July 1, 2008

Book Review: Get Your Belief Off Welfare

Beliefworks: The Art of Living Your Dreams by Ray Dodd (Hampton Roads Publishing, 2006, ISBN 1-57174-472-X)

This book was written by: Ray Dodd, CEO of EverydayWisdom.us and BeliefWorks.net, who has written a book about “Magic. Real magic,”(p.xiii) inspired by the ancient teachings of the Toltec and the magic of the waterworks in the neighborhood where he grew up, which “took the power and wildness of water and tamed it, transforming it into something useful”(p.xiv).

What is in this book: Literally, the wisdom of the ancients, as learned by Mr. Dodd during a six-year apprenticeship in South America under Miguel Ruiz. He was introduced to these teachings—and to Ruiz—by “a smooth-talking charismatic Mexican named Luis”(p.xvi). Although “very few” of the things Luis told him “about the Toltec were supported by any archaeological or historical literature,” (p.xvii) and “much of their account is missing from historical or archaeological textbooks”(p.xxi), “many of this book's principles […] come directly from the ancient wisdom tradition of the Toltec”(p.xvi).

What is not in this book: Fuel for the engine of fear. You see, “Lance [Armstrong] was driven. Driven by an engine fueled with fear”(p.28) That’s because “what propels us forward is an inner engine composed of our ideas, concepts, beliefs, and personal agreements,”(p.29), which is also “an engine injected with your ideas, experiences, expectations, beliefs, and personal agreements”(p.120). “The fuel for that engine is either love or fear”(p.29). This book’s philosophy “embraces not-doing and the marriage of opposites”(p.94) to help readers “make decisions using an engine of love”(p.122).

Would you recommend this book to Eric Estrada? It’s complicated. “The Toltec […] had a vivid dreaming practice”(p.61). Eric Estrada is dreamy. I cannot prove that Eric Estrada is not a dream made real through the powers of the Toltec, but such a dream would not need this book.

Would you recommend this book to R. Kelly? I have held a grudge against R. Kelly ever since the “I Believe I Can Fly” incident, but thanks very much for bringing up those painful memories.

What was interesting about this book? Besides the Star Trek reference on page 110 that stretches across all of chapter 10, “The Prime Directive Is Not-Fear”? I would have to say the special, limited time offer that ran near the book’s original publication date. This special, 24-hour opportunity for buyers to receive “over 20 special BONUS gifts” was available for such a limited time that its web page has only been available from earlier-than-September 2006 through the present day.

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