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Orva Schrock "Author of "Let There Be Light: And Discover Your Real Self"" RSS Feed (goshen, in United States)

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The Essential Rene Guenon: Metaphysics, Tradition, and the Crisis of Modernity
The Essential Rene Guenon: Metaphysics, Tradition, and the Crisis of Modernity
by John Herlihy
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.13
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metaphysics, and the Traditions, including Sanatana Dharma, April 11, 2015
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Rene Guenon was born in France but spent a good bit of his active intellectual life in Egypt and associated with Islam. Originally he was drawn to the various esoteric schools but eventually saw that the more traditional paths also contained an adequate esoteric side without the overly abundant giddy 'esoteric romanticism.' He was a scholar and metaphysician and lived a quiet highly spiritual life.

I think this is a great book--especially for those exploring 'metaphysics' and the primordial 'Sanatana Dharma.' So i'll quote a bit from the book in regard to these two subjects.

"In reality, only something that is limited is capable of definition, whereas metaphysics is on the contrary by its very nature absolutely unlimited, and this plainly does not allow of our enclosing it within a more or less narrow formula; and a definition in this case would be all the more inaccurate the more exact one tried to make it....Metaphysics, because it opens out a limitless vista of possibilities, must take care never to lose sight of the inexpressible, which indeed constitutes its very essence."

"It should now be easy to understand what the Sanatana Dharma really is: it is nothing other than the primordial tradition...the primordial tradition has become hidden and inaccessible to ordinary humanity. It is the primary source and the common foundation of all particular traditional forms which proceed from it by adaptation to the particular traditions of peoples and times...why should truth be obliged to accommodate itself to the mediocrity of the faculties of comprehension of the average individual today? ...the Sanatana Dharma contains everything without exception, and more besides, that has been expressed through all the traditional forms..."

The Essential Frithjof Schuon (Library of Perennial Philosophy)
The Essential Frithjof Schuon (Library of Perennial Philosophy)
by Frithjof Schuon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.28
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4.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly--not for the casual reader, April 9, 2015
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I was attracted to this book because the name appears often in other [less scholarly] books where his quotes are often quite impressive. Indeed, Schuon is a great scholar of history, philosophy, and comparative religion. This makes the book extremely important, I would guess, for the historian, the philosopher, and the theologian.

But I'm just an old guy hoping to broaden my understanding of the spiritual universe and my tiny place in it. So the book is a bit heavier than a guy like me is really interested in. Occasionally, I disagree with this great man. That may well be to my own discredit but the fact remains. There is his near insistence that participation in one of the spiritual orthodoxies [religions] is very necessary for the successful seeker of spiritual understanding or enlightenment. I happen to think almost the direct opposite of that but then, I'm just a guy while he is the world renowned expert.

My other main 'problem' with the book is its over-the-top density. To communicate well one should say things as simply as possible in as few words as possible. That's what I think but obviously not what he thinks. For example, I would subscribe to the old saying in the Bible, to the effect, "The letter of the law is dead but the Spirit gives life." Here's his comment on that basic idea:

"The exoteric viewpoint is, in fact, doomed to end by negating itself once it is no longer vivified by the presence within it of the esoterism of which it is both the outward radiation and the veil. So it is that religion, according to the measure in which it denies metaphysical and initiatory realities and becomes crystalized in a literalistic dogmatism, inevitably engenders unbelief; the atrophy that overtakes dogmas when they are deprived of their internal dimension recoils upon them from the outside, in the form of heretical and atheistic negations." [ p. 155 ]

Schuon is often cited as a proponent of the 'Perennial Philosophy.' For the reader interested in that idea, I would highly recommend Aldous Huxley's, 'The Perennial Philosophy,' as vastly superior to this present volume, at least for the 'average' reader. Schuon's epistemological verbal fireworks style is, at least for me, an un-necessarily obscuring feature of his writing.

I mean no disrespect to this great scholar. He is just not really right for a simple old seeker like me.

The Struggle to Understand: A History of Human Wonder and Discovery
The Struggle to Understand: A History of Human Wonder and Discovery
by Herbert C. Corben
Edition: Hardcover
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book--really awesome!, March 17, 2015
Professor and physicist, Herbert C Corben, has authored a very fine review of humankind's collective 'struggle to understand.' It's an excellent book on any number of levels, thorough, beautifully written, illustrated, indexed, plenty of notes, biographical sketches, and always Professor Corben is showing the interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated ideas. He explores the whole long history of humankinds search for truth and meaning--sacred and secular. He writes in the Preface, "This book is intended for those who would like to think with me a little about 'this restless and reckless passion to understand'."

