Book Reviews

Choices and Illusions

Eldon Taylor

Self Improvement, Empowerment, Inspirational, Spirituality

978-1-4019-4338-7

This fascinating book holds an important key. Whether you're interested in the science of thinking and beliefs, how your own mind works, how others control your thoughts, why things just don't work ou... More

Dec 05, 2013 ahlmt
"Choices and Illusions" is all about the way that your brain works and why your brain causes you to think the way that you do. Every decision that we make is influenced by our past experiences. Those influences can be positive, but they can also cause negative actions that impact the way that we live our life each and every day.

I thought it was really ironic that at the same time that I started writing my first book, and I can honestly say that it helped me tremendously! I found it truly inspiring and encouraging - and it kept me moving forward even when self-doubt crept in. I was particularly interested in the portions of the book that discussed the subliminal messages that we are all exposed to so many times each day and I'll definitely do more reading on that subject. Mr. Taylor has many books on the topic, so I'll select one of his for more information.

The free InnerTalk CD was interesting... I had it playing in the background for several days while writing my book and I can't say it wasn't helpful. When it comes to subliminal messages, how do you really know? All that I can truly say is that I completed the book and subliminal messages about having "unlimited personal power" certainly couldn't have hurt! I'd be interested in more of these CD's on some other topics, particularly the weight loss topics since I've struggled so much with my weight over the years. It looks like there are several available, so I'll have to order a few and see if they help!

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing more about how your past experiences influence you every day and how to deal with the information that your brain is sending you in a more constructive manner. Fascinating! I was sent this book, "Choices and Illusions" by Eldon Taylor, free for review by Hay House, but all opinions are mine.
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Dec 05, 2013 KaseyCocoa

Written intelligently but not with a consistent reading level. At times it's general almost conversational while at others it's very clinical, impersonal. It's filled with studies and evidence to back up ideas and theories but with such an overload it begins to feel forced which removes any gains from reading. Those who are curious or looking into the subject matter might enjoy reading this, if only to have something to refer to when discussing the ideas with someone who has no knowledge or who is in denial.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest unbiased review.

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Dec 02, 2013 Loveandtreasure
Have you ever been in a situation where you know something is good for you, but still you hesitate to participate in it? Eldon Taylor’s book Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I am, and How Do I Get Where I want to Be? may evoke feelings of you wanting to abandon ship, not because it’s not a great book, because it is, but because either the amount of truths are way too deep or because you can’t get the truths fast enough (due to the lengthy background information for some of the studies). But as with all things in life, you need to be patient enough to allow for the good things in life to emerge. And let me tell you, that while on the surface this book might seem like a very light read (due to the cover and the title which don’t really reveal how mentally substantial this book is), this book is actually quite scientific… but amazingly, in a very refreshing and encouraging way. For once, you’ll be able to see how science and spirituality merge in a peaceful and an inspirational way that leave you with a sense of having learned something, instead of leaving you feeling more confused than when you started.
The Conflict of Our Four Selves

Most of our conflicts, if not all of them, have to do with the fact that as Yale professor Jerome L. Singer conveyed, there are four facets to our self, which Eldon Taylor describes in the following manner:

    Actual Self: the private and ambitious self who has failed us and who we try to change
    Ideal Self: it would be our “perfect” self according to our own judgment and that of our culture, but due to its “perfection,” it wouldn’t have room to grow
    Ought to be Self: it is the self full of “shoulds” and “oughts” of our culture, our society and the codependency in our families which really don’t belong to us, but which we are subjected to, nevertheless
    Desired Self: the self we think deep down that we can be, and mostly long for in our youth. This is the self which brings about much regret in people who have unfulfilled dreams in their later years.

