Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Messiah's Handbook

I've been leafing through Reminders for the Advanced Soul by Richard Bach. Reminders because you already know. Advanced because it's a certain kind of soul who is asking the kind of questions to which this book offers answers. It's a soul that's been bruised and stripped bare, brought down to its knees pummelled by blow after blow. It's a soul that's done playing hide and seek, that's drawn a line in the sand and is poised to step over it and never look back. The advanced soul says "I'm ready." The reminders are for those who are ready to remember and live anchored in and liberated by these simple yet complex truths.

You don't have to fight 
to live as you wish.
Live as you wish 
and pay whatever price is required.

"Your depth of intimacy with another is inversely proportional to the number of others in your life."

"You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them.You're always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past."

"Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers and teachers."

Is this my highest sense of right?
Is this the direction I want most to go?
Is this the way in which I can give my greatest gift?

Reality has nothing to do with appearances,
with your narrow way of seeing.
Reality is love expressed, 
pure perfect love,
unbrushed by space and time.

To love someone unconditionally
is not to care who they are or what they do.
Unconditional love, on the surface,
looks the same as indifference.

The only thing that shatters dreams is compromise.

You wait a lifetime to meet Someone
who understands you, accepts you as you are.
At the end, you find that Someone, all along,
has been you.

How do you want 
to come out of this experience - 
how do you want to be changed because of it?

The individual is always the exception.

"Everybody can't..."
anybody can.

Before you'll change,
something important must be at risk.

Even when you're brought together by miraculous magnetizing,
you still have to work out problems.

The creative, loving-something life
is also the healthy one.
There is healing and protection
in doing what makes you happy.

No heavens,
no hells,
just these endless worlds
you create
till you think you've got it right.

Richard Bach is the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions, both of which rank among the top 100 books I wish to be buried with.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Brain Food

I gave up television in December last year in the hopes that it would increase my reading capacity. Allow me to apologise in advance for not giving detailed reviews but in the interests of time suffice it to say I highly recommend the following books with which I've provided myself brain fodder over the last few months. 
The titles here have made me laugh, think, seethe with rage, cry and wonder and it would be unfair of me to withhold them from you just because I haven't the time to write brief blurbs on them as I normally like to do. So, know that these come highly recommended and trust me they're worth turning your back on the TV.
In no order of preference my reading list from Dec 2012 to June 2013 is as follows:

The Fault In Our Stars - John Green
Sigh. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I was left heaving great sobs of grief and joy. 

Brainwashed- Tom Burrell
You should read this if you are black. You should read this if you are not black. Made me think...

The Social Animal - David Brooks
Unputdownable! I gobbled it up in one weekend. This interesting read is yet another thread in the tapestry of ideas about what it is and what it means to be human.

The Timekeeper - Mitch Albom
A satisfying and heartwarming work of fiction. It's good to have one's heart warmed every once in a while and this book gave me a good dose of the warm and fuzzy feelings I needed to stock up on to regain my faith in and love for humanity.

Illusions - Richard Bach
Exactly how it's described on the cover is exactly how it is. I wish I had it as an audio book then I would play it all day so my head would always be in the right space.

Kill the Messenger
- Maria Armoudian
Please read this. I beg you. Read this book.

How to be Black - Baratunde Thurston

Quiet - Susan Cain

Rumi's Little Book of Life - translated by Maryam Mafi and Arina Melith Kolin

Behind the Beautiful Forevers - Katherine Boo

The God Argument - AC Grayling

Interventions - Kofi Annan

Watch - Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya

The Queen of Katwe- Tim Crothers

The Blue Sweater - Jacqueline Novogratz

Hallucinations - Oliver Sacks

Bad Pharma - Ben Goldacre

China's Silent Army - Uan Pablo Cardenal & Herbeto Araiyo

Stuffed and Starved - Raj Patel

Development and Freedom - Amartya Sen

Archetypes - Caroline Myss

Ghana Must Go - Taiye Selasi

The Story of a Nobody - Anton Chekov

A Good African Story - Andrew Rugasira
Haiku for Lovers - Manu Bazzano

GOD - Deepak Chopra

Open City - Teju Cole

The Universe vs Alex Woods - Gavin Extence

Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Rumi: A Photographic Gallery of Inspirational Quotes - Faroosh Brock

The Strenuous Life,  Essays and Addresses - Theodore Roosevelt

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick

The Zahir - Paulo Coehlo

Tribes - Seth Godin

Bossy Pants - Tina Fey

Messiah's Handbook -Richard Bach

The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell

I will do brief write ups about some of these as they are definitely worth a second mention and have had far-reaching impacts on my life. In the meantime though, what are you waiting for?  Get reading!