Melody
ISBN-13: 9780671657864
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: 1988
221 pgs
Source: Loaned from friend





I rarely read non-fiction. To be exact, I hardly read them unless the subject interest me or someone has highly recommended them to me. I read Many Lives, Many Masters based on the latter and let me say this is one of the most interesting and enlightening reads I read in years. I have to confess while writing this, I am still pondering over the subjects (or the encounters experienced by the author and one of his patients) mentioned because it is such a thought-provoking read and most of all, I am afraid I may not do justice to this book but still I am going to give it my best shot.

Many Lives, Many Masters is the true story of a prominent psychiatrist (who is the author of this book), his young patient, Catherine, and how past-life therapy that will change both of their lives. To begin with, Catherine is plagued by nightmares and anxiety for years but she is reluctant to seek any medical assistance initially. When these troubling issues continue, she decided to seek help through Dr. Weiss. Dr. Weiss had tried out a few therapy sessions with Catherine but did not see any improvement in her, finally he tried the hypnosis therapy and Catherine began to recall her past lives that answers her recurring nightmares and anxiety attacks.

From a medical perspective, Dr. Weiss is both astonished and skeptical by this findings but he keeps an open mind and continues to use this therapy as he keep an eye on Catherine's progress as the sessions go along. As each session goes by, both Dr. Weiss and Catherine have learned something more about Catherine as well as her past lives and how each of her past life has, in one way or another affects her present life. What most astonishing is, Catherine is mentally stable and does not have any hallucination or sleepwalking issues but she is able to recall a few of her past lives providing sharp and accurate details. Now at this point, Dr. Weiss is very intrigued by Catherine's past and the fact how she is able to relate the encounter of her past lives given she is neither an actress nor an imaginative person in nature. But that is not all, at times Catherine is able to send philosophical messages in her subconscious state during the sessions and this has further intrigued the non-spiritual and with a scientific mind Dr. Weiss.

Dr. Weiss later learned that the messages Catherine has conveyed are from the Master Spirits and through those messages, I learned that we are all inter-connected; and that we have a purpose for living and it is through the lessons we learned and to teach others, we all will attain a happy, harmony and a balance life. I also learned that one is always responsible for the deeds he has done, and why our actions matter and will inadvertently affect our present or future lives.

To put it simply, Many Lives, Many Masters allows the readers to think more deeply about their lives and to reinforce the idea that what we are today are the consequences of what we did in our previous lives (that explains why some people are born with certain talents). Well, I wish I could elaborate more about this wonderful book but I won't considering this post is already long enough, instead I shall share with you a few lovely passages from the book:

"Balance and harmony are neglected today, yet they are the foundation of wisdom. Everything is done to excess. People are overweight because they eat excessively. Joggers neglect aspects of themselves and others because they run excessively. People seem excessively mean. They drink too much, smoke too much, carouse too much (or too little), talk too much without content, worry too much. There is too much black-or-white thinking. All or none. This is not the way of nature. ... In nature there is balance. Beasts destroy in small amounts. Ecological systems are not eliminated en masse. Plants are consumed and then grow. The sources of sustenance are dipped into and then replenished. The flower is enjoyed, the fruit eaten, the root preserved.

"Humankind has not learned about balance, let alone practiced it. It is guided by greed and ambition, steered by fear. In this way it will eventually destroy itself. But nature will survive; at least the plants will. ... Happiness is really rooted in simplicity. The tendency to excessiveness in thought and action diminishes happiness. Excesses cloud basic values. Religious people tell us that happiness comes from filling one's heart with love, from faith and hope, from practicing charity and dispensing kindness. They actually are right. Given those attitudes, balance and harmony usually follow. These are collectively a state of being. In these days, they are an altered state of consciousness. It is as if humankind were not in its natural state while on earth. It must reach an altered state in order to fill itself with love and charity and simplicity, to feel purity, to rid itself of its chronic fearfulness. ~ Pg 209-210

"How is it that you say all are equal, yet the obvious contraditions smack us in the face: inequalities in virtues, temperances, finances, rights, abilities and talents, intelligence, mathematical aptitude, ad infinitum?"

