Category Archives: Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday: Classic Children’s Books and Stories

Dear kids,

Here is a collection of the stories I often try to remember at bedtime, but can’t.  My plan is to use the handy links in this list to read most of these to you at least several times in the coming years. Also, while you’re still young, I’m going to read you summaries of some of our great ancient stories (like the Illiad and the Odyssey) to give you a jump on classic literature before you’re old enough to read them yourselves.

The links take you to either free, full-text versions of the book or story or free online summaries as appropriate. Just pull up this list on your phone or tablet and your complete children’s literature education is ready to go.

Love,

Mom

Fairy Tales

Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Aesop’s Fables, Aesop
Kim, Rudyard Kipling
The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling
The Blue Fairy Book, Andrew Lang
The Orange Fairy Book, Andrew Lang
The Lilac Fairy Book, Andrew Lang
Norwegian Folk Tales, Peter Asbjornsen
Irish Fairy Tales, James Stephens
The Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales from the Old French, Charles Perrault
The Classic Mother Goose
Chinese folk tales
Japanese folk tales
Egyptian folk tales
Indian folk tales
African folk tales
The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Richard Francis Burton
Three Little Pigs
The Tortoise and the Hare
Jack and the Beanstalk
Little Red Riding Hood
Snow White
Cinderella
The Ugly Duckling
Thumbelina
The Pied Piper
Chicken Little
The Emperor’s New Clothes
The Princess and the Pea
Rapunzel
The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
Old Mother Goose and Her Son Jack
Hansel and Gretel
Briar-Rose
Little Snow-White
Rumpelstiltskin
The Adventures of Aladdin
The Frog Prince
The Little Mermaid
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
The Ant and the Grasshopper
Little Bo-Peep
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
The Gingerbread Man
The Owl and the Pussy Cat
Androclus and the Lion
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Sleeping Beauty
The Happy Prince
The Blind Man and the Elephant
The Little Match Girl
The Story of Little Boy Blue
The Snow Queen
Father Frost
Puss in Boots
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Fox and the Grapes
Stories about Paul Bunyan
The Gift of the Magi
The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg
Torn Thumb
Beauty and the Beast
St. George and the Dragon

Classic Children’s Books:

Peter Rabbit and other stories by Beatrix Potter
Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
The Little Engine that Could, Watty Piper
The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Seuss
The Lorax, Dr. Seuss
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Dr. Seuss
There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, Dr. Seuss
Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss
The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Willems
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
Goodnight, Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein
The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
Winnie-the-Pooh, A. A. Milne
Harold and the Purple Crayon, Crockett Johnson
Pipi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Bill Martin, Jr. and Eric Carle
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Judith Viorst
Matilda, Roald Dahl
Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans
Oh, The Places You’ll Go, Dr. Seuss
James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney
Are You My Mother?, P.D. Eastman
Amelia Bedelia, Peggy Parish
Corduroy, Don Freeman
The Curious George series, H.A. Rey
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and other books by Mo Willems
The Frog and Toad series, Arnold Lobel
Miss Nelson Is Back, Harry Allard
Let’s Go All Around the Neighborhood, Patty Thomas and Anthony Rae
Books by Richard Scarry
On the Night You Were Born, Nancy Tillman and Peter Parnall
Everybody Needs a Rock, Byrd Baylor
Once There Were Giants, Martin Waddell and Penny Dale
Love You Forever, Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw
The Father Bear series, Else Homelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak
The Encyclopedia Brown series, Donald J. Sobol
The Alfie series, Shirley Hughes
I Love You Through and Through, Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak and Caroline Jayne Church
The Monster at the End of This Book, Jon Stone and Michael Smollin
The Berenstain Bears series, Stan and Jan Berenstain
The Magic School Bus series, Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday, Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz
The Marshmallow Incident Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett
Georgie and the Robbers, Robert Bright
Each Peach Pear Plum, Janet and Allan Ahlberg
This Moose Belongs to Me, Oliver Jeffers
There Was and Old Woman Who Lived in a Glove, Bernard Lodge
The Clifford, the Big Red Dog series, Norman Bridwell

Summaries of Adult Classics

The Illiad, Homer
The Odyssey, Homer
The Aeneid, Virgil
The Oedipus Plays, Sophocles
Orestia, Aeschylus
Medea, Euripedes
The Bacchae, Euripedes
Lysistrata, Aristophanes
The Frogs, Aristophanes
The Clouds, Aristophanes
Lives of Noble Greeks and Romans, Plutarch
The Fairie Queene, Edmund Spenser
Paradise Lost, Dante
Paradise Regained, Dante
Beowulf, Anonymous
Mabinogion, Anonymous
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Anonymous
The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser
La Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory
The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri
Greek and Roman mythology
Important stories of the Bible
Selected works by William Shakespeare

Find more fiction to read to your kids at Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday: Classic Fiction.

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #70: “How I Gave Up My Low-Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds” by Dana Carpender

Image from the law of attraction book list featuring all major law of attraction authors at lawofattractionproject.com

Dear kids,

What can I say? I like a book about a girl on a diet, especially if the diet is successful. In How I Gave Up My Low-Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds, Dana Carpender blends good science and good advice with her compelling personal story.

If you’ve never tried a low-carb diet before–maybe even feel a bit skeptical–you may find Carpender’s book helpful. It’s great introduction to a very complex topic, a mix of scientific studies and commonsense advice.

A few notable points:

  • A 2000 New English Journal of Medicine low-carb study showed there are no health benefits to low-fat diets at all.
  • 5-HTP and niacin may help people avoid emotional eating.
  • L-glutamine helps reduce carb cravings.
  • The book also gives a good description of insulin and ketosis.

You can, of course, get How I Gave Up My Low-Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds on Amazon.

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #69: "Beginning Your Love Revolution" by Matt Kahn

Dear kids,

Matt Kahn. Ah, I love him. This is the guy that got the phrase “love what is” into my frightened, ego-controlled mind. This is the guy that showed me it’s okay to feel like crap, and to admit it–and actually, that you have to first do so in order to start getting of that feeling.

This guy is my really good friend–even though he doesn’t know it.

Beginning Your Love Revolution is a free excerpt of Kahn’s popular, amazing and apparently (partly?) channelled book, Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins With You. If you feel it’s time to start accepting what is, rather than always wishing it away, then you’d do well to download either of these books. If not, you’ll probably hate them both.

Need more convincing? Watch any one of Kahn’s awesome YouTube lectures.

To learn more or to get the free ebook, see:

Beginning Your Love Revolution on Amazon

Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins With You on Amazon

Matt Kahn’s Official Website

Matt Kahn on YouTube

Matt Kahn on Facebook

Love,
Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #72: "At Zero" by Joe Vitale

Dear kids,

Don’t you just love it when you find out that a book you really enjoyed has a sequel? Zero Limits by Joe Vitale isn’t exactly a heady, intellectual read, but it is a nicely written, highly entertaining personal story that teaches a simple, beautiful spiritual practice. So I was surprised to learn that there was a follow-up; I thought we had this information covered.

And that surprise wasn’t totally off-base. At Zero: The Final Secrets to Zero Limits,  the Quest for Miracles Through Ho’oponopono is a great piggyback read, but its promise to take you deeper into the practice it describes isn’t fully delivered. Read the book if you loved the message of the first and would like some inspiration to continue using this practice.

