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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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LORD NATARAJA Dancing Shiva Statue, Real Bronze Powder Cast 10 1/2-inch
LORD NATARAJA Dancing Shiva Statue, Real Bronze Powder Cast 10 1/2-inch
Offered by King Tut's Secret
Price: $79.95
6 used & new from $70.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Shiva-- the destroyer of ignorance..., July 14, 2014
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"The entire universe is Shiva's dance of infinite variety," so declare the ancient Vedas.

Here is a very beautiful and affordable artistic rendering of that eternal dancer dancing his ever balanced alternation of creation and destruction. We love creation! Want more: life, growth, becoming, Being. Meanwhile we simultaneously remember death is the other side of the coin of life. Among 'the pairs of opposites' this is the big one.

This Shiva image, first rendered in antiquity and now a classic symbol of That-which-is, reminds those who view it that the cosmic dance of which we partake is unlimited, eternal, beyond ultimate accurate description...

So i added this particular reiteration to my household pantheon of the great archetypes that underlie who and what we are. This particular example is a beautifully made statue that will add life and brightness to any room or setting. The size and quality are perfect, the price seems very fair, and i think any buyer will be glad to own this gorgeous statue for sure once they see it. Highly recommended!


The Neurotic's Guide to Avoiding Enlightenment: How the Left-Brain Plays Unending Games of Self-Improvement
The Neurotic's Guide to Avoiding Enlightenment: How the Left-Brain Plays Unending Games of Self-Improvement
by Chris Niebauer Ph.D.
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.41
12 used & new from $15.41

5.0 out of 5 stars Getting to know you--getting to know all about you..., July 3, 2014
Some people love sports cars, beautiful machines to take us from here to there in exciting style. I could enjoy taking one for a spin and never even think of looking under the hood. Some other folks would wonder what's wrong with me? How could i not be interested in the engineering marvels that make this exquisite machine go? For those who want to know, the owner's manual is pretty important, along with a thorough visual inspection, and the ideas of our fellow enthusiasts, etc.

This great book by the distinguished professor, Chris Niebauer, Ph.D., is to some extent the owner's manual of our very own physical and emotional-mental selves. What is it that creates our individual reality? How do you see something as almost exactly opposite from the way it is seen by another apparently 'normal' person? What are the processes and actions/reactions that create what we see and think--that makes us the particular 'who and what' we see ourselves as being?

This book is a very good look 'under the hood.' There are many examples of the way we trick ourselves into believing our own vision of reality is The true one. The book reminds me very much of the ever insightful and entertaining approach the great Alan Watts is known for. And indeed there are a number of Alan's quotes and some references to the visions of reality Alan could playfully create for us. So from just these points of view the book is a good read.

But there is so much more here for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. The author quotes Robert Persig, "We take a handfull of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call this the world." The author also writes about the 'tip of the tongue' consciousness, where we know a thing but can't articulate it, can't even fully get it straight within our own so-called minds, but there is something of consequence there and we don't doubt that.

My own teacher, if i have one, is Ramana Maharshi. I don't believe the good doctor mentions that name in the book but i kept being reminded of Ramana's teachings as i enjoyed reading this book:

Dr Niebauer: "To believe that patterns exist on their own is the ego illusion, which, we could say works but even the idea of something working as opposed to not working is also just another interpretation. Psychology has a history of breathing more and more life into interpretations, which is like trying to give life to a reflection in water, a representation rather than a real thing....From Corinthians to John Lennon, there have been hints on how to see the world using something other than the egoic mind....we are the perfect players in this cosmic game....So when you find yourself...anxious, stressed, depressed...remember you are playing the game in a most exquisite way. And it could never play without you."

Ramana Maharshi: [from his book 'Talks'] "The mind obstructs the innate peace. Our investigation is only in the mind. Investigate the mind; then it will disappear. There is no entity by the name 'mind.' Because of the emergence of thoughts, we surmise something from which they start; that we term 'mind.' When we probe to see what it is, there is nothing of the sort. After it has vanished, peace will be found to remain eternal."

