Truck Month Best Books of the Month Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it Mudcrutch Father's Day Gift Guide 2016 Fire TV Stick Luxury Beauty The Baby Store Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Cash Back Offer LoveandFriendship LoveandFriendship LoveandFriendship  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis UniOrlando Shop Now SnS

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on April 22, 2006
Every so often, a book comes along that has the potential to completely transform the way people think about a subject. In the business world, In Search of Excellence, the One Minute Manager and From Good to Great come quickly to mind. In the people development world, books like The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Emotional Intelligence have been transformational.

In the spiritual development circle, the Disappearance of the Universe has moved to the top of my list. The book is quite simply, amazing. AND you have to be ready for it.

I have been especially blessed by the clear explanations and the clarity given to the role of forgiveness in our own salvation. And Gary Renard's humor and wit help to make it a very easy read. Let's start with the basic premise and storyline for the book.

THE PREMISE: When you dream at night that someone is chasing you, in the dream it feels very real and no one in the dream could likely convince you that it was not real. But in truth you are home in your bed. When you wake up, the dream disappears, because it was never real in the first place, and you find you were in your bed the entire time. Well, the basic premise for the Disappearance of the Universe is that we are really home in God, but dreaming a dream that we are bodies living this life. Of course our true home is out of our awareness. Yet when we wake up, the universe will disappear, because it was never real in the first place, we were at home in God the entire time. This is indeed an incredible and hard to believe premise. But what if it is true?

THE STORYLINE: Gary Renard, a self-admitted slacker whose major goals in life were to "move to Hawaii, commune with nature, and drink beer - not necessarily in that order," is visited 17 times over the course of nine years by two "ascended masters." They tell Gary that the reason for the visits is to answer the many questions he has about God, Jesus and this world, and to assist him in writing a book that will help facilitate the disappearance of the universe. His visitors tell him that he has asked in his prayers to know what it was like to walk with Jesus 2000 years ago and that they have come to tell him because they were there, as Thaddeus and Thomas. The entire book consists of the conversations during those 17 visits, with occasional commentary by Gary. The conversations are simply mind blowing. Of course this is an incredible and hard to believe storyline. But what if...?

ARE YOU READY? Are you ready to have your view of life, spirituality, religion and sex turned upside down? Are you ready to have your questions answered about why you are here, how you got here, why God "allows good people to suffer," and how you end this seeming craziness? Are you ready to learn with crystal clarity how you experience "the peace of God?"

When I introduce the Disappearance of the Universe to my many Christian friends who are unfamiliar with A Course in Miracles, I remind them, that if I were around when Jesus walked the earth, and if I were a strong believer in the Book of Moses, I would have had to reject Jesus. Why? Because I would have been looking at Jesus through my Moses "glasses" and what Jesus said in many cases didn't fit with what I already believed. The only way I would have been open is if I could have found a way to take off my glasses and ask, "Does this resonate as true? Does this answer the questions in my soul? Does this turn me to God?" Only then might I have had a chance to truly learn from the Master.

In the same way, anyone who reads The Disappearance of the Universe with the glasses of Christianty will have to reject the book, because it does not support all that we've been taught. But if you are ready, and if you can take off the glasses and ask those questions, you will likely find answers that transform your thinking and transform your life.

If you are already familiar with A Course in Miracles, this book is a must-read. I had studied the Course for over a decade, and even served as a group facilitator for several years. I was humbled by how little I understood and truly practiced non-dualism and how I had missed the critical message of practicing forgiveness every moment of every day as THE key tool for making the "journey without distance." The conversations in the Disappearance of the Universe make crystal clear the purpose of practicing "advanced" forgiveness, the steps in how to do it, and the way to live in this world as a teacher of God. Perhaps most importantly, the message is completely consistent with A Course in Miracles, which is quoted over 300 times by Gary Renard's special visitors.

So read this book if you are ready to have many of your beliefs challenged and if you are ready to learn how to truly experience and express the peace and love of God.

Are you ready?
5151 comments|309 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 12, 2006
The message of this book is difficult for me to accept, yet I did feel it worthwhile reading. There is a great deal of information in and much to think about, although the main points get repeated over and over. The subtitle is "Straight Talk about Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracles of Forgiveness." It does cover all these categories and has interesting points to make about each.

The background of the book is the hardest to believe. I have read many spiritual books, many claiming to be divinely inspired. The best I have read is "Ask and It is Given" by Esther and Jerry Hicks, in which Abraham, a nonphysical entity speaks through Esther as a medium. "Ask and It is Given" has a large following and well deserves it for its liberating and common sense messages. I do believe Abraham is speaking through Esther Hicks. The Disappearance of the Universe is based upon the equally famous A Course in Miracles, purported to have been written by Jesus via a type of automated writing. I have not read the Course, but this book makes me curious about it. The author, Gary Renard, claims two angels or masters visited him over the course of nine years to teach him the lessons the book contains. These two visitors were two of Christ's disciples. The main lesson they have to teach him is forgiveness. I can even believe all that.