Some of the subjects covered include the following:
High Water
...and more....

Enjoy the book--I sure did.

Consciousness Archaeology
Consciousness Archaeology
Price: $3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An example of that universal human need for transformation of inner self, March 12, 2015
I congratulate M. Freeman on his self examination leading to transformation and thus elevation. Many are called but not so many are willing to go all out, seeking real truth, willing to grow and change-- this is that ancient inner rite of alignment spiritual geniuses have talked about for many centuries now. There is no higher calling than the self-deliverance inner seeking can lead to. Upon finishing reading this sharp little book, I thought of C. G. Jung's statement, "When a summit of life is reached, when the bud unfolds and from the lesser the greater emerges, then...the greater, which one always was but which remained invisible, appears to the lesser personality with the force of a revelation...the man who is inwardly great will know that the long expected friend of his soul, the immortal one, has now really come...." [ quoted by E. F. Edinger in his 'Ego and Archetype' ]

I thought of calling this book a roadmap but it isn't really that as we all each must follow the path that appears to ourselves. When we finally grow tired enough of alienation, loneliness, depression-- that can be the opening to the beginnings of a whole new self in a whole new world. Nisargaddata Maharaj said, "There are always moments when one feels empty and estranged. Such moments are most desirable, for it means the soul has cast its mooring and is sailing for distant places. This is detachment--when the old is over and the new has not yet come. If you are afraid, the state may be distressing, but there is really nothing to be afraid of. Remember the instruction: Whatever you come across--go beyond."
This reminds me of another statement by N. M. which, judging from this new book, I believe M. Freeman would heartily agree with, "The greatest guru is your inner self. Truly he is the supreme teacher. He alone can take you to your goal and he alone meets you at the end of the road."

The book also reminds me of what the great Vedantist, Swami Vivekananda said, "What frightens you? What holds you down? Only ignorance and delusion; nothing else can bind you. You are the Pure One, the Ever Blessed...he who knows this and models his life accordingly will no longer grovel in darkness."

So here we have Freeman's published record of alienation, self-examination, and eventual sure breakthrough to the recognition of the Higher Power which, when we make friends with it, turns out to be our own Higher Self. Although he recognizes the dynamic ever-shifting nature of our human process of becoming and humbly and wisely states at the beginning of the book, "There is only one thing that I absolutely know for certain and that is that I know absolutely nothing for certain. Everything that you are about to read is nothing more than speculation--nothing more than my current view of what calibrates as true to me in this present moment. As I continue to evolve, so will my views."

I would guess the whole process of writing and publishing this book turns out to be itself a transformative enterprise. I wouldn't be surprised if this author eventually writes another book about the even more distant shores and more thorough transformation than this, his first book, does. He is certainly on a path of light. Why wouldn't we all want to be?
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 29, 2015 9:46 AM PDT

The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Hurtful Parenting
The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Hurtful Parenting
by Alice Miller
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.48
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undo the damage done to you--or at least begin to understand it:, March 5, 2015
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Sad as it is to say, hard as it is to recognize and understand, the truth is-- ignorant and cruel parenting is the highway to a lifetime of hurt for a great many people. Here in this very fine book, the great Swiss psychoanalyst, Alice Miller, lays out the roadmap; how the authority figures through ignorance and carelessness set the child on a long path of pain, depression, and trouble of every kind as the child struggles for emotional equilibrium and freedom from the unconscious traps that were so cruelly set for them.

Many people will try to deny the abuse that happened. The parents deny it through guilt and ignorance, the child denies it by pretending it never happened and may repress it so severely that they cannot and will not ever fully comprehend it. But-- the body never lies. Symptoms will emerge, often symptoms will include physical pains to accompany the psychic wounds. The hurt will distort the child's ability to feel. The hurt is so deep and all encompassing, the child generally blames herself and the life of pain and struggle takes its long course. Physical ailments of every kind, deep depressions, mental illness, addictions, criminality; the list of damage and pain is so extensive and ubiquitous, the survivor of childhood abuse often suffers horribly and never even comprehends why.

