Previews & Reviews of New Books and Video for Body, Mind & Soul
2012-2021: The Dawn of the Sixth Sun, The Path of Quetzalcoatl, by Sergio Magana (Blossoming Books), 180 pages, $17.99 — According to the Toltec/Aztec calendar, which describes larger cycles of time or “Suns” than the Mayan calendar, humanity has been in a transition that started in 1991, moving from the 5th to the 6th Sun. During this shift the influence of both Suns is equally present, as is the case when the seasons change. This shift is also a shift in human consciousness, in our understanding of how we relate to the whole of existence. The custodians of this 1,460-year-old uninterrupted oral tradition now reveal this ancient wisdom to the world, in written form, for the very first time. This book contains breathing exercises, poses, and other ancient practices that are based on cosmic mathematics that show us how to realign ourselves with the universe, Earth, and the elements, and with our highest nature so that we can take responsibility for the sacredness of life and move successfully through this transition from one Sun to the next.
Aleph, by Paulo Coelho (Vintage), 288 pages, $15 — In his most personal novel to date, internationally bestselling author Paulo Coelho returns with a remarkable journey of self-discovery. Like the main character in his much-beloved The Alchemist, Paulo is facing a grave crisis of faith. As he seeks a path of spiritual renewal and growth, his only real option is to begin again–to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the landscapes around him. Setting off to Africa, and then to Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian railroad, he initiates a journey to revitalize his energy and passion. Even so, he never expects to meet Hilal. A gifted young violinist, she is the woman Paulo loved 500 years before–and the woman he betrayed in an act of cowardice so far-reaching that it prevents him from finding real happiness in this life. Together they will initiate a mystical voyage through time and space, traveling a path that teaches love, forgiveness, and the courage to overcome life’s inevitable challenges. Beautiful and inspiring, Aleph invites us to consider the meaning of our own personal journeys.
Birth 2012 and Beyond: Humanity’s Great Shift to the Age of Conscious Evolution, by Barbara Marx Hubbard with the Welcoming Committee (Shift Books), 272 pages, $15.95 — Explaining how the planet’s myriad crises are actually the birth pangs of a new Earth, this inspired exploration is Barbara Marx Hubbard’s prophetic call for a planetary shift. It explores the aftermath of the coming planetary renaissance that she has heralded for decades, and introduces an established popular global movement to co-create a massive transition around a symbolic “Planetary Birthday” event on December 22, 2012. This volume features the commentary of a dozen evolutionary pioneers on the author’s key themes of collective birth and conscious evolution, aiming to foster the emergence of a sustainable planetary civilization. Featured contributors include Ervin Laszlo, Michael Beckwith, Jack Canfield, Jean Houston, and Neale Donald Walsch.
Cosmic Nutrition: The Taoist Approach to Health & Longevity, by Mantak Chia & William U. Wei (Destiny Books), 424 pages, $24.95 — The human body, like all phenomena in nature, possesses the inherent power of self-regeneration when the conditions of true health are adopted. In Cosmic Nutrition, Taoist Master Mantak Chia and senior Universal Tao teacher William Wei reveal the secret to true health and longevity: keeping all four bodies — physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual — vibrant and balanced. They show you how to work with the four bodies through simple, step-by-step nutritional and energetic practices for everyday life. Combining the ancient Taoist principles of yin and yang energy with acid-alkaline balance and metabolic body types, the authors offer complete guidelines on what to eat for different yin-yang constitutions, specific health problems and organ systems, and energetic conditions. They provide an easy-to-follow food combining method for acid-alkaline and yin-yang balance, recipes for healing meals, detailed information on fasting and detoxification, and illustrated guides to several self-diagnostic methods from the East that allow you to interpret your body’s signs before disease manifests.
The Electric Jesus: The Healing Journey of a Contemporary Gnostic, by Jonathan Talat Phillips (Evolver Editions), 240 pages, $17.95 — When Jonathan Talat Phillips experiences a devastating loss as a countercultural media activist, he unwittingly starts on a mystical journey marked by underground ayahuasca ceremonies, kundalini awakenings, prankster spirit guides, extraterrestrial encounters at the Burning Man festival, and miraculous energy healings that reshape his skeptical worldview. Along the way, he chronicles the rise of an international movement that is trailblazing visionary ways to address our current planetary crisis through raised consciousness. To better understand his spiritual journey, Jonathan delves into his own Christian background, discovering the lost rites of the mystery schools. Uncovering secret “electric” meanings behind biblical symbols like the serpent, dove, and tree of life, he reveals how early Christians utilized a radical initiation process for harnessing divine energy in order to achieve gnosis, direct knowledge or experience of the divine. Jonathan suggests that these mystical symbols, which appear in spiritual traditions across the globe, offer a profound energetic roadmap and alchemical message for personal transformation, as well as a potential evolutionary shift for our world.
