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Aleph
Aleph
by Paulo Coelho
Edition: Hardcover

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Deeply flawed.., 28 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Aleph (Hardcover)
Unfortunately, this book left me cold.

For me it felt like a really good example of unconscious behaviour in action. Coelho might want to call this a mystical experience, but in reality it read more like the mid life crisis of a man approaching 60 who just goes the same stereotypical route of falling for a 21 year old and wants to label it a spiritual experience so that he can fit it into his marriage.

But this isn't just any man, the main character in the book is Coelho himself. He has a following and an awareness that people, particularly his fans, look up to him and hero worship him. He may not want that or ask for that but whether he likes it or not it's how it is and he has a certain responsibility to behave well, particularly towards a young rather unstable 21 year old fan.

The whole relationship with Hilal was wrong for me on so many levels. If the reincarnation part is real, which I believe it was for him, then I don't understand how he couldn't see that all he was doing was recreating the same use and betrayal of Hilal as he did 500 years before. It was all about him and his need to get to a resolution of his past behaviour and in doing so just repeated the cowardly, needy, position protecting behaviour all over again.

If you look at this book from Hilal's point of view none of her needs were met and she was treated more like a stray dog being tolerated and given scraps (of information and attention) rather than a person with thoughts and feelings and problems of her own. The ironic thing was that in the past she was in the right place 'spiritually' and even now, with all her issues, she was the more honest party yet again.

I know there are deeper things that occur when working through past life healings but if she did get to a healing place I feel it was in spite of and not because of Coelho's actions. There are ways to treat people in such situations and I didn't feel they were respected here.

However all that said the one thing about this book is that it was written honestly. Whether he realises it or not he didn't paint a pretty portrait of himself. He could have written in justifications and excuses with the benefit of hindsight, but didn't. But perhaps that is more likely because he truly believes that what he did was necessary for him and therefore fine.

The only character with a smattering of conscious awareness for me was Yao. I'd like to hear more about him.

I realise that all of this is my judgement and we can't ever know what's truly going on in someone's heart, however we are human and we do make assumptions based on the information provided. In this case I'd say that if you want to read a really good example of how, even when we think we have reached a certain level of wisdom, we can make poor judgements and mistake ego and unconscious motivations for "spirituality" then this book is a great example of that.

I gave it two stars because I did learn something from it, which is that life is a work in progress and that we will make mistakes and we can be very selfish at times. This book was a good reminder for me to learn from these life events but not to fool myself into promoting them as spiritual acts.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 10, 2016 8:54 PM BST


V - Season One [2009] [DVD] [2010]
V - Season One [2009] [DVD] [2010]
Dvd ~ Morena Baccarin
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Cancelled!!!, 23 May 2011
My two favourite shows have been cancelled. First V then The Event. I'm gutted!!

I adored the original V so took a while to warm up to this version but as it went on I really started to get into it. Funnily enough for all the modern cgi effects etc there was no scene equivalent in shock value to the baby scene in the original V and I think a little part of me was waiting for that shock in the early episodes and was why it took me a while to engage in this version.

One of my favourite episodes was the last one so I just cannot believe that we're left with such an exciting cliffhanger. I hope they make a movie version to provide a conclusion.

The actress who played Anna is great and I also loved Lisa's character. Erica, the priest and the ex terrorist I really enjoyed also. The overall feeling of the series was that it was highly stylised and polished but there were a lot of plot holes for me in the early episodes. However when I put these to one side and enjoyed it for what it was I did get gripped. I really want to know what happens next so maybe they will follow The Event path which is to try to get it taken on by another network. It is still worth watching though as it is a very good production.

For fans of V and The Event who want to fill that alien/real world intrigue gap, I just read a book called Watchers Tilly Greenway and the Secrets of the Ancient Keys, Book One - Watchers which hits that same spot but with a lot more detail and substance, especially mingling real and alternate history about annunaki etc. It reads like a movie so even if you don't normally read that much this book is very fast paced and will keep you hooked. I loved it.

The Doris Lessing Canopus in Argos The Sirian Experiments: The Report by Ambien Ii, of the Five (Canopus in Argos--Archives)series is another great read if you like stories from the alien perspective.


Illuminati Deluxe Edition
Illuminati Deluxe Edition
Price: £25.49

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed!, 23 May 2011
This review is from: Illuminati Deluxe Edition (Toy)
I was disappointed when I got these as was expecting all the cards you see on the internet. You get some of them but I didn't realise that there were lots of supplementary packs that you have to get as add ons to complete the set and I wasn't able to figure out which ones were which. My own fault I know. It's an intriguing game all the same and fun to play and discuss as you go along.


