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Customer Review

99 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and cutting concisely to the point, 5 April 2003
This review is from: One Year Manual: Twelve Steps to Spiritual Enlightenment (Paperback)
After having read many a book on topics related to personal development I found this particular gem by Regardie a particularly refreshing experience. A very short book, especially when compared to some of Regardie's more well known books, such as those describing the rituals of the Golden Dawn.
Nevertheless, its brevity actually remains its primary strength. Outlined in it, Regardie details what he regards as the most important and effective exercises one can undertake to develop oneself and seek, (and hopefully obtain), some kind of enlightenment.
Unlike many other similar books on the same topic, Regardie provides his recommendations with the minimum of fuss or frills. Readers of Crowley's 'Book Four' will appreciate the relative simplicity and straight-talking nature of the One Year Manual.
Think of this book, perhaps, as the very best essence of personal/spiritual development literature distilled into twelve exercises. Although I read this book many years ago originally, I still carry out some of the exercises detailed therein. Upon first encountering it I initially reacted by wishing that I had read this book first, before the dozens of encyclopedic texts I had tackled previously!
Having not had the ability to discern the wheat from the chaff when such books originally piqued my interest I have made up for this by often purchasing this book for friends when they express an interest in the topic. I say in all earnestness that if you have a fairly serious interest in finding out more about personal/spiritual development, reading this book will save you a lot of time.
Many books on these topics unfortunately steal the limelight because of the massive funding poured into advertising them. Gloss and advertising wins over solid content. I place this book in my top ten list of 'highest signal to noise ratio' texts.
As to the content of the exercises themselves, Regardie admits his biases at the very outset. Earlier editions of the book used Christian terminology in some of the exercises given. In his last major edit of the book however, Regardie replaced this with ancient egyptian terminology in an effort to remain more neutral and avoid putting readers off unduly.
All emphasis in the book remains on the quality and effects of the exercises themselves. The first exercises introduce the reader to fairly non-taxing exercises that fit in very conveniently during the day. Newcomers to this area will no doubt find that the most difficult aspect of these exercises remains the maintaining of the habit; the resolve to go through them each and every day. For the maximum benefit individuals should carry them out daily, or as often as possible - as indeed Regardie recommends.
The obstacle of habit-forming in the first place, I would say actually remains more difficult than most - if not all - of the exercises. Readers should bear this in mind when tackling this book as Regardie does not seek to instruct with profound soundbites of wisdom, or comprehensive analysis of the rhyme or reason behind doing such exercises.
No. It remains a beautifully short and sweet instruction manual for the most effective exercises for encountering and experiencing the kind of wisdom many other such texts purport to convey. One can find further clarification and depth in Regardie's excellent 'Tree of Life', and I would recommend reading this also after at least giving the exercises in the One Year Manual a try.
Having thoroughly experimented with the exercises myself over the course of a year I can honestly say that they help to give colour and context to almost every other book I have read on the topic before or since, and they do so in a way that will neither consume your time or your money. It seems that the best things do still come in small packages.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Jan 2012 20:46:18 GMT
gille liath says:
Any nearer enlightenment?

Also, you mention Crowley's Book Four - would you say this Regardie book covers the same ground to any extent?

Ta.
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