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Through God's Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World Paperback – April 30, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

INTRODUCTION
This is the book I longed to read as I took my first tentative steps down a spiritual path. I assumed that someone had laid out all the spiritual principles I was learning in a logical, organized, and engaging way. Surely there had to be one book that explained how all of these principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.

I found plenty of fascinating books filled with valuable insights and information, but I always came away with more questions than answers. As I struggled to piece together what living a spiritual life looked like, I felt like I was standing in a giant library where all the books were strewn on the floor. The book I was looking for, the book that would speak to my soul, was not among them.

I vowed to write such a book someday. After all, if I was searching for it, surely other like-minded souls were too. I felt I was well suited to the task. As a writer, I specialize in bringing clarity and order to complex subject matter--and spirituality is as complex as it gets. Above all, this subject touched my heart and called to me like no other.

As I walked my path and began connecting the dots, I saw an age-old framework forming that was as elegant as it was beautiful--everything fit together, flowed together, and sang together in pure harmony. Eventually, after years of research and study, I felt capable of interpreting and articulating this worldview, which for thousands of years has been enlightening spiritual seekers about the meaning and purpose of life and the vastness of human potential.

In other words, I am not the source of this information. I am merely a resource for gathering, organizing, and presenting it in a way that makes it accessible and relatable to ordinary people like me who are living ordinary lives while pondering extraordinary questions.

As the book began taking shape, I sensed that it already existed, perfect and complete, in a higher realm. All I had to do was search for the relevant concepts and quotes that were scattered throughout generations of cultures across the globe. Next, I had to sort everything out and piece it all together into a giant cosmic jigsaw puzzle. 

There was no question about the format to use. I was intuitively guided to alternate the comments and quotes so that they supported, built upon, and flowed into each other. A quote may expand on the concept that precedes it or it may introduce the brief commentary that follows. I appreciated the initial impression of my agent, Barbara Neighbors Deal, who said, "As I was reading, I kept having this mental image of your text as a shimmering, fine gold chain, with the quotations as beautifully set jewels on the necklace."

The title "Through God's Eyes" reflects a pivotal moment of personal enlightenment. At a 1998 weekend workshop, Dr. Ibrahim Jaffe, founder of the University of Spiritual Healing & Sufism, shared a life-changing story with his students. He said that after watching a TV nature program in which a lion savagely ripped apart a gazelle, he had been distraught. Retreating into meditation, he implored God, How could you allow such carnage and tragedy to exist? He told us that the response he received humbled him and restored his faith in Divine Intelligence: "I felt and saw through inner revelation how this incident was experienced from a higher level as pure love and that it was beautiful beyond description."

Ibrahim explained that this world may appear cruel and harsh to our unenlightened eyes, but even the brutality inherent in the animal kingdom has meaning, purpose, and a stark beauty all its own. Indeed, looking through God's eyes, we see that simply by living our lives, we all serve each other in ways both simple and profound. From that day on, I challenged myself to see the world through God's eyes--to the extent that I could, of course--so that I too could witness every moment unfolding with beauty, love, and perfection.

Granted, that is much easier said than done, especially on days when I am the gazelle. That's why every chapter contains reminders urging you to look through God's eyes. I've found that the more I train myself to view the world in this way, the more peaceful and grounded I become. It then becomes easier to follow the core teaching of the ancient wisdom presented in these pages:
"With love and devotion, align your will with Divine Will and be a source of love, hope, and healing energy to all who cross your path."

It is my greatest hope that learning to see the world through God's eyes inspires you to break free from the prison of human perception, welcome peace, love, and joy as your dearest friends, and become a more positive and powerful force for good in the world.

Though your interpretation of spiritual concepts may differ from mine, I hope this book prompts you to examine and clarify your own beliefs about spirituality and your place in the world. I will consider this book a success if it inspires you to live more consciously, love more consistently, and greet each morning with joy and gratitude.

