ESCAPED is a thought-provoking book that explores cosmically unanswered questions and provides a unique perspective of reality. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I sometimes write my thoughts down and then discard them. However, I didn’t realize that one journal entry about one spiritual insight would be important enough to make into something else. Yet this piece almost immediately commanded me to expand on that one thought because it brought up questions I wanted answers to. I must have had a lot of questions because I kept writing until a big revelation about my own flaw, to use a loaded word, shouted out at me from the page. Once I calmed down I realized I wasn’t the only one with this flaw, and perhaps I should share the insight with others.
What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?
The framework I chose to use includes concepts from Nikola Tesla, a few quotations, a sprinkling of scripture, and personal experiences as examples to guide the reader along my internal timeline, like traveling together on a road trip. The purpose of the structure is to allow readers, as much as is possible, to “experience” my internal journey beyond the words. I was also interested in finding a pattern to the unusual phenomena I encountered along my spiritual journey that became like puzzle pieces fitting together as I explored. The freedom aspect occurred, in a very palpable way, only after having got to the end of writing, and could not have been anticipated ahead of time.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
That journaling about your own structure, and not following my framework, in whatever form that takes, is life-altering, life-affirming, and an honest, worthy pursuit.
Do you plan to write other books on this same topic?
No. My role now is to attempt to live the ideas that I wrote about, in a conscious way. The point of publishing and sharing ESC is to show how journaling helps others, by journaling themselves, with my book as an inspiration, not as a how-to. For instance, one reader said “I even felt inspired to write a parody song, and applied to get it copyrighted.” Pretty cool, right? Recently I began writing one-shot fiction stories in a metaphysical style that incorporate the ideas in ESC, and I may publish a collection next year. A few have already been published on Reedsy. Also, ESC (the condensed version of my title) is being translated to Italian this Summer.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, ESCAPED, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Mary LaForge, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, spirituality, story, writer, writing
Soul Afterlife delivers a thought-provoking examination of life, death, and the afterlife. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Several years ago, I was studying at Wat Yaranna Rangsee, a suburban Thai Buddhist Monastery in northern Virginia. Although the topics of life and death were occasionally discussed, any tolerance for hard-hitting afterlife debates were almost always tabled or played down.
Let me explain why something like that might occur. Buddhists believe that it is the human ego that triggers suffering when we struggle to find our personal compassion for death and a possible karma driven afterlife. Additionally, they have an uncommon expectation about what occurs after we take our final breath when compared to the general population. These unconventional views are conveyed in the Buddhist doctrine of anatman – the principle of “no self/no soul” that is discussed in the book .
I found anatman to be a difficult concept to support. My explanation for that struggle? My ego’s outright refusal to accept that upon passing I am basically a ball of energy that dissolves and wanders off into the cosmos. I could not comprehend the casual evaporation of my individuality – the essence of who I am.
As a result, my ongoing mystical questions and the narratives within the book were attempts to unearth what is required to “emotionally balance” what I have held as historical spiritual beliefs against newly acquired information.
In writing about a Soul Afterlife, I was not testing my Buddhist friends tenets; I was humbly seeking to understand unusual beliefs that conflicted with my understanding of otherworldly adventures.
What I did not expect, however, were the powerful opportunities, and unorthodox possibilities that the soul guide Laz shared.
What is a common misconception you feel people have about near-death experiences?
I am not sure I would classify anything I have learned as a misconception regarding near-death experiences. Certainly, there is a scientific community that suggest multiple explanation as to why someone might have mental, emotional, or visual outcomes when their biological systems shut down. Additionally, there are a number of academic and philosophical professionals who have a wide variety of explanations regarding human consciousness and they would add to the debate.
In Soul Afterlife I tell the story of a former patient, Whitney – it is the only earthly exposure I have had with a near-death experience. As I began asking questions about an afterlife, it was my ability to recall that encounter that led me to believe that there might be something beyond what many individuals encounter. As my questions were laid out and the answers were forthcoming, I tried to imagine something beyond what I found in research and discussions with religious scholars – something that might just be extraordinarily different.
