Wednesday’s Wondrous World: Books

Columns, Wednesday’s Wondrous World

Wednesday Banner

As a writer, it was really only a matter of time until I reached this particular wonder:  Books.

Books are the ultimate gateways to imaginative worlds, to mythologies, to knowledge, to language, to the continued growth and education of the whole human race.

You cannot open a book without learning something.” – Confucius

books!

Before the advent of the book, there were stone tablets, codices and scrolls to communicate information.  Later the advent of movable print made it easier to mass produce what came to be called books.  In modern times, of course, books are being supplanted by the internet, e readers and other non-print media.  But a book, whether in physical paper form or on your Kindle, Nook or iPad, is still a book.

Books have been written containing things both true and false, containing information and entertainment, comedy and tragedy.  Books stretch across every imaginable aspect of the human condition, and can educate, inform, entertain, annoy and delight everyone in some way or other.

Books offer a form of communication that is the ultimate path to realms of imagination.  Books can convey information about every known topic, and offer words and pictures and color and context.  It is in books that I have spent many an hour exploring and developing my imagination, learning new information, and gaining greater knowledge and experience.

Certainly there are things better learned through doing than reading, but books are the best place to place knowledge.  I know that while the internet is at our fingertips, there is something about having the physical book to leaf through that adds a whole other layer to the experience.

books2

As much as I can glean information online, there is nothing quite like going into a bookstore and exploring the volumes there.  As I do so, I imagine coming across the spine of a book featuring my name, one of my worlds, and that sense of excitement at being a part of something far greater than myself.

There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway.

As a child with a curious mind and extremely active imagination, losing myself in books helped to shape me into the man I am today.  I think it was through books that I learned to be delighted in learning, through books that I began to form the molds to create my own imaginary worlds, and books would be my closest companions.

As a writer, I sometimes neglect the energy I should give to reading.  I still need, besides my own stories, to pick up the books of others, for both pleasure and knowledge, to expand my own experience.  Reading books provides a much needed escape.  I especially enjoy taking the text outdoors, finding a space beneath a tree or in a comfortable chair, with no distractions.

my book

Even with e readers and tablets and other portable devices becoming more prevalent and inexpensive, the physical book will remain an important and constant wonder of our wondrous world.  But no matter what form you prefer, no matter what information you are seeking to digest, books can provide us with both uncountable answers and even more questions.

Books.  An expansive wonder of a wondrous world!

What books are you reading?

 

Me 3-25-13 smallerI am MJ Blehart, book-loving author of “Wednesday’s Wondrous World”.  Every week I share a wonder of this amazing world, and I hope you will enjoy the journey with me!

Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.

Also now available, Pathwalking: A 21st Century Philosophy in Book and Kindle form!

And while we’re on the subject of books – you can ALSO check out my fantasy short story A Treacherous Stone in the anthology Rum and Runestones, and my steampunk short story The Vapor Rogues in the anthology Spells and Swashbucklers.

Advertisements

Conscious Reads: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Book Reviews, Charmed Botanicals, Conscious Reads

Features

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it”

I recently finished reading an inspiring book by Paulo Coelho called The Alchemist. A journey filled with twists and turns, as one boy goes after the callings of his heart and pursues his personal legend.

Santiago lives his life as a shepherd. His parents wanted him to pursue a career as a priest but he prefers being a shepherd because it allows him to travel and connect with nature. One night he has a dream about going to visit the pyramids in Egypt and finding a hidden treasure. After he wakes up he believes the dream may be a message for him to embark on the journey to see if indeed there is a treasure awaiting him in the pyramids. He takes a risk, sells his flock of sheep and begins to travel.

As Santiago follows his heart he is led to different people and situations that guide him towards his goal. It is mentioned in the tale that “there is no such thing as coincidence” and that all things are connected. Santiago realizes this and pays attentions to all the events and signs that present themselves to him along the way.

Coelho mixes a powerful tale with wisdom in this novel, so much so that I found myself highlighting sentences and seeing the deeper meaning behind the words. I read the entire book in a few hours because I was so curious to see what happened next for the shepherd boy!

Filled with inspiration to listen to your heart, chase your dreams, and live your destiny, this book was delightfully magical. If you are looking for a quick read that’s intriguing and full of snippets of wisdom, this is a great choice.

Happy reading!

