January 15, 2008

Book Review: Malfunction-Free Wardrobes

Wear Your Own Skin! Attitude 'n' Humor from Edd Gibbs Rose by Edd Gibbs Rose (Wisdom Culture Creations, 2003, ISBN 0-9745414-0-0).

This book was written by: Edd Gibbs Rose, who describes his adventures living in and around the greater Salt Lake city area with a "family of eight" (p.11), including "six pivotal, dynamic animal characters based directly on the lives of real domestic pets. [...] All of these fine animals were (or are) so vibrant and talented that even basic descriptions [...] pack poignancy and edge" (p.8). To some extent, this book describes his work towards the "complete integration of his non traditional family into the larger society surrounding them and him" (p.10). Mr. Rose also states that he has not counted himself in the "tiny readership" interested in the works of Aleister Crowley "for close to two decades" (p.91).

What is in this book: Social commentary and observations interwoven with narrative stories, including 52 pages about how animals can help us after September 11. This may seem impractical at first, as cats have difficulty manning anti-aircraft guns, dogs are reluctant to shoot down passenger jets full of civilians, and trained monkeys are terrible at running security screenings, even if they have been handling baggage in our airports for years. However, Mr. Rose feels that "animals, wildlife and domestic, are uniquely qualified to help us open our hearts"(p.9).

What is not in this book: The stern hand of an overbearing editor. While editorial changes are presumed to have been made, the tangents, segues, and offshoots of Edd's wisdom and societal observations have survived intact.

Would you recommend this book to Bob Barker? I see no reason not to, provided that I had a chance to hide my mink bathrobe first.

Would you recommend this book to Larry Flynt? Yes. If he was comfortable wearing his own skin, he might stop obsessively publishing photographs of the skins of others.

What was interesting about this book?
Mr. Rose has squandered an opportunity to speak out against serial killers who kill and wear the skins of their victims. He does use the opportunity to talk about values, since "after September 11th,[...] "wearing one's own skin" now meant "getting real" abut just what real values really are in a freedom-loving country and modern world ultimately validated only by its popular and literate culture(s) and traditions" (p.7). He also stresses the importance of personal improvement, because "When a person builds a foundation in their life for sustained fulfillment based on the fulfillment of important aspirations and personal improvements, happiness will be a likely bi-product [sic]"(p.185).

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January 1, 2008

Book Review: Magic—It's Not Just for Women Anymore

Intuition Magic: Understanding Your Psychic Nature by Linda Keen (Hampton Roads Publishing, 1998, ISBN: 1-57174-112-7)

This book was written by: Linda Keen, who is the founder of the School of Intuitive Development in the Netherlands ("Mens en Intuïtie) who was living in a "household of Irish musicians"(p.24) when she encountered the teachers who would help her "unlock the magical inner power that enables us to sense, enjoy, and learn from the immaterial but infinitely fantastic part of our universe"(p.13).
While Ms. Keen writes that she has "risked... ridicule by discussing my communication with spiritual beings on national radio and television,"(p.13) it should be clarified that spiritual beings are not communicating with her through her appliances, but that she is going to these media outlets to discuss communications that she has experienced in more traditional venues.

What is in this book: Ms. Keen has written this book "as a road map to assist the inward-venturing seeker within this immaterial world of intuition and spirituality"(p.13). Previously, she had been frustrated in her own spiritual quest when she researched Eastern spiritual texts and realized that "as soon as this information had been written down, intellectualized, and translated into Western concepts, it had lost most of its power to teach" (p.15).
The first half of the book follows Linda's journey through school, as she learns how to summon a child "to jump somewhere into your body, wherever it feels the most appropriate," (p.49), and uses "a rose symbol" to "stay clear and safe by serving as a psychic buffer,"(p. 51) dealing with her alcoholic boyfriend at home. The second part is an "intuition magic workshop," where Linda offers practical instructions for those interested in learning, like her steps to rid onself of fears by envisioning them as a series of pictures alongside a rose. "Place one picture at a time inside the rose and allow the whole thing to explode." (p.106)

What is not in this book: Excessive femininity. The word "intuition" and the blossoming rose on the cover may not evoke images of masculinity, but readers will soon be manifesting pink forgiveness clouds (p.116), embracing their spirit guides after inviting them to appear via "large, exquisite rainbow" staircases (p.161), and learning to "finish by bending over" (p.158).

Would you recommend this book to Tom Jones? There's already magic in the way Tom lights my way and satisfies my soul.

Would you recommend this book to Gandalf the Gray, or possibly Gandalf the White? Gandalf is a fictional character.

What was interesting about this book? "Each time the vibration of your spirit is raised through a learning process, the physical body must follow suit and make accommodations for the important inner changes. When you experience an intense period of growth, you may come down with a cold or some other minor illness." (p.123) You can deal with these illnesses by asking them to appear to you in the form of an animal, and speaking with it about the reasons why it has chosen to manifest. "The animal can also give you very practical advice about the physical aspects of treatment, including your need to see a doctor, naturopath, or spiritual healer (p.124).

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