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Christopher Allen

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Kind Of Blue
Kind Of Blue
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent service, 20 April 2016
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This review is from: Kind Of Blue (Audio CD)
Excellent service very pleased.


Law Express: Jurisprudence (Revision Guide)
Law Express: Jurisprudence (Revision Guide)
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and best guide for law students and interested lay people alike, 26 Jan. 2016
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This is an excellent and best guide for law students and interested lay people alike. Very well written and clearly presented, it is a joy to read and encourages one to really penetrate the subject matter.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and a crime writer specializing in unusual and well researched fiction with the following books available through Amazon:
His latest novel: Parallel Lifetimes
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence
Price: £0.90

4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide to the philosophy of Law, 26 Jan. 2016
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This review is from: Jurisprudence (Kindle Edition)
Broken into seven sections, this is an excellent guide to the philosophy of Law and covers such areas as the protection of rights, the civil code, punishment as well as legal procedure and legal establishment.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and a crime writer specializing in unusual and well researched fiction with the following books available through Amazon:
His latest novel: Parallel Lifetimes
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


Cases That Changed Our Lives
Cases That Changed Our Lives
by Ian McDougall
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable aid to the great cases of the past, 26 Jan. 2016
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This book is used by my Law Study group in London and is an invaluable aid to the great cases of the past in England and beyond, the basis upon which common Law is built. It provides invaluable insights and assists understanding if one is prepared to do the requisite work in penetrating the sometimes quite difficult technical; language in which it is written.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and a crime writer specializing in unusual and well researched fiction with the following books available through Amazon:
His latest novel: Parallel Lifetimes
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


The Flowering of Human Consciousness
The Flowering of Human Consciousness
by Eckhart Tolle
Edition: Audio Cassette

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, highly amusing and unhurried exposition of Eckhart Tolle's teaching, 5 Jan. 2016
This is an excellent, highly amusing and unhurried exposition of Eckhart Tolle's teaching on the transformation of human consciousness in which he clearly explains the need to re-discover own true universal identity. Drawing on personal experience, he argues that mankind is on the brink of a new planetary sense of awareness which offers us the possibility of steeping beyond the misery and the suffering, self imposed as it is for the most part, I found his description of the so called "pain-body" and how it affects our lives to be particularly helpful.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and a crime writer specializing in unusual and well researched fiction with the following books available through Amazon:
His latest novel: Parallel Lifetimes
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


Liza of Lambeth (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
Liza of Lambeth (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A memorable insight into working class life in Victorian London, 5 Jan. 2016
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Liza of Lambeth, published in 1897, is W. Somerset Maugham's first novel. He wrote it whilst studying for his medical degree in Lambeth, a South London slum. Clearly drawing on his experiences as a student doing midwifery work,it depicts the short life and death of Liza Kemp, an 18-year-old factory worker who lives together with her aging mother in the fictional Vere Street off the real Westminster Bridge Road. It is a sad tale of adultery which gives the reader an insight into the harsh realities of everyday life for working class Londoners at the end of the nineteenth century. Whilst painting an uncompromising and highly unflattering picture of endemic drunkenness and wife beating, the story still manages to convey something positive in the human spirit, still shining through amidst all of the poverty and adversity. Maugham employs unorthodox spelling throughout the book to convey typical Cockney speech and realism. I found Liza to be a sympathetic but her mother comes across as one of the most stupid and uncaring characters in literature, totally wrapped up in herself even when her daughter lies dying.
Liza of Lambeth was such a sell out success when first published that it enabled Maugham to drop out of medicine and embark on a writing career which was to last for 65 years. Recommended.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and a crime writer specializing in unusual and well researched fiction with the following books available through Amazon:
His latest novel: Parallel Lifetimes
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


