IN REVIEWby Arlene Arnold
Fall is already here. How can that be possible? It seems that summer only began a week or so ago, yet children are in school, leaves are turning color, and activities suspended during the summer are resuming.
We at The New Times are humming along, bringing you new and creative approaches to learn more about books, people, ideas, and activities that will help you stay healthy, grow spiritually, and introduce you to cutting-edge thoughts and spiritual practices.
I hope you will pay special attention to the material on spiritual parenting throughout this issue. Whether or not you are a parent, you influence children in your life every day. If you are a parent, you have a unique and important job to raise consciously spiritual, balanced, and nurtured children while not forgetting you own inner life. To help you in this process, I want to introduce you to two books that have come across my desk recently, and one to which I was introduced earlier this year. There are those who are addressing a need to see parenting in a new light, and we are grateful for their input.
Barry Long is an Australian writer and spiritual teacher whose self-realization occurred independently of any of the religious traditions. Thirty-three years ago, he suffered a spiritual crisis culminating in what he called "mystic death," and soon afterward dedicated his life to helping others discover the greater reality behind the appearance of things. His successful career in journalism became a great foundation for writing books expressing his newfound insight. His published works, some of which have found worldwide appeal include Knowing Yourself; Meditation: A Foundation Course; Making Love; Wisdom, And Where to Find It; and The Origins of Man and the Universe.
The author of seven previous nonfiction books, including Hollywood vs. America, Michael Medved is a highly visible authority on child raising. Co-host of Sneak Previews on PBS for 12 years, he recently concluded five years as chief film critic for The New York Post and is currently the host of a nationally syndicated daily three-hour radio program. Diane Medved, Ph.D. is a psychologist in private practice and author of four previous nonfiction books, including The Case Against Divorce and (with Dan Quayle) The American Family. A husband-and-wife team, Michael and Diane live with their three children in the Seattle area.
Joyce and Barry Vissell, a nurse and a doctor, have been counseling and teaching since 1972. As a result of worldwide interest in their books, The Shared Heart, Models of Love, and Risk to Be Healed, they travel internationally, sharing their ideas on relationships, parenting, and healing. Their nonprofit Shared Heart Foundation is dedicated to bringing personal and planetary peace through loving relationships. They received the Aquarian Award for their contribution toward world healing. They live in Santa Cruz, California with their three children, where they offer classes, workshops, and training programs. For more information, call (800) 766-0629.
In this section you will also find a page called "New and Noteworthy." This idea came about from my experience with bookstores and publishers while working for a book distribution company. Here, you will find a collection of books and CDs thoughtfully selected for New Times readers. Peruse the list of bookstores to find one in your area that will be making those books and CDs available to you. This page will change quarterly. In the meantime, share it with friends and relatives. Please tell the bookstore owners you saw the book or CD advertised in The New Times.
Starting with this issue, you will also find ads conveniently clustered under a single heading. Look for such themes as "Childrens Books," "1999 Calendars," "Divination Tools," "Winter Getaways," and more in upcoming issues. In November, we will be highlighting herbs, with information and interviews in that subject area along with stores that carry herbs and books that teach the background of herbs, how to use them, and where to buy them.
Finally, we welcome to this issue Tony Stubbs, who will spend the next six months helping authors and would-be authors sidestep some pitfalls of publishing their works. If you have questions for Tony, please address them to him in care of The New Times.
We are always open to your suggestions and comments. This is your newspaper. How can we serve you better? What have we missed? How do you like our new areas of emphasis? I look forward to hearing from you.
reviewed by Arlene Arnold
Raising Children in Love, Justice and Truth
by BARRY LONG
Barry Long Books
"Barry Long reminds us...of our great responsibility for the spiritual life of the next generation. His practical guidance in so many aspects of parenting offers every reader a new vision of family life in which there is harmony at home and everyone shares in the innocence, honesty and vitality of childhood," says the book cover. In thumbing through the book, I found many very specific examples of how to handle childhood behavior.
Although I might differ with Long on some points, I find his suggestions practical and helpful. I was especially touched by his suggested conversation with a newborn. Here is a sample: "Now you are coming out of peace and beauty into disharmony. That's what this existence is.
"The only one who can make it into harmony is you, and you do that by staying in touch as much as possible with the nothingness, the sweetness that makes you gurgle and smile at me with your bright little eyes.
"I will do everything I possibly can to keep you connected with the beauty that you just left, the beauty beyond the womb. Throughout my life, I will endeavor to prepare you to experience living in this physical world. But for now, just stay in that place of beauty. Don't be seduced by the excitement that seems to be out here."
