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Peter Messerschmidt "denmarkguy" RSS Feed (Port Townsend, WA, USA)
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Raticator Max Rodent Zapper - SUPER DUTY Electronic Rat Trap / Mouse Trap Humanely Exterminates Rodents
Raticator Max Rodent Zapper - SUPER DUTY Electronic Rat Trap / Mouse Trap Humanely Exterminates Rodents
Offered by shopemco
Price: $54.95
7 used & new from $49.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "better mouse trap" does what it promises!, February 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We bought a couple of the Raticator Max Rodent Traps to deal with a mouse/rat problem in a shallow crawlspace between the two floors of our house-- about a 10" accessible space.

It took a little while before we caught our first mouse and determined that "the secret to success" with these lies in arriving at the right BAIT. Once we figured out that the best combination (for OUR particular rodents) seemed to be a saltine cracker with peanut butter and several "stinky fishy" cat treats on top, the traps started working really well. So if the traps don't seem to be "working" for you right away, just try some different bait combos.

It's a very CLEAN way to catch the little pests... you just have a hollow chute you dump the dead mouse out of, straight into the garbage. Just remember to turn the trap OFF before dumping the dead contents and putting new bait in it! You don't get anywhere near having to touch the dead rodent. We've experienced no false alarms-- it just works as it is supposed to.

We are using the traps in a hard-to-access location, so I highly recommend getting the compatible "rodent indicator" attachment if you have such a situation. It saves us 10 minutes of getting a ladder, pushing up ceiling tiles and getting dirty just to see if we've caught something. That adds up, in the course of 24 hours.

For those concerned about battery life and the cost of batteries, keep in mind that the cost of 20 "throwaway" rat or mouse traps is considerably higher than 4 D-cell batteries every 20 kills or so. If you're only trying to catch one or two mice, cost might be a reasonable consideration and buying a $50 rodent trap is probably overkill, but if you're dealing with an ongoing issue or even an infestation, this is a very viable way to go.


Raticator Remote Rodent Indicator
Raticator Remote Rodent Indicator
Offered by Terry's
Price: $20.99
2 used & new from $15.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool and convenient add-on!, February 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We bought a couple of the Raticator Max Rodent Traps in an effort to get rid of the rodent population in a shallow crawlspace between two floors of our house. Because the traps are not only out of sight, but in difficult locations to check it's a great help to NOT need to move ceiling tiles to get to the traps to see if something's in the trap-- now we just look for the blinking red eyes!

It's a small lightweight device (about half the size of a computer mouse) on a long cord (about 10 feet) that plugs into a jack on top of the Raticator trap. If the trap has been triggered, the "mouse's" eyes start blinking red. It's simple, it works, and is ESSENTIAL (or certainly very convenient) if you're going to use these traps in hard-to-see locations.


How We Choose to Be Happy: The 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People--Their Secrets, Their Stories
How We Choose to Be Happy: The 9 Choices of Extremely Happy People--Their Secrets, Their Stories
by Rick Foster
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.87
200 used & new from $0.01

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Insights into the "Elements" of Happiness, May 27, 2006
I am typically skeptical about books that claim they can teach people how to be happy, since the entire notion of "happiness" varies widely from person to person. After reading this book, however, I must admit that this if one of the better-- and more realistic-- efforts on this particular topic.

Whereas Hicks & Foster do teach workshops, this is not exactly a book about their "method," nor a thinly veiled sales picth for their seminars. Rather, it's a summary of the extensive research the they did, in an attempt to discover the commonalities between people generally regarded as uncommonly happy.

The book outlines and explains nine choices happy people seem to universally have in common, illustrating and explaining each in a separate chapter. Each chapter includes anecdotes from people the authors interviewed, as well as exercises and suggestions on how readers can incorporate them into their own lives. At the beginning of the book, readers are invited to "self-test" on the each of the nine choices, and may discover (as I did) that they are already doing quite well in certain areas while having serious "gaps" in others. The final chapter of the book brings together the nine parts and explains the synergy involved in working with them all together.

