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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

What are your life-changing books?

There are many books and works of literature out there that have opened my eyes and made me think. Some of them have been profound, some of them have been a giant reality check, and some have been eye-opening, heart-wrenching and/or LOL funny. But to come across a book that I can say has changed my life and the way I think about things is a very rare treat. So, I'd like to share with you the books that have changed my life in some way or another, and hopefully have you share your life-changing books, if only to add to my short-list of must-reads.

Many Lives, Many Masters- Brian L. Weiss MD
This is actually a true story. I couldn't sum it up without doing it injustice, so I took the explanation off Dr Weiss's website:
As a traditional psychotherapist, Dr. Brian Weiss was astonished and skeptical when one of his patients began recalling past-life traumas that seemed to hold the key to her recurring nightmares and anxiety attacks. His skepticism was eroded, however, when she began to channel messages from "the space between lives," which contained remarkable revelations about Dr. Weiss's family and his dead son. Using past-life therapy, he was able to cure the patient and embark on a new, more meaningful phase of his own career.- http://www.brianweiss.com/

I loved this book. Whether or not it's totally true I don't know, but I tend to believe it is. The guy's a doctor! He has qualifications! And if it's true, the consequences are absolutely mind blowing. It provides evidence that there is not only an afterlife, but that reincarnation exists. Being a pagan, I'm a firm believer in reincarnation, and living life after life until we become enlightened and have no more lessons to learn. I believe the Christian way of thinking is an easy way out- you only live once, and if you're good you go to heaven, and if you're bad you go to hell. Where are the lessons? What's the point of having one chance? Anyway, I'm getting off the topic here. The point is that this book somehow confirmed my belief that there is something, whatever that something is, after life.


Stranger in a Strange Land- Robert A. Heinlen
This was apparently a best seller when it was published in 1961. It's about a human that was raised by martians on Mars, who was eventually found by another Mars expedition, and brought back to Earth. Of course, you're wondering how a human was raised by martians on Mars right? Well, on an earlier expedition a husband and wife couple conceived while on their mission. Somehow everyone in that expedition but the baby dies, and the baby is found by martians and raised as their own. The result is a human in physical appearance only, but a martian in mind, emotions, and spirit.
This book made me question many of my own values and morals. Like monogamy, and why it is so important in our society. Like the true ability of humans, and the fact that if we supposedly only use 10% of our brains, imagine how amazing we would be if we used all of it. And it also brought up the question of environmental influence. If we were brought up in a society that only used thought and feeling and actions to communicate, would we be able to read people's thoughts? Would our brains and our powers of thought be so advanced that we could move objects with our minds? Would we all be Uri Gellers?
If I were to recommend any book, this would be the one. You'll either love it or hate it, and I'm willing to wear the blame if you hate it, but it certainly made me question many of the "rules" and regulations that our society has in place: what's tolerable with regards to sex, behavior, religion, and what's not.

So these are my two life-changing books. What are yours?

3 comments:

KerriSackville said...

I read the first book too - would love to believe it but my rational, cynical mind just WON'T LET ME!
The book that changed my life was... wait for it... How To Stop Worrying And Start Living by Dale Carnegie. It was as old as the hills (he's the guy who wrote How To Make Friends And Influence People) and I was a teen who thought I'd discovered him. And it really, really helped me to manage my thousands of anxieties. Now, years later, I just have hundreds.

ACTing Like A Mama said...

For me the most life changing book I have read by far is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Such a simple beautiful tale that always makes me cry. I have learnt some very important life lessons from that book, and many more that I haven't yet mastered by am hoping to conquer soon!

sparsely kate said...

I haven't read either of these two books but I've certainly heard of them. Dr Weiss was on Oprah with Dr Oz and it was a fascinating episode that made me think a lot.

I believe in past lives. I dont' know why I do, I just know that it feels like truth to me and makes the most sense. So I'm going to seek out this book and read it ok!


My two life changing books? I can think of two just up front - The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom changed me and also The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf which made me think about the bigger picture about being a woman.
Great post idea!

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