So my friends, i say, read the book, lose your mind, don't worry, be happy.


My Struggle: Book 1
My Struggle: Book 1
by Karl Ove Knausgård
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.12
50 used & new from $6.03

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only "fiction" I will review., June 14, 2014
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This review is from: My Struggle: Book 1 (Paperback)
I won't review any other fiction [don't ask]. But this is something very special. It captures the drama and humor and beauty of ordinary human life as it is actually lived. Very rare indeed is the [currently living and working] author that can sustain this level of self-revealing and very entertaining prose. I am apalled at the rave reviews and best-seller listings of a lot of modern-day fiction. There are exceptions to my complaint; Martin Amis, Phillip Roth, a few others.
I love the great ones; Steinbeck, Tolstoy, Melville, Joyce, Dosty, et al. I believe posterity will award that same level of love and respect to Karl Ove Knausgaard.

I've just finished volume 1 and immediately ordered 2 and 3. I am very much looking forward to reading all 6. As someone always looking for real quality, i feel i have stumbled upon a treasure.

[P.S.-- added later]
O.K., I have finished volumes 2 & 3 now, too.
All totally great, not to be missed!
Will look forward to the availability of 4, 5, and 6]


Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei, 1622-1693
Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei, 1622-1693
by Bankei
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.88
55 used & new from $1.31

5.0 out of 5 stars The Self is Unborn; The Unborn is the Self, May 18, 2014
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This is one of my favorite Zen books. Master Bankei keeps things simple [as Zen goes] and he stuck to his teaching for many years: What you are is the Unborn; before appearance, before thought, before words; always we are in Truth the Unborn but our obsessions with the life of individual ego throws us off track again and again. For most people the ego is the 'reality' and thus the Unborn or true Self is not known, not seen, or even suspected. And yet it always is. Is the source. Is the One. And as my Advaita heroes would say, 'Is the Self.'

The message here may seem repetitive but for simple folks like me that is needed. For a typical example here's what Master Bankei says on page 120:

"There's nothing in the world as wonderful as your Buddha-mind....I'm not going to try to give you the Buddha-mind either--you already have it. If you listen carefully to me, and grasp the Buddha-mind that's already yours, then you become a genuine living Buddha. Wherever you are standing, that place is the Unborn."


The Only True Life: Living from the Natural State
The Only True Life: Living from the Natural State
by Rodney Stevens
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.06
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4.0 out of 5 stars another good account of the neo-advaita 'seeing.', May 8, 2014
Mr Stevens is a good writer; a natural, i believe. And he has seen the clear true eternal presence of the Consciousness that we each already always are and will be. But who is it that sees? Who is it that seeks? As many 'spiritual' authors say, 'Who am I?' is the one question that matters.

If these thoughts/ideas resonate with you or arouse curiosity, you may find this short book to be very useful. If you've read a lot of modern day writings re 'neo-advaita', etc, this book is as good as those written by the possibly more well known 'neo' folks such as Wheeler, Adamson, Gill, Davis, Braha, Foster, Spira, Liquorman, Hillig, Carse, Kersschot, Dziuban, Parsons, O'Keeffe, Kiloby, Goode, and many more....

To me this vast outpouring of the clear seeing, clarity, presence, i.e. neo-advaita seeing and being-- is the outer manifestation of the evolution of Consciousness itself. Whatever helps you see it and be present with it and at peace with it; that i strongly favor and therefore i do say this book is worthy of your time and money.

So why not 5 stars? It's just my way of adding a [slight] caution when it comes to 'neo'-advaita. Perhaps i am old-fashioned and unhip, [well, not perhaps, i am] but i still believe the traditional advaita is the realest real deal and the truest true thing. Sure, read this book. Read all the authors mentioned here. If it's helpful, great!

