Walking Wisdom: Three Generations, Two Dogs, and the Search for a Happy Life by Gotham Chopra

Walking Wisdom: Three Generations, Two Dogs, and the Search for a Happy Life by Gotham Chopra
walkingwisdomGotham Chopra, the son of Deepak Chopra, shares what he has learned through the ownership of his crazy dog, Cleo, and becoming a father for the first time. He also deepens his relationship with his own father when his mother has to spend an extended time away in India.

It’s a hodgepodge of a book with the themes differing from chapter to chapter. I generally enjoyed it but felt like it was a bit scattered.

I remembered Gotham from all of the Channel One news I watched during junior high and high school. I thought it was a waste of time (even then, I would have rather been reading), but I remembered him.

A few years ago, I watched the documentary he made about when his father joined a monastery- he mentions this at the end of Walking Wisdom. I was intrigued by the dynamic between them in the documentary.

Gotham seemed to focus on his father’s foibles, like his addiction to his phone and his frequent trips to Starbucks. I thought those parts were unfair, but the window into his strange, spiritual/rock star world was one I couldn’t forget.

My favorite parts of this book were similar to that documentary. I loved learning about Gotham and Deepak’s close friendship with Michael Jackson. The best part was when Gotham brought his pup, Cleo, to meet the mega-star. It’s very surreal.

I also liked learning about how Deepak’s family handles his active mind and constant spiritual seeking. Gotham describes being his father’s “guinea pig” for different experiments from meditation to yoga to spoon-bending.

Gotham’s non-traditional upbringing gave him a quirky lens through which he views the world. It also has made him a master meditator.

Recommended for dog lovers and those curious about what goes on behind the scenes of Deepak Chopra’s life. If you can’t stand books that skip from one topic to another, you may want to choose a different read.

Thanks for reading!

Initiate’s Book of Pathworking: A Bridge of Dreams by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki

Initiate’s Book of Pathworking: A Bridge of Dreams by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki

initiate's bookI understand that directed pathworkings are an actual technique that has been used by mystery schools for centuries to explore consciousness. I just don’t see its usefulness beyond a sort of tourist trip through what “may” be in your mind rather than what “is”.

Let’s compare it to riding a bike. Directed pathworkings are like watching a video of someone riding a bike. Passive pathworkings are like hopping on that bike and riding it all over your neighborhood. You get the visceral experience of being there. Yeah, if you’ve never ridden a bike before, watching the video might be safer, but it certainly isn’t more fun.

If we look at the Initiate’s Book of Pathworking as a journal of an adept’s inner work, it feels rather rehearsed and stilted as opposed to the out of body work that was chronicled in Multidimensional Man by Jurgen Ziewe.

If we consider the different approaches between Ashcroft-Nowicki and Ziewe, it also makes more sense that these pathworkings have a clear beginning, middle, and end as opposed to Ziewe’s offerings which are more like real life: random and, at times, nonsensical.

Because (I’m assuming) an adept from The Servants of Light School created these pathworkings through actual experiences on the inner planes, it has the curious side effect of unfolding like a structured lesson plan.

In Nick Ferrell’s book, Magical Pathworking, he discusses the importance of writing pathworkings like a story with a beginning, middle, and end for its consciousness shaping potential, but he never talks about how naturally occurring pathworkings or passive pathworkings, present themselves in that manner, organically. At least, that has been my experience.

I suspect that mystery schools experienced some pathworkings through their consciousness research, recorded the patterns that occur, and then sought to imitate that inner perfection by scripting pathworkings like the ones found in this book.

There is value to be found in this book as it provides a nice introduction to pathworking in general: “What is a pathworking? It is similar to a virtual reality trip. Pathworkings are perfectly natural and can occur spontaneously in the form of daydreams. Used as a structured series of visualizations, they hold many possibilities for the student.” Introduction, pg x

I found some of this book silly like the Healing Spring (Women only) pathworking on page 61. Women only? We’re dealing with consciousness here which is neither male or female, but pure being. If a guy wants to run the Healing Spring pathworking, I’m not going to be the one to say no.

Some of the poetry in the pathworkings is very beautiful and felt authentic, which again made me wonder who wrote these for the SOL. W.E. Butler? Dion Fortune? So curious:

“Forest Lord, with twelve-tined crown,
Now we come to bed thee down.
Rest content when sleeping deep,
Leave the Summer Queen to weep.

Rest thee well till comes the Spring
When harebells in the wood do ring;
Then rouse thee up the maid to wed
And seek the joy of the greenwood bed.

Hunter, blessed be thy sleep;
Choose a maid thy bed to keep.
Dreams of silver, dreams of gold
Will guard against the winter’s cold.” pg 190

To give you a comparison, here is a chant from some pixies in a passive pathworking that I experienced a couple of months ago:

“Awake the trees, awake the night, awake the shining moon.
Feed the plants, free the life that dwells within the bloom.
To keep the forest growing tall, the pixie people sing,
We bring the song and dance the call to wake the Forest King.

Awake the night, awake the moon, awake the powers old,
We’re the ones that call upon the Spirit of the fold.
Dance the dance, sing the songs, make the forest wake,
In our stead, these plants have fed the thirst that never slakes.

Feels very similar, yes? That’s the fascinating thing about consciousness research to me. It feels so familiar but, at the same time, infinitely unknown.

