Welcome to my book club! This is an informal, ongoing series where I share the spiritual books I'm reading. This includes fiction, non-fiction, memoir and audiobooks. If you would like to be notified of new book posts follow me Instagram or Facebook.
This is a book I've been aware of for years but knew little about. I'd always been curious about it, but didn't get motivated to read it until we started a bookclub at my local yoga studio.
Although I've always had an interest in past lives, I felt a lot of resistance upon reading this book. Everything I've learned about healing, through both traditional therapy and metaphysical resources, has emphasized the present moment. In order to find inner peace and happiness, you must release attachments to the past and the future.
And yet, this book is built around people finding healing by turning to the past. Not only do they find healing, but they find healing for issues they spent years, even decades, trying to resolve. They also found new perspectives on relationships in their lives, particularly contentious ones.
In the end, I enjoyed reading this book, but what really amazed me is what happened after I finished.
I began having dreams of people I know and seeing us together in past lives! I also began applying the principles to my own life, using them to ease my anxiety. When I felt anxiety coming over me without any clear reason I would think, "I'm safe. I'm safe in this life. My traumas are over. I'm safe I'm safe I'm safe." And then I would feel calmer and more present.
There's a lot of reasons to read this book. First and foremost, it's a fascinating exploration of how past life regression therapy actually works (this book is not about past life readings, which are totally different). Then there's the fact that the author was trained at Columbia and Yale. He's a clear minded, grounded, and highly intelligent doctor. He's as skeptical as anyone when it all begins, and because of his background in research and science, there's a level of reassurance to it all. And lastly, it might provide answers to problems, illnesses, and relationships you could never get clarity or healing on.
Have you had any experiences with past lives? Have you read any other books on this subject you think I should know about? And if you've done past life regression therapy, tell me about it in the comments!
This is part of an ongoing series where I share spiritually themed books I'm reading. See all posts here.
When you speak to bibliophiles, they will almost always mention Somerset Maughm as one of their favorite writers. In the 1930's, he was one of the most widely read writers. He traveled extensively and was popular for both his travel writing and his fiction.
Maughm has yet to become a mainstream heavyweight in the way Hemmingway, Tolstoy and Austen have. However, he still remains a well read writer, and I have read almost all his books. He writes in an accessible way, and I always feel as if an old friend is telling me a fascinating story from long ago.
Yes, that is a real movie poster from October of 1984. Bill Murray was so enamored with the book that he refused to sign onto Ghostbusters until they agreed to make this movie. The movie wasn't well received and went away quietly.
The book, however, remains popular (mostly through word of mouth). I read it when I was 20 and re-read it again 17 years later. I was at first apprehensive, distrusting of my twenty-year-old self to know a good book. But as I read it I was thrust back into the story, captivated by the characters, and remembered why it had made such an indelible impact on me.
The story follows various characters, all told from the perspective of Somerset Maughm himself. Although written as a novel, Maughm was clear that everyone in it was based on a real person. He wanted to protect their identities, as it shows some very real and very dark sides of humanity, and so he fictionalized all the people in it - except himself.
The catalyst for the story is Larry Daryll, but don't expect to get to know Larry too well. He often disappears for years at a time, constantly in search of "truth". Larry had been a World War 1 pilot. When he came back from the war he came back a different man.
What exactly he saw that affected him so deeply no one really knows. He will only tell small bits of what he experienced. What he will say though, is that what happened made him question the meaning of life. He decides he's going to "loaf" and live on the small bit of money he inherited.
To his friends and family, he's lost his mind. All he does is read and sit around thinking. To Larry, everyone else is crazy, because they're all pretending this whole existence thing makes sense.
Welcome to the first post in my book club! This will be an informal, ongoing series where I share the spiritual books I'm reading. This will include fiction, non-fiction, memoir and audiobooks. If you would like to be notified of new book posts follow me Instagram or Facebook.
A bit shorter than most books, Siddartha is technically a novella rather than a novel. It tells the story of the young son of a Brahmin. The story takes place about 2,500 years ago in India, when the caste system was a way of life.
As a Brahmin, Siddartha has been born into the highest caste. The Brahmins were teachers or priests and highly respected. Along with this, Siddartha is popular among family, friends, girls, and teachers. He has everything a young man should want to be happy - a successful future, love from those around him, and a deep spiritual practice.
From the time he's a young child, Siddartha is taught everything about meditation, the creation of the Universe, Gods, Goddesses, and Atman, or the soul. Although this should be another area of satisfaction for him, he feels disappointed by it. He feels he knows everything that his teachers will ever tell him. And when he's older, he will pass on this same knowledge, regurgitating it to the next generation. He can essentially see the rest of his life and feels there is no room for growth or personal exploration. A sense of unhappiness consumes him, and he has no idea how to stop it.
When a group of Samanas, who are ascetics that practice severe deprivation, show up in his village, he feels something awaken inside of him. Although these men are thin, unfriendly, and weather beaten, he's drawn to them. He decides right then and there, he will abandon the comforts his life affords him and follow these men.
Siddartha is joined by his best friend Govinda, who loves Siddartha and admires his courage to follow his heart. As they go along, Govinda comes into his own and becomes a follower of the Buddha.
When this happens, Siddartha is truly alone for the first time in his life. In some ways, this is the true beginning of his journey. He takes many twists and turns from there, coming to know many inspiring and unique characters.
The book follows Siddartha into old age, where he finds his greatest teacher in a surprising place. It's a beautiful and soulful journey, and one that has inspired generations of readers. I've read the book three times and see it with fresh eyes each time.