June Book Reviews

Reviews by Len Oppenheim

In our May newsletter I listed a number of books that had an important influence on me as I matured. I noted that There Is A River, by Thomas Sugrue, the first authorized biography of Edgar Cayce, was a book that “completely altered my life”. I doubt if I will ever know whether it was fate, chance, or part of some universal plan that exposed me to people, books, and ideas that in the late 1960’s completely altered my way of thinking and how I led my life. It began for me with an article I read about astrology and how it could be used to pick winners in sporting events—a very practical tool (if it really worked) for someone like myself who loves sports and often bet on football games. I began to do some research on astrology, and one thing led to another and I got exposed to a great teacher, Roy Eugene Davis, who was a disciple of Yogananda. Thanks to Roy I got interested in meditation and read Autobiography of a Yogi, and with Roy studied the Bhagavad Gita. Although I resonated with the spirituality and descriptions of reality in these two great books, my naturally skeptical mind continued to have doubts about the veracity or validity of these teachings.

It was only after reading about Edgar Cayce, and his extremely well-documented psychic or mystical powers and insights that my “left brain” could wholeheartedly endorse the acceptance that my “right brain” had been developing towards spirituality, metaphysics, and the path of a seeker. For those of you who have still not read There Is A River, I continue to urge you to do so. Cayce’s “physical readings” were remarkable in their accuracy. He could not only diagnose diseases of bodies anywhere on the planet, those who followed his recommended treatments which included specific recommendations to see local medical practitioners as well as certain medicines or other modalities of treatment enjoyed close to a 100% cure rate. This data was carefully compiled and time after time skeptics or debunkers who came to prove Cayce a charlatan came away convinced of his abilities and of the validity of his recommendations.

Unfortunately for us, Cayce died in the mid -1940’s so if we have a disease or physical problem we can not avail ourselves of his knowledge. The A.R.E. (Association for Research and Enlightenment) located in Virginia Beach, Virginia has archives of all of Cayce’s readings and they are now available online or on disks. Most of us, me included, are either too busy or too lazy to dig through the files to optimize this information for our personal use. Fortunately there have been doctors and others who have done the research. One such gentleman, Eric Mein, M.D., has done excellent research and compiled it in a book: Edgar Cayce’s Keys to Health: Simple Solutions for a Lifetime of Vitality. This is a book I recommend to everyone.

Mein does a superb job of tying together all of the teachings from thousands of Cayce’s readings to give us a comprehensive overview in order to optimize our physical, mental, and spiritual health.
In this book we can learn how and why we get sick in general, and what we can do to prevent illness. There are also studies of fourteen common diseases and their causes and treatments.

What makes this knowledge most useful is that now there is a company which provides access to virtually every device or substance recommended by Cayce. The website can be accessed at www.baar.com or you can call them at 800-269-2502.

I am thrilled to have read this book and discovered this website. I hope many of you will read the book and find some of the things useful in achieving optimum well-being.

Rarely do I make the effort or take the time to review books which I do not highly recommend. I am making an exception for Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell.

I enjoyed, reviewed, and recommended Gladwell’s other two best-sellers, Blink, and The Tipping Point. I got the feeling that Outliers is a crass commercial effort to capitalize on his two other successes. In plain English I think this book lacks integrity. While it may, at times, be clever, it is never profound! Gladwell uses “data-mining” to give the impression that a few specific cases can lead to broad general conclusions.

Although I thought the first chapter, about why Canadian Hockey players are predominantly born January through April, was both brilliant and revealing, it all went downhill from there. He devotes a lot of (in my opinion wasted and boring) time doing very shallow analysis of nature versus nurture and IQ versus practical knowledge or what I might call “street smarts”.

In the end, this is not a terrible book. However, I think discerning readers can do better elsewhere. I read the book because it was recommended to me by a few people and has been very topical. Readers beware! If you have a different
opinion I would love to hear from you.

I certainly hope everyone enjoys the improving weather and that summer is a time of growth and fulfillment for all of our faithful readers.  

Reviews by Tony Kainauskus

I first fell in love with reading when a few years ago I discovered The Hardy Boys… well maybe more than a few years.

Every month I could barely contain my excitement waiting for their latest adventure.

Of course over the years my tastes have changed to a degree… but the themes have remained the same.

Exploring mysteries, thinking the mystery is resolved only to discover more mysteries in a never ending cycle.

End of Your World by Adyashanti (reviewed in our April Newsletter) is a must read for anyone interested in the mystery of the awakening process and its aftermath.

The writing is simple yet powerful… the information contained in the book has not been available in this easy to assimilate format in any other book I have read.

A very important read will hit home to many. A subtle yet profound change of perception develops just reading the words.

I am on my third read of this book.

Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way: Creating Happiness with Meditation, Yoga and Ayurveda by Nancy Liebler Ph.D and Sandra Moss M.S.P.H

One of the few books that I have come across whose primary focus is Ayurveda and depression.

“Healing Depression the Mind-Body Way shines a new light on the darkness of depression by presenting specific antidepression strategies based on the latest theories of modern science and the practical wisdom of Ayurveda and (Transcendental) Meditation

The book will teach you how…

To identify manifestation of depression based on elemental imbalances

To use yoga, exercise and breathing techniques that are in synch with your specific physical, mental and emotional needs

To use food and Transcendental Meditation as medicine.

This is a much needed book of hope for anyone experiencing the darkness of depression.

Nancy Liebler is a clinical psychologist, professor and lecturer.

Sandra Moss is an Ayurvedic practitioner and a member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.

We have just received a shipment of wonderful booklets filled with old lectures from Maharishi. Booklets like Power of Silence containing quotes of Maharishi from the 50’ and 60’s to more current quotes in Ocean of Bliss. Over 16 different booklets.

Please go to our website www.21stbooks.com to the keyword field and enter Croatia or go to subject field and enter TM.

Supplies are limited on these collectors’ items.

When I write and think” I” have written something profound.. It is usually nonsense.
When writing comes from somewhere beyond my small self.. only then can I go back and read what was written and learn something about myself and grow.

In the book THE END OF YOUR WORLD by Adyashanti

Adyashanti writes about the need to speak ones truth…

To tell what is true within ourselves is not to tell what we think; it is not to tell our opinion. It is not to dump the garbage can of our mind onto somebody else. All that is an illusion, distortion, projection. Truth is not unloading our beliefs about anything. That is not truth. Those are ways that we actually hide from the truth.

…When we tell the truth it has a sense of confession. I don’t mean a confession of something bad or wrong, but I mean the sense where we come completely out of hiding. Truth is a simple thing. To speak the truth is to speak from a sense of total and absolute unprotectedness.”


Writing to me is a form of suicide: a process of destroying self…words can become powerful weapons.

My writings have been an attempt at my truth

I try to convey my words with honesty,

But in truth I can only be so open and vulnerable.

So my truth is intermixed with fiction.

But it is the best offering I have to give at this time.

I asked a wise friend if my writings were too sentimental.

She answered “What is too much”?

So I write trying to withhold judgment.

And without effort on my part a natural balance is created.

The filters dissolve

Neither too much nor too little… but the perfect expression of who I am at this moment.