Review by Jen Moeller

Conscious Reads: The Passion Test

Book Reviews, Conscious Reads, Features

feature photo

I just finished reading The Passion Test written by Janet and Chris Attwood. The purpose of this two-part book is to help you discover what your deepest passions are, and how to actively create a life filled with the things that bring you joy.

The first half is dedicated to discovering your passions. The way the The Passion Testauthors do this is by having the reader make a list of events or things that would be happening when their life is ideal. Then after the list is completed the authors walk the reader through a test in order to find out which of the things listed are the most important. I love books that are interactive so I jumped at the opportunity to take this test! I made my list and used the formula to narrow down my ideal life situations, and I thought I would share with you what I wrote. Here is what my list looks like:

When my life is ideal I am:

  1. Surrounded by like minded, conscious people who are on the spiritual path, and will support me on my journey.
  2. Developing spiritually/meditating daily on my life, and awakening to the truth of who I really am.
  3. Making my living by having fun, my “work” is play. I do what I love and love what I do.
  4. Traveling the world, meeting new people, visiting places I’ve never been and taking my camera along with me to document my travels.
  5. Involved in a soulful, blissful, loving relationship with a man aligned with my highest good.

After your list is complete the authors guide you through action steps to gain clarity on how to make your ideals a reality. I found the exercises to be enjoyable and easy to accomplish.

It is so important to dive deep into yourself and figure out what it is that really makes you happy. If someone asked you today what you are passionate about, would you be able to answer that question confidently or would it take you a while to think about it?

I have gotten to the point in my journey where I am clear on what IUntitled-1 love I am now just learning how important it is to make these things the main focus of my life. I am also realizing that these interests seem to shift and change over time. This book stresses that taking this test is something you should do at least once every six months. I think it is important to do this “check-in” and see where you are on cultivating your joy path, and if any changes need to be made.

The second half of the book consists of examples of people who have taken the test and some wisdom they have learned along the way. They share their stories and give tips as well as advice on what you can do strengthen your confidence and start living your passion filled life.

If you are craving more clarity about who you really are and what makes you joyful, this is a great resource. Make a cup of tea, put on some relaxing music, grab a journal and take the test, you may find the results to be eye opening!

Written by Jen Moeller

Conscious Reads: Trust Your Vibes by Sonia Choquette

Book Reviews, Conscious Reads, Features

“The reason you listen to your vibes is to surrender control so that the Universe can step in and help you. God knows better than you know how to take action in most situations, so relax, get out of the way, and let it happen.”Sonia Choquette

I recently finished reading a book by gifted intuitive Sonia Choquette called “Trust Your Vibes, Secret Tools for Six-Sensory Living.” This book is packed with 33 valuable tips and action steps on how to develop your intuition and live your life in a more conscious manner. The author takes you on a journey to learn what activities may be holding you back in developing your sixth sense, practices to overcome these blocks, and guidance on how to trust your instincts.

The beginning of the book offers a small quiz that the reader can take in order to evaluate how much they are already following their vibes. I found this to be helpful for me before reading further because I felt strongly that I was already allowing my intuition to help me through life, and this quiz was a conformation for me.

In the spiritual community we talk a lot about how important it is to take care of yourself, and your body. Eating clean foods, getting adequate sleep, grounding yourself and meditating are all essential, and the author covers these basic principles. She also discusses energy and how easy it is to tune into someone else’s consciously and unconsciously.

It is important to protect yourself and stay grounded in your own energy, especially when someone you are near is anxious or angry. A tip offered in the book states that if you do find yourself in this type of situation to block the energy from the other person by covering your solar plexus. You can do this by folding your arms across your belly. It occurred to me that this is something most of us do already and don’t even think about it. Children do this all the time. If they are not getting their way they cross their arms over their belly and pout. They are quite literally blocking the energy being sent in their direction!

The book also points out that art and writing are great tools to help develop your intuition. This is interesting: The author suggests writing down in a journal your intuitive hunches and “aha!” moments. This helps train your brain to be more aware of these occurrences. Once you begin doing this, you may notice the events may start happening more and more.

The truth is, spirit is always trying to guide you, it’s just that you may not have been getting the message! Art is also useful because it helps you “get out of your mind.”  When actively engaging in a creative activity you enjoy like painting, cooking or gardening it is easy to lose track of time and connect to your heart. When you connect with these spaces inside of you, it allows your soul to express itself. This helps develop your sixth sense and also brings you joy.

