Books for Dads & Grads

Graduations are happening everywhere, and Father’s Day is coming (June 18th this year!) Here is a list of books for the dads and grads in your life.


Quotes That Will Change Your Life

The wisest, most experienced, and most thoughtful people in history have left us these little thought-bombs, and this book collects them and neatly arranges them into topics everyone wonders about.  Surprising, jolting, discomforting, and comforting insights urge us to live a full, unbridled life, question authority and reality, relate to fellow humans, create, risk, love, live with uncertainty, and stay sane in an insane world.  These rousing insights and challenging thoughts appeal to everyone.


The Saint’s Little Book of Wisdom

From Saint Teresa of Calcutta to Saint Francis of Assisi, the words of the saints provide comfort, strength, and peace in times of need and in times of joy. In this beautiful, handy collection, the wisdom of the saints has been distilled into themes such as love, faith, hope, and joy. This volume offers 300 bite-sized nuggets of inspiration and wisdom for readers to turn to time and time again.


Exploring the Financial Universe

The role of the Sun, planets and stars and their influence on global markets is intriguing to traders and investors alike.  Christeen Skinners’s research shows very definite links between major stock market movements and the position of the planets. The work includes charts, graphs and horoscopes along with an explanation of some of the astro-financial forecasting techniques. This book will appeal to both those with little understanding of astrology or those well-versed in the subject.


Introducing NLP

Introducing NLP by Joseph O’Connor, a leading international NLP trainer and the author of NLP Workbook, offers the practical skills used by outstanding communicators. Excellent communication is the basis of creating excellent results. NLP skills are proving invaluable for personal development and professional excellence in counseling, education and business. Introducing NLP includes how to create rapport with others, influencing skills, understanding and using body language, how to think about and achieve the results you want, the art of asking key questions, effective meetings, negotiations, and selling and accelerated learning strategies.


The Mastery of Self

The Mastery of Self takes the Toltec philosophy of the Dream of the Planet and the personal dream and explains how a person can, wake up, liberate themselves from illusory beliefs and stories, and live with authenticity. Once released, we can live as our true, authentic, loving self, not only in solitude and meditation, but in any place— at the grocery store, stuck in traffic, etc.—and in any situation or scenario that confronts us.


Tesla For Beginners

Tesla For Beginners examines the man behind the alternating current and wireless technologies who traveled from Serbia by steamship to arrive in the United States with only four cents in his pocket. It was in the early 1880s, at the tail end of the Industrial Revolution and the beginning of the Second Industrial Revolution, that America beckoned him. Nikola Tesla—a poet of invention—left behind a vast and intriguing legacy. He was a scientist, physicist, mathematician, electrical engineer, and extensively published author who spent his last decades scraping for funding for celestial projects and living out his final days in penurious solitude with a pigeon.


The Path to Wealth

Entrepreneur May McCarthy shows how to create a true financial partnership with what she refers to as your Chief Spiritual Office (CSO).  This is not a dogmatic book; McCarthy encourages readers to partner with a higher power of their own understanding.  She insists this power is within you and it knows what must happen for you to receive what you want. Her daily roadmap helps readers define financial goals with their CSO creating the path to attain them.


The Everything Answer Book

Amit Goswami’s basic premise is that quantum physics is not only the future of science, but is also the key to understanding consciousness, life, death, God, psychology, and the meaning of life.  Quantum physics is an antidote to the moral sterility and mechanistic approach of scientific materialism and is the best and clearest approach to understanding our universe.  Here in conversation with friends and colleagues, Dr. Goswami shows that quantum physics is indeed the theory of everything.


Why Smart People Hurt

In Why Smart People Hurt, psychologist Dr. Eric Maisel draws on his many years of work with the best and the brightest to pinpoint these often devastating challenges and offer solutions based on the groundbreaking principles and practices of natural psychology. His thoughtful strategies include using logic and creativity to cope with the problems of having a brain that goes into overdrive at the drop of a hat. With a series of questions at the end of each chapter, he guides the reader to create his or her own roadmap to a calm and meaningful life.


