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
In contrast to many of the books that I have reviewed here, “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” is quite lengthy, at 300+ pages, and those pages contain a great amount of information for anyone trying to reprogram their thought patterns or who are just curious about the mind and how it functions.
I am certainly no speed reader, and with the depth and breadth of knowledge that Dr. Joe Dispenza presents in this book it did take some time for me to complete. If I were to summarize the content of this book in my own words, it would be that we all have, within us, programming that has been learned and acquired over our lifetime thus far. This programming is akin to autopilot where-in we go about our daily routines in an unaware state of mind and, even if this programming does not serve our highest good, we continue on thinking that there is nothing we can do to change it. Our past experiences and the emotions associated with them have created a neural network, analogous to a computer program, and when we encounter familiar situations the old programming goes to work and we repeat patterns of behavior, whether “good” or “bad.” On the positive side, we are capable of creating new neural networks when we overcome our self-limiting beliefs - by aligning our thoughts and feelings: referred to as quantum creating.
“Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” very clearly demonstrates that we do indeed have the ability to overcome our limitations and programming by re-envisioning our lives through the use of intent and the quantum field. Although this might sound very technical and daunting, the author does a superb job of clearly illustrating how our minds work, why we think as we do, and most importantly, how to change our thoughts/programming to assist us, rather than hinder us, on our journey .
The last third of the book goes on to give the process by which we can move toward our new destiny, a process of relaxation and meditation that will dissolve our existing programming and replace it with the new and improved version. This is to say that the old computer software is overwritten with new and improved code that will facilitate our progression to higher awareness and improved states of being.
ISBN 13: 9780486454405
Although not as old as some of the original books in the
“New Thought” movement, I still consider Ernest Holmes’ second book, Creative
Mind and Success, as a classic in the field of personal development.
I have yet to read any of Ernest’s other books, including the predecessor to this book; however, I must say that I enjoy his writing style and I really resonate with his views on the nature of reality and creation. The main premise of this book is that everything in this universe was created from consciousness, “The starting point of our thought must always begin with our experiences. We all know that life is, else we could not even think that we are. Since we can think, say and feel, we must be. We live, we are conscious of life; therefore we must be and life must be. If we are life and consciousness (self- knowing) then it follows that we must have come from the life and consciousness.”
Continuing on, Ernest explains that we direct this
consciousness through our thoughts, which then in turn will create our reality,
“By the activity of our thought things come into our life,…” and “Just as the
creative power of the soil receives all seeds put into it, and at once begins
to work on them, so mind must receive all thought and at once began to operate
on it. Thus we find that all thought has some power in our lives over our
conditions.” To put it another way, if
we dwell on the negative, we are drawing to ourselves more negativity and if we
wish to improve the quality of our lives we need to intentionally focus our
thoughts on the positive. The idea is that the power of creation (consciousness,
God, whatever label you wish to use) does not impede our free will so it will
not judge our intentions; it will simply manifest to the extent that we focus
on a specific outcome.
I don’t want
to give the impression that this book is convoluted
or overly intellectual - by trying to condense pages of ideas into a
brief book summary
might make the ideas seem more convoluted than they are in the book. The
are presented in a more modern writing style than some of the other,
books in this field and the information is presented in a logical flow;
however, potential readers should realize that this topic does require a
deal of introspection and an open mind. Furthermore, due to the nature
topic there will necessarily be numerous references to
spirituality/religion. I do not have any religious affiliation and I do
reading religious texts and while Ernest does have numerous Biblical
references, they flowed with the topics and did not come across as
ISBN 13: 978-1-4351-0097-8
Overall this book contains some empowering ideas that will undoubtedly improve the quality of my life and I am glad that I purchased a copy that I can frequently refer to. I find it wonderful that at a time in history when most people in the Western world were thinking about the physical nature of reality, there were a few individuals, like Prentice Mulford, that endeavored to “wake” people up to the power of thought.
Ideas such as, “Your real self moves with inconceivable rapidity as your thought moves” or that, “To say ‘Impossible!’ is to set up your relatively weak limit of comprehension as the standard of the universe. It is audacious as to attempt the measurement of endless space with a yardstick” were likely not normal topics at the dinner table or even in most literary circles and hence, Prenitice is regarded as one of the pioneers in the “New Thought” movement.
Many of today’s authors who discuss the power of thought and manifestation would likely credit the ideas and words of Prentice Mulford as being essential in this area of experience.
On the “negative side”, if I can call it that, with this book being written over 120 years ago, I sometimes found the “older” literary style to be a little foreign to me and on more than one occasion I had to re-read a section to get the gist of what was being said.
Another aspect of the book that I didn’t resonate with were the sections titled, “Immortality of the Flesh” and “The attraction of Asperation.” I understand that this is only a personal preference and I am sure there will be people who enjoy this part of the book as well.
