Any day when a copy of a new book by Michael Neill arrives in the post is a good day and, frankly, an excuse to take the afternoon off, retire to somewhere comfy and immerse yourself in it. Michael’s a good writer, damn his eyes. His gift is to take something which has the potential to be complex and turn it into something accessible to his reader and to make that look easy, when it is anything but.
In The Inside Out Revolution, Michael explores and expands upon the teachings of Sydney Banks and his Three Principles: Mind, Consciousness and Thought. Yup, I know, at first glance they might appear to be the same thing. Even though I had read a book by Sydney Banks and listened to about twenty hours of audio of Michael coaching these around these Three Principles, I confess I was floundering a bit. But by page 20 of this book I had a grip on the distinctions immediately such that I felt inspired to pop out of my comfy chair to email Michael to that effect.
I love the way this book is laid out. It is precisely the right length, the contents divided into three chunks of three chapters each of about ten pages, no more or less than we need. This simple, easily readable format encourages snarfing the entire contents in one sitting which is actually quite a good idea and to be encouraged, especially if you park your brain for the duration and allow the magical contents to wash over you.
A brain isn’t necessarily the best way of coming to know and live the Three Principles, in fact using your brain might even make them harder, if not to understand then certainly to integrate. But I did use my brain in my second reading today so that I could take notes of the special bits I wanted to remember and to share here. As Michael says, the Principles are deceptively simple, or deceptively complex depending on how you come at them. Do not let the simplicity put you off; that’s their beauty. There’s nothing to learn or study, just allow yourself to absorb and experiment.
Michael’s strapline says: “The only thing you need to know to change your life forever” and that’s a big claim. It means there’s no need to go looking for the Next Big Thing. The Three Principles are a 40-year old thing but they are enough. If you have been looking for a way to return to navigating your world using your innate guidance system, look no further – here’s how.
Human Beings tend to over-complicate. Here’s my tip – don’t. Stop it immediately, as I like to say to my clients. Stop thinking those thoughts which are making you miserable and stop living in the feeling of your thinking. Instead, tune into the space where miracles happen and grab this slim volume as your guide.
Michael’s chapters begin with some splendid quotes from Syd Banks himself, obviously, and Albert Einstein, David Bohm, Aristotle, Wittgenstein, Kafka, Rumi, Pericles and Adam Smith – now there’s a bunch of sexy brainiacs you might want to have round for dinner, well I would anyway. And there’s a pointer to where were going here too, there’s added value in the exquisite words of those who are quoted as well as Michael’s own delicious prose. In the second reading I had to keep putting the book down to write down the gems although Michael often includes all those gems at the end of each chapter in a handy bulletpoint round-up too, so you won’t miss anything important. [Relax, Judith, he’s thought of everything!]
Those of us who have studied any personal development at all have managed to drag ourselves up from helpless victim to somewhat empowered, at least some of the time. By the end of The Inside Out Revolution, you will be ready to embark on the next leg of your journey, from empowerment to enlightenment. You will be ready to follow your inner wisdom instead of outer goals and to return to original grace in any moment, simply by choosing a thought. Michael explains that our “inner spark is our essential nature and, as Syd Banks pointed out repeatedly, it’s never more than one thought away”.
It is difficult to pick just one quote from the whole book which gives a flavour of why you should prioritise the reading of The Inside Out Revolution, and pronto, because there are so many. Try this one on for size:
“There’s nothing you need to do, be, have, get, change, practice, or learn in order to be happy, loving and whole.”
Or this one:
“There’s nothing you can do that will quiet the mind faster than doing nothing to quieten the mind.”
“Because we’ve been conditioned from birth to believe in the myth of an outside-in world, we assume the path back to well-being and joy and peace of mind must be through getting a better job or a better partner or working on becoming a better person. The irony is that the harder we work on changing ourselves in order to change the way we feel, the more distant we become from our true self, and the more important it seems to work on all those things, and the more lost we become.
So, regardless of what ‘problem’ we think we have, our only real problem is feeling cut off from our innate wisdom and well-being. And the moment we reconnect to that source energy, our problems stop being so problematic and we move into a new reality.”
The book includes a foreword by George Pransky, an introduction by Michael, an epilogue and a resources section which lists where you can find out more about Syd Banks, who died in 2009, and his epiphany, his life’s work and his books, audios and DVDs. Some will want more, no doubt, but after reading Michael’s book where he’s done all that research for you, you don’t need more; it’s all here.
The Inside Out Revolution by Michael Neill is published by Hay House on 6th May 2013 at £10.99. How on earth are you going to wait to rediscover what you’ve always known, deep down? Possess your soul in patience. It’s worth it.
Michael launched his book in the UK on Monday 8th April at Alternatives at St James’s Piccadilly. For those of us who were unable to attend, we can listen to the recording here for only £5.