For any readers seeking to examine conventional expectations from near-death experiences I suggest visiting the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine – Division of Perceptual Studies. For others looking for a more mystical “life after Life” exposure Michael Newtons works, including “Destiny of Souls” is an option.
As for me? My guide was insistent that near-death walked along the parameter of an afterlife experience and as a result souls experienced aura attachments, human memories, religious beliefs, or alternative lives in near-death – beyond those boundaries everything becomes more complex.
I appreciated all the candid reflections on life and life after. What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Throughout my ten-year adventure into the world of souls there were three primary themes that were laced throughout the five unconventional memoirs that have been published, including Soul Afterlife – Beyond the Near-Death Experience.
The first was the part my human ego plays in suppressing the awareness required for me to see beyond the obvious. The second was the reminder that I am largely made of undying energy and the third was how I am fixed to the critical elements of life, especially water.
To answer your question, however, let me briefly explain the influence of the human ego, it is the essential theme played out in Soul Afterlife.
To begin, my Buddhist friends have always promoted the human ego as a heartless regime that is on an untiring mission to suspend the development of my human mind and to a degree I concur with that approach. I was encouraged by my monk companions to liberate my ego’s authority over how to live my life – by imagining that nurturing this ability would make available an unpolluted release of both daily life and spiritual awareness. Essentially, I came to trust that there is much more to be understood that the human ego will permit to be known, and if permitted to an unlocked (aware) mind, unusual afterlife possibilities can be explored.
I believe the premise that reverberated most throughout the year long journey was this – “stagnation only comes with the human shell, and when that occurs, the human ego takes over stalling out the soul’s evolution”. I found it odd that throughout life we intentionally rely on our ego for support and strength while developing our earthly plan and self-esteem, yet “soul awareness” might be more achievable if the human ego is silenced.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
I believe there might be two that I recommend. First, from a spiritual or soul perspective, we are more than we could possibly imagine. Too often we become locked into the expectations of others and present-day dogmatic understandings – assuming life just becomes easier to navigate under such a mindset. I was consistently invited to think about how traditional spiritual teachings assist during daily human activities yet may delay how a soul might navigate an afterlife. How regrettable, I thought, if this is true.
The second takeaway was Laz presenting the image of old fashioned “key”. He disclosed that it represented the ability to become mindful to discretionary prospects after we die. Suggesting that newly formed afterlife alternatives might create unobstructed pathways for our future soul travels. I was plagued by that comment.
As a final commentary – The Socratic dialogues contained in Soul Afterlife are unquestionably “offbeat” and remarkably unlike other approaches to a life after death. There are countless opinions about how we exist now and hereafter, including that there is no life after death. Soul Afterlife is offered merely as an alternate point of view.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: afterlife, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Bud Megargee, death, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, reincarnation, Soul Afterlife, spirituality, story, writer, writing
How I Escaped Bloody Hell: X-ploring Freedom is unlike anything I have ever read. This book provides an in-depth view of the universe and reality, as Mary LaForge sees it, and really makes the reader think about their own life. For example, LaForge discusses how glitches result in things getting “birthed,” in the sense that energy/vibration expels any type of irritation and in that process causes something to get expelled. I thought that whole concept was interesting as it provided a different way to view a glitch, which in many cases is considered negative. In this case however, it was made to seem like a glitch could just be the beginning of something new, which I appreciated.
The author also discusses humans and the nature of humanity in a lucid language that makes things easy to understand. The book expounds on the ways that we might be products of mechanical nature, meaning that as we grow we are influenced and mature based on our environment, however no matter how much we try to mimic God, we will never reach that point. Not only was this simply a reality check but it’s a weirdly calming way to view reality.
Overall How I Escaped Bloody Hell: X-ploring Freedom was a quick read that analyzes and interprets the universe and its intricacies in a unique way that seems hard to understand on the surface, but Mary LaForge provides ample examples to get her point across so anyone can understand. I definitely think that this is a good read for anyone who wants to be exposed to different perspectives on the universe itself and how humans interact with it all!