Whether we can truly learn happiness from a book I don't know. However, this particular book is well-organized and easy to read, and I especially appreciated the authors' framing of happiness as a *choice* we make, rather than as something we "get" from the world around us. Although there is no wealth of "new" material in this book (i.e. that isn't covered by other, similar, books), I found several new and useful insights. I also liked their emphasis on inviting readers to discover what happiness means to THEM, rather than just following prescribed social stereotypes of what happinbes "should" be.

Final thoughts: Highly recommended (9 out of 10 possible bookmarks). An easy-to-read book, perhaps most useful to those in the earlier stages of their journey of self discovery. Do allow yourself time to do the exercises as you read.

Thanks for reading!

Peter


The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-Being
The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-Being
by Hale Dwoskin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.38
373 used & new from $0.12

278 of 285 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Better PRACTICAL Self-Help Tools Available, March 13, 2006
Over the past couple of decades, I have read a LOT of books that address the issue of creating a better life and ending "personal suffering." The "problem" with most of these teachings-- although certainly worthy-- is that they either require extensive learning, or following the ways of a Teacher (to the exclusion of ALL others) for *years*, before some level of self-awareness is reached.

The Sedona Method has certain aspects of "New-Age Mumbo Jumbo" it is also the antithesis of most "wishful thinking" programs. while basically offering very similar tools and skills to many of history's great Teachers in the tradition of nonduality. Here's a tool for everyday living, that you simply just take home and apply right away. I say this not only from the perspective of having read the book, but also from having attended seminars with the author, Hale Dwoskin.

Many teachers and "systems" explain how we are held back in life by old memories and patterns. Essentially, we will recoil from, or even fear, certain situations... and when we do so, we're not actually responding to the PRESENT situation, we are responding to a MEMORY. What makes The Sedona Method stand out is its simple, easy to apply steps to moving on. No need to sit at some guru's feet for 10 years, no need to spend $5000 on seminars. The Sedona Method is a systematic "distillation" of the insights of a man named Lester Levenson who underwent a profound life change after being told he had only three weeks to live. Levenson defied the odds offered him by doctors, and lived another 40+ years.

The core of the Sedona Method is extemely simple: "Letting go" or "releasing" the feelngs and emotions that arise around whatever issue is facing you, and are causing you to feel stuck. In some ways, it is not dissimilar from the teachings of Don Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements), in that it follows a basic "release your attachment to the outcome" premise. Perhaps that sounds overly simplistic as a life-altering tool, but it isn't. And the benefits are immediate.

The book offers up a number of steps (basically in the form of questions you ask yourself) which will allow you to let go of pretty much any kind of "stuck" feeling you might have. A variety of scenarios are offered, so the method can be applied broadly to everything from setting life goals (overcoming negative "it'll never work" self-talk) to overcoming fears of specific events. It does require a little practice to get used to the idea of "releasing" everytime you encounter one of life's obstacles... I personally found that it took me about a couple of months before the system became "second nature."

About the book itself, it is a mixture of description, exercises and "real life examples" of how people have put variations of the method to use. Whereas it is easy to read, it does get incredibly repetitive, after a while, and some readers might find this a tad frustrating. The book also leans towards pointing the finger at "feelings" as the culprits behind most of our personal suffering, and I found this a bit offputting, at times-- but it's a very minor niggle.

Having read the book AND been exposed to the material in seminar settings, the best I can offer is this: The book DOES stand alone, and most people can easily learn and apply the method without taking a seminar. The workshops (which can be pretty expensive) offer the benefit of the "full immersion" experience, and might be helpful for those who don't believe they are the best "self-starters" in the world. However, taking a class is NOT necessary to get the benefits.

