Journey to Enlightenment – Ross Bishop

Journey to Enlightenment
Ross Bishop
Blue Lotus Press, 2008
248 pages

I’ll admit that when it comes to anything that’s more New Age than Neopagan, I’m a tough crowd. Ross Bishop, happily, has presented a book that got through my cynicism and gave a wonderfully balanced approach to healing internal wounds. I am quite pleased to have had the opportunity to read this book.

A good bit of Journey to Enlightenment centers on healing the traumas (no matter how seemingly small or supposedly unimportant) from childhood. It’s not just a matter of blatant abuse, but of simply not being understood, or having to deal with the bad conditioning your parents may have had that may have affected how they raised you, even if they never meant to hurt you and loved you dearly. However, Bishop also touches on a number of other issues that people may have unhealthy relationships with, such as finances and social skills.

The thing that makes this book valuable is that Bishop gently guides the reader into facing hir traumas head-on, without guilt or shame, and without too much pressure. He offers a set of thirteen principles that build upon each other as the book progresses, which form the core of a system for going into the self, confronting the issues and getting in touch with the inner child, and bring about healing for all aspects of the self, past and present. Guided meditation is used as a tool to further this process, though a lot of the book is brain food, things to get the reader really thinking about the issues, rather than a book full of rote, stock meditations and exercises. It’s a nice balance of things to think about and things to do.

If you’re expecting traditional shamanism a la Siberia and the Amazon, you won’t find it here. However, Bishop manages to bring elements of shamanic practice into 21st century postindustrial terms in a way that channels much-needed lessons and healing to an audience that can benefit from it. He never claims to be descended from eighteen Native American shamans, or attempts to frame his experiences in anything pretentious; he is down to earth, and strikes a good balance between (neo)shamanism, and healing psychology.

The writing style is pleasant; Bishop is a good writer, and conveys his concepts with thoughtfulness and depth. He has good research, too, and is well-grounded, something that more of the New Age should pay heed to. He proves that one can have a solid footing and still explore spirituality without floating off into the ethers. Other than a few typos, it’s a really good read structure-wise, and the layout far exceeds that even of some larger presses.

Five pawprints out of five.

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3 Comments

  1. Ann said,

    February 3, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    I love this book. I think it’s one of the easiest books to read that lets us know how our belief systems (B.S.) have ruled our lives, and how, when we don’t pay attention to the young one within, we pay for it. And, we pay for it deeply. I think Ross Bishop has done an outstanding job sharing the 13 Principles which heal us and teaches us to open our hearts and keep them open. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is on the journey.

  2. February 5, 2008 at 7:50 am

    As through all of Ross Bishop’s books, he guides his readers through their journey’s, allowing them to self discover in their own way, while providing the prompts and his own wisdom that allow for self growth. Journey to Enlightenment is the kind of book that you’ll pick up at the right time and know you were meant to read it when you did. I, too, highly recommend it.

  3. Liara Covert said,

    June 22, 2008 at 1:54 am

    I share your enthusiasm about this book. The ideas flow naturally and readers feel empowered to regain control of aspects of their lives that got away from them. Ross Bishop takes an uplifting approach, and reminds readers the power is in their mind to re-examine their lives and change their thinking, if they see fit to do so. The tone isn’t imposing. The principles offered are tools that can be used if you choose. They make a lot of sense.


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