- Fizzy Thoughts: Why I won't be joining Oprah's new Earth

Why I won't be joining Oprah's new Earth

Friday, May 23, 2008

You know, I consider myself to be an open-minded person. I may not come across that way, but I have my moments. So when the Slow Travel reading group chose A New Earth as our June book, I was game. I knew it was an Oprah pick, and she had some website about it, but that's all I knew about it and hey, I'm open-minded. Right? So off I went to Barnes and Noble to investigate.

I asked the information person where I could find A New Earth. She walked about five steps to the shelf behind the cashiers and picked up a copy. Uh-oh, it's so popular it's got behind the cashier status.

I took the book up the escalator (yes, I ride the escalator at Barnes and Noble...it's the only one in San Luis Obispo County, and a person should indulge their inner kid - see, I can be enlightened) to the second floor and found a chair to settle in for further investigation of this book that everyone but me seemed to be aware of.

I came to the quick realization that this was a self-help book. And didn't I just write about how I feel about those? Okay, so the back cover classifies it as spirituality. Have I mentioned I don't do religion? But I'm open-minded, dammit. So I skimmed through sections of the book. And honestly, I had a hard time not laughing out loud. The book is full of jargon...and I don't want to have to stop to try to figure out what an author just wrote. It reminds me too much of college, in particular the mandatory philosophy class, which I passed with the help of Cliff (last name Notes).

I sat there for about 10 minutes having an internal conversation that went something like this... "Don't buy this book. You just stated to the internet that you don't read self-help books. But it's for our book discussion, and I should give it a chance. Maybe he has some good points. Hah! Did you not just read a sentence that talked about flowers being the enlightenment of plants? And is indwelling really a word? Oh, and look, he uses capitals all over the place and you know that's a pet peeve of yours...get this: "birds are the temporary manifestations of the underlying one Life, one Consciousness." WTF? Oooh, maybe I should buy the book so I can mock. WHAT?? Do not spend your money on this. You will regret it, and you do not want to give that man (aka the author, Eckhart Tolle) any of your money. But...NO!"

So yeah, the nos and my self respect won. I had to go to Amazon and read the excerpt to find examples similar to those I raised my eyebrows at in the bookstore. And then I entertained myself further by reading the one-star reviews. So much for being open-minded.

So tell me...have you read the book? Am I missing something? Have you lost all respect for me?

10 comment(s):

anne said...

Definitely sounds like something I'll take a pass on! I'm not into self-help gurus at all. I'm also iffy at best about most forms of organized religion, although I do follow my own offbeat spiritual path. Thanks for posting this so I know not to waste my money (although admittedly there was no danger of my shelling out for this book in the first place!)

LisaMM said...

I have zero interest in this book because, like you, I am not into self help, new age-y stuff about birds and flowers and whatever, no thanks!!!!

That Oprah talks people into buying some weird shit.

Eden said...

YEAH, to someone who is not getting on the Oprah bandwagon! With all the self help books and the gurus who "create" them that she promotes, I am baffled why Oprah may still have life challenges...

But hurray to you, Jill. I did not get the "bird - consciousness" stuff... so not putting that on my list... :)

trish said...

Lost all respect for you? Au contraire...I now have more respect than before. :D This kind of book is TOTALLY not my thing.

chartroose said...

Hooray! Oprah sucks ass and it sounds like this book does too. Self-help is for the weak and stupid.

softdrink said...

I knew there was a reason why I like you all. ;-D

My mom and I were talking about this book today...she thinks Eckhart Tolle looks like Yoda.

Annie said...

This whole post cracks me up!

I DO like some self-help books, but not all of them, and I read enough of this one in Costco to see that it was much too dry for me, so I didn't buy it.

I heard Oprah talking to the author on XM radio one day and he sounded pretty dry in person too!

Sandrac said...

Yeah, the sound of this book makes me feel pretty squiggly.....I let myself be talked into the Eat, Pray, Love tsunami several months ago. I still keep it around as a reminder not to repeat such folly.

Was it Teachick who dismissed that book's "topics" of Italy, India, Indonesia as really being nothing but I,I,I.....enough of the self-referential writing!

That's my rant!

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

While I do like self-help books, I checked this one out from the library, read the first chapter and a half and promptly returned it, much to my mom's dismay who thinks that this book is wonderful! It was WAY to weird for me.

softdrink said...

Squiggly and weird...I think Sandra and Natasha summed it up right there!

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

  © Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to top