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L. Hale "elah productions" (Northampton, England)

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The Big Book of the Soul: Rational Spirituality for the twenty-first century
The Big Book of the Soul: Rational Spirituality for the twenty-first century
by Ian Lawton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, 21 April 2009
This is a great book that, in my humble opinion, everyone with a deep interest in `life the universe and everything' should read. If it does nothing else for you, it will make you think a lot, but it may even change your whole outlook on life......

I stumbled upon the predecessor to this book (The Book of the Soul) during a long personal search to find the truth about whether there is in fact `life after death'. My journey into all of this began because, like many others, I had an unusual experience (involving the death of someone and an out-of-body experience) which I simply couldn't explain. My experience couldn't be accounted for by my religious beliefs and it also didn't fit with any orthodox scientific theories about our so-called `reality'. Nevertheless my experience happened to me and I had such a strong belief in the reality of it that it sparked an intense curiosity in me to find some answers.

In addition to this strange experience, I had always had a strong sense of having `been here before' and I vividly remember certain feelings from my childhood, which resonated strongly with the idea of reincarnation.

I began a long period of reading everything I could find that was related to life-after-death, reincarnation and any belief systems or forms of spirituality that incorporated a belief in these two. Some of the key texts I came across were Robert Monroe's Ultimate Journey, Michael Newton's Journey of Souls, Jane Robert's Seth Speaks and Robert Schwartz's Courageous Souls. The thing that fascinated me was that all of these (and many other similar texts) appeared to be saying the same thing albeit in often different ways.

Ian Lawton has obviously traveled down a very similar road as me in wanting to make sense of all of the literature that is out there on these topics, as all of the above texts (in addition to many very interesting others that I hadn't come across) are referenced in his book. The `Big Book of the Soul' is an extensive revision of the earlier `Book of the Soul' and is a further collation and analysis of a huge amount of research which has been digested by Lawton and distilled to get to the crux of the key arguments and concepts surrounding the idea of our souls, the afterlife, reincarnation and our relationship with the creator. If you're interested in this area and have been reading similar things to me then it's great to have someone who has not only done all the same reading (in addition to a great deal more) but who has carefully analysed and cross-referenced it all.

This is a book that is extremely worth reading as it will make you think seriously about some very big issues. I think that, to fully appreciate it, you perhaps need to either have had a similar unexplainable experience to myself (and many of the people mentioned in the various sections of the book) or to be very open to the possibility that the universe at large and human existence may be much more than most people in the west believe it to be. If you are open in this way then there is a mine of useful information, argument and further references for you to explore here.

I don't think the hardened skeptic will necessarily be convinced enough to change their world view after reading this, despite the excellent approach that Lawton has taken, because ultimately I don't think some people are actually meant to know about these concepts at this stage in their own evolution..............Let's face it they probably won't buy the book in the first place anyway!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 6, 2010 4:38 PM GMT

Staircase, Hourglass, Sundial, Sand
Staircase, Hourglass, Sundial, Sand
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jarrett's best without a doubt, 29 Jun 2006
I totally agree with the first reviewer of this album except for one point - it is and always has been a double album both on vinyl and CD. The first CD contains Staircase parts 1,2 and 3 plus Hourglass parts 1 and 2. The second CD contains Sundial parts 1,2 and 3 and Sand parts 1, 2 and 3.

This CD for me is the pinnacle of Jarrett's work because it is so incredibly well composed, structured and coherent as a complete piece of work across several different pieces. It is peerless in Jarrett's work because it is in many ways 'stripped down' to the barest elements of his musical style. Concise, precise and absolutely beautiful. The images of the albums artwork are of an enigmatic staircase in the middle of desert leading to....? I have read that Jarrett is interested in Sufism and Gurdjieff - well this album for me has many resonances with the music of the middle east and certainly encapsulates elements of the Sufi philosophy that 'Music is the voice of God'. There are also moments of beauty on this album that are hard to describe - way beyond the levels of the ever popular Koln Concert. For me Hourglass part 2 is the most lyrical piece of piano music I have ever heard and I've literally listened to it hundreds of times over a period of 25 years - and it always rewards another listen. There is some more dissonant work on this album as well which may be hard work for some listeners but if you can open yourself up to the overall album and give it a few listens you will start to hear a beautiful geometry to this work which will take you to a musical place you may have never been to before - well worth it! This is, without a doubt the work of a master musical architect.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 19, 2013 2:32 PM GMT

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