Final thoughts: Highly recommended (9 out of 10 possible bookmarks) for anyone looking for a practical way to address and move beyond old patterns. On the other hand if you're attached to the idea that self-awareness is complicated and "must" happen as a result of studying with a guru for 10 years, then this book is probably not for you!

Thanks for reading!

--Peter
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 27, 2014 1:01 PM PDT


The Future of Love: The Power of the Soul in Intimate Relationships
The Future of Love: The Power of the Soul in Intimate Relationships
by Daphne Rose Kingma
Edition: Hardcover
65 used & new from $0.01

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Insightful and Eye-opening Redefinition of Love, March 13, 2006
Daphne Rose Kingma's "The Future of Love" is-- at least in some ways-- among the five best books I have read this past decade, but at the same time I am now also finding it to be among the hardest books on which to write a worthy review.

First, I must warn potential readers that this is NOT a self-help book "about love." In the broadest of terms, Kingma turns our perception of how we view love on its head, and invites us to consider love in the context of the soul, rather than as an extension of wants, desires, needs, personality, insecurities, and so forth. At the heart of this lies the non-dualistic premise that love isn't something we "want," or "have," or can "get," but simply something we ARE, with love as an "expression of the soul," rather than a "want" or "need."

Kingma spends a fair amount of time examining the way we tend to push away love, through our efforts to force it into a particular "shape." To some, it may sound like she invests a lot of effort in taking to task the traditional concepts of "heterosexual marriage" and "till death do us part," but I believe those examples are merely used to illustrate our personalities' tendency to make love EXclusive, rather than INclusive. As she points out, we are "in relationship" with almost every person who comes through our lives, yet we tend to "limit" loving behavior to just a very few people. For many, she will cover some "uncomfortable ground," by making us look at the insecure ways in which we often tend to approach love, even while considering our motivations "noble" and "true."

The first half of the book doesn't actually cover a lot of "new territory," exploring love and the structure of relationships in ways that have previously been covered by other writers. In all truth, I was a bit disappointed in the book until I started Chapter 5, entitled "The Journey to the Future." And it is really the second half of the book that offers the most insightful content. Here Kingma gets down to the essence of love as something that exists at the "soul level," rather than just as an "expression of personality." In a sense, she gets as close to truly explaining the nature of "unconditional" love as any writer I have come across. This is the love that doesn't care whether two people are together or have broken up... the love transcends the "structure" of their relationship.

The latter chapters of the book explore the many "containers" soul-level love can live in. This section goes far beyond mere marriage, or "living together," and covers platonic love, group love, intentional communities, cross-generational love and much more. Kingma is not afraid to explore topics "conventional society" often frowns on, but does so in a way that suggests that the "frowning" is really more the result of ignorance than intolerance. Ultimately, she extends us an invitation to consider love in a much broader context than we normally do. This section even includes thoughts on ending relationships in a loving way, offering a distinct (and very gentle) departure from the often hateful ways that mark endings. The book concludes with explanations of "illumined" or soul-level relationships.

Final thoughts: Highly recommended (9.5 out of 10 possible bookmarks), but it requires the reader to keep an open mind, especially when reading the latter part of the book. The half mark off that keeps this from "excellence" is for the repetition of some already common-knowledge material in the earlier parts of the book.

Thanks for reading!

--Peter
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2010 12:53 PM PDT


The Life You Were Born to Live: A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose
The Life You Were Born to Live: A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose
by Dan Millman
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.74
439 used & new from $0.01

181 of 184 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read: Not sure why this Works... it just DOES, December 9, 2005
In the course of reading 100's of books from the self-growth, personality typing and "spritual path" genres, I have developed a fair deal of skepticism along the way. This book was originally recommended to me by a friend whose insights I respect-- but after a cursory browse at the bookstore I was put off by the fact that it basically appeared to be about numerology. I consulted with my friend who assured me that this was something "different," and "not really numerology." Against my better judgment, I purchased to book.

I'm glad I did.