Pages: 54 | ISBN: 164719248X
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, How I Escaped From Bloody Hell, kindle, kobo, literature, Mary LaForge, nook, novel, philosophical, read, reader, reading, spirituality, story, writer, writing
Reign: A Guide to Ruling Your Inner Kingdom of Self with Grace, Power, and Authenticity provides readers with insights and tools they can use to live a balanced and joyous life. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I believe small changes in our patterns of living can have a profound, positive impact. I saw a clear example of this while on vacation. As a family we love to travel and have taken two separate, weeklong bus tours that highlight different cities and sights. One of these trips was a small tour group of about twenty fellow tourists, all of whom were complete strangers to us. The first day we boarded the bus, everyone took a seat and introduced themselves to those around them. As the trip progressed, the same seating routine continued, and everyone sat in the same seat that they had the first day. By the end of the trip, we had become good friends with those seated around us. We shared meals, looked out for one another on excursions, and exchanged contact information to keep in touch. However, there was a part of our group that sat farther from us on the bus that we didn’t get to know.
The other trip we took was with twice the number of tourists and therefore a much larger bus. The first day we boarded with our travel companions (again all complete strangers), we took seats that were open. The second day, like the other trip, everyone sat in the same spot as they had the day before. This time, however, our tour group leader announced that we were to change up our seats each time we boarded by moving in a clockwise direction (if seated on the left side of the bus you moved up one row from your previous seat, and if seated on the right side of the bus you moved your seat back one row). After his announcement, there was a moment of quiet, stunned silence as people digested his request. There was some whispered grumbling as people collected their things and changed seats. Once we were settled, he asked that we introduce ourselves to those new faces around us. As this trip continued, we followed this seating rotation and met every person in our group. By the end of the trip, we knew everyone’s names, where they were from, had shared laughs, told stories, and enjoyed at least one meal with each of them. On this trip contact information was exchanged with all of our fellow bus passengers as everyone wanted to keep in touch. I greatly enjoyed both bus trips but found that the second trip, even though it was twice the group size as the first, was a much warmer inclusive one by virtue of the simple act of changing seats.
Like taking the same seat on a bus or in a classroom, we can easily find ourselves following a particular pattern out of habit. It can be uncomfortable to change that pattern. The ancient Chinese observed however that life is change. I think that there is a huge opportunity in that teaching. Small changes can create greater ease and a more enriching life. I wrote this book to offer an exploration of our power to change.
In the book you describe the five elemental realms. What is a key aspect you feel is important to learn when studying these realms?
The five elemental realms represent the changing seasons on earth as seen by the ancient Chinese (winter, spring, summer, late summer, autumn) and the emotions that they associated with each of those seasons (fear, anger, joy, sympathy, grief). Just like the seasons follow a continuous loop of change, we should also keep moving forward in life. For example, a cozy parka may be a favorite item of clothing on a freezing, winter day but would be uncomfortable to wear and look silly if worn on a hot, sandy beach. It is important to live each moment fully but then surrender it to the past as an opportunity for growth and learning. Trying to stay in a particular moment in time, habitual pattern or emotion, can hold you back from your life’s journey. This is like holding on to anger that eventually leads to a grudge, which over time, ends up hurting you more than the person who may or may not know they have wronged you. The five realms represent emotions and actions that are available to each of us on our human journey. To live our lives fully, we should experience and visit all five realms (emotions) but keep moving through them so as not stay stuck in one place.
What is your professional experience in the clinical field and how has that helped you write this book?
I have treated many patients in a variety of clinical settings. My greatest learning from both my studies and treating patients is that our bodies are wise, and they never lie to us. When there is discomfort, it is important to tune in and respect what our bodies may be telling us. At times, the cause of our discomfort is within our control. It may be lifestyle choices (diet, exercise etc.) or it may be thought choices. Often, I would hear similar stories from my patients (Ex. my mother-in-law is mean). Stories that we tell ourselves can trap us in like a box and limit our life experience. If we have the courage to learn a different story it can alleviate a lot of stress (Ex. my mother-in-law is mean because she is unhappy with her life choices and that has nothing to do with me). Of course, everyone’s situation is different, but I think that there is space in each person’s life for small shifts that can foster greater ease and contentment.