But my bottom line is: Traditional Advaita has everything; it starts with the foundation, builds the super-structure, and emerges eventually as the domain of Wholeness, Oneness, and Truth. So, yes, read this book but when you're ready--read the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, Shankara, and Ramana Maharshi. These traditional teachings include the 'neo' within them but the reverse can not be said.

In the meantime, 'Don't worry, be happy.'


Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver
by Acharya S
Edition: Paperback
Price: $26.96
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the awesome Ms Murdock publishes another one, April 17, 2014
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I've read almost everything ms Murdock has published beginning with her first big hit, "The Christ Conspiracy: the Greatest Story Ever Sold" [1999].

D.M.Murdock, aka Acharya S, is a very great scholar of antiquites, languages, secular and sacred history, the rise of mythologies, the power of ritual and symbol, etc. I've always found her commitment to truth, wherever it may lead, to be extraordinary and very intellectually refreshing... So thank you, Ms Murdock, for that.

You'll be well rewarded in your reading of this author's work. In a world where people are so quick and easy at believing whatever airy confection is convenient instead of what's actually true, she sets us back down on solid ground. And, really, isn't getting the basic facts right the place where we should begin our deepest searches for truth and meaning?

I've happily spent much of the last 3 days immersed in 'Did Moses Exist?' This is a treasure-trove of ancient religious lore. My expectations of great work from this author were once again well founded. I've been interested for decades now in the "truth" of religious proclamations and especially where it touches on the veracity of so-called historical "facts."
This great book will confirm what i've thought for many years: The promotors of religious dogmas will go to any length to popularize their fantasies of how "it might have been." Here we have a really large assembly of the very best of research into these shadowy areas of legend and tradition. There is a complete table of contents [over 6 pages], a list of illustrations [over 5 pages], a preface, an introduction, a bibliography listing hundreds of sources, and a complete index. The heart of the book, the text itself, is nearly 500 pages of painstaking research and clear conclusions drawn. I must say, WOW!, what an impressive achievement by D. M. Murdock!

I would recommend buying the hard-copy as opposed to e-book due to the many illustrations and inter-related items where you will want to flip back and forth.

As Ms Murdock makes plain, a pseudo-historical figure, such as the Moses treated here, does not arise in a vacuum. These religious heroes evolve over centuries as the promotors of the religion keep bringing to bear every trick they know of to solidify their own preferred take on history. I have often noticed that a lot of religious people apparently believe imagined events and out-right lies are all right in the service and promotion of "a higher good." But what they really should come to realize is that there is no religion higher than truth. This book goes a long way toward revealing the Truth.

Finally, from the Preface, Ms Murdock says what we fans of Campbell's mythology and Jung's archetypes are glad to hear:
"...one need not throw the baby out with the bathwater and simply dismiss these traditions because they are myth, as myth is not meaningless. Quite the opposite is true, because myth is pregnant with meaning, more so than is understood....This book is necessary in order to bring forth the lost information, which in reality has a very unifying effect on humanity, helping to transcend biases and predjudices that divide and separate us..."
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 27, 2014 3:01 AM PDT


Talks with Ramana Maharshi: On Realizing Abiding Peace and Happiness
Talks with Ramana Maharshi: On Realizing Abiding Peace and Happiness
by Maharshi Ramana
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.54
24 used & new from $14.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What my greatest hero actually said..., March 21, 2014
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I have for some years wanted to 'review' this great book but i never believed i could do it justice. I still feel that way but nevertheless i want to add my trifling endorsement and personal testimony that this really is one of the very top 2 or 3 books i know of in the whole world. i could easily call it number one but i hate to speak of absolutes in a relative realm of being as this our life actually is.

It would be possible to get bogged down in this book thinking about or discussing some of the unfamiliar nomenclature and South Indian cultural oddities you will find here. But it is not possible to totally transcend the folk-ways and deeply entrained ways of whatever community one finds oneself in. Ramana was a very great sage, he knew he had to speak the people's 'language' if he was to be understood. In fact he would often allude to his methodology of recommending spiritual practices 'according to the level of understanding of the enquirer.'