Dan Millman-- best known for his "Peaceful Warrior" books-- has written a rather extraordinary and slightly (to my way of thinking) "mysterious" book, based on the simple premise that we all have a "birth number" (based on our birth date) which serves as an indicator of the path to follow in finding our life purpose. There is absolutely NO reason why this makes sense, nor why it would work. Except... it does. And I am not alone in feeling mystified-- Millman, himself, has openly confessed that he has NO IDEA why it works. However, I have checked it against dozens of people I know well, and the system comes up 70-80% accurate every time-- FAR over and above any kind of statistical "random chance." What's more surprising is that the different life path characteristics are fairly specific-- not just vague explanations that "could fit anyone." I back-checked this by trying to apply my parents' and my ex-wife's numbers to myself-- and could barely relate, at all.

The 430+ page volume is divided into five main sections.

Part 1 explains the Life-Purpose system, both from a mathematical perspective, and in terms of how it actually works.

Part 2 describes the Issues and Energies of life-- these are the 10 primary "issues" or life lessons humans work with on their journey through life.

Part 3 details the paths of each possible life-purpose number, including basic traits, positive and negative aspects, health, relationships, work and finance. Each chapter also includes a list of well-known people of that number-- which should probably be taken with a grain of salt, given that people express themselves differently. The chapters conclude with tips on fulfilling your particular destiny.

Part 4 covers Millman's 17 "Laws of Spirit." Each different life-purpose number specifically "works with" a set of these laws.

Part 5 deals with Applied Wisdom-- or how to make the system work for you, which includes relationships, deriving "composite numbers" for couples, life cycles, and more.

Final thoughts: Highly recommended (9 out of 10 possible bookmarks) for spiritual seekers, and people on a path to self-understanding. It's easy to read, and easy to work with. If you consider yourself a "hard-core scientist" who requires documentable and reproducible "proof" for a system, this book is probably not for you. Otherwise it's great.

Thanks for reading!

--Peter
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2016 3:23 PM PST


Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types
Understanding the Enneagram: The Practical Guide to Personality Types
by Russ Hudson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.04
175 used & new from $0.01

66 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful Enneagram Resource With A Few Small Problems, December 8, 2005
I have been a student of the enneagram for over a decade, and own both the original and "revised" editions of this book. I am generally a fan of Riso & Hudson's work, and this book certainly does a respectable job of introducing readers to the basic "nuts and bolts" of the enneagram. As such, I feel comfortable recommending it as a good introductory text. Some readers (myself included), however, might find themselves a bit distressed by the frequent cross-references to Don Riso's prior and exhaustive volume on the Enneagram, "Personality Types." Since I also own that book, a concept briefly introduced and then concluded with the reference "(PT, 31-32)" is not a problem for me, but would probably be confusing or annoying to a reader who has picked up "Understanding the Enneagram" as their first book on the subject.

That said, here's what this book offers: Section One covers an introduction to the enneagram as a personality typing and growth tool, followed by thumbnail descriptions of the nine enneagram types, and concludes by explaining Riso's concept of the "levels of development" that exist within each type.

Section Two helps readers identify their type through the use of questionnaires. Particularly useful is the fairly thorough coverage of "misidentifications," or common ways in which people tend to choose a type that isn't really a true representation of their personality. The section concludes with an "assessment guide," which is basically a "fill in the blanks" area where readers can pencil in their responses to a number of questions.

In Section Three-- which I found to be the most interesting-- the authors make connections between the enneagram types at different levels of emotional health, and an assortment of theories and psycho-pathologies of "conventional" psychology. The section continues with recommendations on how to practically apply the teachings of the enneagram to personal growth, including specific tips for each of the nine types. The book concludes with a somewhat brief discussion of the connection between "personality" and "essence," and how the enneagram is as much a spiritual tool as a psychological one.

