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on 25 May 2012
Tim Freke's 'The Mystery Experience' is a book to dazzle and delight anyone with an interest in spirituality and 'practical' philosophy. And that's just what Tim gives us: penetrating insight into the heart of mysticism, leavened by humour and a touchingly human approachability that is quite exceptional in authors within this genre.

The book is practical because it's not simply an inspired dissection of ancient and contemporary spirituality; it's also a 'how to' manual that gives many simple, direct exercises from Tim's own experience to help us discover for ourselves the 'Big Love' of which he writes. Big Love is, of course, none other than the sense of all-embracing connectedness and Oneness that spirituality has identified for thousands of years. 'The Mystery Experience', however, is a new kind of spiritual road map that takes us in an entirely unexpected direction. Tim Freke is one of the very first (at least in this reviewer's opinion), to make a convincing and 'livable' link between experiencing the vastness of impersonal Oneness whilst simultaneously expressing ourselves as flesh and blood, individual human beings in the mundane world.

'The Mystery Experience' is an eminently readable book of great insight. Intellectually deft, practical and funny. But don't just read it: do as the title suggests, and simply experience it.
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on 10 June 2012
Googling "The Paralogical Alternative" produces one, and only one, result: `The Mystery Experience' - but it won't be the sole response for long. This expression will be followed by many similar efforts to expound the ground-breaking, the incredible originality of the connections explored by Tim Freke in this, his most recent journey of the intellect. He has coined this expression as a new, indeed revolutionary, way of looking at a paradox that is at once as old as history itself and as new as particle physics - `the objective world and the subjective self co-exist and create each other'. The nature of reality.

After his introduction, the journey (as it always must be) passes through four stages starting with the wider world view and gradually, gently, taking the reader into themselves and their everyday lives. The entire process is most beautifully set out, simply but profoundly expressed. Tim includes a significant extent of hypothetical Socratic style exchanges between various figures and the wonderfully but pejoratively named `Clever' Dick. It's a device that works very well particularly where the subject is both scientific and spiritual - the exchanges between Dick and Uncle Albert (Einstein) being particularly memorable.

Tim also addresses in the most understandable way the two (dual?) aspects of duality: the physical attributes of wave/particle duality and the meta-physical attributes of oneness and separateness - C G Jung's "no reality without polarity". This greater duality illustrates to perfection the Neo-Platonic view about the inter-connectivity of all things - the `Catena Aurea' or Golden Chain.

`The over-all number of minds is just one' said Erwin Schroedinger who went on to `call it indestructible since mind is always now. There is no before and after, only a now that includes memories and expectations'. He continued `I also grant that I am now talking religion, not science - a religion, however, not opposed to science, but supported by what disinterested scientific research has brought to the fore'.

What is so fascinating about `The Mystery Experience' is not so much that it includes anything new or revolutionary but that it considers `connections' in a refreshingly different yet comprehensive and, perhaps more importantly, readily comprehendible form. This book is essential reading for those people - `People Like Us' - who comprise the vast, and often silent, majority and who are really not satisfied that either religion or science can ever have all the answers. A warning though - there is nothing here for fundamentalists, whether religious or secular. Vehement fundamentalism is a product of an ossified mind, both closed and unthinking. But how many minds out there are truly closed? Very, very few - fewer than might appear from their verbal posturings that usually merely conceal a need to control: `The Will to Power'. Avoid them and read this book!
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on 31 August 2012
Tim Freke is authentic. He speaks from his heart and he speaks from his experience, the experience of a lifetime exploring a moment of mystery he encountered at the age of 12. Most of us encounter these moments on one or two occasions in our lives. The renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow called them moments of peak experience. Antonia White described them well in her book The Glass House as moments when `suddenly everything has a significance beyond itself' and which precede periods of creative activity. Sebastian Faulks' hero in Birdsong, on leave from the horror of trenches in Flanders, leans over an English field gate and suddenly "felt himself overtaken by a climatic surge of feeling. It frightened him....Then he saw that what he felt was not an assault but a passionate affinity.......for the rough field going down to the trees and for the path going back into the village where he could see the tower of the church: these and the forgiving distance of the sky were not separate , but part of one creation, and he too, by the repeated tiny pulsing of his blood, was one with them........bound through the mind of creation to the shredded white clouds, the unbreathed air of May, to the soil that lay beneath the damp grass at his feet. He held tightly onto the gate...in some residual fear that the force of binding love he felt would sweep him from the earth..... His body shook with the passion that had found him, from which he had been exiled in the blood and the flesh of long killing."
For most of us these moments are less intense and we let them pass. Perhaps we wonder, perhaps we fear, but they remain pinpricks in the normal business of life and for the most part the normality is a comfort and a reassurance that we know what we are about. It was not so for Tim. For him it was a portal through which he could see that the adults around him, submerged in their business, had not a clue what was really going on beyond the necessities of their lives. But he had felt the power of that love in that moment and knew that he had to return to find out more.
In the intervening forty years the search has taken him down many byways and blind alleys, but by persistence he has won through to something he experiences as true and meaningful and which is capable of enhancing and transforming human life. He shares his discoveries with us in this book. He guides the reader into this experience. In the process he flags up many of the dead ends and false routes that have waylaid him along the way. He does not cast himself in the role of teacher, but of companion. He never says `this is how it is' but `this is my experience' and invites the reader to join him in a journey of exploration.