For myself, Ramana is the supreme teacher. There is Ramana and then there is everyone else. I speak for myself here. If you see things differently than i, you should follow the path that your sincere pure heart leads you to follow.

For many years now, over and over, Ramana has been my guiding light, my spiritual hero, my teacher. He speaks to us of that which is just over the horizons of our knowledge and understanding. And thus he gives us glimpses of a light not of this earth. He understood that Consciousness is itself the one true thing and that all these relative ideas we get hung up on are really ultimately unhelpful or even harmful. To see the One Self [consciousness] was his highest consistent advice. He said we should give up the idea that we exist as individuals and that we are the 'doer' of actions. So for me Ramana is the most nearly perfect light we can follow or gravitate toward. He always recommended we ask ourselves, 'who am i?' until we realize our identity with the One Self, [pure consciousness].

Ramana said:

"A higher power is leading you...it knows what to do and how to do it. Trust it."

"The consciousness within, purged of the mind, is felt as God."

"Soul, mind, or ego are mere words. There are no entities of the kind. Consciousness is the only truth."

"Leave God alone. Speak for yourself. You do not know God. He is only what you think of Him. Is he
apart from you? He is that pure Consciousness in which all ideas are formed. You are that Consciousness."


The Divine Life Its Practice And Realisation
The Divine Life Its Practice And Realisation
by Swami Yatiswarananda
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.87
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5.0 out of 5 stars A little known timeless classic..., February 5, 2014
This is a beautiful guide to living the purely spiritual life as taught and practised in the yogas; especially the bakti or jnana yoga paths. Swami Yatiswarananda was a long time close friend and disciple of the great Sw. Brahmananda. Brahmananda was a brother monk of the great Sw. Vivekananda--the two of them spent their youth under the direct teaching and blessing of the famous Indian god-man, Ramakrishna. So you see the pedigree is high-level and the teachings not far removed from original sources.

I have treasured my 1972 hard-back copy of this great book for some decades now. In the early days of my most intense seeking and learning of true God and true Self; this book was always among my most loved and most helpful. My copy now looks old and worn but i still keep it [along with a few other treasured volumes] right next to the reading chair i use most. I say all this in hopes of impressing upon the spiritual-seeker/book-buyer that this is the real deal. This is exactly what its title suggests: a spiritual guide to living and realising [making real] the Divine life.

The book starts out with the good swami's 80 page 'introduction' which is itself a beautiful course in the spiritual life according to Vedanta. Then the author quotes from the vast Vedantic scriptures under various subject headings. Roughly speaking i would say the subjects start with basic moral instruction and cultural observations and then forward [upward?] through the primary yogas; karma,raga,bakti,and jnana. I can say now after 40 years that my own spiritual life has taken a similar form and progression, arriving finally at and at peace in, non-dual Jnana.

In those final pages of scriptures in support of jnana, [i.e.knowledge,monistic idealism,advaita] the highest ideals of the greatest divine knowledge are generously quoted. Mostly from the Bhagavad Gita and the various Upanishads. I can hardly adequately say how important this book can be to a sincere seeker in the nondualist path back to our source and goal: the One Self.

Here is a tiny sample of the many gems the holy man chose to share with his truth-seeking reader:

"In Him reside all beings, and He resides in all beings as their supporter. That all-pervading deity I Am."

"In Me, the Infinite, is everything born; in Me, the Infinite, does everything rest; and to Me, the Infinite, does everything return after destruction. I am that eternal, all-pervading Being, the One without a second."

"I am purely of the nature of infinite peace and infinite consciousness. I am purely of the nature of eternal existence. I am the eternal Being."

