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Freshly resolved for New Years, but needing a good ‘how-to’ book

By December 31, 2007zen / spirituality

New Years is a popular time to make resolutions (most of which go unfulfilled, but that’s not something we celebrate or dwell on).  I was reminded of this as I entered the local Barnes and Noble because right up front there were books about fitness and yoga, followed by books on saving and financial planning.  However, being the sort of person who likes to get below the surface, I walked past these grab-bag offerings and headed toward the section on Enlightenment.  After much searching I realized that there was no section on Enlightenment.  The New Age section was the closest thing I could find.

I was quickly overwhelmed by the vast collection.  There was a book
called "Astral Traveling for Beginners," which astonished me.  I don’t
want to arrogantly dismiss the possibility of Astral Traveling, but the
notion that I could learn this by reading a beginner’s guidebook is
hard for me to grasp.  Have we evolved to the point where ancient
mysticism is now available to the masses?  Apparently so.

Continuing to browse, I spotted a book called The Complete Idiots Guide to Communicating with Spirits.  In this book one learns:

  • Meditative Methods – to help you tap into your innate medium abilities
  • Guidance and Assistance – from family and friends who have crossed to the other side
  • Comfort and Healing – through spirit contact and messages

Many people might think me an idiot for holding such a book, so I
glanced around.  Seeing no one, I opened the book and found this
incisive rebuttal to my petty fear:

"You’re no
idiot, of course. You know life is a journey and that physical birth
and death are its points of transition. Many people, across cultures
and faiths, believe the spirit lives on—and have experienced contact
with the spirits of loved ones who have passed to the higher side. This
contact is joyous, comforting, and healing—but you wonder if it’s
really real and whether you can share in it, too. Don’t give up the

Despite the allure of a new form of communication, this wasn’t my idea of ‘spiritual enlightenment.’  Fortunately, there are many, many books in the Complete Idiot series that deal with spiritual matters.  The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Toltec Wisdom by Sheri A. Rosenthal, DPM was intriguing.  It contained a foreword by Miguel Ruiz, the master of Toltec wisdom and author of The Four Arguments (not part of the Complete Idiot
series).  The book purports to be ‘filled with practical tools that
readers can employ immediately.’  The web page for the book has a form
so you can be notified immediately if the author releases a new book.
Unfortunately, there is no convenient way to be notified when the
author achieves Total Enlightenment.

In the end I decided to play it safe and stick to the well-worn path.  The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Jesus is "perfect
for Bible study experts, new believers, and the just plain curious."
If I make good progress with that then maybe next year I’ll be ready to
speak with ghosts and Toltecs.

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