As a final point of clarification for those contemplating whether or not they want to read this book, I will have to admit to one of my sins: I use a highlighter while I read!!! I know this is blasphemy to many, but I find it really beneficial and I promise I would never do it in your book =;0) In any case, I have fewer highlights in this book than in other books related to this topic; however, the quality of the highlighted material is second to none.
This book provides a selection (over 500) of uplifting and
inspiring quotes from many notable people throughout history, people such as:
Mother Teresa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Shakespeare, Helen Keller, Buddha and even
Mel Brooks. The book is laid out in 11
sections with the quotes in each section dealing with one general aspect life
and the healing process.
For those that might be skeptical of the power contained in these words, consider that this book was written by an author who, 10 years prior, was given 30 days to live in and through the inspiring words of others he was able to overcome his rendezvous with death.
If you are, or somebody you know is, dealing with a life threatening illness, this book might be the one catalyst you/they need to get back onto the road of wellness. It worked for the author so there is good reason to expect that it might work for somebody else in a similar situation.
A superb book!! There are some books that you read and understand
on a mental level, and then there are a select few books that really resonate
with you on a deeper level, they touch something deep inside of you; for me,
this is one of those books.
Positive Thoughts Positive Action really brings home the point that regardless of who we are, where we come from, or how positive we want to be, “undesirable” and unexpected events will rock all of our worlds at some time or another. This book shares some very tragic events that shook people to their core, yet they still seemed to “get through it.” In many cases the people mentioned had every reason to give up and feel sorry for themselves, and they chose another way: to keep going regardless of their exterior circumstances. People in concentration camps doing kind things for one another, young people who had devastating accidents, people living in the worst economic conditions and children that were abused all succeeded in spite of their circumstances because they wouldn’t allow those external events to pollute their internal world. One of the authors, Arnold Fox, was born into abject poverty and he escaped that to become a doctor, author and an inspiration to many. Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Clark Gable and an endless list of successful people listed on these pages all had their share of obstacles.
As the title states though, in addition to positive thoughts, positive action is also an integral to personal well-being. By thinking positively we have fewer health challenges, thereby giving us more energy for creative processes. Rather than being stuck in fear, we see opportunities and we are able to pursue them. Thinking positively allows us to take control of our lives and this in turn promotes greater health and happiness. As we take care of ourselves, we are not a burden to others and indeed, we can even become an inspiration to others.
I do find the stories and ideas in this book to be very inspiring and I am grateful that I was able to acquire it before it became scarce (for some reason, a day or two after I purchased it on Amazon.ca, there are no longer any copies available, other than from a secondary source, at a cost of $57). If you can get this book, at a price you can afford, I would recommend getting a copy for yourself and/or a loved one.
PS: If anybody reading this review knows of a website for Arnold or Barry Fox, or has contact information for them, can you please email me, I would like to get into contact with them.
As with Zen Speaks, this, the follow up book takes information directly from Zen texts and presents it in the form of an illustrated story. I enjoyed the original Zen Speaks more than this follow up book; however, this is certainly a useful addition to those interested in acquiring further knowledge of Zen sutras.
The Tao Speaks: Lao-Tzu's Whispers of Wisdom - Chih-Chung Tsai
The author/illustrator, Tsai Chih Chung once again uses ancient scriptures/writings as the basis for this book and while the illustrations are superb, and the overall concept unique, I enjoyed the stories in “Zen Speaks” a lot more. I realize that Tsai had no control over the original material and I don’t think one book is better or worse, they are just different.
Regardless of my preference for the other book, I believe that anyone wanting to learn more about the Tao will likely benefit from reading “The Tao Speaks.” The illustrations make the material interesting and more memorable than just reading text, and I found that the “Translator’s Preface” does a superb job of providing historical context to the period in China’s history when this book was written.
Another one of Ernest Holme’s shorter books, It’s up to You, comes in at just over 90 pages (there is another version as well that is 128 pages) and it seems to be
one of the lesser known books written by Holmes; nevertheless, I enjoyed it as
much as his earlier book, Creative Mind
and Success (previously reviewed on this website).
The main theme in this book is once again that our thoughts are real, powerful and they are the creative force in our lives: this force is connects us to the entire universe. “There is nothing which we see in the entire universe, whether it be a tree, a stove, a man, or a bird, other than a thought objectified. It could not be there if it were not made out of Mind, for that is all there is to make anything out of.”
Ernest goes on to share that the universe creates through a system of cause and effect and, even though many of us don’t like to consider that we are responsible for creating our reality, it is a Divine law that we can wield for our benefit or our destruction. Succinctly, Ernest says it this way, “The Universe is foolproof. It does say that we can have want, but It also says that we shall have to take into our experience a logical result of our thinking, be it good or what we call evil. The Law is as impersonal as electricity. It will warm us or burn us, according to the way we use It.”