Evolution’s Purpose: An Integral Interpretation of the Scientific Story of Our Origins, by Steve McIntosh (SelectBooks), 304 pages, $24.95 — Does the science of evolution really prove that life, humanity, and the universe as a whole are meaningless accidents? On the contrary, as science has shown how everything in the universe is subject to evolution, including matter, life, and human culture, these very facts reveal that the process of evolution is unmistakably progressive. And, as Steve McIntosh demonstrates, when we come to see how evolution progresses, this reveals evolution’s purpose–to grow toward ever-widening realizations of beauty, truth, and goodness. McIntosh argues that the purpose of evolution is not “intelligently designed” or otherwise externally controlled; rather, its purpose is being creatively and originally discerned through the choices of the evolutionary creatures themselves. Without relying on spiritual authorities, the author shows how the scientific story of our origins is actually a profound and sacred teaching compatible with many forms of contemporary spirituality.
Exploring the Edge Realms of Consciousness: Liminal Zones, Psychic Science, and the Hidden Dimensions of the Mind, edited by Daniel Pinchbeck & Ken Jordan (Evolver Editions), 384 pages, $18.95, September 18 release — A diverse group of authors journey into the fringes of human consciousness, tackling psychic and paranormal phenomena, lucid dreaming, synchronistic encounters, and more. Collected from the online magazine Reality Sandwich, these essays explore regions of the mind often traversed by shamans, mystics, and visionary artists; adjacent and contiguous to our normal waking state, these realms may be encountered in dreams or out-of-body experiences, accessed through meditation or plant medicines, and marked by psychic phenomena and uncanny synchronicities. From demons encountered in sleep paralysis visions to psychic research conducted by the CIA, the seemingly disparate topics covered here congeal to form a larger picture of what these extraordinary states of consciousness might have to tell us about the nature of reality itself.
Kosmos: An Evolutionary and Wholistic Account of Creation, by Dennis Milner (Ozark Mountain Publishing), 592 pages, $27.50 — In this book Dennis Milner proposes that our Universe is part of a living, evolving “Kosmos” that “started life” as an unconscious state of dormant energy. This energy stirred into activity and out of this activity there has arisen a succession of Universes, in which the Kosmos expresses and experiences itself. This desire to express and experience itself in ever-greater diversity is what causes all the developments that take place in the Kosmos.Â The scientific investigations have shown how the Universe and life on Earth have developed, the Kosmos viewpoint shows why it has all happened in the way that it has and the meaning and purpose behind it all. It offers new insights into: The Creation versus Evolution controversy; the nature of “God” and Intelligent Design; the Big Bang theory of the creation of our Universe; the nature of atoms; the development of shape and form in the natural world; and the meaning and purpose of our lives.
The Liberating Power of Emotions: Understanding Our Emotional Purpose & Power, by Riet Okken (Ozark Mountain Publishing), 350 pages, $16 — One of the perennial struggles of humanity has been the attempt to balance our rational and emotional selves. Generally, people have dealt with their feelings in one of two ways: venting and suppressing. In this book psychotherapist Riet Okken describes a third way: the way of healthy emotional management. She has devised a model for emotional and spiritual health that involves releasing both emotions and our connection to ego and discovering our divine core. Okken describes a concrete path that will enable readers to free themselves from ego and banish depression, jealously, burnout, shame, guilt and addiction. By processing and coming to terms with one’s underlying emotions, one moves to a place of awareness and realization of the soul qualities that are found in all of the great religions traditions: joy, freedom, confidence, creativity, vitality, and fullness of life. In this comprehensive and practical guide, Okken combines her profound knowledge of psychotherapy with her years of therapeutic experience. Filled with case studies and practical tips, it is a wise and friendly guide that will lead seekers to a place of freedom and bliss.
The Magdalene Version: Secred Wisdom from a Gnostic Mystery School, by Stuart Wilson & Joanna Prentis (Ozark Mountain Publishing) 312 pages, $16 — For the past twenty years, Stuart Wilson and Joanna Prentis have been exploring the early Essene community, the life of Jesus, and the power of the teachings of Mary Magdalene through the use of past life regression. In the course of these sessions, some fascinating, previously unknown information emerged, including: Jesus survived his crucifixion and was spirited away from the tomb; there were a number women disciples led by Mary Magdalene; the secret role of the Order of Melchizedek in the Essene Community; Jesus did not stand alone, but had the full backing of the Essene community, led by Joseph of Arimathea. Expanding on the information conveyed in their first two books, The Essenes and Power of the Magdalene, Wilson fully explores, with the assistance of the Essenes, the ancient mystery teachings of Mary Magdalene and Jesus that have never been revealed before. We have the authentic voice of Mary Magdalene speaking at length within Gatherings of the Mystery School she led on the island of Cyprus. In addition, Wood explores first century Gnosticism. With clarity, he demonstrates that rather than being a Christian heresy, Gnosticism was a spiritual path in its own right — a path that developed on a parallel track to first century Christian orthodoxy.