Long divides his offerings into three areas: "Harmony in the Home," raising children in love, justice and truth; "Education in Consciousness," doing your best for the child; and "Balance in the World," bringing innocence to experience.
Protecting Our Children from the National Assault on Innocence
by MICHAEL and DIANE MEDVED
Harper Collins Publishers
The Medveds sound the alarm for paying attention to what children are exposed to at a young age or before they may be ready to assimilate the experience. Though I take exception to how they categorize ideas and groups of persons who may differ from them and their ideas, I find the information they present important.
The book caused me to consider what I would do if I had young children at this point and to wonder how my grandchildren could best be allowed a more positive experience in the world. I do think that what the Medveds term an "assault on innocence" is one reason behind the growing trend to home-school. I encourage you to read this with an open mind and heart. We need such input in order to make choices that best fit our individual situations.
Models of Love
The Parent-Child Journey
by JOYCE and BARRY VISSELL
The Vessells have a way of teaching us about our children and about ourselves that feels like walking on sacred ground, because all persons and experiences are honored. This is a heart-centered approach that understands that children model love for their parents, and parents model love for their children.
"It is from (the parents) that children first learn how to translate their inner light into caring for others...This book is for parents and non-parents alike. It is for those who want to glimpse the practical as well as the inspirational side of parenting and even more, how the two can be integrated."
A Moment of Truth
by JILL AMMON-WEXLER
Clear Vision Press
When was the last time you read a book, finished it, and then realized something had changed inside of you because of what you had experienced while reading the book? After reading an interesting nonfiction book, I might be moved by a new idea or by a new twist on an old idea; however, until reading Jill Ammon-Wexlers book, A Moment of Truth, I hadn't realized how much I could be affected spiritually by a novel.
This is not a new concept for Jill. She has been involved in brainwave research for many years. She says, "The power of a single thought is undeniable. Ive observed clients brainwaves on EEG seen their thought take shape, and then actually watched their mental and physical beings transform.
"Along the way Ive found that truly transformative thoughts are distinctive. They occur at the deeper, slower brainwave levels. Transformation doesnt occur when the thinking, critical part of the mind is dominant. It is only possible when we sink down into the non-rational, creative aspect of our self the deeper aspect that a good film, or a good visionary novel, speaks to.
"When I first started providing higher states coaching, I quickly found that the traditional tools of psychology the what you need to do is approach doesnt work. Then, in an insightful moment, I recalled that the great masters of all times used stories to impart their wisdom. I decided to give it a try.
"The results amazed me. I found that stories actually give the listener or reader a direct experience of something, not just a thought about it. The insights presented in story form therefore imprint on a deep, non-logical level the very same place that lasting transformation is anchored."
Through reading A Moment of Truth, I knew that I had gained additional personal empowerment along with Diana, the main character, as she claimed her inner power and gathered enough courage to face the dragon of her own fears. This challenging novel takes you into the depths of yourself to discover what it takes to claim all of who you are, no matter what.
Robyn Klein of The Santa Cruz Mountain Times describes well the essence of A Moment of Truth: "Ammon-Wexler spins the tale of a woman named Diana who, despite the outward success of her life in Los Angeles, is in personal crises. Hounded by a deep sense of emptiness and dissatisfaction with her life, Diana begins to spin out of control. Her sleep-deprived condition finally culminates in a fall, resulting in a serious blow to the head that throws her into a deep coma.
"Alone and comatose in the hospital, Diana faces the impending threat of an exploratory cranial surgery certain to leave her mind cannibalized. But her fall has simultaneously catapulted Diana into a transdimensional journey whereupon she regains consciousness to find herself trapped in an alternate dimension of Earth, another skin of what the author views as an onion-like multi-dimensional planet much like that once proposed by Carlos Castenadas don Juan.
"Desperate to return her consciousness to her body in the hospital before the brain operation renders her permanently helpless, Diana must first face a series of trials and overwhelming personal challenges forcing her to confront the truth about her real self as well as the meaning of her life.
"Arming herself with the guidance of a master teacher and what Ammon-Wexler describes as the ancient tools of deep personal empowerment, Dianas journey leads to the discovery that here is but one reality and one consciousness that we all share in, and that it is often necessary to break loose from ones personal history to discovery true purpose and fulfillment."
A Moment of Truth is well worth your time and pleasure but dont be surprised if it also changes you!