Do you have plans to write other books on this same topic?
I don’t have plans at this time to write another book but have toyed with the idea of a podcast. I think we all have beautiful soul stories to tell of how change has impacted our lives. I’d like to offer a forum to hear from those who have had the courage to change something for the better and the difference it has made for them. I think we can all learn from those teachers.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: A Guide to Ruling Your Inner Kingdom of Self with Grace Power and Authenticity, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, family, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Mary Krygiel, nonfiction, nook, novel, parenting, personal development, personal trasformation, read, reader, reading, reign, self help, spirituality, story, writer, writing
In his book Soul Afterlife: Beyond the Near-Death Experience Bud Megargee engages the reader on topics that many think of but not all are open to talk about; life, death, and the after life. Every human being is mortal. Knowing that at some point man will cease to exist is not a pleasant thought for many. The author however tries to make the topic about life, death, and what exists beyond, easy for his readers. Reading Soul Afterlife was a delight because the author’s style of writing is not spooky nor eerie. Even when talking about death, Bud Megargee uses a tone that is friendly and warm. Each topic has something unique the reader learns about living souls and how to deal with disturbing realities.
One of the chapters that I found to be intriguing was the first chapter. ‘The Octopus Analogy’. The brilliant narration set the pace for the book. The author talks about his interest in otherworldly aspects of non-physical realities and explains how he was introduced to the octopus analogy and what it entails. I enjoyed reading about the clustering of souls and the author’s spiritual adventure. Conversations between Bud and his Soul guide Laz were fascinating. While reading the dialogue between the two, the reader not only learns about the spirit world but also gets informed on certain things in life that are thought to be mysterious.
Ever thought of reincarnation? This is a topic that I always find intriguing. The author extensively writes about reincarnation, the birth of new souls, and related topics. The discussions on Buddhist theories were eye-opening. Being a practicing Buddhist, the author had a lot to write about Buddhism, its beliefs, and notions. The text on Buddhist tenets was captivating. Many people question whether Karma is real. In his book, Bud Megargee writes about Karma and explains to readers whether Karma is a real concept or not. One thing consistent about Bud Megargee’s writing style is clarity. Bud leaves no term unexplained. His conversations with Laz the soul guide are raw and enlightening for any curious mind.
At the end of the book, the reader gets to understand life, death, reincarnation, and related topics. Soul Afterlife is a great book for people who are looking for answers about the complexities in life and death. The author bases most of the discussion on Eastern philosophy, which makes his writing style distinct and the content in his book much more interesting to follow. The authors’ thoughts are well defined and the conversations in the book compelling. Bud Megargee’s book answers provocative questions human beings have about life, spirituality, the otherworld, universal energies, and other spiritual subjects.
Pages: 235 | ASIN: B085GM3HNP
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Bud Megargee, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, personal development, personal transformation, read, reader, reading, self help, Soul Afterlife, spirituality, story, writer, writing
I appreciated how easy it was to absorb the information in Dharma by Design. What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
There are many take aways in this book but the one thing that people can take away is that THEY create their own reality. They have the gift of choice. Therefore, if they choose dharma , they can create a high vibrational reality which is the spiritual connection for all human beings.
Author Links: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Speakingtree | Website | WordPress | Blogger
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Dharma by Design, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, spirituality, story, Surekha Kothari, writer, writing
In his latest book, The Essential Revolution, Michael McGinnis gives us an inspiring story that reveals the possibility of human awakening. In a world filled with hatred, violence and hurt, The Essential Revolution is here to invite anyone who reads it to learn how to live life with love, compassion and peace.