Highlights:

Here are a few of the book’s highlights (all direct quotes):

  • Data is a word used for this unconscious programming, the garbage that prevents you from hearing the voice of your Divinity. At a Zero Limits event, someone once asked Dr. Hew Len about the difference between ego and Divinity. Dr. Hew Len replied: First of all, there is no such thing as an ego. Did you know that? No such thing.
  • When people lash out against me, you, or anyone else, it’s rarely about you, me, or anyone else. It’s about the program they have. Here’s the rub: if you can see it in another, then you have it, too. Dr. Hew Len is famous for saying, “Have you ever noticed that when you have a problem, you are there?”This is how Dr. Hew Len helped heal an entire ward of mentally ill criminals. He didn’t work on them; he worked on himself. He saw them as projections of a program within himself.
  • There are 100 billion neurons in your 3-pound brain. Every second 11 million sensory impressions fire along your brain’s highways, but only 40 actually reach your awareness. Forty! What happened to the 10,999,960 other bits of information? Your brain filtered it and filed it as not useful to your survival. How did it know what to filter out?
  • But why do the phrases work? That’s even harder to say. It could simply be belief. The placebo is powerful. Coupled with the famous story of Dr. Hew Len and the hospital ward he helped close, the phrases become easy to believe as having magical powers.
  • In short, here are the four steps from Schwartz to help you get a handle on this: Step 1: Relabel: Identify deceptive brain messages and the uncomfortable sensations; call them what they really are. Step 2: Reframe: Change your perception of the importance of the deceptive brain messages; say why these thoughts, urges, and impulses keep bothering you. (“It’s not me; it’s just my brain!”) Step 3: Refocus: Direct your attention toward an activity or mental process that is wholesome and productive—even while the false and deceptive urges, thoughts, impulses, and sensations are still present and bothering you. Step 4: Revalue: Clearly see the thoughts, urges, and impulses for what they are—sensations caused by deceptive brain messages.
  • Simple, right? Yes, it’s a balancing act. You want to focus on what you want—but without attachment, addiction, need, or desperation. If there is any of that baggage, you clean on it to release it. The ideal is to be in a “Wouldn’t it be cool?” spirit.
  • A clear intention—stated without desperation or need, with a childlike spirit of trust, faith, and fun—led to an opportunity nobody could have predicted or orchestrated. Our job was to take inspired action when it appeared, and we did.
  • Dr. Hew Len often says that you don’t need an intention at all. “Just clean so Divinity can come through you,” he reminds. That still sounds like an intention to me. I once asked him, “If you keep cleaning, can an action step come to you that you should take?” “Absolutely!” he quickly answered. “As you clean, you get everything out of the way, so Zero can tell you what to do.” Again, practicing Ho’oponopono is clearing the mental weeds and inherited memories so that you hear inspiration when it calls you.

Links to More Info:

Love,
Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #71: "Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d" by Candace Pert

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Dear kids,

Candace Pert is a rock star. Read everything she writes. Then, become a scientist like her.

Notes and highlights:

Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d is an in-depth discussion of the mind-body connection. Written by a well-known neuroscientist, it gives evidence that the mind and body are one.

The science, briefly: Every cell in the body is studded with receptors that receive signals that direct cell division, metabolism and every other cell activity. “Signal[s] come from other cells and [are] carried by juices . . . providing an infra for the ‘conversation’ going on throughout the bodymind. You know these juices as how neurotransmitters and together called peptides.” 98 percent of data transfer occurs through these, while only 2 percent occurs between cells.

Receptors and signals together are the “molecules of emotion”. There is a ligand for each individual emotion, each individual perception, each different kind of awareness, including bliss, hunger, satiety, anger, etc.

The ligand isn’t only active part of equation. Receptors wiggle and send vibrations to attract the proper ligand, like a lock and key coming together. These vibrations and constant responses form a continuous electrical current throughout your body.

Your body, then, is your subconscious mind. The molecules in the brain aren’t the cause of your emotions; they are your emotions.

Other notable quotes:

  • Good and God are different words for the same thing.
  • “Music can bypass the liquid and directly resonate those receptors, interacting like a peptide—or an emotion.” Drugs do the same thing.
  • Words also powerful “thought pattern can be identified as networks of brain networks, but these networks only either goes a closed at any given moment, in order to open, must have networks w/ sensitive receptors and that fire together frequently.
  • “Emotions are the flow of information perceived to be essential for the survival of any particular state of consciousness being observed.”
  • We all have multiple personalities. Therefore, we do well to “train yourself to come from the highest possible ‘observer’—the subpersonality that’s most closely associated with the divine, or the higher self.” Practice this “you” through meditation or prayer.
  • On dreams: during REM sleep, the peptide VIP is released. VIP ensures cell survival in the frontal cortex. “Is VIP nourishing neurons that are active during a dream, thus stabilizing the neural networks being formed at the time of dreams? If so, this could explain how dreams can literally become reality.” 50 percent of infant sleep is REM, as compared with 25 percent of adult sleep, because neural nets are forming at such a high rate. In one study, REM-deprived sleep study subjects began hallucinating and became psychotic.
  • Also cites studies showing people can suggest to themselves what to dream about and what eye-movement patterns to make during REM sleep.

To get the book, see:

Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d on Amazon

Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d on Goodreads

Candace Pert on Wikipedia

Official Website of Candace Pert

Love,
Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #70: “Learning to Eat Along the Way" by Margaret Bendet

Dear kids,

Learning to Eat Along the Way by Margaret Bendet is a spiritual memoir, a genre I’m personally quite fond of. It’s about a young woman who leaves her career to follow an Indian guru. And who among us hasn’t wanted to do that?

I mean, really–this is your chance to live vicariously through someone who really did quit her day job and throw it all away, just for the chance to experience something amazing. Take it.

To get the book, see:

Love,
Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #68: "Lucid Dreaming" by Stephen LaBerge

new thought book - angel 4

Dear kids,

Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life by Stephen LaBerge PhD. is a lucid dreaming classic, and an enjoyable read, too. Get it, skim it, try it out.

Lucid dreaming isn’t a far-fetched, “woo-woo” goal. It’s for everybody. It’s also a philosophically interesting subject that makes for top-notch party conversation.

Notable Quotes:

Here are a few quotes I like:

  • “In my view, dreams are much more accurately described as experiences—that is, conscious events one has personally encountered. It may seem odd to speak of dreams as conscious experiences, but the essential criterion for consciousness is reportability, and the fact that we can sometimes remember our dreams shows them to be conscious rather than unconscious mental processes. We live through our dreams as much as our waking lives. In these terms, dreaming is a particular organization of consciousness.”
  • “Of course, that begs a question: what is consciousness? For me, it is the dream of what happens. Whether awake or asleep, your consciousness functions as a simplified model of yourself and your world constructed by your brain from the best available sources of information. during waking, the model is derived from external sensory input, which provides the most current information about present circumstances, in combination with internal contextual, historical, and motivational information. during sleep, little external input is available, and given a sufficiently functional brain, the model is constructed from internal biases.”

Links to More Info:

Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life on Amazon

Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening in Your Dreams and in Your Life on Goodreads

Stephen LaBerge PhD. on Wikipedia

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #67: "A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming"

new-thought-6

Dear kids,

Believe it or not, I used the techniques in A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics by Dylan Tuccillo, Jared Zeizel and Thomas Peisel to successfully have a lucid dream. Two, in fact. In the first, I knew I was dreaming but just kept on waitressing; as I remember thinking, “Well, I’d better get back to work; these people are waiting for me.” In the second, I decided to stop what I was doing and fly. I got about nine feet before I woke up. If I wanted to devote a bit more time to it, I’m confident it could be a regular occurrence.