Healing with the Rainbow Rays
Emerald Star Publishing
I thought I knew much about color, since it has been an area of my interest for a number of years. Yet, in reading Alijandras book I realized I have only scratched the surface.
For the novice or practitioner who wants to add color healing to your own methods, there are clear explanations of what color is, as well as specific exercises showing you how to use color for clearing, protection, balance, and more. For the advanced practitioner, Alijandra brings to light such areas as multidimensional chakra balancing, linking universes, out-of-body experiences, and psychic surgery. These are all classroom-tested techniques that anyone can learn.
This book becomes even more important as we realize that we are entering a time when color and sound will become more and more important to our well-being and our healing. Vibrational healing, which includes color, dates back many years and perhaps many lifetimes; yet, in this lifetime, it is being presented to us in sharper detail as we move into the New Age.
Alijandras book forms a foundation for what she calls "Transfigurational Matrix Healing" which is the next step, encompassing newly received energies and knowledge that can bring us to a higher frequency.
"Transfigurational Matrix Healing I" will be presented in Seattle November 14-15. Call (800) 395-5811 for reservation information. Deposit must be received by October 15.
reviewed by Elana Lindquist
The Art of Story Telling with Jim Chandlon, Corporate Trainer
Tips for making speeches and overcoming this number one anxiety.
Web Style Guide
A "cookbook" for creating better web pages from Sun Microsystems.
Creativity and beauty at its best. Here you can find buttons, sidebars, and backgrounds. Be sure to visit the artist's gallery.
Tips for helping you develop a better relationship with money.
Brown Eagle's Quote & Poetry Page
Motivational and inspirational quotes to make your heart sing!
Elana Lindquist publishes Online Solutions for Success at http://www.seanet.com/~lindquist; e-mail email@example.com or call (253) 858-7969.
THE SUN AND THE MOON AND THE STARS
THE SPIRIT OF EDEN
reviewed by Pat Gallagher
The Sun and the Moon and the Stars is a successful blend of traditional Celtic flavors and ambient fluidity. Jenny Newman provides most of the lush, expressive vocals. The renowned Uilleann pipe player, Davy Spillane, whose style is immediately recognizable, is featured on most selections. The Spirit of Eden even tackles Enyas smash sensation, "Orinoco Flow."
This lovely record has a haunting, mystical quality that is so common in Irish/Celtic music, and yet it is danceable and flowing. It is becoming popular with many "world music" artists to mix a variety of ethnic sounds, creating a kind of "musical melting pot." As our world gets smaller, our music seems to get larger.
The opening number, "Sleep With the Ancients," is a lively, danceable tune that combines a variety of ethnic sounds: Celtic, Middle Eastern, and contemporary. Sean Keanes smooth baritone lifts the song along. This tune is very reminiscent of Deep Forest as well as Enigma, but with a decidedly "Irish flavor."
Spirit of Edens The Sun and the Moon and the Stars is a wonderful introduction to "world/Celtic/ambient" music and an excellent intro, too, to the Celtic Heartbeat label.
reviewed by Amanda Patrick
While the music of Capercaillie is new to me, they are not new to the world of Celtic bands. This Scottish group has been around since 1984, and has eight albums. Their latest, Beautiful Wasteland, is a delightful mix of ballads, Gaelic dance, and puirt a beul (mouth music).
Karen Matheson has a dynamic voice. Listening to her sing in the fast speaking/singing voice that is mouth music, and then to her beautifully melodic and curiously soothing ballads, as in "Shelter," I am impressed by the wide range of her talents. At times, she reminded me of Delores ORiordan of The Cranberries, other times of Enya.
Charlie McKerron has been with the band for 12 years, and is a versatile fiddle player, again showing a wide range, from slower Gaelic dance, as in "Sardinia," the last cut on the album, to quick and lively "jig" numbers, as in "MIonam" and "The Tree."
With the added flavor of North African traditional chants interwoven with the Gaelic dance and mouth music, I found this album lively, memory-evoking, and altogether lovely.
reviewed by Pat Gallagher
There is a God/Goddess and a new Maire Brennan album! It is Maire (pronounced Moy-a) Brennans third album and marks her debut on the Word label, which is generally known as a Christian music label. Maires musical pedigree is impeccable. Ms. Brennan is a founding member of the world renowned Clannad (clon-nod). Formed in 1970 with her brother, uncles, and sister, Clannad first played at Maires fathers pub in the tiny town of Gweedore in the rugged west of Ireland. The Clannad sound is so immediately recognizable. Two films that you might recall, Patriot Games and Last of the Mohicans, were hauntingly and gorgeously scored by Clannad. The Clannad harmonies are so rich and tight; these are the harmonies of which only family members are capable (think of The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers, or the Judds and you will understand).