What we fear, we empower and it exerts control over us and
to have self-mastery we need to be aware of, and then take charge of, our thoughts.
We create what we think about, what we dwell upon, and if our thoughts are on a
negative outcome we will manifest that outcome regardless of the fact that we
don’t want it to happen.
Rather than me prattling on, I will wrap this up by saying that this book, It’s up to You, has the same message as many of the other new age books in this genre: we create after our thoughts, regardless of what we want. The more we think about something AND the more emotion associated with those thoughts, the greater the power to manifest that outcome; regardless if that outcome is what we want or not. Thoughts are powerful, they are the creative foundation of the universe (as quantum physics is now establishing) and if we want success, health, prosperity etc., then we need to focus on those outcomes and not allow fear to rob us of our power.
Again, I can’t emphasize enough, many of these New
Thought/New Age/transformational books written by the early pioneer’s in this
genre say the same or similar things, only with their own words and
experiences. To simply read the words on a cursory level will not likely have a
huge impact and less so if we bemoan the fact the information is redundant and “We
have heard all of this before.” These
books share profound information, in my biased opinion, and are only ink dots
on paper until we “get” what these authors are trying to say. If everything in
your life is how you want it, then this book and even all the books in this
genre might not be of any use to you; however, if you have a sense that there
is more to the universe than what you see, or if things aren’t perfect for you,
then this book, and the others in the genre might be what you are looking for…and
here I said I wouldn’t prattle on…
Your Life Is a Gift: So Make the Most of It - Ken Keyes Jr.,
Our addictive programming - how we think the world should be
- is what keeps us from fully experiencing and appreciating life. Like
computers, or robots, the only way we improve things is by changing the inner
programming, not the outer conditions. If we live in the world of “want” we
will never have enough. People through-out history have had power, money, fame,
etc., and yet they were not happy because they were always on the quest to get
more of their addiction. This becomes a vicious cycle that leaves the person
In, Your Life is a
Gift, Ken Keyes Jr. believes that it is only by changing our
consciousness,--by modifying our perception and motivations—that we will
be free from the
cycle and it is only then that will be able to enjoy life to the
fullest. Our addictions, defined as, “…any demand or expectation
that you place upon yourself, another person, or a situation in your
can AUTOMATICALLY trigger separating emotions,” must be transformed into
preferences. In order to modify this “program of addiction” we can make
the “12 Pathways” to help us emotionally accept the here and now. Once
accept what is, then we can go about transforming it.
Half of the book, the pages on the left-hand side, consists
of drawings/cartoons that directly relate to the message that is being shared
on the right-hand page. I find the drawings do add to the message by making the
material more interesting and easier to retain. With the drawings, large font
and wide margins, this book is a VERY fast read.
The fact that the book can be so quickly read, and the fact
that it is written in a very easy to follow manner, creates the illusion that
transforming our years/decades of programming is a “fait accompli.” It is not
my place to say that the transformation must take a long time, for some people
it might very well happen in a fraction of a second; however, I think it is
important that people do not feel that they “failed’ in their transformation
because the process took longer than the reader assumed it should. The 12 Pathways, although crucial to the process,
are not discussed at length, and I feel this omission is a potential hindrance
to people who are not familiar with them. **(As a side note, Ken explicitly
states that a more in-depth explanation of the “12 Pathways” is presented in
his other book, How to Enjoy Your Life In
spite of it All).
Towards the end of the book Ken shares the
age-old adage that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step and
that “Reading this book is one more step.” I would say that this is a concise
statement yet, I would add the caveat that some people might find this book to
be only a baby-step.
An empowering and transformative book written in the early 1950’s with truths that are just as powerful today as they were then.
The main premise put forth by Neville Goddard is that our thoughts create our reality. More specifically, by focusing our attention on our imagination and seeing ourselves as we wish to be, rather than how we are, we put into motion forces that will manifest our intention, “If you will not imagine yourself as other than what you are, then you remain as you are,…”
Neville goes on to assert that the more focused we are, the more quickly and the more easily our imagination manifests into physical reality, “Your attention must be developed, controlled, and concentrated in order to change your concept of yourself successfully and thereby change your future. Imagination is able to do anything, but only according to the internal direction of your attention.”
For those thinking that this concept might sound familiar, it’s likely because the same underlying process has been the topic of numerous books and several movies over the last decade - The Secret and What the Bleep being two of them.
One final point I would like to make is that Neville seems to have been very well versed in Biblical scriptures and my knowledge in this areas is essentially non-existent; therefore, the numerous Biblical interpretations Neville makes are unfamiliar to me and, while they seem to be accurate, I can’t speak to how the more devout religious reader will accept his interpretations.