Listful Thinking

More than half of all American employees feel overwhelmed, according to a study by the nonprofit Family and Work Institute. For the 54 percent of us who feel like we’re chasing our own tails, Listful Thinking is here to prove that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can still find time to relax, read a good book, and do the things you love. Listful Thinking is the book that will give readers their lives back with indispensable tips on saving time, getting organized, improving productivity, saving money, and reducing stress.

Imagine

by Marion Forgatch, PhD, Gerald Patterson, PhD and Tim Friend

As parents, we shape our children’s behavior from the day they are born. Their behaviors—desirable and undesirable alike— become established as we reinforce them through our own actions, reactions, and inactions. In this chapter, we’ll discuss how you can encourage cooperation in your children and help you to become aware of behaviors that may innocently send the wrong messages. As Jerry studied families in their homes, he developed what has become known as “coercion theory.” Coercion starts out as a vital, natural survival instinct that can be found in infants as well as baby birds. Before children develop language, they communicate their needs to be fed, held, or have their diapers changed by crying. Unattended infants can fly into little fits of apparent rage. It’s their only way of telling you that they need something, and they need it now. As they begin to develop language, we have to teach children to ask for what they need. If we don’t, that coercive behavior can allow toddlers to control their parents. To see unadulterated coercion in action, watch a three-year-old throw a temper tantrum in a grocery store. See how the parent and child react to each other. Observe the escalation in the intensity of emotions during the exchange. This is a battle of wills between a little kid and a grown-up. Watch how it ends, who wins, and why.

Coercion lies at the root of most of the battles we see between siblings and between parents and children. You can think of coercion as a dark side of human nature inside all of us. Understanding what coercion is and how it interferes with loving relationships can enable you to recognize it when it arises and do something about it. Because coercion is the cause of so much of the trouble between parents and young children, reducing it is a core component of our parenting techniques. When parents learn to reduce coercive actions in their children—and in themselves—cooperative behaviors have a better chance to grow and thrive. When we first become parents, many of us start out with vague dreams for ourselves, our individual children, and our families as a whole. You have probably had some kind of vision of the family you wanted ever since you were a child—though it is rare for anyone to sit down with us when we are young (and most receptive) and explain how to raise a happy family, let alone model how it is done. Your vision, however amorphous it may be, was likely influenced by the strengths and values that determined how you were raised—for better or worse.

Sit back and imagine the family you want. What you imagine is probably different from your partner’s ideal family. If one of you had a great childhood, you will surely follow in the footsteps of those amazing parents. If your childhood was rocky, you may be thinking of different ways to raise your children. Unfortunately, many of us are so busy that we don’t spend much time planning our parenting strategies. We live in a different world from the one in which we grew up. Raising children is more expensive than ever, employers demand more work, our relationships become loaded with stress, and we sacrifice our dreams to focus on the problems at hand. Now is the time to rekindle your dreams and get ready to create the changes you want for your family. Changing bad habits and teaching new skills require that you think carefully about your goals. We urge you to think big and reach high to create the family you have always wanted.

Dreams can lie dormant and may even die unless you awaken them and imagine ways to make them come true. Once you conceive your dreams, how do you give birth to them? It’s easy to say: “I want my children to get along with others or do well in school.” It is quite another thing to say: “Here’s how I will make it happen.” You start by setting goals. Begin with something feasible, and then break down the goal into steps using the Goldilocks rule—not too big, not too small, but just right. When you accomplish one goal, set a new one.

For instance, imagine teaching your children to get ready for bed on their own. Our approach is to first show them each tiny step; then we patiently teach them to put the steps together—take a bath, dress for bed, and brush their teeth. Gradually, your children learn to do it all themselves, and you can move on to another set of skills. Setting goals and planning the steps required to reach them is a kind of telescoping process—you look ahead to the future, you zoom back to the present, and you figure out how to get from here to that distant place. With practice, your skill at making long- and short-term goal statements will grow, and you will become a master of making dreams come true.