The Event [DVD]
The Event [DVD]
Dvd ~ Blair Underwood

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe this was cancelled!!!, 23 May 2011
This review is from: The Event [DVD] (DVD)
The Event was/is a great conspiracy thriller series. I can't believe it was cancelled just as it was getting good. Apparently they are trying to get it taken on by another network and I hope they do as it has a lot of potential. There were so many interesting storylines that could have been developed more if the series had time to grow and develop. Instead it turned into a taster pointing to lots of alternate world history threads and secrets within secrets. A book just out that I just read is along the same lines and much more satisfying as in a book there is more time to develop conspiracy concepts so for anyone who will be missing weekly Event fix try this Tilly Greenway and the Secrets of the Ancient Keys, Book One - Watchers. It's especially relevant for anyone who really enjoyed the Dempsey storyline. I won't say anymore as don't want to give anything away!!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 20, 2012 6:23 PM BST


Angels in My Hair
Angels in My Hair
by Lorna Byrne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous book.., 1 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Angels in My Hair (Paperback)
I love all sorts of books. I love science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, romances and most of all I have a real weakness for inspirational and quality self development books. I began this with a bit of scepticism as I knew nothing about Lorna Byrne (this book was a gift) but in no time at all the sincerity and simplicity of this book just flowed right from the pages and into my heart. I also found it gave me a lot of food for thought as the author has an amazing gift, but certainly had a very difficult life. For that reason I think this is a harder hitting book than I first realised as it doesn't really give a lot of credence to the alternative school of thought that promotes the idea that you can magic all problems away through intention and affirmation. Lorna lived in total trust and faith every step of the way, even when her life circumstances were awful. Her ability to do that inspired me most of all. This book is a real keeper for me and one to go on the shelf with The Prophet, Dance with Life, The Gospel of Thomas and Loving What Is.


The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon)
The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon)
by Dan Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sell out!, 1 Mar. 2011
The Lost Symbol really disappointed me. As with all of Dan Brown's books it had the same pacey style that kept me turning page after page, but this one became more and more unbelievable as the book went on. How could Langdon speak, let alone continue with his investigation after what happened to him towards the end (don't want to give away plot by mentioning details!). And the same goes for the other main characters. There's a leeway in fiction that allows for a certain suspension of reality of course, but when you find yourself constantly saying 'What???How???' as a plot progresses then for me that's a sign that a book is literally losing the plot! Also, I really felt that a different ending altogether was intended for this book and that for some reason, about three quarters of the way through, Brown changed his mind and inserted a completely flat and pretty much unrelated ending. A great twist or really thought provoking ending could have saved this book, but at it was it became the final nail in the coffin for me.


Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
by Susanna Clarke
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, 1 Mar. 2011
I was just sorting through books to give to the charity shop and came across my copy of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and the realisation that it is a book that I could never part with has led me to begin to read it again. It is one of the few books I've read in the past few years that completely transported me to another world. Many books are simply great stories, but this one is not just a great story, it also created a feeling that stayed with me long after the book was finished. The concept of writing a magical story that flows in and out of a 'real' world historical narrative is difficult to pull off and yet this book draws both worlds together to create a very believable and enchanting landscape that held my attention completely. I hope that this author produces a new book very soon.


Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More
Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More
by Joe Vitale
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.78

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book once the foundations are in place, 27 May 2009
This is a great book and outlining a method that really does work once your own foundation is in place. I rank it as up there with the Writings of Florence Scovel Shinn and JM Hurley's Dance with Life. My experience is that if you have a good grasp of the main concepts in Shinn and Hurley's books then you can really apply the Zero Limits Ho'oponopono method as your heart and mind will be in the righ place to manifest the results. Full marks to Vitale for really describing this method in such a concise way.


The Secret
The Secret
by Rhonda Byrne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.89

16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars All style - very little substance!, 20 Jan. 2008
This review is from: The Secret (Hardcover)
The Secret is a great marketing success story, but really contains no real meat. It just markets one of the Hermetic principles which on it's own merely gives a small part of the real deal. The Kybalion contains all the principles but maybe because the language is more dense it isn't as marketable. I wouldn't be without my copy of the Kybalion. Another option is a simple version of The Kybalion produced by Doreen Virtue that is a very nice starter for anyone a bit put off by the density of the original text. However my real favorite for actually understanding how to live and apply the principles is a little book called Dance with Life by JM Hurley. It's a deceptively simple but totally life changing book that operates a bit like The Prophet. Without even mentioning Hermetic philosophy, it totally encapsulates how to live it and make it a real life experience. There's nothing wrong with The Secret, but it's a bit like reading a menu when there are much better but maybe less well known options out there that offer the full meal.


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