A Book That Changes Lives – Dan Millman

This is a very different kind of book filled with spiritual advice and good life advice any body can choose to follow.

The book did not change my life as the author claims but I like some of the content about spiritualism. The author advocates that everybody should be peaceful warrior in life. The book has a feeling of narrating a parable and the author slowly unwinds his story.

The words of wisdom from the book are:

“Understanding is the one-dimensional comprehension of the intellect. It leads to knowledge.
Realization is three-dimensional — a simultaneous comprehension of head, heart, and instinct. It comes only from direct experience.”

You must appreciate that a secret’s value is not in what you know, but in what you do.

The author shared this following story read it carefully to understand its deeper meaning.

There was once a beloved king whose castle was on a high hill, overlooking his shire. He was so popular that the nearby townspeople sent him gifts daily, and his birthday celebration was enjoyed throughout the kingdom. The people loved him for his renowned wisdom and fair judgments. One day, tragedy struck the town. The water supply was polluted, and every man, woman, and child went insane. Only the king, who had a private spring, was spared. Soon after the tragedy, the mad townspeople began speaking of how the king was acting “strangely” and how his judgments were poor and his wisdom a sham. Many even went so far as to say that the king had gone crazy. His popularity soon vanished. No longer did the people bring him gifts or celebrate his birthday. The lonely king, high on the hill, had no company at all. One day he decided to leave the hill and pay a visit to the town. It was a warm day, and so he drank from the village fountain. That night there was a great celebration. The people rejoiced, for their beloved king had “regained his sanity.”

I realized then that the crazy world that Socrates had referred to was not his world at all, but mine.

“It is better for you to take responsibility for your life as it is, instead of blaming others, or circumstances, for your predicament. As your eyes open, you’ll see that your state of health, happiness, and every circumstance of your life has been, in large part, arranged by you — consciously or unconsciously.”

“‘Only the supremely wise and the ignorant do not alter.’”

I’ve always believed that we have to find our own paths in life. No one can tell another how to live.”

“If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change, free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”

“Meditation consists of two simultaneous processes: One is insight — paying attention to what is arising. The other is surrender — letting go of attachment to arising thoughts. This is how you cut free of the mind.”

“There is a saying: ‘When you sit, sit; when you stand, stand; whatever you do, don’t wobble.’ Once you make your choice, do it with all your spirit. Don’t be like the preacher who thought about praying while making love to his wife, and thought about making love to his wife while praying.”

There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor, and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be.

Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life; just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It’s all the marvelous Play of God.
Wake up, regain your humor. Don’t worry, you are already free!”

If you are kind of philosophical or spiritual nature then you can definitely enjoy this book. At times you feel like you are being guided by some sage or wise man(our author). Do give it a try to read this book as I have not revealed much of the plot how the narration evolves. The unwinding of the story in the book is interesting.