Excerpted from Raising Cooperative Kids by Marion Forgatch, PhD, Gerald Patterson, PhD, and Tim Friend


Marion S. Forgatch, PhD, is the senior scientist emerita at the Oregon Social Learning Center and a frequent lecturer at professional conferences. She is the coauthor with Dr. Patterson of Parents and AdolescentsGerald R. Patterson, PhD, was the founder of the Oregon Social Learning Center and was well known for his pioneering work in child psychology. His awards included the Distinguished Scientific Award from the American Psychological Association. Tim Friend has two decades of experience as a national reporter covering science and medicine.

Tarot as a Spiritual Tool

by Monte Farber & Amy Zerner

Divination systems, also known as “oracles,” based on tarot, astrology, love, prosperity, rune stones, serenity, alchemy, The Goddess, voodoo, Native American spirituality, and almost every other subject that you can buy a book about, continue to be one of the strongest selling items in bookstores. It is easy to see why; people have questions and they want answers, especially in this frightening and uncertain time, and a well-designed oracle is designed to help people find answers to their questions.

The Tarot can be used for the purpose of divination by using the images on the cards and their meanings to trigger insights from your Higher Self, the part of us that provides guidance by supplying us with those ‘irrational’ hunches, intuitions and flashes of inspiration that can make everyday life sometimes seem so extraordinary.

By shuffling and selecting one or more cards from the deck as you calmly and sincerely ask for guidance about your situation, you cause your Higher Self to guide you to select the proper card. Your state of mind at that moment implies a future course of events in regards to the situation you are asking about. Shuffling the cards of The Tarot at the same moment you are concentrating on your question causes your question and the cards you select in answer to your question to be linked together by the power of your intention and concentration. They are connected in a meaningful way because they are happening at the same time.

This may or may not be the Age of Aquarius or The New Age, but it is certainly The Now Age; everything has to be done now. Cell phones, computers, texting, and the Internet have destroyed the cushion of time that used to enable us to thoughtfully consider our situations. Here in The Now Age, information overload overwhelms. How can we find and stay on the path to a life of quality and meaning in The Now Age? How can there be time to pray when there’s hardly time to play?

Like prayer, a well-designed divination system reminds us of our seamless connection to All-There-Is. As an added bonus, using an oracle with sincerity and regularity ads a needed element of ritual to our lives. Approach all your readings with a sense of ceremony, sincerity and humility and all will be revealed.

Our Instant Tarot system has been designed to help you properly access the tarot’s ancient truths and put them to immediate use. It is our sincere desire that our book, the first and only one of its kind in the tarot’s long history, will help you to better understand your own inner voice and its ability to direct you.

The user-friendly layout of Instant Tarot allows individuals to also ask any question using a one-card, three-card or full eleven card “Celtic Cross” spread to get revealing, inspiring answers to your burning questions about life. It’s great to do with small groups of friends and especially by yourself where, undisturbed, you will often see subtle and formerly hidden meanings emerge from the text.

The tarot helps you to be more mindful by helping you tune into a deeper, inner level of awareness.  It is a way to journey into yourself and discover your spiritual center.  The 78 cards portray all the cycles of human experience – it is a “book” of knowledge.  Using the tarot, a focusing mechanism, also helps in the development of your psychic abilities and empowers you to make the best choices in your life.


Monte Farber and Amy Zerner are the authors of 45 popular spiritual books and oracles, with more than 2,000,000 books—including Karma Cards, The Psychic Circle, Quantum Affirmations, Sun Sign Secrets, and The Enchanted Tarot—in print around the world and in 14 languages. They are bloggers and conscious-content contributors to several websites and blogs. Visit them at www.enchantedworld.com.

The Astral Body, the Chakras & The Magical Arts

by John L. Steadman

The relationship between the astral body, the chakras and the physical body is often misunderstood by novice magickal practitioners. What is meant by the term “astral” body, indeed, is subject to differing interpretations; occultists tend to associate the astral body with the etheric, which they envision as a plane of invisible, subtle matter that serves, in turn, as a pattern or prototype for the physical word, and they use such terms as the Etheric Double, or the Body of Light interchangeably with the Astral Body; all of this tends to create obfuscation rather than clarity. Likewise, occultists, seeking to explain exactly what the chakras are, offer definitions that end up confusing the novice; they speak of the chakras (rightly) as linked to actual physical nerve plexi and glands, and yet, they assert that these chakras are “potent energy sources” in themselves, and thus, beyond the physical.  Again, obfuscation rather than clarity is the result.

