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”

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”

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”


(1996, PG) John Travolta (George Malley), Kyra Sedgwick (Lace Pennamin), Forrest Whitaker (Nate Pope), Robert Duvall (Doc), Jeffrey DeMunn (Professor Ringold), Richard Kiley (Dr. Wellin), David Gallagher (Al), Ashley Buccille (Glory), Tony Genaro (Tito), Brent Spiner (Dr. Bob), Ellen Geer (Bonnie). Music: Thomas Newman. Screenplay: Gerald DiPego. Director: Jon Turteltaub. 123 minutes.

Tags: Uplifting, Love Story, Possibility

Notable: Brent Spiner cameo for comedic effect; Robert Duvall’s butt

Rating: ★★★★★

George Malley (Travolta) is a small-town simple guy – not stupid at all, just basic, direct, what a lot of people would call “ordinary.” On the night of his 37th birthday, he is suddenly struck by what seems like some sort of light from the night sky and is transformed into something beyond a genius. He no longer sleeps, reads several books every day, can absorb a language in minutes. He discovers that, as his gift grows, his old friends in town start to pull away from him; he becomes feared, isolated, and ostracized. The FBI, the colleges, the doctors, the intelligence services, the desperate, the angry, all target him in one way or another, trying to stop him from continuing or to get something from him. The one thing he knows is that the journey he’s on will not let him go, and that he must see it through to whatever end it may bring. Continue reading “Phenomenon”