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3.9 out of 5 stars16
3.9 out of 5 stars
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2010
More of a textbook than a "How to" guide, the book does have some useful exercises in leading the reader to experience more of the "now".

The book starts well. I found especially useful the exercises on creating an anchor to stay in Uptime more often. This is probably the core of the book and most useful section, along with his idea that unuseful Downtime is most people's (unfortunate) default state.

The author's idea about 'It's OK not to be OK', is also a good one. However, there doesn't seem to be a straightforward explanation as to how to actually do this.

The remainder (90%) of the book contains lots and lots of theory and talk related to NLP, psychology and other areas and how that relates to our "Myth of Self", emotional issues etc. etc.. which is all fine, but doesn't seem to have much to do with "How to Live in the here and now".. in fact it would cause most readers to get lost in concepts once again, trying to explain why and how things are as they are, rather than just snapping out and being here and now.

Worth a read for the exercises and first 20% of the book.
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2009
When searching for a book to help you expand your mind, many people turn to the art of `Zen', or meditation. The trouble is that too many of these so called `gurus' focus on selling books rather than teaching us, the mere mortals, to achieve a higher state, resulting in a full bookshelf and a state of frustration rather than enlightenment.

After reading the book `Living in the here and now' by Paul Jones, I finally realised that what I was searching for was within reach. Paul takes us by the hand, and in language an 8 year old can understand, explains what it is to be `enlightened' and, how to achieve a state of mental clarity which will serve you in almost every aspect of your life.

The book is very well written, with a unique `flow'.

There are some books which you read and regret buying, another `guru' telling us the secrets of the world and not actually telling us anything. This is NOT one of those books, it has earned its place in my top 10 purchases of this year, and an honorary place on my favourite book shelf.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2009
Antidote to depression, anxiety and discontent:

I read this book and found it to very useful, i'd highly recomend it not only to those on the search for 'enlightenment' as an end in itself but also for those suffering from (in low or high levels) depression, anxiety, disconent or paranoia. In the book the author identifies the four places our attention drifts when it moves away from the here and now and shows how this movement in it's extreme is driven by certain unconsious beleifs and is responsible for the above problems. anxiety is based in the future, depression in the past and so on - the four 'disocciations' are on the cover actually.
i liked that fact it gave me a clear framework within which to understand my own mental drifts of attention, but more importanlty the depth of the techniques used to 'treat' these drifts of attention. The authors background in NLP, CBT, REBT and Hypnosis is obvious although not largely referenced - leaving a series of basic step by step exercises, this seems a deliberate step to help us not get dragged down in names dates etc. but to really concentrate on what these techniques will do for us.
the book is a 'how to..' book and as he states in the book is at least as concerned with letting you know 'how to' make the changes as with what those changes should be - the mindfulway through depression is the only other manual where i've seen this commitment to technique.
I agree with the authors assertion that we really need to communicate and train the unconscious mind in order to get rapid and lasting benefits of directing out attnetion where and when we want it to be in the book he shows how various unconscious filtering mechanisms are responsible for what is channeled into our consciousness - so we can't consciously just choose to perceieve things another way. later chapters deal with the undoing of the ego (or 'decommisioning of the myth-of-the-self' as the author puts it). so it seems that this is something i may have to return to (this is certainly not a one sitting wonder) as it seems to closely related to our sense of the speed of the passing of time and the projections we use to interpret the raw sensation of the world out there. I've been encouraged not only to tackle my own problems with this book but also to strive higher than simple elimination of what has been holding me back and moving towards what the author calls 'practical enlightenment' a move that i think i'm beginning to see is the same journey veiwed from different perspectives.

other books similar along these 3 or 4 veins:

The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (includes Guided Meditation Practices CD)