In attempting to explain the connection between the astral body, the chakras and the physical body, then, I think that it is important initially to recognize and to accept two basic premises.  First, the human mind is not “in” the brain, nor is it “in” the body; instead, the reverse is true; the brain and the body are “in” the mind.  The mind, thus, exists equally independent from the rarified activity known as cognition as well as the basic, often distasteful rag and bone shop of horrors that characterizes human emotions and instinctive human activity.  Second, the sole, genuine power of the mind is the Imagination.  As the root word “image” suggests, the Imagination makes images.  Even more importantly, it creates images.  Most of these images are anchored in the familiar word that we are born into and are imprisoned in by our perceptions.  But a fraction of these images are separate from the physical world, and these latter images exist, like the mind itself, behind or apart from the physical world.  The mind, as it imagines, then, is very much like the God of Abraham, spoken of in the first book of the Old Testament, a free, creative spirit that moves upon the face of a great void and then simply does what it is in its nature to do, to create.

Given these two premises, it is possible to examine the elements of the individual human being.  Following the eastern esoteric tradition, which begins its analysis from the lower, material levels to the spiritual, we will move from the less subtle to the subtler. The most basic element of the human being is the physical body and this is – well – the physical body.  It gives the impression of being real, so much so, in fact, that most non-occultists think that it is real.  But this body isn’t physical at the subatomic level; as Quantum Physics suggests, it is, if anything, nothing more than a probabilistic pattern of particles in a constant state of flux held together by our pre-conditioning and perception.  After a time, perception proves to be too weak to keep the body together and it dissipates.   The reason for this can be found in the first premise articulated above: the brain & the body are “in” the mind.  The mind, therefore, exists outside the physical. It may be, for convenience, linked to perception, which is the mind’s most inconsequential power. But there is not any real link.   Accordingly, as the body declines, the powers of perception decline as well, and ultimately, the mind ends up unable (or unwilling) to prevent the dissipation and the body dies.

The second element of the individual human being are the chakras. The chakras are associated with the nerve plexi and the glandular centers of the human being.  There are seven of them: the crown of the head (sahasrara-padma); the brow (ajna), throat (visuddha), heart (anahata), solar plexus (manipura), sacrum or navel (svadhishana), and spine (muladhara).  It is not accurate to directly attribute the chakras to these physical centers of the body; they are best understood as invisible, unmeasurable, energy- sources, which, in turn, can be channeled at the nerve points.  The chakras, thus, are arguably etheric meridians, as some occultists will have it.   And yet, the charkas are still indissolvably linked to these physical areas of the body.  In fact, they really cannot function without the physical links in place.  The chakras cannot even be understood or comprehended separate from the physical links.  Thus, as the body ages and grows weaker, and as the hold of the mind on the body weakens as well via the declining powers of perception, the chakras grow weaker and their energies decline.  Again, it is worth remembering: the brain & the body are “in” the mind.  Therefore, we observe the same situation expressed before with regard to the body & the brain; the mind stands back, inviolate, as the brain and the body slowly dissipate; and the chakras, correspondingly, dissipate as well.  And when the body eventually dies, the chakras die along with it, their energies dispersed as readily as the life force of any merely physical thing.

The third element of the individual human being, the astral body, is radically different than the physical body and the chakras.   There are those occultists who refer to the astral body as the “second” body, and they like to assert that the astral body is the invisible double of the physical body and that it, likewise, serves as a kind of pattern upon which the physical body is built.  These occultists, in short, equate the astral body with the etheric. Many of these occultists, in fact, even go as far as to claim the etheric body is actually a probability distribution that ultimately determines the shape and disposition of the human body.  In making such an argument, these occultists are literally imposing a neo-platonic paradigm on Quantum theory, which is, of course, unjustifiable.   J. H. Brennan, occultist and author, describes very accurately the difference between the astral body and the etheric and, in the process, highlights the confusion that often ensues when the astral body is mistakenly identified as etheric.

