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My Book Columns



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Every issue of the magazine, Venture Inward, contains my book column. I have placed them here, rather than in the library, because these essays on books contain as much about me--my personal experiences and viewpoints--as they do about the books. I have used several of them in my teaching. You can browse through them, print them out, share them, as you wish.


End Times, Where to Find Trust in an Age of False Gods?
Do we usually act out of conviction, or are we really being driven by compulsions that help mask our feelings of worthlessness? From Thomas Nelson publishing of Nashville come two books on this topic. They are, We Are Driven: The Compulsive Behaviors America Applauds, by Robert Hemfelt, Frank Minirth and Paul Meier; and Toxic Faith: Understanding and Overcoming Religious Addiction, by Steven Arterburn and Jack Felton.

Higher Intelligence Personified
Is channeled information from an otherworldly source, or is it the dressed up ideas of the speaker? Why is some channeled information so inspiring that it has started world religions and national movements? Holt, Rinehart & Winston writer Arthur Hastings digs into the nitty-gritty of the medium and the message in, With the Tongues of Men and Angels: A Study of Channeling."

The Worth of a Person
We grow when we discover that self esteem and spirituality affects the choices we make-- and that our choices create reality, for better or for worse. Claiming Your Self Esteem: A Guide to Codependency, Addiction, and Other Useless Habits is Carolyn Ball's book on the dynamics of growth and choice (Celestial Arts).

Jesus and UFOs: Riders of the New Wave of Imagination
Why are so many people claiming to see or have messages from UFOs, angels, aliens, and spirits? Are these "invaders" felt to be good, or bad? Are they proof of end-of century hysteria or expanding consciousness? Three books explore the topic from refreshingly different viewpoints. These are G. Scott Sparrow's I Am With You Always: True Stories of Encounters With Jesus (Bantam; formerly titled "Witness to His Return" by A.R.E. Press); Keith Thompson's Angels and Aliens: UFOs and the Mythic Imagination (Addison-Wesley); and Bear & Company authors David Spangler and Wm. Irvin Thompson's Reimagining the World: A Critique of the New Age, Science, and Popular Culture

Experience is The Great Teacher
The best way to understand the world is from the inside out, by connecting with people on the intuitive level. HarperCollins author Charlene Spretnak explains it in States of Grace: The Recovery of Meaning in the Postmodern Age.

Hope, Even Fictional, Is Ever Helpful
In the midst of despair, we can be rescued by our Higher Selves and wisdom from within. Ruth White explores the role of imagination to access this wisdom, in Weeping Willow (Farrar Stroux).

The Parapsychological God
There may be a link between imagination, psychic ability, and the evolution of religion. This thought is explored in Frontiers of the Soul: Exploring Psychic Evolution, by Michael Grosso (Quest Books).

Words Written From Experience
Sometimes we get wrapped up in the theory, and forget that experience is the real teacher. Personal experience is "live," and its images can be shared with others. Or, so says Marion Woodman in Addiction to Perfection and Edward Edinger in The Creation of Consciousness, both by Inner City Books of Toronto.

A Gift of Power
The Native American way of finding a relationship with God or The Great Spirit can be by tried and true formula handed down by elders, or by newly created "traditions" invented by the eager, aspiring soul. So says A Gift of Power, by Archie Fire Lame Deer, with Richard Erdoes (Bear & Co.).

Begin to Add Jungian Guidance to your Cayce Diet
When it comes to theories about the nature of reality and the unseen forces, psychiatrist Carl Jung and psychic Edgar Cayce share certain concepts-- the Shadow, the inner feminine, archetypes, the Higher Self-- that are rapidly changing the world. Robin Robertson's Beginners Guide to Jungian Psychology (Nicholas Hays, pub.) is a good place to explore these ideas.

Focus on the Grail Within
Instead of trying to find meaning by overcoming or dominating the invisible forces, we might focus on a single question: What is standing between "me" and "me feeling good?" The dilemma is discussed in two books. They are, Bio-Spirituality: Focusing as a Way to Grow, by Peter Campbell and Edwin McMahon (Loyola Univ. Press); and Beyond the Myth of Dominance" An Alternative to the Violent Society, by Edwin McMahon (Sheed & Ward).

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