The Main Idea:

Lucid dreaming is the ability to know you’re dreaming while you’re dreaming. This book teaches you how to reconnect with your dreams; how to have a lucid dream; and what to do once you’re lucid.

Links to More Info:

A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics on Amazon

A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics on Goodreads

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #66: "Fringeology" by Steve Volk

Dear kids,

There are a ton of books out there on the paranormal. But how many of them are written almost completely without bias by a seasoned journalist and top-notch science writer? Not many, I’d bet. Fringeology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable—And Couldn’t by Steve Volkis one of the few.

Volk is likable, smart, objective—and convinced paranormal stuff is real.

Near-death experiences, telepathy, meditation, lucid dreaming–in this book, Volk really takes some big swings.

My Book Notes:

Introduction

The introduction to Fringeology is the author’s soapbox speech on the believers-versus-skeptics debate. It’s a false dichotomy, he reasons; scientists can be just as dogmatic, judgmental and irrational in their skepticism as believers can be in their belief. It’s just part of human nature. The debate we should be having, then, shouldn’t be about whether or not paranormal stuff is real. The debate should be about what evidence is good enough to offer convincing support of the paranormal. He calls this “possibilianism,” and he’s convinced that if both sides got on board, there would be a lot stronger research and fairer critique—not to mention agreement—on the individual issues at hand. After all, once the threshold of “good enough” proof is met, the skeptics would have to back down a bit. And if it isn’t, the believers would have to at least qualify their statements of belief.

Chapter One: On near-death experiences

Evidence indicates that near-death experiences are real. Not only are there a large number of these stories, but they agree with each other in many key ways—and the skeptics don’t have any good explanations.

Chapter Two: On telepathy

“Telepathy—reading minds, ‘seeing’ what the human eye can’t see—is the paranormal field with possibly the best evidence. A small effect is proven when large enough samples are used. An example: Whenever researchers perform card reading tests, even on “normal” people, the subjects predict what’s on the cards with statistically significant greater-than-chance odds. Even though the effect is there, though, it is not very practical since it’s unreliable and small.

This chapter also discusses the heated, ongoing debates between the main faction of skeptics, CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal), and the Parapsychological Association (the CSICOP being by far more intellectually dishonest).

Chapter Three: On consciousness outside of the brain

This chapter discusses whether or not consciousness exists separately from the physical brain.
The evidence for this lies chiefly in quantum physics, which shows that the smallest units of matter we know of behave in ways that imply they have a mind of their own (such as quantum entanglement and changing direction and properties seemingly randomly).

The chapter tells the story of Dr. Stuart Hameroff, an anesthesiologist and scientist who wrote about what consciousness is.

Chapter Four: On UFOs

This chapter discusses the chances that there are aliens on our planet or in our galaxy. Though most stories have been disproven, one mystery remains: the large aircraft seen over Stevensville, Texas by many viewers in disparate locations. It is the most convincing sighting to date.

By the way, the author says, UFOs are definitely real, as UFO simply stands for “unidentified flying objects.” Also note that many people who see them say they didn’t want to, and are open to explanations other than aliens.

Chapter Five: On ghosts

The most personal chapter of the book, here Volk relates his own experience of living in an apparently haunted house, then discusses the debate over the reality of these phenomena, concluding that very little scientifically rigorous evidence exists.

Chapter Six: On the Overview Effect

A lesser-known phenomenon, the Overview Effect is the overwhelming feeling of unity or oneness with all that is (some may even use the term “enlightenment”) that often occurs to astronauts who view the earth from space, though they don’t always like to discuss it.

The chapter discusses astronaut Edgar Mitchell’s quest to solve the riddle of consciousness so that he could find the source of the unity he felt.

He is still looking.

Chapter Seven: On meditation and prayer

This chapter discusses the highly established, widely researched positive effects of meditation and meditative prayer on people’s brains and lives.
In it, Volk tells the story of Dr. Andrew Newberg, who leads this field of research today.

Chapter Eight: On lucid dreaming

This chapter discusses the experience many have of becoming aware they are dreaming while still dreaming, and the main lucid dream researcher, Dr. Stephen LaBerge. The author also tells his own lucid dream story.

Chapter Nine: On Induced After-Death Communication (IADC)

IADC is a little-known therapeutic technique for overcoming emotional trauma that involves vividly recalling painful memories, then moving the eyes from side to side.

Volk tells the story of Al Botkin, who discovered the therapy. The therapy is an extension of EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). Anecdotal evidence is extremely promising, though no large-scale studies have been done on this little-known treatment.

The author’s conclusion:

We all do best to stave off our very human, very natural craving for knowledge and certainty, replacing it with a healthy dose of intellectual curiosity about the world at large and its many amazing possibilities.

Links to More Info:

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #65: "The Child Whisperer" by Carol Tuttle

new thought child

Dear kids,

Parenting books are better than you think. But this one isn’t really about parenting. It’s about understanding your kids’ authentic selves–what makes them tick–and understanding your authentic self, too. Seriously, read it.

The Main Idea:

The book describes four main personality types: wind, water, fire and earth. Wind people are dreamers. Water people are calm and meticulous. Fire people are doers, and earth people are perfectionists. I’ve found this to be the most interesting and helpful personality breakdown I’ve ever come across.

Links to More Info:

The Child Whisperer: The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, and Cooperative Children on Amazon

The Child Whisperer: The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, and Cooperative Children on Goodreads

Official Website of Carol Tuttle

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #64: "Biocentrism" Robert Lanza and Bob Berman

new-thought-body-2

Dear kids,

Robert Lanza. Remember than name. Because well, he’s kind of a big deal. He’s a doctor, a physicist, and – well, an Einstein-like genius, in my humble opinion, though to me anyone who writes books on quantum physics is Einstein-like, so I may not be the best judge.

I know, kids, I know – there’s that subject again, quantum physics. You’ve heard it. You’ve read about it. You know. But there are books on quantum physics, and there are books on physics and quantum physics. Books that attempt to put it all in context.

Biocentrism is one of those books.

I’m going to give you a few of my notes on it so you have an idea of what you’re getting into. Basically, biocentrism is an alternate theory of everything – the only one I’ve ever bought. (Then again, there aren’t that many to choose from.) If you aren’t familiar with the theory of everythign idea, it’s exactly what it sounds like, with one twist: no cheating. No invoking God, no cirular logic. You have to account for “quantum weirdness,” of course, too.

In the following notes, I’ve taken some serious liberties. I’ve probably got a few details wrong. But anyone who’s reading – feel free to correct me. And if you happen to be Robert Lanza, well, I have a handwritten (!) letter for you with no address. I end this post with the question I asked you in it.

