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6 Reviews
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible
I read this book and was astounded by its wisdom and intelligence. It is poetic and tells wonderful stories and yet is telling the most important message abvailable. It seems to confirm that all the worlds religions are telling the same story and are based on the same universal principles that are in essence simply rational human behaviour.
Published on 11 Nov 1998

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3.0 out of 5 stars Poetic and Simple
Good book for anyone interested in the spiritual path and their relationship with life. It's not your everyday, general book and written more as a story with added lessons through Merlin's eyes, still worth reading.
Published 6 months ago by M. J. Penny


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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 11 Nov 1998
By A Customer
I read this book and was astounded by its wisdom and intelligence. It is poetic and tells wonderful stories and yet is telling the most important message abvailable. It seems to confirm that all the worlds religions are telling the same story and are based on the same universal principles that are in essence simply rational human behaviour.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Poetic and Simple, 25 Feb 2014
This review is from: The Way Of The Wizard: 20 Lessons for Living a Magical Life (Kindle Edition)
Good book for anyone interested in the spiritual path and their relationship with life. It's not your everyday, general book and written more as a story with added lessons through Merlin's eyes, still worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars worth a read, 15 Nov 2013
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I like this book, cute, clever & worth the money. but for me it is not his best. enough said.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Love Deepak Chopra, 24 Jun 2013
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I can't remember if I bought this new or used which just goes to show its in perfect condition. Deepak Chopra has so much wisdom to share and always does so in such an accessible way. I would recommend all of his work :)
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, 21 July 2008
By 
Stuart Latimer "The Geordie Legend" (Newcastle upon-Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ignore the review above, this book rules. If you've ever wanted to know anything about why you are here, the true nature of reality and how you are going to live the life of your dreams and find lasting happiness and meaning, this book is it. More profound than The Secret and requiring less effort than any other self-help or spiritual program, The Way of the Wizard shows you how to live truly, freely and magically. Miraculous.
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11 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spirituality for the Masses, 21 May 2008
By 
J. Acker (London) - See all my reviews
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Recently a friend of mine recommended, and in fact lent me, "The Way of the Wizard", by Deepak Chopra. The first thing that struck me about the book and style of writing in general was how familiar it all sounded. It sounded familiar for a good reason: books promoting a type of "popular spirituality" have been around for at least twenty years (though it seems the peak of their popularity was in the 90's).

The ideas are a kind of mish-mash of Buddhism, Hinduism, Far Eastern Philosophies with a garnish of Freudianism (The Ego). Wendy Kaminer points out why such books are so popular: "mass-market advice books do not succeed unless their underlying message is mundane". In other words, they achieve popularity not just because they promote ideas which most of us would like to believe in, but mainly because these ideas are so familiar and widely accepted. It could be argued that the consumer market as been primed for the reception of these ideas.

On the surface the ideas are easy to understand, and make some sort of sense. On deeper reflection their sense dissolves. Of course the meaning of many statements can dissolve when looked at closely. The difference is that some statements are original and can strike us with the force of their original use of language (Baudrillard and Kristeva for example) and others are so well known, so clichéd that they have no power left in them (except the power to pander to our most basic desire for meaning in our lives).

The whole book is structured like a story or fable, using the legend of Kind Arthur (why was an English myth chosen?) as a kind of literary scaffolding. The wizard is of course the mythical figure of Merlin (Deepak) - the pupil is King Arthur (the reader). The implicit equation of the author with the all powerful Merlin, and the reader (or "spiritual student") as Arthur already sets up a clear relationship between author and reader, between him and us. We are led to see ourselves as progressing from a simple innocent child into a powerful king who has discovered his supernatural powers. Similarly, we are led to view the author (Chopra) as the all-knowing magician Merlin (though the Merlin in the book is more of the Yoda variety than the magician of ancient English legend). In this structure there is already a kind of paternalism set up with Chopra as the father, and the reader as the child.

Chopra throws in popular science as well as pop-psychology by introducing the notion of Einstein as wizard, as a kind of Merlin. This notion panders to the all-pervading myth (in Barthes sense of the word) of Einstein in our culture. The man behind the famous equation E=MC². Both the equation and the name are cultural signifiers, what they signify is clear to most of us: the power and meaning of science as something that cannot be grasped by most, and the eccentric scientist with an unruly hairstyle who's every word is holy-writ. This view of Einstein dehumanised him, and has now reduced him to a mere signified, an icon - like poor old Che Guevara, the passionate revolutionary who has been transformed by mass marketing into a pathetic tee-shirt. I happen to know Einstein's neice. She was my neighbour. I once (and only once, because I saw how upset she became when talking about it) talked to her about Einstein the Icon - the famous photo of him sticking his tongue out - the ultimate signifier of genius. She is horrified by what has become of his image, of the fact that he has been reduced to the status of an icon - that there is nothing in left in our popular imagination of the human being he once was.

Chopra writes "Besides looking a bit like Merlin, Einstein must have actually slipped into the wizards world to come up with this astonishing notion". Chopra goes on about how Einstein discovered the relativity of time concluding with a completely inappropriate example "A day in love seems like a second, a morning in the dentists chair feels like an eternity (Chopra, p. 44). This statement by Chopra goes to show both his ignorance of the Einsteinian figure as popular myth ("looking a bit like Merlin") and his complete misunderstanding of what Einstein meant by relativity (I'm leaving aside the fact that there is a difference between the special and general theories of relativity). What Chopra is talking about here the relativity of our personal perceptions of time, which are more to do with conscious perception of time than it has to do with physics (See Henri Bergson's "Time and Free Willy" for more on this problem of conscious perception of time). Einstein's special theory concerned the relative motion of objects (intuitive and quite easy to understand) and more specifically object (or particles) moving at speeds close to the speed of light (unintuitive and not easy to understand). His "general" theory concerned gravity, and the effects of the latter on time, which more generally led to the idea of a space-time continuum that is curved to the effects of massive bodies. It predicted things like the effects of the gravitational bending of light. It is usually his "special" theory which is thought of when quoted, though neither have anything to do with the effect states of consciousness have on our personal perception of time.

Chopra promotes the idea of immortality: "consciousness survives the death of the molecules on which it rides". Ignoring for a moment the fact that we hardly know what consciousness is, it is clear that this statement can't be disproved or proved (and its not a new idea either, it goes back at least as far as the ancient Egyptians). What can be said about this idea though is that everyone would like it to be true or at least would like to believe in it. The idea of immortality seems to be a strong theme in Chopras book and the pull it may have on us is quite understandable. Nobody likes the idea of life coming to an end. He goes on to say "What was once a bundle of energy turns into a leaf only to fall and change again into soil". What Chopra seems to be confusing here are the idea of immortality and the interchangablity of energy and matter (Einstein and Newton). These are two completely different ideas, the second of which has incidentally been demonstrated to be true.
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