In this book Alice Miller lays it all out for the reader seeking health and wholeness--the way the pain goes 'underground' and unrecognized for what it is, how it originally was inflicted on the victim, and how now, finally, it can be recognized, accepted, and some peace and progress toward healing can begin.

To quote very briefly from the book:

"...the unconscious mind of an individual has completely registered his biography in the cells of the body, it will at some point urge that individual to confront the truth...the past cannot be expunged, nor can one come to terms with it, as long as one denies the suffering it involved."

"...the body defends itself against the wrong kind of nourishment. What it needs above all else is the truth. As long as this truth remains unidentified...the body has no choice but to go on producing symptoms."

"Beating little children is a form of abuse that invariably has severe, sometimes lifetime depression, drug addiction, severe illnesses, suicide, or early death."

"The 'love' of formerly abused children for their parents is not love. It is an attachment fraught with expectations, illusions, and denials, and it
exacts a high price from all those involved in it."

"Can forgiveness for the crimes done to a child be not just ineffective but actively harmful? It certainly can because the body does not understand moral precepts. It fights to make our conscious minds admit the truth and transcend our denial of genuine feelings. This is something children can not afford to do. They have to deceive themselves and turn a blind eye to their parents' crimes in order to survive. Adults no longer need to repress their feelings. But if they do, the price they pay is high. Either they ruin their own health or they make others foot the bill."

P.S. This author has a number of books available. The 4-5 I've read seem to mostly say the same things but that does not detract from their value as each further clarifies some aspect of the 'unconscious monster' the formerly abused must deal with. Also, see the great 'Healing The Shame That Binds You' by John Bradshaw.

The Whisper In Your Heart: An Ancient Secret for Modern Survival and Prosperity
The Whisper In Your Heart: An Ancient Secret for Modern Survival and Prosperity
by Stephen G. Scalese
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.67
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some often overlooked tips for contacting your own 'higher self'..., February 25, 2015
I have no doubt about Mr. Scalese's good intentions-- he hopes to help his readers in ways he has found helpful for himself and others. The idea is that we all each have a deep, inner, mostly-subconscious level of the mind that can be made more conscious and user friendly through awareness and the use of various exercises and techniques outlined in the book.

But-- in all honesty I must say it's a worthwhile book but not a perfect book. [But then, who is ever perfect anyhow?] My complaints are mostly minor: typos, repetitiveness, hyperbole, leaps of logic, etc. For example, there is a little too much selling us on the great value of the ideas in the book instead of just getting at it and telling us the ideas:
From the Foreward-- "...the literature you are holding in your hand will help you understand how to answer just about any question..." etc
From the Preface-- "The book that you have in your hands holds the ancient key to not only your own survival but to that of the world..." etc
From the Introduction-- "This discovery is so uplifting, yet so astounding, that you may well find it difficult to believe." etc
From the Prologue-- "We could never have survived as we have to eight billion strong without this inner guidance..." etc

The book is largely built on the interactions of the author with 'Nancy' who is an overweight, unlucky-in-love, diabetic cancer patient. Turns out Nancy was a previous Silva Mind Control student and self-proclaimed professional hypnotist. [Although inactive with the hypnosis for 7 years.]
They proceed to seek answers for Nancy through a very long period of experimentation and trial and error. He writes, "All told 5 years and 2500 hours of intense psychological and physical work intervened before Nancy was able to continue the healing on her own." Well, O.K.
Occasionally the author gets a bit close to the 'spooky' or 'occult' view of things; Nancy's innate sub-conscious intelligence called itself her 'second side', he states. [she would sometimes speak without being consciously aware of what was said] The author then continues through the rest of the book using the term 'second side' for that intuitive sense of subconscious wisdom he believes he has made contact with. He suggests that part of getting in touch with our own 'second side' might be enhanced by giving our 'inner self' a name as if it were a separate entity. He calls his own second side 'JC' which stands for Jiminy Cricket.

Look, dear reader, the book is not perfect [what book ever is?] but I like the author as a human being. For example he says in the book he studied 10 years for the priesthood. Really! But he escaped that long celibacy-demanding role and developed his career as a MSW councilor. So, good choice there I would say and thanks for your many years and thousands of hours of helping those in distress.

The book has a lot of good in it. It approaches the idea over and over that there is a deeper self we all can potentially get in touch with to our great benefit. There are guided meditations and various exercises that are intended to help a reader make that inner connection and put that 'second side' self to good use. I have no doubt that many people could benefit from the wisdom and knowledge in this book. If and when Mr. Scalese publishes another book in the future, I will want to read it. So-- yes, if the general idea of getting in touch with your own deepest perfect self appeals to you-- buy this book. It's worthwhile.