Whether you are just embarking on your spiritual path or have been practicing for a while, this book has information that is valuable for both seekers. This is equally a good resource if you are just looking for an interesting read that will help you develop your intuition. The tips in this book are useful, practical, and easy to implement into your daily life!

Happy Reading!

Review written by Jen Moeller

After Disclosure: A People’s Guide to Life After Contact

Book Reviews, Features

Some believe. Some don’t. Most are ambivalent.

Since the incidents at Roswell, the number of people claiming UFO sightings has steadily risen. And those who believe UFOs are of extraterrestrial origin represent a large majority.

Simply Google the word “UFO” or “ET” for a more-than-generous take on the spectrum of speculation: Pseudo-intellectuals who examine the facts, and insist on 3-dimensional evidence which may or may not be relevant. Hard-core skeptics, who believe these questions can (and/or should) only be answered through science and astronomy. Conspiracy theorists who accuse the government of shrouding evidence of Extra Terrestrial life in secrecy to protect some hidden agenda.

The Spiritual realm has its own theories.

Many fundamentalist religious folk deny the possibility of ETs all together, believing the Bible’s account of cosmology and creation to be literal and complete – the totality of all that is. Those God-fearing Church goers who do believe ETs exist, have their own take on what these beings actually are. Angels? Demons?

Or, as Chuck Missler, speculates, a hybrid race of fallen angels and humans, the “giants” (or Nephilim) referred to in the Old Testament. This view postulates an ultimate conspiracy of the dark side to contaminate our genetic gene pool by creating a bastardized blood of rebellion to ruin God’s creation of man.

Non-traditional spiritualists offer a variety of hypothesis: Many have claimed contact with ETs as guides and claim to channel beings from star systems such as the Pleiades and Arcturus. In this viewpoint, ETs are not looked at as a single entity with a distinct agenda, but rather, multi-dimensional beings throughout the galaxy, that, like humans, are both dark and light, some benevolent, some not.

In this paradigm, the realms of the Universe are too vast and varied for a single label or category.  ETs are not looked upon as “good” or “bad,” evil or divine, but simply, diverse.

Some are here to help the planet involve, some have their own agenda. It is a realm where much discernment and understanding is required.

According to many extrasensories and channelers, there are not one or two ET races, but literally thousands of different species with histories and cosmology as mysterious as Earth itself (and often, inextricable tied to Earth’s narrative).

Every one of these theories is an article unto themselves.  Yet I  mention these ideas to preface my feature of the following book, A.D After Disclosure, A People’s Guide to Life After Contact.”

Regardless of the paradigm any believer (or non-believer) comes from, this book takes on the big question:  If there is ET life, how would global contact change our world as we know it?

Creatively combining historical analysis and science fiction, A.D. After Disclosure sets-up the “what if” questions with fictional scenarios, while critically exploring the political, social, and cultural implications of contact.

Regardless of your take on the possibility of Extra Terrestrial life, A.D After Disclosure opens up the debate, and offers thought-provoking ideas on entanglement.

Skeptics and non-believers will have fun with this Hollywood style exploration, while UFO enthusiasts can tap into a plethora of directional possibilities. Either way, it’s a thought-expanding read.

Check it out!

About the Authors:

Richard Dolan : Historian and Researcher 

“Richard M. Dolan is the author of the ground-breaking historical series, UFOs and the National Security State, which chronicles the modern UFO age with an emphasis on military encounters and government secrecy. This work has been acclaimed as the finest history of the UFO phenomenon available in any language.

Dolan has also published articles, spoken at conferences around the world, and appeared on numerous TV specials as an on-air expert. He has developed fresh insights into the practical challenges and opportunities for a true disclosure of the UFO phenomenon.

Prior to his interest in UFOs, Dolan was a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship, studying U.S. Cold War strategy, Soviet history and culture, and international diplomacy”

Bryce Zabel – Journalist and Screenwriter 

“Bryce Zabel has created five primetime network series, notably NBC’s Dark Skies, to be released on DVD in 2011.

He also wrote and produced Syfy’s first original film,Official Denial, about Majestic-12, and worked on the development team on the Spielberg-produced abduction miniseries, Taken.

In 2008, Zabel received the WGA award for writing the Hallmark mini- series, Pandemic. He has written multiple studio feature scripts, receiving credit on two produced films, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

Zabel was also elected chairman/CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

He has been an award-winning PBS investigative reporter and on-air CNN correspondent.”