Customer Review

111 of 141 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Your mileage may vary, September 10, 2011
This review is from: Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles (Hardcover)
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I read this book with an open mind but it was not for me. It is based on A Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson, and I won't disparage that book, because I haven't read it, but I wasn't inspired to read it by what I saw in Spirit Junkie. Of course, Spirit Junkie is touted as a radical road to discovering self-love and miracles for Generation Y females. The main spiritual issue that concerns Gabby is whether or not she has a boyfriend, or rather, how can she get past that feeling of not being happy unless she is in a special romantic relationship with a guy. At one point she compares her plight to Bella in the Twilight books--missing the love of Edward the Vampire and turning instead to Jacob the Werewolf. Though this was an apt analogy it pointed to the problem I was having connecting to this book: I was not a part of the target demographic. It did not speak to me in the coin of my own realm.

I did enjoy the personal anecdotes but I didn't connect with her re-hash of the Course in Miracles. She warned the readers at the outset that her ideas might seem crazy at first, and that she was going to "Gabbify" the language to speak to young women of her generation in their own language. At first, it did seem crazy--but the crazy parade just wouldn't stop! I kept an open mind, but it never resonated with me. I often found that she would take words and just redefine them at her whim. I took umbrage at her malapropisms. For instance, she constantly uses the word "ego" to stand for the fearful mind, but in a parenthetical comment she acknowledges that it is not the same as the ego in Freudian Psychology. The Ego, as Gabrielle Bernstein redefines it, is the fearful mind that keeps us from love and realizing that everyone is equal. Leggo my ego, Gabby! She talks about it like it is some kind of bogeyman. In psychological terms perhaps she meant the Id or the Super Ego? If she was going to spew that kind of psycho-babble then I could not take her the least bit seriously as a spiritual guru. Another of her coinages was using the tilde character as a verb (~ing) that stood for listening to your inner voice, your intuition, your inspiration. This was just too cute, but at least she didn't take an existing word and just make up a new meaning for it. This coinage was the topic of her previous book.

To summarize, Gabrielle Bernstein had a hippie mom who tried to get her involved with spiritual things but she rebelled. She became a party promoter in New York and was quite successful until the coke and non-stop partying life style caught up with her. To get off drugs she took a spiritual path. That worked but she had more work to do conquering her biggest addiction: the addiction to feeling that she needed a special romantic relationship with a guy. At one point she describes a trip to Brazil with her mother to visit a healer called John of God, and this and other personal anecdotes were the best part of Spirit Junkie, for me. Gabrielle also impressed me with the work she put into journaling, meditating, and building up her business as a life coach and a book author. The Bottom Line is that I just didn't buy her brand of enlightenment. I wish her all the best on her spiritual journey, but her way is not for me. Your mileage may vary.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 12, 2011 1:42:08 PM PDT
M. Braden says:
That is a common definition of ego. Your review was helpful though, thanks.

Posted on Sep 12, 2011 8:44:02 PM PDT
C. Wilson says:
I just wanted to mention that ACIM was not written by Marianne Williamson. Marianne teaches the course and has written books relating to the course. The Course was actually dictated to a scribe, Helen Schuman , by an inner voice which she described as Christ.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2011 5:33:45 PM PDT
Thank you for making a very valid point. I wasn't aware that Marianne Williamson didn't write ACIM but Gabrielle made it seem like she did. That is interesting that Helen Schuman says she was only a scribe writing down what an inner voice told her. Thanks.

Posted on Oct 15, 2011 8:11:30 PM PDT
ksm says:
You took the words right out of my mouth! I found it hard to connect to the terms she uses throughout, the ego and -ing. Also, I found it very repetitive.

Posted on Apr 27, 2012 7:05:28 AM PDT
JMB says:
ACIM was not written by Marianne Williamson. It is a channeled work, (which took 7 years) which Helen Schucman (sp?) which she heard what she referred to as "The Voice" automatically begin "speaking" to her. This happened after a series of curious events in her life and the life of a boss/co-worker. I have been a student of "The Course" for several years. It is not for the faint of heart, and the story leading to its creation is pretty amazing. I will check out this "Spirit Junkie" book, as it sounds interesting. The book that brought me to "The Course" was "The Disappearance of the Universe" by Gary Renard. Depending on what level you are in your "seeking" --books that lead you to become a student of The Course, are very helpful. Another book you might check out is Radical Forgiveness, by Collin Tipping. RF is a very approachable method of getting where Jesus was trying to get us all to go to. Good Luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 7:57:08 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2012 7:58:18 AM PST
PetRsQ says:
For: JMB Thank you for helpful info in your post! I'm most appreciative that you did your homework, spiritually speaking! You've provided lots of info in a concise, unbiased, balanced posting. I find some (negative) postings to be filled with arrogance & rigid dogmas. This narrow minded, judgmental thought process is what we ALL need to be freed from!!
Looks like you are devoting lots of energy toward your spiritual walk & spreading joy where you go. I think that is FANTASTIC!!! Keep up the good work!! Hope my little comment(s) encourage you to go the distance & remind you that positive energy and/or joy is contagious!! So, infect everyone you meet :)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 6:53:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2012 6:55:42 PM PST
Thanks, PetRsQ, for your kind comments. Perhaps the are meant for JMB but thank you just the same. I just read a book called The Dalai Lama's Cat by David Michie. I liked it a lot. I wrote a review of it if you are interested.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 3:41:54 PM PST
Ash says:
I stopped reading your review at "It is based on A Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson."

In reply to an earlier post on May 29, 2013 7:19:29 AM PDT
Book lover says:
This would have been more helpful if you told readers why you stopped where you did! I think your point was that the reviewer lacked basic knowledge of ACIM so why bother reading on, right?!

Posted on May 29, 2013 7:26:08 AM PDT
Book lover says:
I sonly skimmed this review as the writer of it didn't know the basics of ACIM. She/he got it wrong when she/he stated Marianne Williamson wrote "A Course in Miracles." (She wrote "A Return to Love" which is based on ACIM.) If you are new to ACIM concepts, this book may be a good starting point so don't let any reviewer "turn you off" to these ideas!
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