What I had a problem with is the book's statement that God did not create the world because God is only good and He would not create something that contains evil. It is our own ego which has us deceived into entering the illusion or dream of life which we think is real. Everything around us is part of this dream so nothing really exists. When we face a difficulty in life, like an antagonistic person, that person does not really exist but rather is a projection of our own guilt or anger which we are inflicting upon ourselves because of the pain we feel from the separation from God because the ego tricked us into entering this world. I can even see how all that could be real, and it is similar to Buddhist teachings, but the book seemed to waffle at times between the idea that I am the only one who participates in the dream so that even everyone else in the world is just part of my imagination, and the possibility that we are all participating in the illusion. I have read many books about near-death experiences and reincarnation and I personally believe we do choose this life and come here to learn from it, but I have a hard time believing the people I interact with daily are not real. I would like to know what the author's wife would have said to him if he told her she did not exist but was merely a figment of his imagination, his guilt-ridden ego.

This book makes me want to read A Course in Miracles. It has not convinced me of its discussion of the ego, but it has made me curious. Its discussion of forgiveness is what really matters, although I wish more examples of how to forgive and to benefit from forgiveness existed. I recommend it to open-minded seekers of truth who wish to improve their personal and spiritual lives.

Tyler R. Tichelaar, author of "Iron Pioneers"
1717 comments|155 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 22, 2003
The Disappearance of the Universe is a must read for every modern day disciple of A Course In Miracles. The reader's passion for the Course is completely revitalized, and his or her practice of forgiveness is turbo-charged to a new and all-encompassing level. "Sooner or later, it always comes down to some kind of forgiveness and how willing you are to do it. How willing are you to accept that it's all your dream? How willing are you to release your dream and choose God?"
With over 400 pages, The Disappearance of the Universe is a fairly long book, but author Gary Renard has an honest and irreverant way of expressing himself, which makes it enjoyable and interesting to read. Renard doesn't hide behind the pretense of always getting everything just right along the spiritual path. Many examples of his own petty thoughts are fearlessly shared. Renard also has the welcome and rare ability to smartly restate some of the more complicated Course ideas in plain language that everyone can understand and apply. No mumbo jumbo. No compromising of spiritual principles to conform to popular psychology. No spiritualizing of money or sex. It's all so refreshing.
But I've saved the best for last. Gary Renard simply cannot resist wisecracking his way to God. Here are a couple of my personal favorites: "Love is letting go of beer," and "'s possible to have both an erection and a resurrection." Maybe one of the best reasons to read this book is simply because it makes you smile.
Don't worry about whether you'll like this book or not because you will. Click on the "buy" button and get it today!
1111 comments|523 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 19, 2005
Anytime anyone claims to know the "ultimate truth", that's a major red flag that you should tread carefully (particularly when this "truth" has only been revealed in the last 30 years, such as when "A Course in Miracles" came into being).

While I love the idea of oneness and forgiveness, I have to agree with a couple of other reviewers who found this book a little disturbing. Looking at life as unreal and therefore unimportant can lead to a strange kind of detachment from life that ultimately doesn't help anyone. While it's seductive to feel like you're 500 years ahead of the rest of the world spiritually, as Renard's guides claim you are if you're following "A Course in Miracles", I just can't see how old school unconditional love (i.e. "do unto others") is somehow inferior to ACIM's "we're all Christ forgiving ourself for something we didn't even do" doctrine.

Gary Renard's guides (two "Ascended Masters") may claim that the truth isn't always comfortable, but I have to disagree. I think real Truth brings great joy and inner peace, especially when we're talking about God. This book didn't make me feel closer to God; instead, it left me feeling alienated from a "God" who really couldn't care less about our "illusory" existence here.

Thinking of our lives as "just a dream" may spare us from some of the pain of life, but it also robs us of much of the pleasure and ultimately makes life meaningless. Gary's guides would say that it IS meaningless, but I just don't believe that anything is without meaning, including the dreams we experience every night. How could this reality (or "reality") be any different?

I don't believe that "at-one-ment" with God happens by pretending this existence is just a dream. I think it occurs when you can see the presence of God in everything and know that there is nothing, not even a dream, that could possibly exist separately from God (and then, of course, tuning your will into God's and acting accordingly).

If eternal oneness and neverending bliss with God is our ultimate destiny, then that is truly wonderful news. But until I finally make it to Shangri-la, I am going to love every moment of the long journey Home. This book is not about loving the journey.

