BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Bleh ...

So … the downside of getting books from the “Early Reviewers” program is that sometimes the book that the Almighty Algorithm matches to one's library is a clunker, and this has happened to me every now and again. Of course, being the OCD beastie that I am, I'm pretty much incapable of saying “man, this sucks and I'm not going to read another word”, since I've agreed (as part of the LTER program) to read the book and write a review thereof. So I read the book … and here I am to report on same.

The good news is that Aingeal Rose O'Grady's The Nature of Reality: Akashic Guidance for Understanding Life and Its Purpose wasn't as uniformly horrid as it started out. This appears (from the cover, etc.) to be “Book 2” of the “Honest-to-God Series” that the author and her publishers are putting out. There is only passing mention of the previous book here, but I'm suspecting that a lot of the set-up for her “method” and world-view were covered there and that they're just assuming that readers of this are on-board with all that. Heck, they spend two pages in the front material “explaining” a chalk illustration on the back cover … you'd think they'd explain what's going on in the book before dropping the reader neck deep in the sewage.

The format of the book is a series of questions that the author answers, based on “information” that she's getting from “The Source” (oh, what a more fun book this would be if that was “The Source” from the old Charmed TV show!). One wonders if the author had “been dropped on her head when she was very small” or the like, as she “communicates” with The Source via patterns of light … which she then translates into words … which certainly sounds like “auguries via synesthesia” - communicating the intents of the universe by interpreting the stuff she's seeing! Another irritating thing is that they never really explain who is asking the questions … at one point it sounds like they're being passed along to her via her life partner (who, exasperatingly, is referred to as a six-letter acronym), but it also seems like they're coming from an audience (of total doofuses) who are desperately clutching each to their own “newage” delusions, and are looking for O'Grady to bolster their beliefs (to her credit, she occasionally does shoot down particularly loony drivel).

Here's the crux of what made the book nearly unreadable to me … so much “newage sewage” and so little supportable theory (I'm not even asking for defensible statements, just something that at least appears to hold together as a coherent model!). I would have much preferred it if the author would tell her SFB questioners to shut the hell up, and start laying out a system of “color pattern interpretation” that would say “when you get these, it means that this sort of thing is coming through, and if they're this shade it indicates X, Y, or Z” . I came close to giving up on the book in Chapter 2, because it is all about DNA … and, evidently various woo-woo newage scams that latch onto the concept of the molecule and offer DNA-based (I've never hit a clearer case for dragging out the classic line from Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.") “services” such as “22-strand activation through the use of crystals” and similar snake oil … to “The Source's” credit it says that's not possible – but one gets the vibe that O'Grady is in on that twaddle, or she would have simply bitch-slapped the loonies who asked: “How similar is the DNA of humans to Sasquatch and Mermaids?” (where does she find this level of delusional moron?) rather than spinning out an actual answer!

The one saving grace here is that, on some subjects, she actually ventures into presenting something of a system. One was Angels … which had structure and a reasonable level of consistency (despite including asinine queries about the gender of audience members' favorites angels) … and the other was her discussion of Time. In both of these cases she was at least coherent in taking “visions of light” and interpreting them as communications from “god” (the whole “god” question here is pretty blurry, of course, but not as wide-open as one might assume for something this deep down the newage rabbit hole).

Again, the whole book is Q&A … organized in general topic areas … but this means it swings in and out of what could be seen as “quality” and what is clearly idiotic blithering. For example, immediately preceding a question “Do dream catchers really keep negative spirits out?”, there is this very interesting bit:
People who dream of disasters seem to like it when their dreams come true, which they view as proof that they are psychic, or that they can somehow predict events through their dreams. They don't realize that they may be helping to manifest those scenarios by giving them validity and energy. If you talk to people who continually dream of things that come true, you will find that most often they are dreaming of someone dying, or some disaster. These people may think that they are really psychic and able to tune into the future, but what is most likely really happening is that they are being used by dark forces to help manifest those probabilities. We need to remember how powerful our minds are. If we remember that every thought takes form on some level, we will be more conscious of what kinds of thoughts and visuals we are giving our energies and emotions to.
These are not the words of a fluff-bunny unicorn-rainbow-farts type … so I'm really, really, hoping that there may be some core of reality in O'Grady's material – and that she's not simply Gurdjieffianly “shearing the sheep” with her descriptions of her internal light show!

Although this was a recent offering in the “Early Reviewer” program, The Nature of Reality has been out over a year. I don't know what that means for its being available in the brick-and-mortar vendors of this sort of stuff, but it's oddly not dropped much in price over on the on-line sources, so if you (for some inexplicable reason) want to obtain a copy, you're going to have to shell out pretty close to the cover price. This is not a book that I would have “free range” picked up, or even finished reading … but I would be interested if Ms. O'Grady came out with a “serious” book analyzing her interface and communications with “The Source”, as there do seem to be a few kernels of usable information deeply buried in the muck of this.

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Tags: book review
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