Marijuana: Gateway to Health: How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease, by Clint Werner (Dachstar Press), 232 pages, $15.95, September 1 release — This new release tells you what the government doesn’t want you to know about marijuana. Learn how ingesting cannabinoids, the unique compounds found in the cannabis plant, can protect your health. Research reveals that: long-term marijuana smokers have a reduced risk for developing lung cancer; the cannabinoid THC suppressed a variety of cancers and higher doses led to greater protection and longer life; and THC is effective for reducing the brain damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
No Storm Lasts Forever: Transforming Suffering Into Insight, by Dr. Terry A. Gordon (Hay House), 208 pages, $12.95 — As a cardiologist, Dr. Terry Gordon dealt with life-and-death circumstances on a daily basis. He learned that life is precious and tenuous; it can change in an instant. Such a dramatic shift occurred when his son, Tyler, was involved in a car accident, sustaining a severe spinal-cord injury that left him paralyzed. Leading his family through the experience, Terry’s journey resulted in a spiritual awakening to a clearer understanding of life and the truths it has to offer. Terry has learned that our experiences become calamities only if we make the conscious decision to make tragedies out of them. Rather than lamenting the so-called adversities, we can choose to be grateful for them, embracing them as gifts from the Divine. These gifts provide fertile soil for growth and enlightenment, offering us the opportunity to transform turmoil, disappointment, and suffering into understanding, insight and resolve…and such gifts are presented to you in No Storm Lasts Forever.
SQ21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence, by Cindy Wigglesworth (SelectBooks), 240 pages, $24.95, September 4 release — According to author Cindy Wigglesworth, Spiritual Intelligence is “the ability to behave with wisdom and compassion while maintaining inner and outer peace regardless of the situation.” In her new book, SQ21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence, Cindy helps us understand how spiritual intelligence is analogous to such concepts as IQ and emotional intelligence (EQ). Using clear, practical language she defines the “21 skills” that comprise spiritual intelligence and in doing so, teaches you the steps to begin developing your own spiritual intelligence. Cindy refers to her method as “spiritual weightlifting” — a process whereby we work to develop our “muscles” to shift away from thinking with our self-focused ego to behaving from our more loving and peaceful Higher Self. Her model is both faith-friendly and faith-neutral, and SQ21 offers a way for atheists, people of faith, and those who are “spiritual but not religious” to understand each other and discuss our universal concerns.
The Source Field Investigations: The Hidden Science and Lost Civilizations behind the 2012 Prophecies, by David Wilcock (Plume), 560 pages, $18 — More than two million people have seen David Wilcock’s incredible tour of the 2012 prophecies in his Internet documentary, The 2012 Enigma. Now, he expands his vision with a cutting-edge investigation into alternative sciences with deep insights into what is coming in our immediate future. A stunning synthesis of hidden science and lost prophecies, The Source Field Investigations exposes DNA transformation, wormholes, ancient conspiracies, the Mayan calendar, and a new model of galactic energy fields triggering mental, biological, and spiritual evolution. Unlike the apocalyptic viewpoints depicted in big-budget disaster films, Wilcock believes that 2012 will be a watermark for widespread acceptance of a greater reality–and here, he lays out the blueprints for such a Golden Age.
The Tao of Walt Whitman: Daily Insights and Actions to Achieve a Balanced Life, by Connie Shaw & Ike Allen (Sentient Publications), 224 pages, $9.95 — Walt Whitman’s radiant poetry is a source of contemporary inspiration. His ecumenical wisdom, which includes both transcendentalism and realism, is encapsulated here in short verses for each day of the year. These, along with a daily action step, become a springboard for readers to transform themselves. The sublime poetry combined with exercises for self-reflection will make this unique pocket-sized daybook a constant companion for those seeking greater balance in their lives.
Through the Eyes of Another: A Medium’s Guide to Creating Heaven on Earth by Encountering Your Life Review Now, by Karen Noe (Hay House), 201 pages, $15.95 — As a psychic medium, Karen Noe often receives messages of regret–deceased loved ones communicate that they’re now able to see that they should have said or done things differently when they were still on Earth. In Through the Eyes of Another, Karen shows that you don’t have to die to go through your life review. You can go through it now…before it’s too late. Karen explains how writing different types of letters can help you see the “bigger picture” of the way you’re affecting those in your path. She takes you on a personal journey of how her life was transformed after she wrote these types of letters to her loved ones, and then goes on to demonstrate how you can do the same.