Your etheric body is your invisible double.   It interpenetrates your physical body and some schools of thought believe with the physicists it is essentially a pattern of force on which your physical body is built.  It is closer to matter than to mind…it seems to function as a link between your physical body and your mind… [But] your astral body is a step beyond the etheric.  And this step takes you into the realms of the psychic proper.  The astral body is composed of mind-stuff: or more accurately, imagination stuff. [i]

The imagination, as I have suggested previously, is the mind’s primary, creative power.  Furthermore, I think that it is safe to assert that the astral body, as a product of the imagination, is the mind’s most essential creation.  It is important to note, however, is that the creation, in this case, shares the same quality as the creator; that is, the astral body, like the mind itself, stands apart from the body & the brain.  The astral body can be perceived, as can the physical body and the chakras.  But when the body & the brain decay, and when perception declines and weakens, neither the mind nor the astral body are affected.  For, indeed, the mind and the astral body are not “in” the body or the brain; they are separate.  They are inviolate, not subject to dissipation, decay and death.

When it comes to the practice of the magickal arts, particularly the “high” magickal arts, the astral body is of utmost importance.   Among occultists, there is a distinction between “high” and “low” magick.  Low magick involves the use of magick for physical, psychological, or emotional purposes.  A good example of low magick would be cleansing the chakras; this procedure tends to promote the physical well-being of an individual.  Another example of a low magickal operation would be casting a spell to attract a lover; the purpose here is twofold: part physical gratification, part emotional satisfaction.  Low magickal goals are best handed by a simple generation of magickal force.  As described in the terms of chakra mythology, magickal force results when the kundalini at the base of the muladhara chakra is stimulated via the use of magickal techniques; the energy then rises throughout the body, stimulating the other chakras as well as it moves up the body and then ultimately emerges in the physical world.  This process does not involve the astral body at all, unless the magickal practitioner sees a need to bring the astral body into the mix.  In contrast, the practice of high magick – i.e. evocation, invocation & conjuration- is best accomplished by the astral body.  A magickal practitioner performs high magick for two purposes: knowledge and/or power.  The rites themselves invariably involve the full use of the elements of magickal practice.  The magickal practitioner makes use of symbolic objects- the customary wand, cup, sword, and pentacle.  The practitioner, also, starts out her working in a stylized setting, whether real-time, akashic or virtual.  Then, at some point, the magickal practitioner finds herself performing the rite in the astral body.  Here, the imagination has reached an apotheosis.  The experience becomes, in effect, pure mind and pure perception.

[i] Brennan, J. H. Magick for Beginners: The Power to Change Your World. St Paul, MN, Llewellyn Publications, Inc., 1998, 68.


John L. Steadman is the author of H.P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition, a scholar of H. P. Lovecraft and western occultism and has been a magickal practitioner for more than thirty years. He is currently a college English professor at Olivet College in Michigan.

Peace Begins with Me

by Karen Casey

I remember as though it were yesterday the first time I heard “The Peace Song.” It was at the close of a Sunday service at the Unity Church in Golden Valley, MN. I was just a few months sober and had gone to Unity at the suggestion of one of my new friends in AA. At the close of the service all the congregants stood and held hands. And then the singing began.

I was mesmerized. As the tears streamed down my face, I stood transfixed by the simple beauty of the words, the beauty of the voices that surrounded me and the quiet beauty of the truth of the message those words carried. I knew at that moment that my life was truly changing. I just didn’t have any idea of the extent of that change.

Fast forward 41 years. I am still sober, of course and still growing, still discovering transformation through the many encounters I have been privileged to experience since that Sunday so long ago. Over these many decades of sobriety and spiritual growth through recovery, I have come to cherish a certain few principles which I will share with you that have allowed me to walk more securely along the many pathways that brought me here, to this moment in time, with you.

