Favorites, Teachable Moments, Totally Random

The One with The Book

I recently finished reading a book that was recommended by friend called “Many Lives, Many Masters,” by Dr. Brian Weiss. I devoured the book. And by devoured I mean I purchased it just before 6:00 one night, started reading around 10:00, and after a few interruptions to take the dogs out, make tea, check on my sleeping son, and answer nature’s call (after several cups of tea), I read the last page about 5 hours later.

First let me just say that I love when people recommend books to me. Love it. If someone takes the time to mention a certain book, it means it had some kind of effect on them, and that’s all the information I need to give it a try. So, thank you, Mat, for suggesting the book in the first place.

When Mat told me about the book, I searched Amazon to see if there was a Kindle format I could download instantly. It took me a long time to embrace the Kindle. I like holding a book in my hand, the physical act of turning pages, and having the ability to underline passages and take notes in the margins (which, by the way, is why I’m totally banned from borrowing library books in my hometown). I finally got one for Christmas and I have to say, I love it. I carry it everywhere because it’s a lot easier to load into my purse than a 300-page hardcover. And, admittedly, it does enable me to electronically highlight passages and make notes, so that’s cool. But it has had the negative consequence of chipping away at my patience when I want a book instantly (or at ridiculous hours of the night when the bookstores are closed and I suddenly get the urge to read something RIGHT NOW) and it’s not available to download. Such was the case with “Many Lives, Many Masters.” But, as usual, that’s the universe telling me to stop being an asshat and take a breath. So not being able to download it gave me the opportunity to take my son to a brick and mortar bookstore and spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon browsing the titles. He chose a Disney bedtime stories book, and I came away with the Weiss book.

The book is Weiss’ story of how he reluctantly partook in past-life hypnotherapy with a young patient and how, ultimately, he came to discover some pretty powerful insights. The crux of it was thus: Our bodies live one life, but our souls live many lives. Each reality our souls take on is purposeful and has a far deeper meaning than we as humans can comprehend. There are lessons we need to learn in each incarnation, and our present existence is meant to lift our souls to a higher plane.

Several things struck me. First, his belief that as souls we choose our next life and everything that happens in it. At first I was sickened by the thought. Why, for instance, would anyone choose to be abused, raped, abandoned, murdered? Why would they choose to be addicts or to be infected with any number of diseases? It makes no sense. But the deeper meaning is that we choose such hardship in human form to enlighten our souls and to help others in some way. I’m still leery about that one, but if I can strip the human emotion and pain from it, it makes sense on some level. Second, that souls tend to reincarnate in clusters, and so the people you’re closest to in this life, or those with whom you share some bond, are likely those with whom you’ve traveled (proverbially speaking) before. That one I could wrap my head around a little better.

Not usually my cup of tea, but I have to say I was quite drawn in by it. I give it two thumbs up, for what it’s worth. Actually the book reminded me a lot of Arthur Rimbaud’s work…only far less dark. I didn’t so much want to stab myself in the neck with a sewing needle after reading Weiss. Such is often the case after sitting with Rimbaud’s words for any length of time.

Anyway. The book was amazing on so many levels. I was at once fascinated and disturbed by Weiss’ words. Parts of it felt like a warm embrace; other passages made my blood run cold. But my appetite for a deeper understanding is voracious to be sure.

Oh, um, full disclosure: In addition to finishing “Many Lives, Many Masters”, I also started a book called “My Best Friend Is a Wookie,” a memoir by a guy who became obsessed with the Star Wars movies at age 7 and whose main objective at that tender age was to become a Jedi Knight. Hi, my name is Michelle, and I, too, was a charter member of the Star Wars fan club. (I had a membership card and everything.) I strove to procure The Force, which I was so sure could protect me from the evils of the world. Plus? I really wanted a lightsaber and to hang out in the swamps of Dagobah with Yoda, just lifting shit up with my mind all day. So, yeah, I’m enlightened enough to have been captivated by Weiss’ work, but I’m also a fangirl geek at heart. Just wanted to put that out there, lest you mistake me for highly evolved. Heh.

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