These “selves,” that we all possess, (or should I say, that possess us ;) ), are often in competition with one another and therefore, create turmoil in us. Yet, regardless of how we struggle to morph into who we think we need to be at any given moment, we all have unlimited possibility far beyond these four selves and far beyond what we think is attainable for us. Everything that we have experienced, that is, the sum of the positive and negative things we have encountered in our life, the need to be accepted and our fear of loss  makes us who we are. Despite the seeming limitations that we may have collected over the span of our life, we all have the need to soar and yet, we all have a fear of not being in our comfort zone. This presents a dichotomy because sometimes, we let our secret failures, our low desires, and our deeds paralyze us. And whether we admit to this at first glance or not, what we most desire is change. You might be thinking, “Really??!! CHANGE?!” If you’re anything like me, I thought most of us were actually afraid of change… but Taylor presents a very convincing point. He believes that we would all succeed and be heroes if we deeply and without a speck of a doubt thought that we could succeed, if we really believed we could attain the impossible and that we had power and conviction to move forth.  However, in order for us to be super comfortable with change, we would have to have a crystal clear and impeccable guarantee that we could succeed. Obviously, having that kind of guarantee is as difficult to obtain as it is trying to hold pouring liquid in your hands.
What Shapes Our Life?

Just like when comparing diamonds, the value that we can each expect to obtain from life has to do with three C’s that are not cut, color and clarity, but rather they are:

    Choice
    Chance and
    Change

Knowing that these 3 C’s can literally make or break our life is a helpful reminder, or nudge, that we should really explore what our choices are, how we can be in better control of them, what it’s worth to take a chance on, and what in our life needs to change. For some of us, these 3 words are subconsciously, our 3 little “M’s,” meaning our 3 little monsters that we often invade with every possible shield and elusive excuse we can fathom. However, seeing the bright side of these three words, can literally be life-changing. It’s really up to us to embrace the responsibility that this conscientious living requires, and more importantly, it’s important to rejoice for the blessings that living in such a way can bring.

     The only way to discover the limits of  the possible is to go beyond them to the impossible.’
                           - Arthur C. Clarke

Why Is Life So Complex?

Just when we can think that we’re on the yellow-brick road to perfection, we are faced with idiosyncrasies of our human nature and of the world. Choices can be illusions. Illusions are caused by language. “Words do more damage to most people in our culture than things do. It’s not the words themselves or even Webster’s definitions that are damaging or fearsome; rather, the damage is inflicted by the emotive value attached to the words.” We can be fooled by logic, “words traps and their confusions have led to many atrocities.” We ourselves trip over our words and have made others fall because of them. We get so wrapped up in what our version of reality is, that sometimes, that the only thing that we see- our reality. “It is easy to forget the nature of a personal truth when it masquerades in an argument of reason.”

    “Additionally, it is not possible to know the so called total of anything. Words are not the things they represent, and what they are supposed to represent is much more and much less than could ever be written.”

Our inner conversations, self-talk and stream of consciousness trick us because they are composed of words. “When in doubt, most people will trust their own judgement and senses- in fact, it is very hard not to trust our own experiences.” Yet our biology and psychology functions in such a way that we have to question even our own experience and feelings if we are to ever have any chance of discovering “the truth.” When we are open to acknowledging that what we think is true is really not true, then we are open to finding ourselves. As William James once said, “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” So, obviously, we have to do much more than just rearrange our prejudices, we have to rid ourselves of our own prejudices, that affect us more than they affect anybody else.

To prove an important point, Eldon Taylor shows various pictures and optical illusions that show that what we see at first isn’t necessarily what is really there and proves that sometimes things can be seen in more than one way and that what we could bet our money on that we’re seeing, is simply our mirage for wanting to be right, plainly put, it’s an illusion. Taking this teaching a step further, not only is what we think we see an illusion sometimes, but so is what we say and fight so hard with others to defend. What is the root of all this messed up way of thinking? That which we have allowed to shape our mind.
What is Reality, in Reality?

One of the great resources that this book has, is a flow chart by William Guillory. This flow chart states that, “reality is what we believe to be true —> what we believe to be true is what we perceive —> what we perceive is what we look for —> what we look for is what we know —> what we know is what we believe to be true —> what we believe to be trues is reality —> reality is what we believe to be true,” and so the cycle continues.  Even when we know that this flow chart applies to us, and that everything that we see, perceive, expect and trust, isn’t necessarily true, we establish psychological defense mechanisms to convince ourselves that they are true. Easily accepting that everything is false is like willingly choosing to walk the rest of your life in quicksand. Some people can handle this type of uncertainty most of the time. For others, this truth that what we observe is not necessarily what we get, is too much to handle. These defense mechanisms, that many of us will find super familiar, are as follows:

    denial
    fantasy formation
    introjection
    isolation
    projection
    regression
    repression
    sublimination

These mechanisms overlap making it difficult for us to discern them and sometimes even to accept them. In other words, we see only what we want to see about ourselves and the world.
What Role Does the Subconscious Play in Our Life?

