An informative, if often familiar, manual of spiritual development.



A spiritual guidebook accompanies readers on a journey of self-discovery with a meditative focus on the constancy of the inner self.

The first chapter of this manual of enlightenment posits, “Our lives have both a dynamic quality and a static quality to them.” This notion that human existence is composed of ever changing experience swirling around an unmoving core is present in a number of religious traditions. Biotechnology executive Krenitsky calls this core the “Still Point,” but he points out that it’s also been called “Awareness, Consciousness, Knowing, Being, Holy Spirit, Presence, Tao, and so forth.” Around this Still Point, the author notes, humans experience a number of unhelpful thoughts and emotions that he summarizes as “the insane conditioning of the ego, which has brought you nothing but fear, worry, and conflict.” Chapters such as “The Seduction of Thought,” “The Absolute Need To See the Ego Self as False,” and “The Illusion of Control” expand on the idea that happiness requires one to tune out a cacophony of feelings, desires, and ideas in order to become aware of one’s “true, unchanging nature.” After this, the seeker’s next step, the author asserts, is to expand this moment of consciousness into an “ever-present awareness”—which, in turn, can lead to personal as well as social change. Much of the book is presented in a question-and-answer format, and Krenitsky presents it all in the style of a good teacher; the overall tone is direct and respectful, without pretention or condescension. His evocation of the Silent Point, that thing “you have called ‘I’ when referring to yourself your entire life,” is likely to feel relevant and compelling even to those who are unfamiliar with practices of meditation and self-realization. At the same time, there’s not much new here for longtime practitioners of New Age or Eastern spiritual traditions, but instructions such as “Be the Actor and not the Character in the Movie of Life” may provide seekers with helpful ways to approach enlightenment.

An informative, if often familiar, manual of spiritual development.

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-954968-82-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Waterside Productions

Review Posted Online: Dec. 27, 2021

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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