Detailed Notes:

Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe, Robert Lanza, M.D., with Bob Berman

  • “Our understanding of the universe as a whole has reached a dead end. The ‘meaning’ of quantum physics has been debated since it was first discovered in the 30’s, but we are no closer to understanding it now than we were then… This book proposes a new perspective: that our current theories of the physical world dont’ work, and can never be made to work, until they account for life and consciousness.” By “account for,” the author means “acknowledge teh primary importance of.” Basically, accorting to biocentrism, without life and consciousness, nothing truly exists in the way we think of existence. You might say that physics isn’t physical, really. It’s biological. (From the introduction.)
  • Chapter One: “Our current model simply does not allow for consciousness… Our present model of physics does not even recognize this as a problem…”
    At the quantum level, though, “particles seem to behave as if they respond to a conscious observer. Because that can’t be right, quanutm physicists have deemed quantum theory inexplicable or have come up with elaborate theories (such as infinite numbers of alternate universes) to try to explain it. The simplist explaination – that subatomic particles actually do interact with consciousness at some level – is too far outside the model to be seriously considered.”
  • Of course, much else in physics is lacking. No plausible Grand (Centified?) Theory about the nature, existence and origin of the universe (also called a Theory of Everything). Some physicists invoke the idea of light or more extra dimensions in order to explain quantum physics in materialistic terms, “none of which have the slightest basis in human experience…”
  • We understand the parts, but not the whole.
  • Chapter Two-Four: There is no “out there” out there. Humans are dualistic (“us” and “them”) thinkers. We have to be, because that’s how we perceive things – as out there, removed from ourselves. But scientifically speaking, nothing we perceive is separate from ourselves and our consciousness.
  • Take the proverbial tree falling in the woods. If no one was there to hear it, it would create “sound” waves, but no actual noice, since noise is something that occurs only in a brain that is interacting with an ear. And some with sight, smell, taste – nothing is seen if not for an eye – there is only UV light rays, no color, no shape, no pattern. And touch – same thing. There is no “hard” and “soft.” There are just charged particles that react in a particular way with the charged particles of your hand.
  • So, stuff may exist in a certain way, but in no way we would recognize.
    Electromagnetism has no visual properties.
  • Chapter Five: “Some may imagine that there are two worlds, one ‘out there’ and a separate one being cognized inside the skull. But the ‘two worlds’ model is a myth…” [my question: why can’t there be two?]
    “The ‘outside world’ is, therefore, located within the brain or mind.
  • Chapter Seven: space and time aren’t real. They are tools. Totally theoretical.
  • Chapter Eight: This chapter describes several different types of experiments involving photons passing through slits, all of which prove that photons (light particles) respond to the observer. “…The mere act of measurment, of learning the path of each photon, destroyed the photon’s freedom to remain blurry and undefined and take both paths until it reached the barriers.”
  • “Without consciousness, ‘matter’ dwells in an undeterminded state of probablility. Any universe that could have preceded consciousness only existed in a probability state.”
  • Chapter Nine discusses the over 300 finely tuned elements and variables in the universe, each of which can be alterned almost not at all without removing the conditions necessary for life. The author concludes that it makes mroe sense that consciousness was first, not the physical matter.
  • “By reminding us of its great successes at figuring out interim processes and the mechanics of things, and fashioning marvelous new devices out of raw materials, science gets away with patently ridiculous ‘explanations’ for the nature of the cosmos as a whole. If only it hadn’t given us HDTV and the George Foreman grill, it wouldn’t have held our attention and respect long enough to pull the old three-card Monte when it comes to these largest issues.”
  • “…Life creates the universe, not the other way around. The universe is simply the complete spatio-temporal logic of the self.*
  • Chapter Ten discusses the impossiblity of time, and chapter 11, the impossiblity of space. Lots of Stephen Hawkins-like mind benders in here, such as “If one could travel at lightspeed, we would find oneself everywhere in the universe at once.” And, if we traveled at 99.9 percent of lightspeed across a 21 foot living room, the living room would shrink – actually shrink – and become “just a hundredth of an inch across – barely larger than the period at the end of this sentence.”
  • Chapter Sixteen provides a simple reviewsheet of the principles of biocentrism.
  • The final chapter of the book discuss matters of religion, death, eternity, more philosophy.

My Additional Thoughts:

Your dad doesn’t buy biocentrism. He thinks that yes, our experiences are mostly our perceptions, not “real stuff,” and that as we animals evolved through natrual selection the ability to perceive certain electromagnetic and other physical “stuff” the same way, in order to communicate about that stuff.* In other words, we may disagree about what to call a circle or what the circle is for, but we all perceive the circle as round, the ball as bouncy, the wall as flat and hard. However, as we have proven through various color perception tests, there is great variance even within these basic idea-forms/mind forms. But we can’t communicate then, because we use the same words to describe them.

My question for Lanza: If my food truly doesn’t exist except in my mind, why do I die when I don’t eat it?

Another question for Lanza: What’s the problem with the two worlds theory? Why can’t there be the worlds within our minds as well as the world of blurry, undefined particles? Is it because if we never observe it, it never chooses a form and materializes? But does that mean it’s not there at all? Can’t there be something other than consciousness – musn’t there be, in order for consciousness to have materials to create with? Or is the “material” consciousness, too – and as spiritual people say, “we are all one.” Even the cars, trucks and sidewalk? Kids, let’s talk about this stuff sometime. I can’t wait to hear your questions and opinions.

Links to More Info:

Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe on Amazon

Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe on Goodreads

Robert Lanza on Wikipedia

Bob Berman on Wikipedia

Official Website of Robert Lanza

Much love,

Mom.

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #63: "How God Changes Your Brain" by Andrew Newberg

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Dear kids,

A top neuroscientist, and one of the only neuroscientists studying the connections between spirituality and our brains, Andrew Newberg is the one to read on this topic. He has conducted many studies showing the effects of religious experiences on our brains. He also considers the evolutionary history of the parts of the brain that are affected by prayer, meditation and the like.

Links to More Info:

How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist on Amazon

How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist on Goodreads

Andrew B. Newberg’s Official Website

Andrew B. Newberg on Wikipedia

Andrew B. Newberg at the Internet Movie Database

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #62: "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander

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Dear kids,

If you don’t love a memoir about a near-death experience, check your pulse; you’re probably already dead.

The Main Idea:

As advertised, this book is the story of a neurosurgeon’s near-death (death?) adventure. He also describes why he believes his experience really happened, and goes into some depth on the nature of consciousness.

Highlights:

  • “In the 1920s, the physicist Werner Heisenberg (and other founders of the science of quantum mechanics) made a discovery so strange that the world has yet to completely come to terms with it. When observing subatomic phenomena, it is impossible to completely separate the observer (that is, the scientist making the experiment) from what is being observed. In our day-to-day world, it is easy to miss this fact. We see the universe as a place full of separate objects (tables and chairs, people and planets) that occasionally interact with each other, but that nonetheless remain essentially separate. On the subatomic level, however, this universe of separate objects turns out to be a complete illusion. In the realm of the super-super-small, every object in the physical universe is intimately connected with every other object. In fact, there are really no “objects” in the world at all, only vibrations of energy, and relationships.”
  • “What that meant should have been obvious, though it wasn’t to many. It was impossible to pursue the core reality of the universe without using consciousness. Far from being an unimportant by-product of physical processes (as I had thought before my experience), consciousness is not only very real—it’s actually more real than the rest of physical existence, and most likely the basis of it all.”
  • “All the objects in the physical universe are made up of atoms. Atoms, in turn, are made up of protons, electrons, and neutrons. These, in turn, are (as physicists also discovered in the early years of the twentieth century) all particles. And particles are made up of . . . Well, quite frankly, physicists don’t really know. But one thing we do know about particles is that each one is connected to every other one in the universe. They are all, at the deepest level, interconnected. There is nothing about the physics of the material world (quarks, electrons, photons, atoms, etc.), and specifically the intricate structure of the brain, that gives the slightest clue as to the mechanism of consciousness.”
  • Communicating with God is the most extraordinary experience imaginable, yet at the same time it’s the most natural one of all, because God is present in us at all times. Omniscient, omnipotent, personal—and loving us without conditions. We are connected as One through our divine link with God.”