A stepping stone that we can stand on to take a breath, and have a solid truth, that makes sense is that many times the subconscious acts without the conscious. As a matter of fact, our unconscious mind makes most of our decisions. In other words, all that has happened in our life, plus the desire to be accepted and obtain pleasure over pain is what has shaped each and every one of us. Nowadays, most of us are a product of “nurture” instead of a product of nature. We are heavily and increasingly influenced by our environment. This simple fact, that society is in essence hijacking much of who we are explains, in large part, why much of our thinking, much of our conformity, and our apathy prevail in our individual and collective consciousness. For many, the amount of pressure is so great, that it further compounds the already mysterious mind. Taylor contends that stress, distress and trauma can virtually hide experience from the conscious mind. Despite what a person says, even when a person is under the influence, the subconscious remembers. In order to prove it, there are mechanisms that can be used that would allow for even someone who claims they remember nothing about what they did while being under the influence, to retrieve very specific details that they claimed they couldn’t with normal consciousness. In other words, with subliminal work, the treasures and the traumas of the mind can be retrieved to be cherished or corrected.
How Does the World Affect Our Choices?

Our thinking and our choices are predisposed to the world around us. Billions of dollars have been spent by government and marketing researchers to see how our minds work. It’s alarming to know, that “To this day, no legislation protects the consumer from subliminal manipulation.” Ads sometimes hide taboo or negative information that the conscious is not able to detect, but that the conscious can and is deeply influenced by. Thankfully, you have a choice to create your own thoughts and to question ads and media sound bites (what you see and hear in the media) and question that information. You REALLY do have that power. You don’t have to accept anything that you think you’re experiencing at face value because there is a slight but very potent  possibility that what you’re experiencing is different than what it appears to be. “Most of the information you have processed in your lifetime has been information that has passed beneath your conscious sentry or recognition. ” Having this knowledge is useful for making positive strides and changes in your life. As such, once you have a good grasp on this subject, you will discover how you can turn the tables on the mind manipulation going in on both inside and outside of you and actually take back the control of your own thoughts.
What Holds Many of Us Back from Taking Control of Our Thoughts?

In order to start seeing how powerful you can really be, it’s important to note that there are two things in life that can bind you:

    somebody binding you physically or
    or being bound by something physical.

You, your beliefs, your blame, thinking that you are only one person and that there is nothing you can do to evoke positive change limits you from being able to move forward. Thinking that you are bound like that, through the limitations of your mind, is thankfully an illusion. You REALLY, you have a choice. You have to truly believe it and act as if you believe it.

And in order to believe it, you have to go to the source of it all, the mind. You may have heard that we use 10% or less of our brain/mind. Specifically,

    3% of the mind = conscious mind
    7 % of the mind = the preconscious mind (the part of the mind that helps you recall song lyrics at the mention of the beginning of the song or the song’s melody)
    90% of the mind= the subconscious

How Do Stress, Fear and Anger Affect Us?

Something very interesting that the author Eldon Taylor mentions, is that in our modern world, the fight/flight response has been replaced with anxiety and depression respectively. Even though the type of life-threatening dangers that most people nowadays face is minimal, many people live under an inordinate deal of stress. This is because the small stuff that we sweat is linked in some way to our deep-rooted and highly important need to be and feel loved and accepted. This phenomenon of feeling that our emotional well-being is dependent on the approval of others is directly proportional to how much power someone supposedly has over us. Exactly how much power they have is based not on how much power they supposedly should have (e.g. boss), but rather on how much power we consciously or subconsciously give them.  The threshold for how affected we are (e.g. stressed) and by what triggers we obtain that stress, varies from person to person, of course.