Try instead reading some of the many near-death experiences out there of people who have stood before the very Presence of God, merged with the Mind of God, and came away knowing without a doubt that every grain of sand in the universe is exactly where it should be and that there is truly a Divine purpose for everything. Peace.
4141 comments|333 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 9, 2005
A good friend of mine recently became consumed in The Disappearance of the Universe, and has now moved on to A Course in Miracles. I have had an increasingly difficult time talking to her without getting a glazed smile and an earful of her new philosophy. As a clinical psychologist and concerned friend, I decided to read Disappearance to see what could possibly have such a hold over this person. After reading the book, I have some concerns. Although a story like this can seem like the perfect answer to a person searching for meaning, such a totalitarian philosophy can have damaging effects on a person's life and relationships. I have watched otherwise bright, social, independent thinkers become increasingly fixated, disturbed, and isolated after diving into a thought system like this. They often have difficulty relating to the "unenlightened" or coping with the mundane "physical world." I'm not here to bash the book. It certainly is entertaining and imaginative. But I would caution anyone considering this book to keep a level head about it. These "advanced" philosophies can be very consuming to a person's mind, and are often times intentionally designed that way. Remember, no matter what your spiritual beliefs, you still have a body and a world to take care of, at least for a while.
4646 comments|296 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 20, 2005
The Disappearance of the Universe uses the same authoritarian tone as A Course in Miracles, but adds a pinch of condescension for good measure. I have read both books from cover to cover, and both books give the same ultimatum: This is the truth, the only meaningful reality, "a required course", and until you accept that, you will remain a mindless ego on legs, trapped in a meaningless illusion, fueled by fear, unable to know truth or love. Both books clearly and repeatedly state that our world is nothing more than an horrific nightmare filled with hateful creatures. Forgive my irreverence, but I wholeheartedly disagree. Unlike the "ascended masters" in Disappearance, I see beauty in this great Universe of ours, and I intend to make it a wonderful place to live, while I seek God in my own way.
1414 comments|225 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 21, 2005
This book is filled with contradictions. For instance, it states that "the separation" never occurred, then proceeds to instruct us on how to end it. It claims that no one is different or better than anyone else in any way, then casually mentions that Gary Renard is the direct reincarnation of an apostle. It says that there are countless other ways to God that are every bit as valuable, then arrogantly defines its own system as centuries ahead of the rest. It preaches love and forgiveness, yet passes more judgments than I can begin to count, and creates people who attack and belittle others. Not only is this book illogical, it's just plain unhealthy. It causes more separation than it claims to heal.
33 comments|136 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 25, 2005
The most offensive part of this book is the condescending attitude of the "ascended masters" towards those who disagree with their philosophy. Apparently those of us who challenge Renard's ideas are either viscous slaves-to-the-ego who have nothing better to do than attack, or we're just "not ready" for this "amazing" book. It never occurs to the author's pompous characters that they don't hold the monopoly on truth. This is a book, for goodness sake, written by a person, and it describes but one possibility. There are other legitimate viewpoints, and everyone is entitled to speak up about them. Attempting to dismiss or belittle those who make other choices is quite judgmental and hypocritical. A Course in Miracles (the inspiration for this book) says, "the truth requires no defense." It seems that The Disappearance of the Universe has forgotten that one.
77 comments|140 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 26, 2005
I have to say I was really enjoying this story and even open to the possibility of spirit guides, until they made that remark about humans migrating to Earth from Mars. I hate to get caught up on one detail, but I think it's pretty huge. What can I say, I'm a biologist, and if you're going to claim these characters are truly ascended masters who know everything about humankind and the universe, you can't afford to get things wrong, especially something like this.

If you compare the DNA of humans and apes, you can see that they're roughly 97% identical. We're also finding earlier fossils all the time that show our common ancestry. The ascended masters made the remark, "You don't really think you descended from apes, do you?" as if that was somehow inferior. I see nothing wrong with the idea, in fact I think evolution is an amazing and beautiful process that has given us all the diversity of life we have on this planet. But these masters refer to it as "miscreation", a criticism I take offense to. Once they made these remarks, the credibility of the whole book was shot.
33 comments|92 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 10, 2005
I must agree with many other reviewers who found this book disappointing and disturbing. It certainly did not live up to its synopsis, its endorsements, or the mysterious avalanche of 5-star commercials. This book degrades its entire genre, especially the very beautiful Course in Miracles book. Gary Renard thinks he's making spirituality accessible by talking about beer and farts and erections, and creating two very annoying and self-righteous "masters," but really he's just catering to the lowest common denominator. The whole book was a spiritual turnoff to me. If you want to understand A Course in Miracles, then read A Course in Miracles. It's not nearly as difficult as Renard is making it out to be, in fact it's Disappearance of the Universe that complicates matters by adding a bunch of outrageous science fiction and trashy humor. Sure, ACIM takes time and effort, but so does Shakespeare, and both are far more rewarding than this book could ever be.
77 comments|176 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.