will fail, but if you don’t try you will never get it.”

“An opinion is like a bone in an egg.”

“Just shut up for once and listen to the silence.”

“In Zen you become all new and shiny.”

“Zen is better than sitting around doing nothing.”

Also a positive note, the fact that the book is physically small and it contains thoughts that are quick to read means that it is portable and can be easily accessed whenever the reader has a few moments.

On the other side of the coin (where does one side end and the other begin?), I did not care for the fact that on some pages the font colour was similar to the background because this made the text difficult to read. Related to the content, there were numerous times when the author’s thoughts did not resonate with me in the slightest. I am not saying that I am right and the author is wrong, I am just saying that my views on Zen do not coincide with his. As one quick example, from the last quote mentioned above, I don’t believe that Zen can be “better than” or “worse than”. There were also several places where I felt that a thought was a direct contradiction to a previous thought.

Weighing the balance of positives and negatives, I can say that I did benefit from numerous thoughts in this book and this book won’t be sentenced to a dusty corner in the local thrift store; it is however not a book that I will refer to frequently. Ah, now that I think of it, there is a perfect spot for it in the glove box of my car.
The Dore Lectures on Mental Science - Thomas Troward
ASIN: B00086TPPM (Published 1909 by Dodd, Mead & Company)
While numerous insights shared by Judge Thomas Troward in “The Dore Lectures” are profound and empowering, I found that the writing style and verbiage made for a challenging read. This is to say that while I benefited from the insights, the author made use of very lengthy sentences and detailed, sometimes obscure, verbiage which required a high degree of concentration on my part. As an example,

“…if you can once grasp the idea of your own individuality as a thought in the Divine Mind which is able to perpetuate itself by thinking of itself as the thought which it is, you have got at the root of the whole matter, and by the same process you will not only perpetuate your life but will also expand it.”

I can’t say if Thomas Troward chose this particular writing style because of his background in the legal system, or if this was the most efficient and effective way to communicate the information based on the knowledge level of his audience at the time (the material itself comes from a series of lectures conducted in England at the turn of the 20th century); however, this this is essentially a moot point because regardless of one’s preferences, modern day readers are presented the information in its original/unaltered form.

If the sample sentence I shared above is insufficient for potential readers to decide if they wish to read “The Dore Lectures”, I will share several more quotes from the book.

“The Divine operation is always for expansion and fuller expression, and this means the production of something beyond what has gone before, something entirely new, not included in past experience, though proceeding out of it by an orderly sequence of growth.”

“…the Universal cannot act on the plane of the Particular except by becoming the particular, that is by expression through the individual.”

“We cannot become conscious of anything except by realizing a certain relationship between it and ourselves. It must affect us in some way, otherwise we are not conscious of its existence…”

In the final analysis I would say this: I benefitted from the information, I just did not find myself enjoying the read - much like my time with school textbooks.

If you are seeking an empowering book and the aforementioned quotes are representative of the format/style in which enjoy information to be presented, then you will likely enjoy “The Dore Lectures” and derive a great deal from it. If, on the other hand, you’re like me and you prefer to gather information WHILE also enjoying the format/style in which it is written, then “The Dore Lectures” likely shouldn’t be at the top of the wish list.