"That which is realized by the mind purified by penance, worship, charity, and other means, after renouncing everything, even Kingship, as worthless--that eternal, infinite, supreme Being I am."

OM SHANTI OM


The Power of Myth
The Power of Myth
by Joseph Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.04
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one Joseph Campbell book, i recommend this one..., February 4, 2014
This review is from: The Power of Myth (Paperback)
J. Campbell was the premier 'mythologist' of our time. He made it his business, over a long professional career, to learn about and teach the wisdom of all the world's mythologies. There are now several dozen books and video series expounding on his great work. This book might be the best possible entry into his vast universe.

Based on the famous PBS series with Bill Moyers from the mid 1980s, the book includes transcripts of those conversations but additionally includes a good bit of information that never made it to video. The book is very user friendly. There are many reproduced photos, some full page, some in color. This is a book [and subject] that should be considered for the shelves of any thinking person.

So really, why study myth? Of what possible use would it be? Well, it would give the inquirer a broader deeper understanding of her or himself and of our common human culture and history. It would add to the deepest glimpses we have of who and what we all each are in our very deepest Self. Yes, that's asking a lot but this book delivers a lot.

In the book Campbell has much to say about the purpose and value of mythology. Here is a little sample of what he says about it:
"...the human psyche is essentially the same all over the world....Out of this common ground have come what Jung has called the archetypes, which are the common ideas of myths....I think what we are looking for is a way of experiencing the world that will open to us the transcendent that informs it, and at the same time forms ourselves within it. That is what people want. That is what the soul asks for....To have some kind of instruction that will enable us to experience the divine presence."


Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Memories, Dreams, Reflections
by Carl Gustav Jung
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.30
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some recollections and insights of a great mind..., January 26, 2014
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Carl Jung is/was a 20th century world treasure. This book is often called his autobiography but is not strictly that. It was written and published in the final few years of his life [he was in his 80s by then] with the help of close associates who were very eager to put together some kind of summation of his life and many discoveries.

There are autobiographical stories but even more interesting is the overview of many of his greatest insights. Here one is spared the relentless wordiness of the many big books he wrote and published over 50+ years. So this becomes an excellent introduction to 'Jungian' thought and theory. The other of his final books, Man and His Symbols, was written concurrently and mostly by other professionals in the field who agreed, of course, with his ideas. These 2 books together would make a very fine introduction to Jung.

There are not many 'Jungian' analysts working these days. The fault is not with the theories and ideas but with the inability and unwillingness of the current crop of mental health 'councilors' to adequately learn and apply the many facets of Jung's great system. But do not let that discourage you. Simply begin reading Jung for yourself and you will easily be able to relate to what he's saying as it applies in your own individual case. It may take some fairly substantial investments in time and effort but it's definitely worth it.

You can learn a great deal about your 'shadow', that is, the hidden or unconscious part of your psyche. You can learn about the unconscious 'other gender' part of yourself and how to be in touch with it. You can learn about the symbols that appear in your dreams and thereby you can gain some knowledge of what your dreams are revealing to the conscious part of your psyche. You can learn about and feel at home in the 'collective unconscious' that every single human being [generally unknowingly] participates in. You can learn a lot about your own unconscious [and also conscious] drives and needs. You can learn about the archetypal energy patterns that you are born with and those that become active in you as your life unfolds. You can see where religious feelings and motivations come from and learn to see that 'imago dei', or 'god-image' working within your own deepest self. And there is a great deal more. Like i said, it's really not that difficult if you just set a course for yourself, keep learning, and see how the details fit and apply in your own life experience. Jung said the unconscious is 90% 'pure gold' and i can testify there are many treasures to be discovered within your own deepest self. To know Jung is to love Jung and to know yourself is to love yourself, too.

Jung always spoke of individuation or wholeness as the greatest thing to be desired. He is quoted as saying, "I would rather be whole than good." Every step forward in that area is worthwhile. This book is a very good place from which to set out on your Jungian journey of Self discovery.


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