Links to More Info:

Proof of Heaven on Amazon

Proof of Heaven on Goodreads

Official Website of Eben Alexander

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #61: "Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms" by David Kessler

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Dear kids,

Stories of deathbed visions and visitations can be pretty inspiring, and Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms has no shortage of them. Then again, there are other great choices on my list that are similar. I suppose the uniqueness of this book is that there are no death or near-death experiences described–just the (much more common, and therefore arguably much more important) interactions with the other side that occur in the last days before death. Before reading this book I didn’t realize how common these experiences are, so it was quite educational for me. Chances are, I’ll find occasion to draw on the information someday.

Selected Quotes:

  • Although I lost my mother too soon, my father remained an incredible optimist his whole life, even when he was dying. I was busy trying to make sure he was comfortable and pain free, and at first didn’t notice that he had become very sad. He told me how much he was going to miss me once he was gone. And then he mentioned how much he was saying good-bye to: his loved ones, his favorite foods, the sky, the outdoors, and a million other things of this world.
  • But then one morning he told me that my mother, his wife, had come to him the night before. “I was looking at all I was losing, and I’d forgotten that I was going to be with her again. I’m going to see her soon,” he said. He looked at me as if he realized I would still remain here. Then he added, “We’ll be there waiting for you.” Over the next two days, his demeanor changed dramatically. He had gone from a hopeless dying man with only death in front of him to a hopeful man who was going to be reunited with the love of his life. My father lived with hope . . . and also died with it.
  • I used to believe that the only thing we needed to alleviate was the suffering of the dying by providing good pain management and symptom control. I know now that we have more than opiates for pain, and we have more than anti-anxiety medication to combat fear and distress. We have the “who” and “what” we see before we die, which is perhaps the greatest comfort to the dying.
  • Throughout my years of working with the dying, their visions of visits from loved ones who have already died are only the first of three commonly shared experiences that remain beyond our ability to explain and fully understand. The second type is getting ready for a trip. The notion of the dying preparing for a journey isn’t new or unusual. Although, interestingly enough, it’s always referring to an earthly journey. People talk about packing their bags or looking for their tickets—they don’t mention chariots descending from heaven or traveling to eternity in some other manner. The archetype is about life and transitions, not endings. The saying “It’s not about the destination, but the journey” has never rung more true than here. The third type is known as “crowded rooms.” The dying often talk about their room being filled with other people. The word I hear over and over again is crowded. It’s not unusual for the dying to recognize some but not all of these visitors. We will look into who these people are and the connections they have during both life and death. By doing so, the very idea that we die alone may be challenged. What if the journey at the end of life is not a lonely path into eternity, but rather, an incredible reunion with those we have loved and lost? Beyond that, what if the dying hold a connection to those who have been long forgotten? What could that offer to the living?
  • It’s not unusual for the dying to have visions of someone who has already passed on, yet it’s interesting to note that such a comforting phenomenon doesn’t seem to appear in other frightening situations . . . where death is not likely. For example, there are no documented cases of people being visited by deceased family members when they’re stuck in an elevator. And loved ones long gone don’t seem to show up to help when a person is lost on a hike. Yes, there are stories of visions and angels comforting and guiding individuals in extreme situations, but only when death is imminent.
  • I spend much of my days in at least three hospitals and a hospice, and you just don’t hear these stories from patients who are ill but not dying. With very few exceptions, these visions only occur when someone is clearly close to death.
  • Deathbed visions are also known by other names, including near-death awareness, deathbed phenomena, and death-related sensory experiences. They are different from near-death experiences, in which a person survives clinical death. While deathbed visions often involve a deceased messenger who appears days or moments before death, near-death experiences are out-of-body “journeys” by individuals who recall seeing light, a tunnel, and/or have an opportunity to review their lives. People usually pass on shortly after deathbed visions, whereas those who have near-death experiences survive and recount what they saw. This book focuses on the deathbed visions, trips, and crowded-rooms phenomena that the dying experience in their last days and hours on Earth.

Links to More Info:

Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die on Amazon

Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die on Goodreads

David Kessler on Wikipedia

Official Website of David Kessler

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #60: "Stillness Speaks" by Eckhart Tolle

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Dear kids,

Like all of Tolle’s writings, this book reads like a collection of short meditations. Not those corny ones, though. Real ones, that feel real and really get into you.

The Essential Message:

Be still, says Tolle. Be the Buddha. Practice doing so till it gets wired into your brain.

Highlights:

On ego:

  • The egoic self is always engaged in seeking. It is seeking more of this or that to add to itself, to make itself feel more complete. This explains the ego’s compulsive preoccupation with future.
  • What are the stories, the fictions from which you derive your sense of self?
  • Set goals, but know that the arriving is not all that important. When anything arises out of presence, it means this moment is not a means to an end: the doing is fulfilling in itself every moment. You are no longer reducing the Now to a means to an end, which is the egoic consciousness.
  • “No self. No problem,” said the Buddhist Master when asked to explain the deeper meaning of Buddhism.

On stillness:

  • Stillness is your essential nature.
  • The equivalent of external noise is the inner noise of thinking. The equivalent of external silence is inner stillness. Whenever there is some silence around you — listen to it. That means just notice it.
  • When you look at a tree and perceive its stillness, you become still yourself.
  • Even when there is noise, you can be aware of the stillness underneath the noise, of the space in which the noise arises. That is the inner space of pure awareness, consciousness itself.
  • Whenever you deeply accept this moment as it is — no matter what form it takes — you are still, you are at peace.
  • True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.
  • Being still, looking, and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions.
  • The stream of thinking has enormous momentum that can easily drag you along with it. Every thought pretends that it matters.
  • Here is a new spiritual practice for you: don’t take your thoughts too seriously.
  • Whenever you are immersed in compulsive thinking, you are avoiding what is. You don’t want to be where you are. Here, Now.
  • What is this basic delusion? Identification with thought.
  • Spiritual awakening is awakening from the dream of thought.

On present moment awareness:

  • To have your attention in the Now is not a denial of what is needed in your life. It is recognizing what is primary. Then you can deal with what is secondary with great ease. It is not saying, “I’m not dealing with things anymore because there is only the Now.” No. Find what is primary first, and make the Now into your friend, not your enemy. Acknowledge it, honor it. When the Now is the foundation and primary focus of your life, then your life unfolds with ease.
  • I am not my thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, and experiences. I am not the content of my life. I am Life. I am the space in which all things happen. I am consciousness. I am the Now. I Am.
  • Most people’s lives are run by desire and fear. Desire is the need to add something to yourself in order to be yourself more fully. All fear is the fear of losing something and thereby becoming diminished and being less.
  • Do you really need to mentally label every sense perception and experience? Do you really need to have a reactive like/dislike relationship with life where you are in almost continuous conflict with situations and people? Or is that just a deep-seated mental habit that can be broken? Not by doing anything, but by allowing this moment to be as it is.
  • Can you detect even the slightest element within yourself of not wanting to be doing what you are doing? That is a denial of life, and so a truly successful outcome is not possible.
  • When you say “yes” to the “isness” of life, when you accept this moment as it is, you can feel a sense of spaciousness within you that is deeply peaceful. On the surface, you may still be happy when it’s sunny and not so happy when it’s rainy; you may be happy at winning a million dollars and unhappy at losing all your possessions. Neither happiness nor unhappiness, however, go all that deep anymore. They are ripples on the surface of your Being. The background peace within you remains undisturbed regardless of the nature of the outside condition.
  • Am I saying, “Enjoy this moment. Be happy”? No. Allow the “suchness” of this moment. That’s enough.