At times he shares the intimacy of the feelings that are arising in him as he writes the book and the journey he takes you on leads to what is arguably the cutting edge of human evolution. To a position where the spiritual life is not `other' and the material world at best a counterfeit or something to be escaped from, or vice versa, but where both are complementary and aspects of a greater whole bearing upon and interacting with each other.

He takes us past the rejection of the world and the `separate self' to an understanding that before we can fully enter into the experience of the unity of being "we need a robust sense of being a separate individual" in order to maintain our balance in the world. His genius is to lead us gently into that experience of unity so that we feel the love and can come to "embrace those parts of ourselves that normally seem unlovable". We learn that by rejoicing in our unique individual separateness we are enabled to enter more fully into the experience of oneness.

As the title says, this book is an experience, not an intellectual treatise. If it is accepted as such and entered into, it can change everything while changing nothing.
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on 18 May 2012
The book is so beautiful. It will expand and enchance your experience of really 'being alive'.
I am a fan of Tim Freke, he is generous and genuine with his writing. The mystery experience takes the reader on a journey to experience - deep love and unity with yourself and others.

Now that is a good thing! Try it.
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on 15 September 2013
I bought the Kindle version of this book then received the paperback as a gift from my sister, who had been on one of Tim Freke's workshops. Having read quite a lot of this kind of book, I am pleased to see Tim offers some new ways of looking at the subject. However, he gets in the way of his message a bit too much for me. Which may say a lot more about me than about him!
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on 8 June 2012
This book is gold dust. This book will certainly change your life.

In over 20 years of reading just about every non-duality book going, this is the first one that bridges the gap between spiritual perfection and human reality.

Tim's application of the "both/and" paralogical approach solves the puzzle of why these two apparent polar opposites are in fact one manifestation, seen two ways. Drawing on many real life and scientific examples of why and how things are not quite how they appear or are believed to be, Tim provides the reader with his passionate loving guidance towards seeing the reality of "both/and" for themselves. The recognition that we are both pure awareness and wonderful beautiful grubby little humans.

For so many folks contemporary non-duality teachings appear cold and heartless and offer little or no explanation or relevance to the ups and downs of human existence. This is why so many feel so let down after they leave a spiritual retreat and find that it has given them nothing to deal with the reality of their lives.

Tim shows us how to embrace and love our grubby humanness as a wonderful manifestation of reality living itself as us and through us and to actually see and experience both as what you are. We are all BOTH pure awareness AND grubby humans all of the time, not sometimes, but always - 24/7.

The best way to experience this is to attend one of the Mystery Retreats to actually do some of the exercises Tim describes in the book with other people and to feel the big love, because that is something that will change your life the minute you leave the retreat and change the way you see the world, other people and yourself.
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on 7 August 2012
This book is truly a tremendous achievement.
It is profound yet simple to follow.
It is serious yet light hearted.
And it is in every sense of the word 'wonderful'.
I love the way Tim communicates. He does not simply
write on a blank page, he takes your hand and guides you gently
through a journey. With this book the travels lead to the WOW.
I cannot recommend this book enough!!
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on 4 May 2012
As is often the case when trying to talk about books which deal with the truth of things, I can't quite put my response to this very original book into words......In parts it is totally glittering. The clarity is blinding. It doesn't just have cut through it also connects things which need to be connected. Its immense. It looks like a book on spirituality but actually its a serious contribution to philosophy. There is new thinking here. Its about three books in one depending on which way you read it. Its like a neutron star - its all in there. So much in such a small space! Freke has taken the intangible here and wrestled it into conceptual form so it can be communicated. Its quite an achievement. Its also pretty funny.
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on 4 July 2012
Trying to write a review of this book, is a bit like trying to describe the mystery experience. The words that come to mind just won't do.

In this book, more than any I have ever read, the author succeeds in making the deepest truths appear as simple as taking a walk in the park. How he does this, I have no idea. But he had done it so well, using a myriad array of literary styles and devices, that something of the wonder has infused me, leaving me just a little bit speechless.

It's certainly a wise book, an honest book, an entertaining book, a serious book, a humorous book, a kind book, and a book full of wonder and love.

All I can say right now is that you should buy it and let it change you and your life for the better. I know for sure that you won't ever experience life in the quite the same way again.

Books like this don't come round too often, and when they do, we should be grateful. Thank you!
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on 2 July 2012
Tim Freke provides the methods we can all use to experience the mystery of life. I found his step by step approach took me on a journey of understanding. Fascinating then insightful then enlightening.
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