SIGNALS FROM THE SOUL

HOW OUR SOUL TELLS US WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW

Muller’s personal text offers a firsthand glimpse into the alternative therapies of hypnosis, neuromuscular response therapy (NMR) and past-life regression.

After a lifelong journey through many different types of traditional therapies to ascertain why she always felt discontented, Muller discovered certified clinical hypnotist Pamela Chilton and began a course of alternative therapy that she says allowed her to understand the physical and mental challenges of her life and find happiness. A self-proclaimed neophyte in her book’s topics, with a background in theater and small-business start-ups, Muller states upfront that she’s no expert in the subject—she has simply printed the transcripts of 17 of her therapy sessions with Chilton in an effort to share her learning with others. In the types of therapy Muller describes through Chilton’s approach, the answer to the great unknowns of life is to regress to whatever experiences in this life or past lives generated the thought that caused the ongoing unhappiness or ailment and then literally erase it. The soul knows all, Muller posits, and we can consult our higher self for all the problems of life that plague us. The sessions she transcribes range from tracing problems with her eyesight to a past life as an Essene and a relative of Jesus in the time of the crucifixion, to learning about a birth defect in her heart, traced to a life as a greedy, dishonest 18th-century Boston merchant, to regressing to her younger selves to heal a painful legacy of sexual abuse. It’s a comforting idea that we can—and already do—know everything we need to know and can fix our problems as easily as erasing a chalkboard, but while Muller’s book presents plenty of personal detail, it lacks objective information and stops short of offering any way for readers to explore the ideas for themselves other than seeking out a hypnotherapist who specializes in these techniques. For readers already on board with alternative therapies, Muller is a fluid writer, and Chilton’s dialogue supplies an intriguing, if repetitive, narrative; but there’s little case made to convince the unconverted in what amounts to a documentary about Muller’s personal therapy sessions.

 

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2011

ISBN: 978-0983653202

Page Count: 213

Publisher: Inner Self

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2011

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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