There were obstacles along the way of course. There always are. They are the opportunities we have been gifted with to stretch us and push us to becoming the companions our many fellow travelers have needed to encounter so that they, too, could become who they were meant to be. I truly embrace the idea that we will always meet those individuals we need to encounter, not just for our own edification and growth, but their’s too. This is not an “accidental course” we are on. Indeed not. I am here as are you because of the divinity of the journey we have agreed to share.

To reiterate, choosing to live my life these many years being governed by a few very simple principles has given me the quiet well-being that I usually experience. However, those moments of quiet peace that slip out of my grasp are the result of my inattentiveness to here, now. But the introduction to a third pathway to peace has enhanced my awareness of “this moment.”

How very grateful I am that A Course in Miracles, my third pathway, blessed my life nearly thirty years ago. I had no idea I was searching for its particular message; I only knew that I needed something more. AA and Al-Anon were, and still are, the
cornerstones of my spiritual growth; cornerstones that I will never wander away from. But I continued to yearn for a closer sense of “the presence” of the Spirit that I had been assured accompanied me everywhere.

It was while reading the words so beautifully conveyed to Helen Schucman, the scribe of ACIM, that I heard the messages that God, through the Voice of Jesus, was intending for me to hear. And I was ready for them. I have remained ready for them. Not unlike 12 Step Programs, we aren’t really ever done with hearing and rehearing the messages that are meant for us in the many gatherings that invite us in, the many books that cry for rereading, the many moments of quiet reflection on all that we have come to know.

I have been a proponent of “the course,” coupled with the spiritual principles so embedded in 12 Step Philosophy since that very first moment that I knew I had been called to carry this message too, in my workshops, my books, my very being. Having received such a clear direction has allowed me to move forward confidently and purposefully, with the full intent of imparting that which I have gleaned from those many “voices” that have spoken to me.

I have been a proponent of “the course,” coupled with the spiritual principles so embedded in 12 Step Philosophy since that very first moment that I knew I had been called to carry this message too, in my workshops, my books, my very being. Having received such a clear direction has allowed me to move forward confidently and purposefully, with the full intent of imparting that which I have gleaned from those many “voices” that have spoken to me.

The message I herald is simple. And it’s not uncommon. It has been heard from the lips of Mother Teresa. In the writings of the Dalai Lama. Wayne Dyer too. AND MANY OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS WE SIT AMONG AT MEETINGS, DAY IN AND DAY OUT. It’s about being a messenger of peace, an expression of love, serving as a witness to the hearts and minds of all those men and women and children who have NOT WANDERED OUR WAY BY ACCIDENT.

It’s also about accepting that we are powerless over the lives of others but never powerless over how we acknowledge those others who pass us by. And it’s about forgiveness. Of all others and ourselves, particularly for our many judgments. As I read in the course so many years ago, “the ego speaks first; it speaks loudest, and it is always wrong.” It’s that very dominant voice in our minds that pushes us to be all that the Holy Spirit tries to steer us from being. With the ego in charge, we will never know peace.

The simple principles that continue calling to me also include these:
1. Detaching from the drama of others’ lives offers us peace of mind.
2. When others begin to bother you, change your focus.
3. Don’t let anyone else define who you are.
4. It’s a fact: we can not control any one else.
5. Letting go is an act that blesses everyone, everywhere.
6. Separation from others is an illusion.
7. We are joined in the Oneness of Spirit.
8. No experience is lacking in purpose. Seek to understand it.
9. Every encounter with another person is Holy.
10. Chance plays no part in God’s plan.

These are not the only principles that guide me, of course. There are dozens more. But I know after these many years on this spiritual path that any one of these principles, well honed, has the power to change the life we are living in the moment, and forever too. And any of these principles practiced any time by any one of us can impact the Universe that is the home of all of us. Seem farfetched? Think again. Every action, every thought emanates a vibration that moves beyond it. We do have the power to send forth whatever vibration we desire.

Why not make it a peaceful one?


Karen Casey is a writer and workshop facilitator for 12-step recovery. Her first book, Each Day a New Beginning, has sold more than 3 million copies. She has published 28 books since then including Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow, which was a finalist for the MS Society Books for a Better Life Awards. She has traveled throughout North America and Europe carrying her message of hope for others on the road to recovery.