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
Buddha

From the Inside Flap

FOREWORD
by Caroline Myss

I love this book, beginning with the title all the way through to the final word. Rarely have I been as enthralled by a piece of work as I am by Phil Bolsta's remarkable Through God's Eyes. Each time I opened it to read a few pages, I found that I could not stop. I told myself, "Just one more page," but inevitably I kept on reading, even though I had read many of the chapters before. Part of the exquisite beauty of this book is that you will want to read it again and again. Such is the gift of genuine inspiration and grace. 

Yet another reason I love this book is that I am enamored with prayer, reflection, contemplation, and wisdom. We live in a society that is starving and indeed suffering from the absence of all four of those sacred practices--and it shows. Through God's Eyes presents immeasurable opportunities for prayer, reflection, and spiritual inquiry, all threaded together by a continuum of wise teachings in such a way that the reader is brought into a gentle state of contemplation with ease. You will find yourself wanting to reflect on the insightful writings of the numerous mystics, theologians, philosophers, poets, scientists, and writers that Phil has cleverly gathered together. Over two pages, for example, he blends the wisdom of Henry David Thoreau, C. S. Lewis, Deepak Chopra, Rabindranath Tagore, and my personal favorite, Teresa of Avila. I could create a weekend workshop centered around the stunning offerings--presented on just two pages of this remarkable book--by these five individuals. 

Phil alternates these inspiring quotes with his own perceptive and finely crafted narrative. Consider this observation from one of the pages mentioned above: "You boldly and confidently move forward, trusting that Divine Intelligence is directing you to the people, situations, and events that will serve your highest good." 

Who doesn't need to know that? Whose life is not better for having faith in such guidance? It's worth pausing for ten minutes in the midst of a busy day to close your eyes and ask yourself, "What do I trust in this world? Do I truly believe in a God that I trust? If not, then what do I believe in?"

I love this book because I know all too well how much people need this book. I know that prayer, or reflective sacred thought, is the most powerful force we have available to us as human beings. I also know that few truths are as difficult to understand or to believe as that one. I've had more than one person ask me, "Do you have any prayers that work?" hoping that I would have a magic quick-fix formula that a person could use to make his or her life just feel better. But life is not like that and prayer is not magic. Prayer and contemplation are about taking the time to understand who we are and why we make the choices we do. As a result, we learn more about ourselves, our inner nature, and how to exist in harmony with the wisdom of life. 

For the past ten years, I've conducted workshops on prayer and healing. Before that, I avoided doing workshops on either subject, as I was deeply aware of the contradiction that existed in the consciousness movement that allowed for "energy" discussions but not prayerful ones. Then, as my work became more directly involved with classical mystical theology, I introduced healing and prayer. No one was more surprised than I was by the healings that took place during workshops dedicated to my book, Entering the Castle, which was inspired by the writings of Teresa of Avila. Time after time, as people opened themselves to the silent power of grace and healing, they experienced profound physical as well as emotional healings. I wish I had had Phil's book on hand as a gift to give these wonderful people after such profound workshops. His book feeds the open soul. His book feeds the soul seeking healing. And his book is a comfort to the soul going through the dark night. 

I love this book because it is timeless and it is for everyone. Through God's Eyes is an enlightened piece of work that is an essential read for all people who are truly devoted to the care and refinement of their soul. I will add that I feel privileged to write the Foreword for Phil not just because I believe so strongly in this book, but also because he has been a friend for twenty years. Phil is a contemporary mystic, a man whose life is a living commitment to spiritual service. I am honored to know him.