Quantum Physics of Consciousness
Quantum Physics of Consciousness
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting collection of papers, 27 Sept. 2015
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Criticism is said to be the currency of the world; that being so, it is not difficult to understand why there is such rich diversity of opinion in the 16 reviews—10 positive, 6 critical—to be found on Amazon.com of the paperback version of this collection of 21 peer-reviewed articles, originally published in the Journal of Cosmology. Make no mistake, this book is like Bovril; you either love it or hate it! And it’s hard work; you have to make the effort to gain at least a rudimentary understanding of Quantum Mechanics to get much benefit out of it. It’s also expensive in paperback form.
Nevertheless, having parted company with a fiver, I consider the e-book version to be the most interesting and—for the most part—best written piece of non-fiction I have ever downloaded. It is well illustrated with plenty of useful diagrams. There are also quite a few equations, but not a super abundance to put you off. Many of the contributors are leading researchers in the field and have diverse backgrounds: Computer Science, Philosophy, Theology as well as Physics. Some of the most difficult age old questions such as free will vs. determinism, the relationship between mind and brain, the true nature of reality and the possibility of a spiritual dimension to life are addressed in fresh and compelling ways from a quantum perspective.
Nevertheless, for the purposes of writing a balanced appraisal, I found it profitable to study what others have to say, particularly the detractors. And their main bone of contention seems to be one of establishing agreement on a fundamental definition of consciousness … Or rather the failure to do so because it’s a notoriously difficult thing to do. It’s like trying to define life. We recognize it easily enough but can’t say what it is. In humans it seems to manifest itself as an awareness of one’s surrounding and other people, as well as the ability to be able to pay attention in order to interact. Memory must come into it as far as personal identity is concerned also … intentionality ... purposeful action ... responsiveness to sensory input ... reaction to painful stimulus and changes in environmental temperature. However, as one of the articles points out, there are at least 40 different viewpoints or definitions of consciousness currently being bandied about!
So if people can’t seem to come to a consensus as to what consciousness actually is … or so the argument goes … you can’t use one set of inadequately defined processes to explain away another set, in other words, the mysteries of Quantum Mechanics which are impossible to reconcile with terms of classical cause and effect. And therefore the critics argue you can’t hijack the new Physics to provide confirmation of extrasensory perception, paranormal phenomena or ancient Indian philosophies.
Maybe the doubters are right and, in fact, one of the contributors attempts a deconstruction of the topic by providing an explanation of Quantum Reality by leaving out considerations of consciousness all together. But this approach comes at a price. He ends up not only with an unsettling but also a counter intuitive conclusion as he freely admits himself.
My personal sympathies are with those who seem to think that it is worth making the effort to tighten up definitions—no matter how difficult—look at the evidence dispassionately and, if necessary, be prepared to go beyond the limitations of the existing scientific and medical world view. This, after all, is the mission statement of the SMN, is it not? And so, to that extent, I found the article of most interest to be that of Dr Edgar Mitchell (Apollo Astronaut—6th man to walk on the Moon) and Robert Staretz on The Quantum Hologram and the Nature of Consciousness

The Quantum Hologram or QH for short is a comparatively new model of information processing in Nature. The authors believe that not only is it strongly supported by evidence but also that it provides a basis for understanding consciousness. They argue that it elevates the role of information to the same fundamental status as is currently enjoyed by matter and energy in the mainstream scientific world view. They further speculate that the QH is Nature’s infinitely vast information storage and retrieval system that’s been around since the beginning of time … I found this suggestion brought the Brahman or Absolute of Advaita Vedanta tradition of Indian Philosophy to mind.
The authors point out that consciousness and the relationship of mind to the brain have been regarded as hard questions which Western science has preferred to kick into the long grass and leave to philosophers and theologians ... well ... until quite recently. And much of the present research effort to find some answers to these most taxing questions rests on a questionable assumption, that of Epiphenomenalism ... the notion that consciousness or mind if you will ... is the by-product of and is entirely confined to processes within the brain. Nevertheless, the authors suggest that there is a considerable amount of accumulating experimental and anecdotal evidence to suggest otherwise.
At its most basic level, they argue that consciousness is associated with a sense of separation and awareness of the surrounding environment and that it’s fair to say that it is associated with the ability to process, to store and or act on information gathered from the outside world. From that point of view, they question whether consciousness is restricted to a functioning brain. Are, for instance, microscopic organisms such as viruses, amoebae and algae conscious in some primitive sense?
Clearly whilst not possessing brains, nervous systems or even neurons, somehow these simple entities do display rudimentary awareness, intentionality and the capacity to manipulate their environment. And furthermore, there is now strong evidence to suggest that even non-living particles at the molecular, atomic and subatomic levels also seem to be aware of their environment and to be able in a purposeful way to interact with it by means of the quantum phenomena of non-locality and entanglement.
So could it be, they ask, that the most basic level of consciousness originates with these ubiquitous quantum events throughout the world of organic and inorganic matter? If so, this suggests that, in essence, we live in a participatory universe; there is no such thing as pure objectivity or separation.
Or to put it more succinctly they offer a Sanskrit proverb from antiquity:
“God sleeps in the minerals, awakens in plants, walks in animals and thinks in man.”