On suffering and surrender:

  • Is suffering really necessary? Yes and no. If you had not suffered as you have, there would be no depth to you as a human being, no humility, no compassion. You would not be reading this now. Suffering cracks open the shell of ego, and then comes a point when it has served its purpose. Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary.
  • There are many subtle and not so subtle forms of suffering that are so “normal” they are usually not recognized as suffering and may even feel satisfying to the ego — irritation, impatience, anger, having an issue with something or someone, resentment, complaining.
  • Accept that I’m agitated and angry? Accept that I cannot accept? Yes. Bring acceptance into your nonacceptance. Bring surrender into your nonsurrender. Then see what happens.

  • Chronic physical pain is one of the harshest teachers you can have. “Resistance is futile” is its teaching. Nothing could be more normal than an unwillingness to suffer. Yet if you can let go of that unwillingness, and instead allow the pain to be there, you may notice a subtle inner separation from the pain, a space between you and the pain, as it were. This means to suffer consciously, willingly. When you suffer consciously, physical pain can quickly burn up the ego in you, since ego consists largely of resistance. The same is true of extreme physical disability. You “offer up your suffering to God” is another way of saying this.

  • You don’t need to be a Christian to understand the deep universal truth that is contained in symbolic form in the image of the cross. The cross is a torture instrument. It stands for the most extreme suffering, limitation, and helplessness a human being can encounter. Then suddenly that human being surrenders, suffers willingly, consciously, expressed through the words, “Not my will but Thy will be done.” At that moment, the cross, the torture instrument, shows its hidden face: it is also a sacred symbol, a symbol for the divine. That which seemed to deny the existence of any transcendental dimension to life, through surrender becomes an opening into that dimension.

  • Sometimes surrender means giving up trying to understand and becoming comfortable with not knowing.

  • Leave Life alone. Let it be.

And a few more quotes:

  • What can you learn from this? Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal.
  • Feel the energy of your inner body. Immediately mental noise slows down or ceases. Feel it in your hands, your feet, your abdomen, your chest. Feel the life that you are, the life that animates the body.
  • Whenever you meet anyone, no matter how briefly, do you acknowledge their being by giving them your full attention? Or are you reducing them to a means to an end, a mere function or role? What is the quality of your relationship with the cashier at the supermarket, the parking attendant, the repairman, the “customer”? A moment of attention is enough. As you look at them or listen to them, there is an alert stillness — perhaps only two or three seconds, perhaps longer. That is enough for something more real to emerge than the roles we usually play and identify with.

Links to More Info:

Stillness Speaks on Amazon

Stillness Speaks on Goodreads

Eckhart Tolle on Wikipedia

Official Website of Eckhart Tolle

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #59: "Practicing the Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle

Dear kids,

I guess I wasn’t the only one who, after reading The Power of Now, said, “More, please!”

The Essential Message:

This book doesn’t use the word meditation. However, that is what it’s about. It’s about rising above the mind, separating onesself from the mind, and not just while sitting in the lotus position, but all the time.

Favorite Quotes:

On pain:

  • FOCUS ATTENTION ON THE FEELING INSIDE YOU. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don’t think about it — don’t let the feeling turn into thinking. Don’t judge or analyze. Don’t make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present . . .
  • The pain-body is an energy field, almost like an entity, that has become temporarily lodged in your inner space. It is life energy that has become trapped, energy that is no longer flowing.
  • WHEN YOU KNOW YOU ARE NOT AT PEACE, your knowing creates a still space that surrounds your nonpeace in a loving and tender embrace and then transmutes your nonpeace into peace.
  • If you no longer want to create pain for yourself and others, if you no longer want to add to the residue of past pain that still lives on in you, then don’t create any more time, or at least no more than is necessary to deal with the practical aspects of your life. How to stop creating time? REALIZE DEEPLY THAT THE PRESENT MOMENT is all there is.

On mind:

  • The single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: Learn to disidentify from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger. One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head, as you would smile at the antics of a child.
  • Enlightenment means rising above thought. In the enlightened state, you still use your thinking mind when needed, but in a much more focused and effective way than before. You use it mostly for practical purposes, but you are free of the involuntary internal dialogue, and there is inner stillness.
  • When you do use your mind, and particularly when a creative solution is needed, you oscillate every few minutes or so between thought and stillness, between mind and no-mind. No-mind is consciousness without thought.

On being present in the Now:

  • Whereas before you dwelt in time and paid brief visits to the Now, have your dwelling place in the Now and pay brief visits to past and future when required to deal with the practical aspects of your life situation.
  • The essence of what I am saying here cannot be understood by the mind. The moment you grasp it, there is a shift in consciousness from mind to Being, from time to presence. Suddenly, everything feels alive, radiates energy, emanates Being.
  • BREAK THE OLD PATTERN of present-moment denial and present-moment resistance. Make it your practice to withdraw attention from past and future whenever they are not needed. Step out of the time dimension as much as possible in everyday life.
  • The enlightened person’s main focus of attention is always the Now, but they are still peripherally aware of time. In other words, they continue to use clock time but are free of psychological time.
  • Learn to use time in the practical aspects of your life — we may call this “clock time” — but immediately return to present-moment awareness when those practical matters have been dealt with. In this way, there will be no buildup of “psychological time,” which is identification with the past . . . 
  • It is impossible to have a problem when your attention is fully in the Now. A situation needs to be either dealt with or accepted. Why make it into a problem?
  • “Problem” means that you are dwelling on a situation mentally without there being a true intention or possibility of taking action now and that you are unconsciously making it part of your sense of self.
  • ASK YOURSELF: Is there joy, ease, and lightness in what I am doing? If there isn’t, then time is covering up the present moment, and life is perceived as a burden or a struggle. If there is no joy, ease, or lightness in what you are doing, it does not necessarily mean that you need to change what you are doing. It may be sufficient to change the how. “How” is always more important than “what.” See if you can give much more attention to the doing than to the result that you want to achieve through it. Give your fullest attention to whatever the moment presents. This implies that you also completely accept what is . . .
  • GIVE UP WAITING AS A STATE OF MIND. When you catch yourself slipping into waiting . . . snap out of it.
  • So next time somebody says, “Sorry to have kept you waiting,” you can reply, “That’s all right, I wasn’t waiting. I was just standing here enjoying myself — in joy in my self.”
  • Attention is essential, but not to the past as past. Give attention to the present; give attention to your behavior, to your reactions, moods, thoughts, emotions, fears, and desires as they occur in the present. There’s the past in you. If you can be present enough to watch all those things, not critically or analytically but nonjudgmentally, then you are dealing with the past and dissolving it through the power of your presence.
  • Now let your spiritual practice be this: AS YOU GO ABOUT YOUR LIFE, don’t give 100 percent of your attention to the external world and to your mind. Keep some within.
  • It is quite possible to be conscious of the Unmanifested throughout your life. You feel it as a deep sense of peace somewhere in the background, a stillness that never leaves you, no matter what happens out here. You become a bridge between the Unmanifested and the manifested, between God and the world. This is the state of connectedness with the Source that we call enlightenment.
  • WHEN YOU ARE UNOCCUPIED FOR A FEW MINUTES, and especially last thing at night before falling asleep and first thing in the morning before getting up, “flood” your body with consciousness.