You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too, by Tammy Strobel (New World Library), 224 pages, $14.95, September 11 release — Once, Tammy Strobel and her husband were living a normal middle-class lifestyle: driving two cars, commuting long distances, and living well beyond their means. Now they are living the voluntary downsizing — or smart-sizing — dream. In this book, Strobel combines research on well-being with numerous real-world examples to offer practical inspiration. Her fresh take on our things, our work, and our relationships spells out micro-actions that anyone can take to step into a life that’s more conscious and connected, sustainable and sustaining, heartfelt and happy.
Crazy Doctor: Mixing Drugs and Mental Illness, by Peter J. Dorsen, M.D., LADC (Lulu.com), 187 pages, eBook $9.99 — The content of this book is worthy of the big screen, and the writer/doctor could easily play himself. This book is relevant to the times and the destigmatization of mental health patients, which is a huge part of the paradigm shift that is happening on a planetary level today. As we move into a higher consciousness, we need to embrace the whole person.
In his book, Peter Dorsen, of St. Louis Park, MN, shows how complex mental health is. Dorsen writes about his ongoing, lifelong struggle with being misdiagnosed and his resulting pattern of self-medicating. As a doctor who has worked alongside of some of the best physicians, Dorsen reveals flaws in the mental health system. He reveals how all addicts and those with mental illness have an extremely hard time admitting to their illness and/or their addiction to their drug of choice. He also speaks freely of his personal denial and use of cannabis.
Dorsen’s work history includes providing medical care in ERs, making house calls, and visiting chiropractic clinics and prisons. He eventually had to surrender his medical license, as two people overdosed in his care. While working, it was as if he were a modern-day shaman who was high with rapid-cycling mania and bouts of depression with suicidal tendency. In his book, Dorsen focuses on how anger is a part of the bi-polar experience, and he emphasizes the difference of bi-polar 1 and bi-polar 2. He was married to a beautiful wife and had three gorgeous daughters. He touches on his childhood and family upbringing, as well as his experience with neglect and abuse. Dorsen touches on his dark days of losing it all, about the house in Kenwood, his wife, kids and money, living in the hood with crack heads and hookers, while packing a gun. His loyal and faithful black lab, Candy, stuck with him through thick and thin. Dorsen also reveals his recovery, new marriage and reconstruction of his relationship with his daughters and ex-wife.
Throughout the book, Dorsen has no difficulty expressing his need for love and his love for his daughters and how much they mean to him. Ultimately, this book is a good read for everyone who has been close to any mental health or addiction circumstance. Mental health labels are so common these days. It’s good to learn about it from the inside — from a brilliant, crazy doctor who is bi-polar and out of the closet with his addiction. — by Megan Bacigalupo
Planeat: Nothing Changes the Planet as Much as the Way We Eat, directed by Shelley Lee Davies, (True Mind), 72 minutes, $19.98 — Food is a love we all share and it’s part of our daily life. It is essential to our social experiences and like they say, too much of a good thing can come at a cost. EnterÂ Planeat,Â a documentary that inspires us to make the right food choices – choices that can dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, protect our environment and make our planet sustainable while celebrating the joys of food. Planeat Â presents a convincing case to re-examine our consumption and the consequences of including meat and dairy in our diet. Against a backdrop of colorful and delicious food grown by organic farmers and prepared in the kitchens of world famous chefs,Â PlaneatÂ reveals ground-breaking research from three prominent scientists. Their mission: to find a diet that’s good for our health and environment, as well as for the future of our planet.
The Sacred Science, produced and directed by Nick Polizzi, produced by Dan Bailey, 77 minutes, $14.95 at thesacredscience.com, September release — The mythology behind Amazonian Shamanism is a rich and fascinating study and the filmmakers behind “The Sacred Science” have sought to take the documentary experience to the next level by seeking real, tangible results. The indigenous plant medicines and spiritual rituals of the South American rain forest have been time-tested for thousands of years, and audiences will be treated to one of the most astounding accounts ever caught on camera in this groundbreaking new documentary film. The Sacred Science follows eight people from all different walks of life, with varying physical and psychological ailments, as they embark on a one-month healing journey into the heart of the Amazon jungle.Â Working with a handful of local Shamanic healers and using a combination of plant medicine and intense spiritual exercises, the barriers between physical health and mental well-being are blurred and eventually eliminated altogether.