Final thoughts: Definitely worthwhile (8.5 out of 10 possible bookmarks) as a good basic or introductory text on the enneagram-- as long as you're not put off by frequent "pointers" to more information (essentially requiring you to buy another book). The book is well-organized, well-explained and written in easy-to-understand language. For the more advanced student, a nice addition to "Personality Types" and "The Wisdom of the Ennagram" by the same authors.

Thanks for reading!

--Peter


The Enneagram Advantage: Putting the 9 Personality Types to Work in the Office
The Enneagram Advantage: Putting the 9 Personality Types to Work in the Office
by Paul B. Brown
Edition: Hardcover
63 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable Application of the Enneagram in Work Settings, December 2, 2005
In this book, enneagram expert and teacher Helen Palmer teams up with business writer Paul Brown to explore the "Business and Work" aspects of the nine enneagram types. Specifically, Palmer sets out to cover people's "Business Persona" and how the types interact in work settings. Whereas I would call this a "worthwhile effort," the reknown of the co-authors led me to expect more from this book. Although I mostly bought the book on account of my interest in the enneagram, I found the business angle to be somewhat weak. That said-- and in defense of Palmer-- the enneagram IS a very complex system, so an attempt to incorporate its teachings into a 280-page business "manual" for laymen is not only ambitious, but would almost inevitably have to include an extensive psychological background. Which this book does, somewhat at the expense of much practical "nuts and bolts" coverage of business applications.

The book has two main sections. In the first section, Palmer offers a brief background on the enneagram, followed by a self-test "quiz" (a series of paragraphs) to help readers determine their type. She explains (briefly) how the system "works," and how knowing the enneagram can help people work more smoothly with each other in a business setting.

The second section-- entitled "The Nine Types At Work"-- consists of nine chapters, each offering a "descriptive snapshot" of an enneagram type. Each type chapter starts with a checklist to help with self-identification, then covers typical motivations and behaviors of that type in work settings. There's also a brief section on how *others* perceive that type. The remainder of each chapter covers self- and outer-motivation, time management, negotiation strengths and weaknesses, training techniques, and concludes with a short "vignette" to show that type might work through a particular business situation.

Overall, the book is fairly logically and simply laid out, with each type chapter covering the same basic concepts in fairly easy-to-read language.

Final thoughts: Recommended (7.5 out of 10 possible bookmarks) with a couple of cautions. It's interesting material for students of the enneagram, although it breaks little new ground from Palmer's previous "The Enneagram in Love & Work." As a stand-alone "Business Book" to provide someone NOT familiar with the enneagram insight into the personality dynamics of a workplace, you have to be prepared to read a LOT of enneagram/psychology content before you can get significant benefit from the somewhat limited business/work content. Might be best suited to HR managers with a solid background in psychology.

For an alternative (and perhaps somewhat clearer and more useful) angle on this topic, I'd like to also suggest "The 9 Ways of Working: How to Use the Enneagram to Discover Your Natural Strengths and Work More Effectively" by Michael J. Goldberg.


Power vs. Force
Power vs. Force
by David R. Hawkins
Edition: Paperback
361 used & new from $0.01

1,182 of 1,244 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nonduality "Light" with a Side Order of Questionable Science, May 10, 2005
This review is from: Power vs. Force (Paperback)
I bought a copy of David Hawkins' "Power vs. Force" at the recommendation of a good friend and fellow spiritual seeker who has been quoting Hawkins at me for a couple of years. I am certainly glad to have read this book, and will add that I found it intriguing enough to order the two subsequent books in Hawkins' trilogy. At the same time, I have rather mixed feelings about what I read-- which is reflected in this review.

Whereas I tend to keep an open mind, I have considerable skepticism of any teacher, mystic or expert who claims to have "THE answer." Although he'd like us to think he has the "definitive answer," what Dr. Hawkins has-- and offers readers-- is a PERSPECTIVE, much the same as most other Teachers. And whereas it may be an intriguing and possibly life-altering perspective for some, it is none-the-less still just that: a perspective. Since the majority of the reviews written so far seem to be offering largely *opinions* I'll start by trying to explain what this book is actually ABOUT.