The answer was a metaphor. "It is as if a large diamond were to be found inside each person. Picture a diamond a foot long. The diamond has a thousand facets, but the facets are covered with dirt and tar. It is the job of the soul to clean each facet until the surface is brilliant and can reflect a rainbow of colors. Now, some have cleaned many facets and gleam brightly. Others have only managed to clean a few; they do not sparkle so. Yet, underneath the dirt, each person possesses within his or her breast a brilliant diamond with a thousand gleaming facets. The diamond is perfect, not one flaw. The only differences among people are the number of facets cleaned. But each diamond is the same, and each is perfect.

When all the facets are cleaned and shining forth in a spectrum of lights, the diamond returns to the pure energy that it was originally. The lights remain. It is as if the process that goes into making the diamond is reversed, all that pressure released. The pure energy exists in the rainbow of lights, and the lights possess consciousness and knowledge. And all of the diamonds are perfect." ~ Pg 211-212

11 Responses
  1. joanna Says:

    Ooh Melody, I've been dying to read this for years - I even own it so I have no idea why I haven't. You reminded me of it now, it might just make it onto my summer reading list!


  2. Nymeth Says:

    This book was immensely popular back when I worked at a bookshop in 2001. As in, every other person who came into the shop bought it :P


  3. Julia Says:

    Interesting book review, Melody. I always learn something when you review your books. It look like you enjoy it too :)


  4. Diane Says:

    This sounds fascinating Melody; thanks for mentioning it.


  5. Iliana Says:

    "Happiness is really rooted in simplicity." - This I love.

    I had never heard of this book until you did your teaser on it Melody but it definitely sounds intriguing.


  6. stacybuckeye Says:

    I don't read a lot of non-fiction either. I;m so glad this one worked for you - it does sound interesting.


  7. Darlene Says:

    I'm not one for non-fiction but this does sound interesting.


  8. This does sound fascinating! I'm currently reading a fiction book that deals with past lives. It's such an interesting subject. Thank you for your great review, Melody.


  9. Melody Says:

    Joanna - That's great, Joanna! I can't wait to hear what you'll think of it!

    Ana - Wow, that's great to hear! Now I'm so glad to have read it! ;)

    Julia - As always, thank you for your kind words, Julia! :)

    Diane - Yes, it was a fascinating read! I don't think I'd read anything like this before.

    Iliana - That quote is so true, isn't it?

    Stacy & Dar - Yes, I was glad to read this book. It's thought-provoking and not to mention intriguing too!

    Wendy - Now I'm intrigued with the book you're reading! I can't wait to hear what you'll think of it!


  10. JonDanzig Says:

    Dr Brian Weiss is a psychiatrist and self-proclaimed ‘scientist’ whose best-selling book, “Many Lives, Many Masters”, has apparently “scientifically proved” reincarnation by recounting the hypnotic regression to past lives by one of his patients. His book has sold over 1.5 million copies with rave reviewers mostly giving ratings of 4 or 5 stars out of 5.

    I give the book zero stars. I believe it’s fiction, pretending to be a work of scientific discovery when it’s nothing of the sort. The book gives doctors, and science, a bad name. The fact that so many readers believe that this book provides “evidence” for reincarnation shows that modern universal education has in many ways failed to properly explain the principles and discipline of science.

    I’ve now written my in-depth review of this 'work of fiction'. I’ll let Dr Weiss sue me in the next life. :) Here’s the link for my review on ‘Good Reads’:

    http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/418986461


  11. Painter Says:

    Have thought all of your thoughts but have come to the conclusion that if you followed Dr. Weiss' advice (or the Master giving it) in the last few pages of the book (and in particular pages 211 and 212, indeed) what would be the harm - I can see only benefit from it - whether Dr. Weiss' theories are proven or not! Yes, I would like to believe it, and yes I am somewhat skeptical - but I'm getting old (o.k. I am old) and old people think a lot more about dying than the younger set, so if it makes dying seem even a little bit easier than it's worth it. And if it's all true....