On relationships:

  • At times, it may be appropriate to point out certain aspects of your partner’s behavior. If you are very alert, very present, you can do so without ego involvement — without blaming, accusing, or making the other wrong.
  • When you have removed the two factors that are destructive of relationships — when the pain-body has been transmuted and you are no longer identified with mind and mental positions — and if your partner has done the same, you will experience the bliss of the flowering of relationship.
  • If your partner is still identified with the mind and the pain-body while you are already free, this will represent a major challenge — not to you but to your partner. It is not easy to live with an enlightened person, or rather it is so easy that the ego finds it extremely threatening.
  • WHEN YOU SAY “NO” to a person or a situation, let it come not from reaction but from insight, from a clear realization of what is right or not right for you at that moment. Let it be a nonreactive “no,” a high-quality “no,” a “no” that is free of all negativity and so creates no further suffering.
  • But if you are fortunate enough to find someone who is intensely conscious, if you can be with them and join them in the state of presence, that can be helpful and will accelerate things. In this way, your own light will quickly grow stronger.
  • Once you have disidentified from your mind, whether you are right or wrong makes no difference to your sense of self at all, so the forcefully compulsive and deeply unconscious need to be right, which is a form of violence, will no longer be there. You can state clearly and firmly how you feel or what you think, but there will be no aggressiveness or defensiveness about it.
  • WATCH OUT FOR ANY KIND OF DEFENSIVENESS within yourself. What are you defending? An illusory identity, an image in your mind . . . 

On acceptance of the Now:

  • You can still be active and enjoy manifesting and creating new forms and circumstances, but you won’t be identified with them. You do not need them to give you a sense of self. They are not your life — only your life situation. 
  • DON’T LOOK FOR PEACE. Don’t look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance.
  • When you accept what is, every moment is the best moment. That is enlightenment.
  • In fact, it is not the overall situation that you need to accept when you surrender, but just the tiny segment called the Now. For example, if you were stuck in the mud somewhere, you wouldn’t say: “Okay, I resign myself to being stuck in the mud.” Resignation is not surrender. YOU DON’T NEED TO ACCEPT AN UNDESIRABLE OR UNPLEASANT LIFE SITUATION. Nor do you need to deceive yourself and say that there is nothing wrong with it. No. You recognize fully that you want to get out of it. You then narrow your attention down to the present moment without mentally labeling it in any way. This means that there is no judgment of the Now. Therefore, there is no resistance, no emotional negativity. You accept the “isness” of this moment. Then you take action and do all that you can to get out of the situation. Such action I call positive action. It is far more effective than negative action, which arises out of anger, despair, or frustration. Until you achieve the desired result, you continue to practice surrender by refraining from labeling the Now . . .
  • Not only your psychological form but also your physical form — your body — becomes hard and rigid through resistance. Tension arises in different parts of the body, and the body as a whole contracts. The free flow of life energy through the body, which is essential for its healthy functioning, is greatly restricted. Bodywork and certain forms of physical therapy can be helpful in restoring this flow, but unless you practice surrender in your everyday life, those things can only give temporary symptom relief . . .
  • Until you practice surrender, the spiritual dimension is something you read about, talk about, get excited about, write books about, think about, believe in — or don’t, as the case may be. It makes no difference. NOT UNTIL YOU SURRENDER does the spiritual dimension become a living reality in your life.

Links to More Info:

Practicing the Power of Now on Amazon

Practicing the Power of Now on Goodreads

Eckhart Tolle on Wikipedia

Official Website of Eckhart Tolle

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #58: "Conversations with God, Parts One, Two and Three" by Neale Donald Walsch

Dear kids,

Do I dare attempt to summarize the appeal of this book in a single paragraph? I suppose I do. This book bridges the gap between Christianity and New Thought spirituality. Then it burns that bridge.

The Conversations with God series is of the most fascinating conversations you’ll ever listen in on. In the words of one Amazon reviewer: “It was a privilege to read this exchange.”

The trilogy ends every bit as strongly as it began. Newcomers to alternative spirituality are in good hands here.

The Essential Message:

God speaks to us. We just need to listen. And one day, that is just what Neale Donald Walsch did. The resulting conversation was this book and the others in this series. They speak of grace, love, compassion, truth and other spiritual principles, like the law of attraction.

Favorite Quotes:

  • Think only good things, and righteous. Dwell not in negativity and darkness. See only perfection, express only gratefulness, and then imagine only what manifestation of perfection you choose next.
  • Mine is always your Highest Thought, your Clearest Word, your Grandest Feeling. Anything less is from another source.
  • The Highest Thought is always that thought which contains joy. The Clearest Words are those words which contain truth. The Grandest Feeling is that feeling which you call love.
  • Listen to your feelings. Listen to your Highest Thoughts. Listen to your experience. Whenever any one of these differ from what you’ve been told by your teachers, or read in your books, forget the words. Words are the least reliable purveyor of Truth.
  • In what form or shape would you have Me appear? In the form or shape that you actually have. That would be impossible, for I have no form or shape you understand. I could adopt a form or shape that you could understand, but then everyone would assume that what they have seen is the one and only form and shape of God, rather than a form or shape of God—one of many.
  • You will not have that for which you ask, nor can you have anything you want. This is because your very request is a statement of lack, and your saying you want a thing only works to produce that precise experience—wanting—in your reality. The correct prayer is therefore never a prayer of supplication, but a prayer of gratitude.
  • When you thank God in advance for that which you choose to experience in your reality, you, in effect, acknowledge that it is there…in effect. Thankfulness is thus the most powerful statement to God; an affirmation that even before you ask, I have answered. Therefore never supplicate. Appreciate.
  • Every human thought, and every human action, is based in either love or fear. There is no other human motivation…
  • To do this you must turn aside the teachings of your well-meaning, but misinformed, worldly tutors, and hear the teachings of those whose wisdom comes from another source. There are many such teachers among you, as always there have been, for I will not leave you without those who would show you, teach you, guide you, and remind you of these truths. Yet the greatest reminder is not anyone outside you, but the voice within you.
  • The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore, not to find out Who You Are, seek to determine Who You Want to Be.
  • This energy—this pure, unseen, unheard, unobserved, and therefore unknown-by-anyone-else energy—chose to experience Itself as the utter magnificence It was. In order to do this, It realized It would have to use a reference point within. It reasoned, quite correctly, that any portion of Itself would necessarily have to be less than the whole, and that if It thus simply divided Itself into portions, each portion, being less than the whole, could look back on the rest of Itself and see magnificence. And so All That Is divided Itself—becoming, in one glorious moment, that which is this, and that which is that. For the first time, this and that existed, quite apart from each other. And still, both existed simultaneously. As did all that was neither.
  • There is only one reason to do anything: as a statement to the universe of Who You Are.
  • If you wish to be accurately re-presented, you must work to change anything in your life which does not fit into the picture of you that you wish to project into eternity.
  • Thus, you create collectively, and individually, the life and times you are experiencing, for the soul purpose of evolving.
  • You’ve asked if there is a less painful way to undergo this process—and the answer is yes—yet nothing in your outward experience will have changed. The way to reduce the pain which you associate with earthly experiences and events—both yours and those of others—is to change the way you behold them. You cannot change the outer event (for that has been created by the lot of you, and you are not grown enough in your consciousness to alter individually that which has been created collectively)…
  • Nothing is painful in and of itself. Pain is a result of wrong thought. It is an error in thinking. A Master can disappear the most grievous pain. In this way, the Master heals. Pain results from a judgment you have made about a thing. Remove the judgment and the pain disappears.
  • Yet, bless all—for all is the creation of God, through life living, and that is the highest creation.
  • All physical life functions in accordance with natural laws. Once you remember these laws, and apply them, you have mastered life at the physical level. What seems like punishment to you—or what you would call evil, or bad luck—is nothing more than a natural law asserting itself. Then if I were to know these laws, and obey them, I would never have a moment’s trouble again. Is that what you’re telling me? You would never experience your Self as being in what you call “trouble.” You would not understand any life situation to be a problem. You would not encounter any circumstance with trepidation.
  • Begin by being still. Quiet the outer world, so that the inner world might bring you sight. This in-sight is what you seek, yet you cannot have it while you are so deeply concerned with your outer reality. Seek, therefore, to go within as much as possible. And when you are not going within, come from within as you deal with the outside world.
  • For thousands of years people have disbelieved the promises of God for the most extraordinary reason: they were too good to be true. So you have chosen a lesser promise—a lesser love.
  • But even Jesus healed the sick. Why would he heal them if their condition was so “perfect”? Jesus did not heal those he healed because he saw their condition as imperfect. He healed those he healed because he saw those souls asking for healing as part of their process.
  • It is not appropriate to interfere with choice, nor to question it. It is particularly inappropriate to condemn it.
  • What is appropriate is to observe it, and then to do whatever might be done to assist the soul in seeking and making a higher choice. Be watchful, therefore, of the choices of others, but not judgmental. Know that their choice is perfect for them in this moment now—yet stand ready to assist them should the moment come when they seek a newer choice, a different choice—a higher choice.
  • Allow each soul to walk its path.
  • The First Law is that you can be, do, and have whatever you can imagine. The Second Law is that you attract what you fear.
  • Thought is pure energy. Every thought you have, have ever had, and ever will have is creative. The energy of your thought never ever dies. Ever. It leaves your being and heads out into the universe, extending forever. A thought is forever. All thoughts congeal; all thoughts meet other thoughts, crisscrossing in an incredible maze of energy, forming an ever-changing pattern of unspeakable beauty and unbelievable complexity.
  • Masters are those who have chosen only love. In every instance. In every moment. In every circumstance. Even as they were being killed, they loved their murderers. Even as they were being persecuted, they loved their oppressors.
  • Is it your thought that I despise some of these, while I love the others? I tell you, I despise nothing. None of it is repulsive to Me. It is life, and life is the gift; the unspeakable treasure; the holy of holies.
  • Yet what kind of choice is free when to choose one thing over the other brings condemnation? How is “free will” free when it is not your will, but someone else’s, which must be done?

