Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be? (book review)By
I remember a few years ago watching movies at a local drive in theater. At the intermission an advertisement was shown featuring hot steaming popcorn dripping with butter. Boy it looked good! Suddenly I saw the words “Buy!” flash on the screen in a split second, and then the popcorn reappeared. “Did I just see that, or was it my imagination?” I wondered. What I didn’t know at the time was that we in the audience were being sent a subliminal message to change our behavior (in this case to spend our money at the snack bar).
Eldon Taylor in his book “Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be” talks about the effect of subliminal messages on us. Not just simple ones like the one I saw at the drive in, but messages we were raised with that could still be affecting our behavior to this day. “What if you learned that you could repattern that subconscious programming,” Taylor writes, “actually changing the information in the subconscious so that it was more consistent with your genuine desires? Would you want to do so? Well, the truth is that you can.” I was intrigued, and I wanted to read more.
The first part of Choices and Illusions features a variety of mind puzzles. Taylor makes the point that what the mind perceives to be true is not necessarily the case. I found these puzzles to be interesting exercises but wondered “is that all there is to this book? I was hoping for something more motivational.” Not to worry, the good stuff comes later on. These exercises are there to show you can’t always trust your current perception of reality.
With chapters like “The Courage to Challenge Yourself”, “Breaking the Trance”, and “The Kingdom Within” Taylor encourages the reader to recognize unhealthy patterns in his or her own thinking and to change to more positive thoughts. Also included is Taylor’s “Inner Talk” CD as another aid to transform a wounded psyche. “Within you is an absolutely awesome potential. You deserve, and you are worthy. Your life begins anew each moment. It is never too late, and it is always right to pursue your highest potential,” he writes. I found Taylor’s words inspiring, causing me to reexamine my own ways of thinking.
“Life is a miracle and living a joy!” concludes Taylor on the last page of the book. “You are a miracle and a gift, and you repay the gift by being all that you were created to be.” Amen.