This is mostly a spiritual book, masquerading under a facade of questionable science. Loosely speaking, Hawkins pokes at the fringes of Nonduality, vaguely drawing on traditions of Teachers ranging from Sri Ramana Maharshi to Eckhart Tolle. Yet, at the heart of Hawkins' theories about life, and "How Things Work" is the "science" of Applied Kinesiology (AK). AK is not exactly new, having first gained some attention in the 1960s. It is basically a kind of "muscle testing" which posits that we simply "know" whether something is truth or not-truth, regardless of intellect, training, experience or anything else. Thus if something is "bad," "untrue" or "evil," our muscles will be "weak" in its presence. Conversely, if something is "good," "truthful" or "benevolent," we will be "strong" in its presence.

The basic process of this muscle testing *appears* straightforward enough. The test involves two people-- one who holds out his/her arm to the side, parallel to the ground, and one who asks a simple yes/no question about an object, person or idea. Depending on how the object "calibrates" the person holding their arm out will either test "strong" or "weak." What is NOT straightforward are the particular conditions and limitations Hawkins claims must be met to make muscle testing viable and accurate. And herein lies one of my (and many other reviewers') hesitation with the concept: There's a distinct tone of "We have this fabulous and 100% accurate method, but almost nobody is qualified to execute it, and it's almost impossible to create the environment in which it is completely accurate."

It's tempting to dismiss AK as "complete quackery" since there is very little scientific evidence to support it. At the same time, there may be more to it than meets the eye-- a "version" of it has been used by several large "canned music" providers to select music that makes people "test weak" to be played as background music in retail environments; the implication being that you'll be "weak" with your wallet. For my money, it amounts to "Strange Theory" which Hawkins presents in a highly "scientific-sounding" style, perhaps in the hope that readers will be convinced that "if it SOUNDS like science, it must BE science."

According to Hawkins we, as humans, live at vastly different "levels" of consciousness. All these levels, along with the "truth level" of ANY true/false style inquiry, can be tested for truth and numerically "calibrated" through muscle testing, on a logarithmic scale of 1-1000. According to Hawkins, any person, concept, thought or object that calibrates at 200 (The level of Integrity) or above is positive ("power"); anything below 200 is negative ("force"). So far, so good. Hawkins' "map of the levels of human consciousness" is highly consistent with most spiritual teachings, running the range from Shame (lowest) to Enlightenment (highest). Hawkins' descriptions of the levels are accurate; his coverage personal growth, positive energy and similar concepts are spiritually sound.

The book is a "mixed bag" that is both fascinating and may certainly be eye-opening, if not enlightening, to many people-- while some individuals (especially those of a scientific bent) will probably find it distressing that the work presented appears to be based on some "dicey math" and some philosophical "leaps of faith" that don't necessarily hold water in double-blind tests in a controlled environment. To which I feel compelled to reiterate that-- HOWever it may be presented, and WHATever he may want us to believe-- Hawkins' work is really more "spiritual" than "scientific." My point? The spirituality is predominantly sound; the science is.... dubious.

On the first read, this book annoyed me-- possibly because I had expected to be "wow'ed" to a greater degree than I was. However, once I got comfortable with the idea that I was being offered another "puzzle piece" on my spiritual journey (as opposed to "the Truth"), I found it a reasonably enjoyable and interesting read. I was disturbed by a number of (mostly trivial) contradictions that brought into question how the material in the book could ostensibly calibrate at 800+ (level of enlightenment). For example, Hawkins states that it is unlikely that a person's level of consciousness will rise enough to calibrate more than a few points higher in their lifetime-- yet the mere process of "being exposed" to the material in the book can raise consciousness by 30 calibration points. Huh? Likewise, I take issue with Hawkins' persistent undertone that unless you're highly intelligent, well educated (and basically from the "priviliged classes") you have very little hope of reaching enlightenment. Whereas I can recognize this thinking as a reflection of Hawkins' own neo-conservative life philosophy (which is entirely HIS business, I don't care), its INCLUSION here detracts from the integrity of the work. However, if you can overlook such nitpicks, there are some very sound spiritual and self-development principles presented throughout the book-- largely following path of Non-duality.