Links to More Info:

Conversations with God, Part One on Amazon

Conversations with God, Part One on Goodreads

Neale Donald Walsch on Wikipedia

Official Website of Neale Donald Walsch

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #57: "The Shack" by William Young

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Dear kids,

If you haven’t yet read The Shack, you’re not in good company. Okay, maybe your company is fine, but it’s not very sizeable. The Shack is a well-loved book, on the way to becoming a spiritual classic, for good reason: it’s beautiful. It’s beloved by Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, New Agers and many people in-between and outside of these categories. Its central message: Drop your damned judgment. God is bigger (and cooler) than you think. He may even enjoy heavy metal music.

Links to More Info:

The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity on Amazon

The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity on Goodreads

Official website of William P. Young

William P. Young on Wikipedia

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #56: "Power Versus Force" by David R. Hawkins

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Dear kids,

I love intuition. I really, really do. I use it as much as I can. Whenever there’s a question–particularly a do-this-or-do-that question–I don’t know how to answer, I stop and “listen” for divine guidance. Sometimes it doesn’t work–I don’t get (or hear) an answer. Most of the time, though, I do.

Well, guess what? There’s a tool that can help you tap into your inner guidance when you aren’t able to access it on your own. It’s called kinesiology, or muscle testing, and a good friend of mine practices it every day. She swears that it’s easy, but I’m not convinced.

In any case. Those who love kinesiology can thank David Hawkins, whose many books on the subject, including Power Versus Force, popularized this technique.

My Book Summary:

Power Versus Force is one of Hawkins’ intellectual treatises on the subject he’s most known for: kinesiology.

Kinesiology is a simple method for accessing the mind of the Divine about any given issue. The practitioner tests the strength of his or her muscles while focusing on a question. A weak response is a “no” and a strong response is a “yes.”

Hawkins describes one of the specific muscle testing methods in detail. “Two persons are required. One acts as a testing subject by holding out one arm laterally, parallel to the ground. The second person then presses down with two fingers on the wrist of the extended arm and says, ‘Resist.’ The subject then resists the downward pressure with all his strength.” Then a statement is made. If the statement is untrue, the person will go weak. If it is true, he will be able to resist, stay strong.

Hawkins also discusses his personal experience of enlightenment. In adulthood, he contracted a fatal disease. By age 38, he was about to die. Though previously he didn’t care about religion, in his final moments he prayed and asked for help. He then went unconscious, and when he later awoke, he was totally transformed. “The person I had been no longer existed. There was no personal self or ego felt—just an infinite presence of such unlimited power that it was all that was . . . The body and its actions were controlled solely by the presence of infinite will. The world was illuminated by the clarity of an infinite oneness, which expressed itself as all things revealed in their immeasurable beauty and perfection.”

“For nine months, this stillness persisted. I had no will of my own; unbidden, the physical entity went about its business under the direction of the . . . presence. In that state, there was no need to think about anything.”

At first, Hawkins’ nervous system was overtaxed by the additional energy in his body. This “improved slowly, and then another phenomenon began—a sweet, delicious band of energy started to flow continuously up the spine and into the brain, where it created an intense sensation of continuous pleasure. Everything in life happened by synchronicity, evolving in perfect harmony, and the miraculous was commonplace.”

His therapy practiced exploded as he began healing everyone who came to see him of both physical and mental ailments.

He became frustrated by the sheer number of people coming to him and starting wondering if there was a way to help people help themselves. Then he discovered kinesiology.

“It was the ‘wormhole’ between two universes—the physical, and the mind and spirit . . .” Hopeful that he could help more people by teaching this method than through his one-on-one therapy practice, he quit his job and began writing books.

Most of rest of book discusses in scholarly language how to use kinesiology to determine the precise amount of consciousness of the Divine any particular person, object, event, sentence, etc., contains.

Other Notable Quotes:

  • “The individual human mind is like a computer terminal connected to a giant database. The database is consciousness itself . . .” The information in this database can be accessed by kinesiology.
  • “I saw that all pain and suffering arises solely from the ego and not from God.”

Links to More Info:

Power Versus Force on Amazon

David R. Hawkins on Wikipedia

David R. Hawkins’ Official Website

David Hawkins’ Biography on HayHouse.com

Love,

Mom

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday #55: "The Magical Approach" by Jane Roberts and Seth

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Dear kids,

Seth isn’t the coolest or the funniest spirit entity out there, but he’s definitely smart. My recommendation: focus on the more practical advice and go easy on the heavier stuff.

Links to More Info:

The Magical Approach: Seth Speaks About the Art of Creative Living on Amazon

The Magical Approach: Seth Speaks About the Art of Creative Living on Goodreads

Jane Roberts on Wikipedia

Official Website of Jane Roberts and Seth

Guide to the Yale University Library Archival Collection of Jane Roberts’ Papers, Manuscripts and Archives, including both published and unpublished materials

Seth Network International

Seth Center Index to the Early Sessions

Seth Learning Center: An overview of titles and related audio clips as well as the New Awareness Network

Nirvikalpa Archive: Over 1500 quotations and excerpts from the Seth Material

“The Problem of Seth’s Origin: A Case Study of the Trance-Possession Mediumship of Jane Roberts” by Paul Cunningham

Seth Talk by Lynda Madden Dahl

List of the Seth Sessions by Mary Dillman

Index of the Eleven Seth Books by Sue R. Williams

Love,

Mom