Hypnotizing Maria

By Richard Bach
ISBN 13: 978-1-61664-366-9

Publication Year: 2009

Tags: New Age, Philosophical, Metaphor

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Jamie Forbes, flying his own small plane, hears a cry for help over the private pilots’ com channel — a woman in another small plane whose pilot husband has collapsed. Jamie talks her down to a safe landing, where she tells reporters that he “hypnotized” her into believing that she could land the plane on her own. Considering this idea later, Jamie recalls a time when he was hypnotized by a stage performer, and he begins to discover that hypnotism is a form of believing that what is suggested to you as real… and that perhaps all of life is the same. Are we, he wonders, “hypnotized” into accepting this world as real… and is it, in fact, as real as we believe it to be? Continue reading “Hypnotizing Maria”

True North

Various Artists

Tracks: 1 — True North (Paul Speer); 2 — Flightpath (Jonn Serrie); 3 — Third Stone from the Sun (Speer); 4 — Stolen Fire (Serrie); 5 — Touchwood (Tangerine Dream); 6 — Whispers of Light (James Reynolds); 7 — Adagio Dolente (Speer); 8 — Tingri (Serrie); 9 — One More River Passing (Reynolds); 10 — True North/Reprise (Speer)

Tags: Compilation, New Age, Light Rock

Release Date: Listed as January 24, 1995 (see text for more)

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Compilation, theme, and concept albums have a hit-or-miss feel to them, generally. Theme discs like those of Chip Davis’ Day Parts series (e.g., Sunday Morning Coffee) are usually quite good. This particular album is rather like a tire that’s been badly retreaded — not necessarily dangerous, but perhaps not really worth risking taking a ride on. Continue reading “True North”

Weight Loss for the Mind

By Stuart Wilde
ISBN: 1-56170-537-3

Tags: New Age, Philosophical, Stupid

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Self-described “Wilde Man” Stuart Wilde offers this slim volume of advice on how to put your mind on a lean diet of positive and self-building thinking. At its core, there’s little here that’s “new,” in any particular sense of the word. Wilde is an entertaining figure in the world of New Age philosophy, without meaning any sleight to the genre at large.  The trouble is that he is far more entertainer than philosopher, and to a certain degree, he’s hypocritical. Continue reading “Weight Loss for the Mind”

From Heart to Crown

Rob Whitesides-Woo

Tracks: 1—Aurora; 2—Devic Dances; 3—Coeur de Lion; 4—Heartland; 5—The River Why; 6—From Heart to Crown.

Tags: Instrumental, New Age, Meditative

Release Date: August 30, 1994

Rating: ★★★★★

A meditative, multi-instrumental presentation from a (regretfully) lesser-known master of the genre, this album is excellent for background, for a thoughtful mood, and for soothing frayed nerves after a long and tiresome day. Woo performs with harp, strings, and winds to create an aural soundscape that deserves a lot more praise and discussion, so keep reading. Continue reading “From Heart to Crown”

The Four Agreements

By Don Miguel Ruiz
ISBN: 0-965-046365

Publication Year: 1997

Tags: New Age, Philosophy

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

I’m willing to admit that I may not “get” this volume simply because I don’t agree with several of the ways in which these Four Agreements are described. The basis of the concept has been described in many similar volumes over the years: This consciousness is not All There Is, and what we call “reality” is, in fact, a sort of unconscious agreement as to what is “real”. Ruiz refers to all this as a form of “domestication”, being changed from a “truly free person” into a sort of societal “pet”. This occurs, he says, because we learn and “agree” with all the things we’re taught, regardless of whether or not such “agreements” actually help us. This, Ruiz, explains, is our prison in which we live our lives, all the while imagining that we are “free” when we are in fact devoutly unhappy. Continue reading “The Four Agreements”