I received a request from Book Publicity Services to read and review The Enlightenment Project by Jonathan Robinson. It seemed like a great fit for this blog! I think you’ll agree.
I received the physical copy of the book while recovering from Covid.
The cover is simple… almost too simple, I thought. I wondered if the book would be simple, too.
Uh, no. In this case, the cover is very deceptive – IN A GOOD WAY!
I began to read and almost immediately ran across something so utterly profound that I knew I needed to wait to continue reading. I needed my non-Covid-addled head in the game!
After I was feeling better, I started over.
In chapter 1 – literally, page 9 – Robinson tells a story that gobsmacked me. Then it made me chuckle. It’s so… truthful… for people like me…
I would have *so* been like his students…
I won’t quote the entire story… in fact, I’m gonna wing it in my own words. Take from this what you will (and then get the book and read it for yourself. But I’m getting ahead of myself.)
Robinson was leading a spiritual group. He set up a video for a class he would not be attending. He told them ahead of time that it was the kind of film that would change their lives.
The film, which was to be Gandhi, the 1982 biographical film, was instead Men In Black II, which was universally panned and not-at-all spiritual.
One might expect that hilarity would ensue. Or, maybe the students would rightfully ask, “What the heck does he expect from THIS piece of crap?” or something similar.
In fact, with the caveat that this film would change lives, IT DID.
Nearly everyone wrote glowing reviews and some shared how the message changed their lives in a profound way.
Sit back and think about this for a moment. This very kind of thing has happened to me… a zillion times. I am always in search of meaning! Therefore, I find it! But I digress.
This message, to me, is the crux of the book. I’m not saying Robinson thinks so… but I sure do!
The rest of the book is so jam-packed with information, quotes, exercises, interviews, and *stuff*… it’s almost overwhelming.
But again, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let’s go back to the very beginning: The Forward is written by Dr. Jeffrey Martin, Director, Center for the Study of Non-Symbolic Consciousness, and author of The Finders. His website FindersCourse.com was listed, so I went to take a look. There are quite a few videos of Dr. Martin discussing his work HERE.
Robinson has LOTS to say about Martin’s work in Chapter 2. I especially appreciated the discussion on shifts of consciousness, which Martin calls “Locations” (here’s why I love it – calling the shifts “locations” avoids suggesting that some experiences were better than others. Isn’t that awesome?).
As we progress through the chapters, we are introduced to concepts that are familiar… like fear. I’ve talked oodles about fear on this blog, with entire books and/or posts being devoted to the subject.
Fear is the first subject discussed in the book, quite reasonably, considering it causes SO MUCH TROUBLE.
Does Robinson give us the cure for fear?
The bottom line is that you, the reader, the sufferer, and the seeker need to DO THE WORK.
In that case, if you do, then maybe. Maybe you’ll find the cure for fear here.
Yes, there are excellent exercises throughout the book… and yes, there is one for fear. There are also questions at the end for answering and/or deeper thought.
Will they change your life?
I guess it depends on how you go in…
Like the example in the classroom above…
(See how I did that?)
Do you believe this book can change your life?
Then IT WILL.
The entire middle of this book is filled with everything we’d expect for a book of this caliber – which is very high, to be clear!
The subjects covered include religion, psychology, meditation, yoga, triggers, money (this chapter is especially good!), spirit, grace, and miracles… to name a few.
As we finish up, I want to share that I appreciated, “The Many Myths of Enlightenment” at the end of the book.
If there is a thread weaving throughout all the myths, it is this:
That being “Enlightened” is somehow the end of the journey.
It is NOT. Robinson is very clear about that.
Also, just an added FYI: Enlightened people experience pain, confusion, anxiety, depression… etc… in short: They are HUMAN.
This book is EXCELLENT! A definite keeper for your self-help bookshelf!
PS: I’ve mentioned before that I always sit down and research before I write a review. I look at websites, reviews, interviews, and other stuff. In this case, Robinson has a podcast called Awareness Explorers. He also has the Finding Happiness blog, though he hasn’t written on it since 2018. Still, it’s packed with tons of content, if you’re interested.
PSS: Although the subtitle of this book mentions depression, “How I Went From Depressed to Blessed, and You Can Too,” the discussion of depression (and suicide ideation) is contained mostly in the Introduction. I have not added a TW.
“Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” Old Buddhist saying. 👌
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