Lifestyle Book Reviews
Book Review: Top Secret
By Sandy Amazeen Jun 10, 2008, 1:59 GMT
Foreword by Julia Sweeney America may be the land of plenty, but in the midst of our Walmarts, enormous supermarkets, and other signs of material surfeit, it seems that many are experiencing a gnawing spiritual hunger. New religions, spiritualities, and religious therapies attract throngs of believers to megachurches, Yoga classes, and the bestseller bookshelves. The latest popular fad in spirituality is Rhonda Byrne\'s The Secret, which promises both success and ...more
Anyone seeking a balanced examination of the latest spiritual trends will certainly want to check out Price’s latest work as he weighs in on the pitfalls, shortcomings and strengths of today’s most popular mystic authors. Beginning with Rhonda Byrne’s widely acclaimed The Secret, from which this book derives its title, Price looks at the probable origins of New Thought beliefs and inherent problems with the most basic tenants of this belief system like embracing bogus physics.
Well-known speaker Deepak Chopra, author of How to Know God is given the same thoughtful examination. Although Chopra backs up his claims with supposedly the latest scientific research, most fall more into the category of Transcendental Meditation passing as deep Hindu doctrine. Many Biblical passages Chopra credits to Jesus were actually made by his Apostles, a surprising faux pas considering how easy it is to look this information up and get it right. As with so many pop mystics, truth and scientific method are twisted into “vibes” and chicanery that applauds charlatans such as psychic surgeons using chicken innards to mimic “results.”
Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Helen Schucman’s A Course in Miracles, Neale Walsch’s Conversations With God, Michael Berg’s The Way: Using the Kabbalah for Spiritual Transformation and Fulfillment and others are given the same thoughtful scrutiny. This is an invaluable tool for seekers looking to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of pop mystics as Price helps work through circular arguments, flawed logic and distortions. Don’t miss the appendixes with invaluable information of what makes a cult, a guide to recognizing different sects, how cults recruit, why they turn violent and a comprehensive bibliography to point readers toward doing their own investigations.