Marcus Ogabi is a black American cop going through a divorce and financial problems. In a tragic event that will change his life forever he meets Dimitri Tanomeo, a young adult that despite growing up in some terrible circumstances seems to have a secret knowledge, one that he wants to share with the entire world so humans can finally evolve and reach a new reality, one filled with truth and love. Through what Marcus experiences throughout the novel, the reader is shown the teachings of Dimitri. The same teachings that change the characters’ lives for the better are available to each reader to change their lives as well.
Most of the story develops inside of a prison. It is there that Dimitri Tanomeo will start his spiritual revolution as he tries to change the perspective and attitude of each of the inmates, an act that will be recognized to be the greatest rehabilitation experiment ever. Human awakening is possible, and in this book you have the chance to learn how to achieve it.
I truly enjoyed the way the author shared all of the problems that humans around the world are currently having, showing, at the same time, what are the steps that the collective need to make to finally get rid of them once and for all and find healing. Spirituality and its importance in everyday human life are explored, giving us, the readers, the chance to learn more about what we need to do to live more spiritual lives and why we should do it.
The characters that McGinnis created are endearing and easy to connect with from the very beginning. They portray struggles that we all have to deal with as humans regardless of our different circumstances and upbringing. The story is gripping, feels very real and will probably resonate with a lot of people. Prepare to be challenged to change your life for the better and to question everything. Leave fear behind and learn to do what is right with this book, change is in your hands.
As fiction meets reality, I was able to learn more about myself through this story, and will surely apply many of its teachings in my life. The Essential Revolution is a story that showcases the importance of love, compassion and forgiveness, and encourages everyone to live authentically. This is your invitation for awakening, so get ready to be the change you want to see in the world.
Pages: 484 | ASIN: B08MYBCN8R
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, inspirational, kindle, kobo, literature, metaphysical, Michael McGinnis, motivational, nonfiction, nook, novel, personal development, read, reader, reading, self help, spirituality, story, The Essential Revolution, writer, writing
Dharma by Design: a universe in harmony is a thought-provoking book that will have the reader reflect on their actions, lifestyle, and general well-being. The author talks about Dharma, its meaning, and how it is perceived among different societies. Reading this book will make you realize that every individual is different and has something distinct to offer to the world. Dharma by Design is also a great read if you want to learn a few things about Buddhism, its principles, and what one can take from practicing Buddhists to improve their way of living. Surekha Kothari’s definition of Dharma is slightly different from the dictionary definition. She explains in detail and ensures that readers of all levels perfectly understand what it means to be Dharmic.
The author graciously gives explanations and illustrates how the terms discussed are used. By reading the book, you get to learn about new words and human laws. The author advises that in whatever we do, we should follow the laws of nature and protect all that needs to be protected. Reading this book will make you drop some bad habits and have you pick better customs. You will embrace positivity and look at everything with an optimistic eye before judging. We are encouraged to be good and do good to make the world a better place for everyone.
Dharma by Design has 15 chapters all of which talk about different topics that relate to Dharma. Every chapter has unique and enlightening content. I enjoyed reading chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7 the most as the author talked of the pillars of Dharma. Each of the pillars is what makes a better human being. I like that the author insisted that Dharma is not a religion as many people assume it to be. By writing this book, Surekha Kothari invites people of various faiths to adopt Dharma in their lives. Just like Yoga or any other thing, Dharma can gain universal recognition and acceptance as a practice that fosters righteous living.
To be Dharmic is to love yourself. The author has kind words for readers especially during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic. She shares the message of hope, patience, and love with everyone. Reading this book will make you realize that despite the hard times, human beings can still be there for one another. This book will help you cleanse your mind, body, and soul, and make you live a fulfilling life. I recommend Dharma by Design to everyone who wants to start their life afresh by embracing a new lifestyle. Surekha Kothari’s friendly tone and gentle way of explaining unfamiliar concepts are what make her an extraordinary author.
Pages: 146 | ASIN: B08MV2FH2W
Tags: A Course in Spiritual Psychology, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Dharma by Design, ebook, goodreads, inspirational, kindle, kobo, literature, motivaitonal, new age thought, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, self help, spirituality, story, Surekha Kothari, writer, writing