BTW- I believe a study of Carl G. Jung's writings on the 'collective unconscious' and the 'shadow' and the 'archetypal energy patterns' would be an enormously helpful preparation for understanding and getting the most out of The Whisper In Your Heart.

Absolute Heaven: Essential Choral Masterpieces
Absolute Heaven: Essential Choral Masterpieces
Price: $11.25
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful., February 13, 2015
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This is a truly magnificent CD compilation. I'm an old guy now and so for many years I've loved and listened to music of all kinds; rock, blues, jazz, country, & always opera and classical. I still love all the above but if I had to narrow it down to just my one very favorite of the hundreds of CDs I own, well, I wouldn't hesitate, I would choose this amazing collection because it very nearly is Absolute Heaven.

A Good Kid: A Memoir
A Good Kid: A Memoir
by Mister Rush
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.15
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good kid finally gets to have his say..., February 13, 2015
This review is from: A Good Kid: A Memoir (Paperback)
The story starts out with truly shocking abuse of this author when he was just a little kid. Those who should have helped and cared for him had other priorities. He very early adopted the mind-set that he was going to have to make it on his own if he's to have a good life. [To me that speaks of a remarkably courageous spirit]. While forced to stand in a cold shower for an extended time he writes, "I tried to resist it. Then I decided not to. Instead, I decided to embrace it. At that moment I learned that I am in this world myself! No one is coming to save me. Not then, not ever."
He gets into the scrapes and adventures a city kid is likely to encounter: theft, drugs, gangs, atrociously young sex. But time after time that good-hearted natural optimism wins the day and he chooses to do good--the right thing. He recounts some of the early lessons learned:
-- Urinating on a hot pipe is a bad idea.
-- Slow runners do not make good purse snatchers.
-- Prison is not a friendly place.
--Not everyone thinks drugs are bad.
--Never involve yourself in other people's business.
...and many more 'realizations.'

He recounts 'advice' he received from others along the way:

-- "Sh*t just keeps happening and nobody can really explain it. Just try not to go around starting sh*t. And avoid sh*t marked To Whom It May Concern."
-- "A dirty a*s in a dirty place equals trouble. A dirty a*s in a clean place equals trouble. A clean a*s in a dirty place equals trouble. A clean a*s in a clean place is the best place to be."
-- "Don't trust anybody but your mother and you better watch her."
-- "Never plan your life on what another person might do."

One reviewer mentions grammatical errors and other writing errors in this book. O.K., there is a little of that but as far as I'm concerned its negative effect on enjoying a good read is minimal. This author is obviously a guy willing to actually stick to it and do the work required to achieve his goals. How refreshing! He seems to believe as I do also that if we wait to do everything until we're perfect at it we just never will really get much done. So, yeah, folks, if you like a true story [ongoing] of adventure, hope, courage, and inspired determination-- get yourself a copy of this book. It's a remarkable tale of A Good Kid.

The Silent Power
The Silent Power
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great selected writings of people who associated with Ramana Maharshi, February 9, 2015
This review is from: The Silent Power (Kindle Edition)
This is a really terrific collection of writings by people who lived with, ate with, walked with, and spoke with the one and only great Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. This is a good look at what people saw in Ramana. It tells their personal experiences, wisdom gained, and lessons learned. This book could serve equally well as an introduction to the great sage and his teachings or as an aid for the aspirant broadening their own understanding. I love Ramana and so this book, too.

I have a first edition paperback, 2002, [1,000 copies printed]. I do have a Kindle but still prefer the physical book when such can be had. This book [and some other hard to find ones] is most likely still available at Arunachala Ashrama Bookstore, New York.

The Elements of Style, Third Edition
The Elements of Style, Third Edition
by William Strunk Jr.
Edition: Paperback
247 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A clear and simple guide to great writing..., February 9, 2015
This is easily the best guide to good writing that I've ever seen. It is quite a small book but its scope and goal is not small at all. I can't imagine any would-be writer thoroughly studying this little book without some immediate noticeable improvement in their writing style and clarity. I'm not saying I've mastered it but it has certainly helped me be less bad. Most highly recommended for those who appreciate-- well, the elements of style.

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