It’s just my opinion but, I think, in addition to space, our own minds are the next frontier of human exploration.

“These “serial” workings will grow with you as you explore them, and can bring about many strange events, both in your astral life and in your physical existence. They are more potent than they seem, so take them slowly.” pg 214. One a week has worked pretty well for me. I feel like I’m learning and growing but not being overwhelmed by the changes.

A dated portion of this book that I found rather amusing, especially since the recent kerfluffle over the year 2012: “As the year 2000 comes ever closer, speculation as to the future of the world gets wilder. Exactly the same kind of hysteria hit the known world in the year 1000… The year 2000 will usher in a time of adventure, opportunity, and yes, a lot of changes. But we will survive. Things may be very different a hundred years from now, but we have survived big changes before and will do so again.” pg 231 Amen.

“One of the things an initiate learns is that every man and woman is essentially a “multi-versal” being. That is, we exist simultaneously in many dimensions and parallel universes. We have a consciousness in each one, a life in each one, a purpose and destiny in each one. But each is minutely different. With every passing moment in time, we change our future in each universe by constantly making decisions that affect the course of that future.” pg 240. I don’t know that I agree with everything in that passage, but isn’t it a beautiful view of reality? Layers within layers of truth, all interacting and changing each other, eternally.

If you liked the guided pathworkings in this book, you may want to read: Magical Pathworking: Techniques of Active Imagination by Nick Farrell, Pathworking and the Tree of Life: A Qabala Guide to Empowerment & Initiation by Ted Andrews, or the second half of A Garden of Pomegranates: Skrying on the Tree of Life by Israel Regardie. If you want examples of (mostly) passive, out of body experiences, read: Multidimensional Man by Jurgen Ziewe or Psychic Warrior: The True Story of America’s Foremost Psychic Spy and the Cover-Up of the CIA’s Top-Secret Stargate Program by David Morehouse.

Thanks for reading!

I Hope I Screw This Up: How Falling in Love with Your Fears Can Change the World by Kyle Cease

I Hope I Screw This Up: How Falling in Love with Your Fears Can Change the World by Kyle Cease

ihopeiI Hope I Screw This Up is a part-diary, part-spiritual evolution manual and 100 percent the Hippie Librarian’s type of read. Kyle Cease shares his thoughts and personal path towards becoming his best self. I didn’t find it to be as funny as promised in the blurb, but I do think it has worth as, “another finger pointing towards the moon,” as Eckhart Tolle would say.

The beginning of this book is hard to get through- for the writer and the reader. Kyle explores his fears and inability to get started. But, he slowly gets into his groove and, boy, does he begin flowing. Here’s the start of the turn-around: “You would have sensed my inauthenticity immediately if I was feeling fear in every ounce of my body and I just overlooked it in order to write the “right” thing. Instead, by baring my soul and telling you what I’m actually experiencing, I’m freeing myself from the pain I would otherwise be hiding and holding on to. Something I’ve learned is that sharing my deepest truth, no matter how scary it is in the moment, is freedom.” loc 48, ebook. And he’s off to the races.

“Just because I haven’t done this before doesn’t mean that I can’t access the ability to write the most amazing book that has ever been written. We all have the exact same level of ability to access the unlimited creativity available in every moment.” loc 158, ebook. I believe that too-
humanity’s ability to access unlimited creativity every moment. I suppose I believe that Kyle could write the most amazing book that has ever been written. Does he do it in this tome? I guess that depends upon how well you’re able to connect with what he’s done.

I enjoyed this discussion about the limitations of the mind: “Your mind is constantly putting you in survival mode all day so it can protect itself from what it thinks will be death, and unfortunately, your mind thinks almost everything is death.” loc 224, ebook. Isn’t that the truth.

And he touches on some of the problems with the New Age movement: “I know it sounds weird to say that sadness is actually a good thing, but the societal lie is that it’s better to be happy than to be sad. That’s just a belief that our mind created. … one of the strongest things you can do is to actually feel the emotions that you’re experiencing.” loc 510. Every emotion has a time and place. The insistence upon positivity at any cost, doesn’t work. Serenity now, insanity later… yes?

He also goes into the life-changing benefits of meditation, which I also agree with. By slowing down and taking the time to go within, your inner being speaks to you and gives you guidance: “Every single one of us has this calling within us, but most people are so locked into the habits and distractions they’ve created in their life that they can’t hear it. It doesn’t take anything special to discover what that calling is or what it wants you to do; all you have to do is turn down the volume of your distractions and listen.” loc 706. It may sound weird if you haven’t experienced it yet but it’s true.

For the most part, Kyle keeps his book in this dimension of reality and doesn’t dip into the far-out. But, there is a part where he briefly jokes about a picture of himself and how, at the universal energy level, we’re all the same. So, technically, you’re looking at a picture of yourself in the book that you wrote, even though it seems that you’re looking at a picture of him in a book that he wrote. That could be a bridge too far for some readers, but the Hippie Librarian took it all in stride.

Enthusiasts of Eckhart Tolle and Abraham Hicks will probably enjoy Kyle Cease. He’s authentic in the way that spiritual teachers are, understandable and amusing. He also makes a good case for falling in love with your fears. Now, the hard part, to practice it.

Thank you to Netgalley and North Star Way publishing for a free digital copy of this book. Reminder: the brief quotations that I pulled from the advance reader’s text may differ slightly in the final printed version.

Thanks for reading!