Making Time: Why Time Seems to Pass at Different Speeds and How to Control it

Take Me to the Truth: Undoing the Ego

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2009
I really enjoyed this book - it's an excellent blend of psychology and spirituality, very clearly written. It looks at what it really means to live in the present, and the factors which stop us doing so. It makes it clear that most of us spend practically our whole lives out of the present. True living only really takes place in the present, so in that sense most people spend their whole lives not living. This books aims to correct this. I recommend it for anyone who wishes to live more fully. Another excellent book with a similar message is Steve Taylor's Making Time Making Time: Why Time Seems to Pass at Different Speeds and How to Control it
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2009
I'm sure that when I was a child my mind was left in a dark room with the sterio at full blast.
Paul Jones' book has turned on the light and indicated to me how to leave the 'room' and for that I say thank-you.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2010
I just finished reading this book and I feel slightly bemused by it and here is why... The author has taken a very independent western approach to the concept of enlightenment which has been in the hands of many eastern mystics like Gurdjieff. I think Jones has slightly over-complicated the subject of enlightenment with his own terminology without referencing where he got his terms from properly. For example he uses terms like 'myth of the self' which is basically the construct of the ego, this seems to me like a Jungian term, yet Jung is hardly mentioned at all.

The 'uptime and down-time' model didn't quite fit with me either nor did his model of 'planet X' as an analogy 'to illustrate the tendencies and relationships of our short-term memory, which is the seat of consciousness'. I really didn't understand how or why he used a non-existent planet to illustrate tendencies and relationships. It just seemed to me that he was trying to be intelligent and structural. I also found the same with his term the 'unseen watcher', this sounds a lot like 'the higher self' or 'super consciousness' but he did not make any reference to these terms. I quite liked the idea of the 'Huxley Valve' but when he tried to bind all of his metaphors together at the end I was just plain lost. The authors metaphorical usages made a simple concept of being enlightened in the here and now structurally complex with terms that resonate few familiar terms.

I would have liked to have seen more credit to his inspirations and more honesty to how he came up with his terms. I found the biggest downfall of the book was that it didn't actually explain what enlightenment really is except for being in the here and now. The problem with this is that mostly everyone thinks they are in the here and now and probably would overlook this book due to that notion of ignorance.

The good points I liked in this book was his notion of it's 'okay to be not ok' but even this echoes the brilliant book 'I'm ok your ok' by Amy and Thomas Harris. The quotes he takes from Albert Camus, Ghandi, Walt Whitman, Carl Jung and Steve Taylor were impressive. I also liked some of his techniques to be in the here and now particularly the idea of turning your thoughts into bubbles. I am going to give this book two stars due to the effort. I would give it three stars but there was spelling and grammar mistakes within the book so I have to deduct a star.

I have a feeling that the author has got a better book in him than this, this is was a big disappointment. His narrative voice is not as strong or fluent as some of the previous authors I have been reading. There are tons of better books out there on this concept. I would certainly recommend Steve Taylor's books, Gurdjieff, Wayne Dyer, Ouspensky, David Hamilton, Carlos Castaneda and Eckhart Tolle for more straight forward and direct guides to enlightenment.
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on 1 November 2012
I found the first part of the book useful but had trouble going much further as I found it over complex.If you want to be in the present moment it could be useful as a starter but it is simpler to just use the zen methods of listening to bells to prompt us to return to the present moment or a set of stairs to remind us.The present moment teachings are only one aspect of teachings by zen masters surely?So if you want to simplify the method and learn from a real master try Thich Nhat Hahn.
May appeal to people who do not want to be influenced by eastern traditions and who enjoy psychology.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2010
I found this book does exactly what it says on the cover. The author couldn't have put this subject any better than he has done, this is definately one of the best!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2010
I have to say I was extremely disappointed with this book.I found it very confusing and inexplicably complicated. Why make something so simple so complex. I don't want to sound negative and it is my own personal opinion, but I thought I may have understood it better if I had a maths degree! Good luck to the people who found it helpful and enjoyable, but this one was not for me.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2010
On Page 2 the author writes "through the integration of the latest psychological techniques, becoming enlightened has never been so quick" which made me laugh out loud and start alarm bells ringing. Jones has gone to great length to re-package simple eastern spirituality and explain it in his own very complicated terminology. If you are the kind of person that thinks that Eastern spirituality is not for you, then maybe this would be a good book to start with as it tries to explain simple Eastern techniques for "Westerners" (but even in that instance I would recommend The Power of Now). However, if not, there are hundreds of better books out there on Eastern Spirituality and I wouldn't waste your money.
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