In reviewing Perfect Time, it is difficult not to mention the importance of Clannad, and it is even more difficult not to mention that Maires younger sister is Irelands living musical legend, Enya. Enya left Clannad in 1982 to pursue her own solo musical journey. Maire has made it clear that there is no rivalry: "There is no point in looking at it as a competition. Enyas my sister, and if there are comparisons, I cant help that. If I had a problem when I was making the album, it was making sure I didnt sound like her." But, there are some strong similarities, mostly in how the vocals are layered and layered and layered and layered.
However, it is a wonderful similarity, and the world is certainly a much better place for it. Maire has also enlisted her younger sister Dee as well as her own dear mother to lend a hand to Perfect Time. Dee is featured on vocals as well as the demanding Irish drum, the Bodhran (bow-ron). Maires mother, Baba, leads the choir of St. Marys Church in Derryberg, who are also featured.
"It was the mountains all around and the sea in front of us," Maire says of growing up in the remoteness of County Donegal. "Id hear my fathers show band practicing in the front room. I was nearly in my teens before we had a radio for me to listen to the Beatles and Joni Mitchell, who remains one of my favorites. On my mothers side, there was storytelling and wonderful Old Irish songs. On my fathers side, with his band, there was always sheet music coming into the house Nat King Cole, Elvis. Clannad was a fusion of both sides. Wed take old songs and arrange them musically as if painting pictures for people who didnt understand Gaelic so we were putting old music and popular music together."
For Maire, Perfect Time reflects nearly a lifetime of music: growing up with music and making music. "It's music of the soul," the singer says, "and its also a very personal album." Perfect Time mirrors "the strength and hope of the Irish character," she says; the songs comprise a "walk through my life. The sound comes from my childhood, from my work with Clannad, from the old tunes I grew up on.
"One thing I wanted to do was to reflect on Celtic spirituality. Theres a lot of folklore and mythology attached to Ireland, but sometimes people forget its true spirituality. Thats where our music and art come from. And today, especially as we approach the year 2000, I think there are very few people who dont want the peace and calm in their hearts that comes from spirituality. Its such a material world but so many of us finally realize that there must be something more."
Perfect Time is an ageless kind of album that is Maires contribution to soothing our damaged world. I offer it as The New Times album of the month.
reviewed by David A. Young
Just as Enya's success has made her the inevitable point of reference in discussions of throngs of other Irish acts (much to the chagrin of those artists, I'm sure), so the likes of Enigma and Deep Forest have made the mention of their names tragically probable in many reviews today. There's such a wealth of riotously original music out there that that's a shame, especially when as imaginative and fully realized a project as Spirit House is unleashed.
The basic premise here is the time-honored one of East meets West. Celestial isn't really so much a group as it is producer/composer/arranger Peter Millward and several well-known Eastern artists. Many of the cuts are Asian-sounding melodies; the Eastern instruments add authenticity to the flavor, even when the song is the Irish folk favorite "Carrickfergus" (yes, the same one Bryan Ferry did). All benefit from subtle touches of genius and depend on an out-front sample/synth sound overlaying the tunes.
A chugging dance groove is the mainstay of the disc, but it gives in from time to time to alternately more jazzy, more classical, or more lounge-ish tendencies; I could swear there's a hint of dub reggae hidden between the grooves on "Bio-Gravity." My favorite track is "I Feel Strange," in which Rita Tsang cuts loose on lead vocal with her best Deborah Harry impersonation, making the song sound like a cross between Saint Etienne and Pizzicato Five until it gives way to a Stevie Wonder-style harmonica break!
Four of the songs feature the distinctive sound of the erhu (Chinese violin) on melodic lines that, alone, would probably sound dolorous, but in the context of the beats uh, worldbeats sound voluptuously sinewy and mesmerizing. One such song is "Trans-Mongolian Express," a titular and, in its relentless shuffle, stylistic nod to pioneering "electronica" group Kraftwerk. Another, "I Can Feel It," sounds like Yello on Prozac.
This album can take a place of pride among the growing number of records relying on unlikely alliances and daring concepts to carry them, because it is among the still-small number of ones that succeed at what they do. Maybe Celestial's will be the name mentioned the next time a reviewer is struggling for a basis for comparison! They deserve the recognition, and I hope to hear again soon from these freshman standard-bearers for the new music movement.