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Grandpa's Notebooks: The Evolution of an Amish Soul

12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1598003741
ISBN-10: 1598003747
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A fine collection of poems and essays and letters. It also includes a few of the author's customer's book reviews. It is obvious these are the writings of a thoughtful and sincere man who for a long time was down but was never out. Very inspiring!

From the Author

I looked for God in religion and found Him instead within my own heart. I looked for God in churches but found Him instead in the laughter of children, in summer breezes, and in the sound of water trickling over rocks. Now finally I see that always and in everything a Higher Power led, blessed, pointed, pushed and pulled, protected, whispered to me. I see now that all has happened as it needed to and it will always be so.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (January 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598003747
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598003741
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,427,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

[P.S. 2015] My books were written more or less as therapy [and spiritual seeking] during times of normal life-stress processing. I really can no longer recommend them as something a person should buy or read as there are so many better books readily available. Many are free online.
Life is the Great Adventure. You are the Hero of the story. Only your own path--and no one else's--is the right way to go. How to find and see and know your own best proper path? If I were to suggest a way forward, [for whatever it may or may not be worth] I would recommend the following books as potentially helpful:
'Awakening to the Dream' by Leo Hartong
'Thou Art That' by Joseph Campbell
'The Collected Works' of Ramana Maharshi
'Talks' with Ramana Maharshi
'The Ashtavakra Gita' and the 'Bhagavad Gita' and the 'Upanishads'...and, many many more...
If you begin a sincere and sustained search for deepest truth, sooner or later everything you need will appear. Truly-- 'The Kingdom of God is within you.' [Luke 17:21]

Many beginning seekers will prefer starting with more main-stream works such as 'The Perennial Philosophy' by Aldous Huxley or William James' 'The Varieties of Religious Experience' or nearly anything by Joseph Campbell or Carl Jung or Alan Watts. Such teachings are very great within the realm of the relative world. But what you may ultimately discover is that you yourself are in reality the very Awareness or Consciousness within which absolutely everything that 'exists' [including you yourself] does seemingly 'appear.'

You already are what you seek-- so don't worry, be happy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Katz on April 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Orva Schrock lives on "5 mostly wooded acres in northern Indiana." He claims these as his interests: Wife and kids, grandkids, friends, peace, solitude, Gaia; the earth and mother nature, good books, Jnana yoga, Advaita Vedanta, nondualism, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi..."What better life than this? Sitting quietly by my window, i watch the leaves fall and the flowers bloom as the seasons come and go".-Seccho-

Grandpa's Notebooks: The Evolution of an Amish Soul, is dedicated to the author's grandchildren. The book is a gift to them. The book is also written in a way that is clearly pleasing to the author: you can tell by the way it is freely but logically constructed. There is no sense of
imitation. Orva is writing and building a book in the way that pleases himself.

These are two important qualities for a book or creative work to possess: that it be a gift and that it be pleasing to the author or artist. Grandpa's Notebooks contains these two elements. Of course there are other qualities necessary for a successful work. In the case of a book, it has to be well written. This book is written plainly, consistently, coherently, literary by virtue of not trying to be literary.

Thus the book "breathes," vibrates with life, feels real and authentic, and allows the inner light of the author to shine through. These elements of gifting and self-pleasing -- and you need to have both happening -- exist in the book as a whole and within each chapter. Some chapters may be gifts to God, to an unknown reader, to a specific email recipient, to people interested in nondual spirituality. Orva probably has his own inner sense of what this gifting is.

Also, this book is beautifully designed and printed on high quality paper and in hardback.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sofia Steryo-Bartmus on September 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
By Sofia Steryo-Bartmus, Author "Paws of Wisdom" Valuable Lessons We
Can Learn From Our Pets

This book is not about Amish Tradition and lifestyle, but rather a book with two purposes. First, it is a gift from the Author to his grandchildren, sharing his life journey, and his search and discovery of God. Second, having endured and overcome childhood physical and mental abuse, Orva wants to share his deliverance and freedom with others who also have gone through similar life circumstances.The message found throughout the book is that we can seek God and find him within our hearts. God can transform us from a life of despair, depression, pain and suffering, to a life of love, acceptance, gratitude, happiness, peace and joy. It is up to us to break the chains that hold us in bondage. As Orva grows up he observes something that is disturbing to him: His father is a 'spiritual leader' in the community, and yet he is cruel and brutal and abuses Orva every chance he gets. He concludes that Christianity is a hypocritical religion rather than a loving and transforming belief system, so he begins his "search" for God and Truth in other belief systems, mainly the Eastern Philosophies.

Whether the reader agrees or disagrees with Orva's philosophies, one cannot dispute the fact that most people at some point in their lives question the meaning of life and what we're all about. Why was I born? What is my purpose in life? We are all searching for the Divine and the Truth within us. Orva writes: you need to meditate and take quiet time to be with God. "Be still and know that I am God". God is all around us, in everything we do and in all creation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LotusHeart on May 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
If only all of our grandfathers would have such words of encouragement and honesty, how differently we may all receive Truth! A wonderful illustration of the reality of breaking through the bonds placed around so many of us beginning in early development, and the struggle to know what exactly it is we search for. The recognition of social conditioning and its effect on our ability to receive Truth is something profound, and also a great obstacle.

One message found through all stages that the author encountered is to seek within your heart, and there you will find what cannot be found with the eyes or the mind. Yes, guidance can be found through books, nature, and others who share our beliefs, but ultimately we are what we seek.

The issues that Orva experienced are harsh and extreme, but, no doubt, we can all relate to some aspects of the effects that carry over into adulthood. The "shoulds" and "what ifs" and "buts" influenced again, by social conditioning and ideas of what we believe spirituality should look like. Anything that threatens the ego and is outside of the tiny box allowed our mind is a colossal threat. Whether it be our job, family ideals, or the way we wear our hair, all of these things are affected by what we have created in our minds as perfection. The challenge is to go beyond those make-believe guidelines and standards to what is Real. And Orva is living proof that we all have within us the strength to break away from the fears, rigidity, or whatever it may be that stands in our way of letting go and allowing ourselves to know the Absolute.

The reality we are meant to experience is beyond all that. Beyond the busyness and idiosyncrasies of each day to what really matters. Find the Divine within.
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