- Paperback: 64 pages
- Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC (January 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0766127753
- ISBN-13: 978-0766127753
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.1 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,661,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Character Building Thought Power
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Even though Trine wrote over a dozen high successful books (Henry Ford cited In Tune with the Infinite as the sole reason for his success), this particular one may fall short for readers wanting more. And even though it can be read in an hour or so, it's packed with a few too many ideas (including an odd digression into happiness as we age) that might be better suited in other works. For the most part, the book is about the "thoroughly scientific" and "immutable" law of attraction, something Trine believed "cannot be reiterated too often". By understanding and working in harmony with this law, "it will work for our highest good and will take us wheresoever we desire". By opposing and resisting this law, "it will eventually break us to pieces".
Much like in As A Man Thinketh, the element of chance is totally ignored: "Personally, I do not believe there is any such thing as chance in the whole of human life, nor even in the world or the great universe in which we live," Trine writes. "The one great law of cause and effect is absolute; and effect is always kindred to its own peculiar cause, although we may have at times to go back considerably farther than we are accustomed to in order to find the cause, the parent of this or that effect, or actualised, though not necessarily permanently actualised, condition." So much for humility.
Despite the potentially off-putting religious overtones (not to mention talk of lives before birth and lives after death), there's an important message about personal development. "Every human life can be made indeed most glorious, however humble it may begin, or however humble it may remain or exalted it may become," Trine explains. But in order to live the lives we want, we must form our ideals and then follow them continually, "whatever may arise, wherever they may lead". We must understand that we are in control of our lives because "heredity is a reed that is easily broken".
Trine also suggests meditation, which has benefits nobody can dispute: "There is nothing that will bring us such abundant returns as to take a little time in the quiet each day of our lives. We need this to get the kinks out of our minds, and hence out of our lives. We need this to form better the higher ideals of life. We need this in order to see clearly in mind the things upon which we would concentrate and focus the thought-forces." And even if you don't believe in the idea of influencing others through mental suggestion (which has "tremendous possibilities for good if we will but study into it carefully, understand it fully, and use it rightly"), practices like loving-kindness meditation can at least benefit us as individuals in the here and now.
Once again, my biggest problem is that too much emphasis is placed on thought. That's why his suggestions for dealing with addictions and reaching a state of "easy, full, and complete control" come across as somewhat simplistic. Fortunately, like Plato's suggestion in The Republic that we strive for a balance between brains and brawn, Trine recognises the power of both action and thought: "If the Oriental [Eastern] would do his contemplating, and then get up and do his work, he would be in a better condition; he would be living a more normal and satisfactory life. If we in the Occident [West] would take more time from the rush and activity of life for contemplation, for meditation, for idealisation, for becoming acquainted with our real selves, and then go about our work manifesting the powers of our real selves, we would be far better off, because we would be living a more natural, a more normal life."
The message seems to be that just because your brain can't tell the difference between something you vividly imagine doing and something you actually do, doesn't mean the world can't too. We still need to take action in order to achieve our ideals. As Trine continues: "To find one's centre, to become centred in the Infinite, is the first great essential of every satisfactory life; and then to go out, thinking, speaking, working, loving, living, from this centre." Now that sounds good to me!
The wording is a bit complex, suited for a scientific/engineering mind, but is not complex in vocabulary just phrasing. The way thoughts are organized make it less accessible to non-detail oriented people. But, the way thoughts are organized also allows for clarifying very complicated ideas in ways that come across as deeply profound.
It's definitely worth reading. If you are a follower of the law of attraction, and Eastern Thought (but of Western Heritage), his points are useful (not to give up ALL control of your life to other forces). He advocates a balanced approach of contemplation and action. Well done, clear and insightful.