Final thoughts: Recommended (7 out of 10 possible bookmarks), with some reservations. Some interesting premises, but probably not for the "lightweight" spiritual seeker-- better suited to the intermediate to advanced student. Gets a bit repetitive and subtly self-congratulatory at times; Hawkins could probably have said everything needed in 100 fewer pages. DON'T buy it for the "science," buy it for the spiritual angle.

Thanks for reading!

--Peter
Comment Comments (56) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 4, 2016 8:43 AM PDT


The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine  Personality Types
The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types
by Russ Hudson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.74
198 used & new from $5.98

84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction to the Psychological & Spiritual Enneagram, May 1, 2005
"The Wisdom of the Enneagram" is one of the better introductions to this popular personality typing and growth system, but the book actually offers a lot more than you'd expect from a general text on the enneagram. Unlike most books on the subject, it offers exploration of both the psychological AND spiritual sides of the enneagram and, with the inclusion of Riso & Hudson's useful system of "Levels of Development," it is a fairly complete learning tool for newcomers and advanced students, alike. As a student of the enneagram for a dozen-odd years, if I were to recommend a *single* book of lasting value for someone wanting to gain an understanding of the enneagram, this one would be near the top of the list.

Part I-- "The Inward Journey"-- approaches the enneagram from a historical and general informational perspective. This section includes a brief-- but quite accurate-- self test, as well as thumbnail descriptions of each of the nine enneagram types. The rest of the section covers topics to help the reader understand the basics of personality, essence, ego and awareness. The authors also explain the interactions and parallels between the enneagram and other personality theories. The section concludes with a primer on the "mechanics" of the enneagram, including the concepts of "Wings," "Instinctual Variants," "Levels of Development" and "Integration and Disintegration."

Part II consists of nine chapters, each one covering a corresponding enneagram type, in depth. For those who don't already know their type, each chapter begins with a fairly detailed set of questions to help the reader determine if he/she resonates with that type. The authors then describe the type and its associated issues in considerable detail, with separate sections to show the differences caused by a predominant "wing," and by a person's "instinctual variant." Although self-tests (and even online "quizzes") can be helpful in determining type, by far the most accurate and reliable way to be certain is to read detailed type descriptions to see which has the strongest feeling of "rightness." The descriptions offered here are quite comprehensive, and are expanded through adding Riso & Hudson's system of "Levels of Development" for greater "granularity." Each type-chapter then progresses to describing the underlying "issues" facing that type, along with guidelines to the "paths to growth." Whereas these sometimes feel a bit "mechanical" to me, and perhaps are not the most thorough I have seen, they are certainly quite adequate to start readers on a path of personal development.

Part III-- "Tools for Transformation"-- is somewhat brief, but does a respectable job of introducing the spiritual aspects of the enneagram. The section includes "type-appropriate" considerations in choosing and following a spiritual practice, and talks about ways in which each type can get trapped by their fixation. There is also a brief discussion of transcending ego and personality, and how to find our essence, which will lead to a state of inner peace.

Final thoughts: Highly Recommended (9 out of a possible 10 bookmarks) as an excellent introduction to the enneagram, with enough in-depth material to help students quite a long way along their journey to self-actualization. Whereas the authors' backgrounds in the more psychological traditions of the enneagram (as a "personality typing tool") are often evident, the inclusion of spiritual material makes this a highly worthwhile read.

Thanks for reading!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 10, 2014 10:25 PM PST


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