Caroline Myss
Author of "Anatomy of the Spirit," "Entering the Castle," and "Defy Gravity"
September 2012
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 582 pages
  • Publisher: James Monroe Publishing (April 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984032827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984032822
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many years ago, brilliant teacher, author and Mystic Caroline Myss, made an insightful comment, she said, "There is a mystical renaissance happening in the world. We are being called to be mystics out of monasteries."
Myss was correct all those years ago and Phil Bolsta has written a work of profound mysticism that is sorely needed at this time in history as people are starving for the sacred while walking away from the politics and dogma of religion. Through God's Eyes (ordered via GodsEyesAmazon.com), is a collection of diverse wisdom, grace and discernment from Plato, Rumi, Thomas Merton, Alan Cohen, Helen Keller, Meister Eckhart and many more that includes stories and observations from Bolsta that bring this wisdom down to earth in a sometimes humorous, sometimes painfully honest fashion. As is the case with all great mysticism and truth, Through God's Eyes is not dependant on a particular religion yet can be read and appreciated by those of all faiths and disciplines---especially those who seek to make the world behind their eyes authority over the world in front of their eyes. Bolsta's Through God's Eyes, which is a delightfully thick and heavy book, does not disappoint and is an uplifting, beautifully written work that I will refer to and treasure for many years ahead---especially the challenging ones. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Not only is this book very, very inspiring, it is well written and put together. Covering every topic the Spiritual Seeker could ever want to see, it has famous quotes that are very uplifting. Definitely a reference spiritual book for your library! I highly recommend it!!
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Do you like quotes? Do you like to read about yourself? Of course you do. You are in this book. Pick a page, any page, you are in it. I leave this book on my nightstand next to my Bible. But you don't have to be Christian or anything else to enjoy it. Famous and not so famous people are here too. They all want to help. You are meant to be here and you have a purpose in this world. I need you, and you definitely need you. We are all in this together. Do yourself a favor, when you are needing a kind word, open up Phil's book, and find yourself...improving. God Bless you all.
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Phil has done an incredible job of breaking down spiritual issues and principles into categories, and then finding the right quotes from sages, mystics, philosophers, and others to illuminate those categories and provide an answer to virtually any question one could pose. His book is very comprehensive and complete. Phil intersperses his own insights into each chapter, echoing and paraphrasing a collection of wisdom unsurpassed in my reading. So it's big. And it's inspired. As a long-time disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, I hear his voice in Phil's commentary in every chapter. I highly recommend Through God's Eyes to all who would like to own a comprehensive spiritual directory that covers millennia of this planet's wisdom.
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I would like to begin this review by stating that, in my opinion, this book is VERY well written and uniquely formatted. The author artfully intertwines his words with the words of many other individuals. Every statement of the author’s is followed by a quote from someone else for all 515 pages. In addition, the author is very skilled at introducing a spiritual way of thinking to those for whom this worldview is new and foreign. He does this with a sequential logic, placing the building blocks of his message in a progressive order. He begins by encouraging or challenging the reader to rethink his or her worldview, acknowledging that this process of examining your beliefs about God and the universe is an extremely difficult, yet rewarding, one.

Some of the building blocks deeply resonated with me and I embraced them wholeheartedly. As a born-again Christian though, I felt uneasy about the foundation on which these building blocks rested. I began to feel uneasy when I read the following words of the author in the Reader’s Guide at the very beginning of the book: “… I use the word ‘God’ throughout for the sake of consistency and convenience, fully recognizing that there are probably as many interpretations of God as there are people reading this book. … I trust that you will substitute the name, term, or reference for ‘God’ that you are most comfortable with each time you come across the word.” My uneasiness increased when I read the following statement of the author in the first chapter: “Like all seekers of truth, mathematicians and scientists will find God only by setting aside their formulas and test tubes and turning their attention within”, because, you see, I believe that we find truth when we turn our attention outward, to God.
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I must admit that I was surprised by the book's size and weight and sheer volume - 530+ pages! Then I noticed that the composition was unlike most books, mainly grouped into quotations by learned Masters - interspersed with the author's comments. "Oh, a bunch of quotes, hmmm...." , I thought. "There's only SO much concentrated wisdom that I can take in one sitting. This book may really take a while.....". However, once I began reading I found myself unable to put the book down. It literally made me late for work, dinner, the dentist, you name it! The quotations are beautifully grouped into categories. The author's comments are so insightful that I often found myself reading only his text from one page to the next, and only then going back and "scooping up" the related quotations. In fact, read this way, this is a beautifully cohesive book in its own right. The self-reflection questions at the end of each chapter, as well as the author's personal insights, are added bonuses. Another gem is the chapter on affirmations with powerful and beautiful examples.

I've had this book for several months and it is never out of arm's length.
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