Books, writing, reading and words. I love them; do you?

Choices and Illusions, by Eldon Taylor, Reviewed.

choices

I received a free copy of this book for review from one of the team supporting the author, otherwise I would never have come across the book, let alone read it.

It’s one of thousands of similar volumes ostensibly designed to offer ‘self-help’ or ‘self-development’ but, in reality more akin to an elaborate catalogue aimed at selling more of the author’s works in the same line, some of them extremely pricey. As is frequently the case with such stuff, the book begins with pages and pages of ‘endorsements’ for the product. Let’s be quite clear; this is a product, a way of making money.

The book itself contains chapters of pseudo-science, personal anecdotes used to illustrate the success of the author’s methods, and many references to religious texts intended to support the theories. Much of the ‘scientific’ content was either unintelligible or meaningless, but was interspersed with genuine science in what I assume was an attempt to give it some authority.

I rarely read books in this genre: they pretend to offer something substantial and life-changing but are generally methods of making money for the producers. What saddens me is the trust of those who spend a fortune on buying these generally worthless products. Though I suppose that such desperation for life improvement says a lot about our current society. There may be some truth in the author’s contention that ‘You can change what you believe you can change.’ But, like so many works written under the flag of religious faith, there is internal conflict and apparent author blindness to cognitive dissonance: e.g. an apparent belief in the words of Christ alongside a constant attempt to persuade readers to buy the author’s huge range of products. Yet, Christ is memorably reported to have said, ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.’ The concentration on making money seems to sit rather poorly with the idea of an eternal afterlife. I’m an agnostic, so the reality excludes me from such concerns, but I find it impossible to square the idea of personal wealth with the supposed Christian ideal of social sharing.

There’s an interesting possibility with regard to the idea of using the mind to change things in one’s life, even medical conditions. That it can be done is indisputable: many well-researched cases of just such outcomes exist. However, we know very well that the placebo effect is a powerful aid to recovery. Perhaps those who have ‘faith’ are able to fool their subconscious into believing that their ‘faith’ has brought about changes that have, in reality, been brought about by the simple power of their own minds.

I could go on. But I spent a good deal of time reading this unrewarding and banal piece of salesmanship and I prefer not to waste any more of my valuable time on it. I produce this review only to warn other potential readers that they will be purchasing something that more resembles a publicity pamphlet (albeit it a lengthy one) than a work of either inspiration or worth. I shall definitely be avoiding further offerings from this factory and the industry that supports it.

6 Responses to “Choices and Illusions, by Eldon Taylor, Reviewed.”

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