About the Reviewer
Chris Allen is a retired Technical Author with a degree in Physics and many years of experience working as a contractor in such industries as Avionics, Defence and Transport. He is a crime writer specialising in unusual and well researched fiction.
His latest novel is available from Amazon. Click on Parallel Lifetimes
He is also a hypnotherapist and has a lifelong interest in military history, jurisprudence, criminology and Advaita Vedanta philosophy.


Google Maps
Google Maps
Price: £0.00

2.0 out of 5 stars Good value navigation tool, 8 Sept. 2015
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This review is from: Google Maps (App)
An useful app for navigation


12 Angry Men [Blu-ray] [1957]
12 Angry Men [Blu-ray] [1957]
Dvd ~ Henry Fonda
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £5.87

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly classic movie, 25 Aug. 2015
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This is an excellent movie--truly a classic--which I was moved to buy following two weeks of jury service.
Highly recommended.
Chris Allen is a Hypnotherapist, Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
Parallel Lifetimes
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1


Ouspensky's Fourth Way: The Story of the Further Development and Completion of P.D. Ouspensky's Work by Dr Francis Roles
Ouspensky's Fourth Way: The Story of the Further Development and Completion of P.D. Ouspensky's Work by Dr Francis Roles
by Gerald de Symons Beckwith
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setting the record straight, 25 Aug. 2015
No man is without fault but, that said, anyone who has studied the canon of literature concerning the lives of two of the greatest truth seekers of the 20th century—namely G. I. Gurdjieff and P.D. Ouspensky—might be forgiven for thinking that the latter had more than his fair share. Over the years, this Russian writer, philosopher and teacher has been accused of just about everything from being an ineffectual dreamer and a weakling, an overly intellectual upstart who lived off the crumbs of his mentor’s table, having deserted him for no good reason, to ending up as a sad old drunk who lost his way spiritually … Dubious credentials indeed! Even the celebrated writer: Colin Wilson, whilst conceding that Ouspensky was a genius, berates the man’s shortcomings, oddly by drawing on the Russian’s semi-autobiographical first novel by way of justification. Consult Refs [1] and [3] for further details.

Anyway, what are we to make of all this? Well, an interesting new book—as may be gleaned from its title—attempts to set the record straight. Skilfully written by Gerald de Symons Beckwith, beautifully illustrated and supported with useful colour photographs, it is the extraordinary story of the further development and completion of P. D. Ouspensky’s work by Dr Francis Roles of the Study Society in London, providing compelling evidence for a re-appraisal.
The author’s impressive background puts him in perhaps a unique position to throw new light on both the Fourth Way and the iconic Enneagram by drawing on previously unpublished work. As he explains in the Foreword to his book, in his early twenties, Gerald Beckwith joined Dr Francis Roles’ School, re-organised after the death of Ouspensky in 1947, and studied for some 35 years under the tutelage of several of the Russian’s most devoted followers. The author was entrusted to ensure that the essentials of their completion of Ouspensky’s work—for which the foundation was laid during the last years of his life—should be preserved for future generations. And, as becomes evident from its content, Mr Beckwith has succeeded in demonstrating a complete reconstruction of a living system of knowledge tailored to the needs of the Western World in the 20th and 21st centuries—truly a timely new psychology for man’s possible evolution.

