Monday, August 29, 2016

Many lives, many masters - Brian L Weiss

Didn't like it much.

A psychiatrist and his patient try hypnosis to try and track down childhood traumas which could be causing various phobias and anxiety. What they chance upon seems to open up something thats unthinkable for them - rebirth.  These are men and women brought up in a religion/culture where rebirth is not even mentioned, leave alone assumed to be the default setup.

I guess the book didn't work for me either as a interesting story, or as a revelation.

As a story,  it was super boring. I kept hoping some twist or some cool insight would come up, but nothing did. It boiled down to this - the woman had phobias about water, being in enclosed places, bla bla.. oh guess what, she was drowned in one life and buried alive in another. And a lot of random stuff happened in other lives which adds nothing to the tale. So it fails to hold interest as a story with plot etc.

As a non-fiction account of a miraculous convincing proof of rebirth, it still didn't work. Firstly I have always kind or/sort of believed in rebirth, although I have had my doubts about the nature of the soul/consiousness etc. I have also been rather skeptical about the nitty gritties of how exactly would it work, how does time work, how does nirvana work? When/ why do new souls get created? What about animals? Memory, temperament, what about those? So much of neuroscience these days opens up fascinating , tantalizing glimpse about physical changes in brain causing deep impacts on our 'self'. What about that?

The book didn't really help with any of that. It had some supposed answers from 'masters' about various planes, groups of people constantly appearing together, choices etc, but there were too many iffy things. For example the identification of location and time, very problematic. The changes in language, again not even considered.

The thing I did like was the fact that he did keep emphasizing his own doubts in the beginning, but surprisingly for a brilliant, well -educated, skeptical person, he didn't even bring up some of those doubts and questions that I have.

Do I feel he is a charlatan? I don't know, and to be honest I don't care. From my point of view as a fence sitter on the nitty grittier of rebirth, the book didn't do anything to drop me to either side.


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