Following the Foreword, Ouspensky’s Fourth Way is divided into two main sections, each of nine chapters:
Part 1 – The Making of a School
Part 2 – The Synthesis of a Teaching
In Part 1, the author opens the batting by explaining that the Fourth Way is an ancient Non –dual philosophical teaching—similar to Advaita Vedanta and Eastern in origin—that was NOT invented by George Gurdjieff as is generally supposed and how it was introduced to the West by the latter’s foremost student PD Ouspensky.
The author proceeds to describe in detail what constitutes a School of the Fourth Way and recounts how Ouspensky set up his in the UK in the early 1930s using properties such as Colet House in London and Lyne Place in Surrey, having broken with Gurdjieff in 1924. Ouspensky attracted an inner circle of devoted followers, most notably Dr Roles.
The story gathers in pace as the author details how Ouspensky overcame great personal difficulties to succeed in his lifelong spiritual quest in dramatic fashion shortly before his death at Lyne Place in 1947. In this connection, there is fascinating material on Time and Recurrence—Ouspensky’s obsessional interests since childhood.
In addition to the importance of re-connecting with the source of the teaching, Ouspensky was aware that something—a simple and natural process—was missing from the Fourth Way, points he stressed to his inner circle and that Dr Roles never forgot.
In 1951, by registering the Study Society, Dr Roles set up his own School of the Fourth Way to continue the work. His organisation expanded over the next ten years and he became involved with such formidable characters as Leon MacLaren and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi whose mantra based form of meditation, Roles identified as the missing ingredient. According to Gerald Beckwith, relationships between these highly influential figures were far less cordial than is generally supposed. Some readers may be offended by some of the shocking revelations. Nevertheless, the author appears to be even handed in his judgment and truthful throughout his narrative.
Part 1 concludes by relating how—through the Maharishi—Dr Roles succeeded in finding the source of the Fourth Way by meeting Shankaracharya Shantananda Saraswati in India with whom he formed a twenty year relationship.
The author also stresses the importance of meditation and explains the approach in detail.
Part 2 consists of a detailed exposition of Ouspensky’s re-constructed and completed work. It is necessarily more technical than Part 1 but is nonetheless equally as interesting and in Chapter 9–Towards an Enneagram Psychology—contains material that this reviewer has never previously encountered.
The controversy surrounding the conflict between Gurdjieff and his foremost student will, no doubt, continue unabated as is well illustrated in Ref [2]. Nevertheless, this book has some nuggets which offer interesting new perspectives on Ouspensky’s true character and the nature of his work.
When asked by Dr Roles whether a detailed exposition of Ouspensky’s Fourth Way was identical to Advaita Vedanta, the then Shankaracharya of Northern India replied: “Yes, there couldn’t possibly be any difference.”
The doorman of the New York restaurant who commented: “I can’t understand his books but Mister Ouspensky is the only really kind man I ever met.”
The fact that, following their breakup, Ouspensky was never heard to make disparaging remarks about his mentor whilst Gurdjieff did not reciprocate in kind … very far from it.
The fact that Gurdjieff shamelessly plagiarised ideas from Ouspensky’s early work, embodied them into his version of the Fourth Way and claimed them as his own … some crumbs … some table … providing evidence that Gurdjieff, for all his of charisma, had lost his way by 1924 and, more importantly, contact with the source of the esoteric teaching.
And finally, according to eye witness testimony, Ouspensky attained full realisation of the Self at Lyne Place shortly before his death. In plain English, in spite of immense difficulties, he got the job done. Can the same be said of Gurdjieff?
Potentially a game changer in the genre, this fascinating book is not cheap and requires concentration but it is worth both the effort and the cost. It is bound to unset some people, yet it provides tantalising clues towards the solution of long standing puzzles. I strongly recommend that it is read with an open mind and the fullness of attention … twice.
References:
1. Colin Wilson: The Strange Life of P.D. Ouspensky originally published in 1993
2. William Patrick Patterson: Struggle of the Magicians first printed in 1998 Published by Arete Communications Fairfax California
3. P. D Ouspensky: Strange Life of Ivan Osokin. London: Faber & Faber, 1948 - available from Amazon.

About the Reviewer:
Chris Allen is a Hypnotherapist, Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
Parallel Lifetimes
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 7, 2015 3:49 AM GMT


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