As many of us can immediately agree to, when our beliefs are threatened, we develop anger and fear. Every time we’ve been told that we can’t do ____ because we aren’t ____ enough, the information and feelings that go along with that, have been stored in our subconscious. It is is no wonder then, that we often feel as limited and worthless as we do. Furthermore, the “shoulds” and “oughts” that we are highly encouraged to have, also “form the mold for our beliefs.” If you add that to the lessons we acquire from our entertainment, the end result forms what we believe about the world, about us, and what we feel is worth defending. Strangely enough, “our language, experience and feedback have been programmed without our conscious awareness or agreement.” That is, our REAL, awareness and our REAL agreement. In sum, many of our less than desirable reactions have to do with our fear of not being loved, accepted or respected. Taylor states that anger is an acronym that stands for A Nasty Getting Even Response. He says that fear represents For Every Anger Response. What this results in then is that for every fear/ “for every anger response” there is anger/ “a nasty getting even response.” So when we feel that our most basic heart/ soul-centered needs are violated, many of us respond with anger due to the fear that we feel. And when we are asked why they acted out of anger, “blame” is often mentioned or alluded to, instead of the fear that caused it all. However, instead of feeling hopeless when we fall into this game/trap, we should realize that no matter how grim the circumstances in our life look or feel, something “good” always comes out of the so-called “bad.” When we opt to think this way, we reduce the probability of having high cortisol levels  (the stress hormone). By choosing to react calm, instead of stressed, we are literally slowing down our aging process, our brain degeneration and amazingly, our death, which high cortisol levels promote. These are all good reasons to slow down, but next time you’re about to “pop,” based on your values, think about which of these three things you want to preserve: your youth, your wit or your life? ;) As long as you can reduce your high cortisol, for whatever reason you value most, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Why Do We Blame Others for Our Problems and at the Same Time Are Proud To Share Our Problems?

Eldon Taylor reminds us of a truth that we all know deep down but often refuse to adopt and that is that holding on to the need/desire to blame others is equal to being tied down by a string that really shouldn’t be stronger than we are. Yet in this world, we are almost constantly seduced by the idea of placing blame on someone or something else constantly. And to make matters worse, we take it even a step further. For example, when we talk to anyone about our trials and tribulations or about the problems we have, we don’t have to wait too long before the person who is supposed to be listening to us to express or “one-up” our bad situation with their bad situation. Without realizing it, people start to play what Taylor calls the “bad-luck fortune” game. In other words, many of us go through our day seeing how many bad-luck cookies we can get. Something bad happens to us and immediately we think, ‘I can’t wait to share this disgrace with so-and-so.” Why? Simply to play this game and to have plenty of evidence for others to feel bad for us and pity us. Subconsciously, we play this game because we aren’t 100% comfortable with happiness, ease and peace. Knowing that, it’s up to you to decide if you want to go through life chasing after these bad-luck, oh-poor-me cookies OR if you want to have the courage necessary to nix the desire to chase these cookies. “You see, when you stop saving your [bad-luck] cookies and get on with the responsibility for everything in your life, your life improves. When this happens, you lose any and all desire to be a cookie keeper.” Apparently it all comes down to what we prefer having: responsibility over our actions or pity for our lack of responsibility. We choose.

Once we go through life having the long pity-party that we need to finally feel empowered, one important premise that we should be aware of, is that good and bad luck is relative. What we consider a disgrace, in the most bizarre of ways, can actually be the best blessing ever! So regardless of what we think is in front of us, we have to focus on what we have and see it with gratitude. Choosing to worry about our so-called bad luck not only can poison our physical bodies, but it can also poison our future environments by helping us actually attract and manifest into our lives that which we would like to avoid. That’s not a good thing! And yet, many of us fall into this trap again and again and again.
How Can We Start to Take True Control of Our Life and of Our Mind?

It is by focusing on the present moment that we can really tap into the gift of the present. This focus on the here and now can yield even greater gifts if we are thankful for what we have and are consequently driven to share the goodness, kindness, light and blessings that we have with others through good deeds. By focusing on service, we can rid ourselves of our shallow, self-centered living habits and of depression. Furthermore, we do much more good in sending positivity to others than it is if we spread judgement. As cliche as it may seem, the fastest way of getting to this state of open-heart living is by having the determination to forgive. It is through forgiveness and providing ourselves with love that we can truly be free. Taylor believes so much in this, that he has a free gift for you to get started on this path!!! =)  (Psttt… you can find out how to get this gift mid-way through the book… and by the way, it’s something other than the free CD that comes with the book, which is called Unlimited Personal Power, and which is great!). By working on ourselves, we are one step closer to creating the positive changes that we want to see in the world.

Much of the author’s work revolves around subliminal positive programing, which is what makes the CD included with the book so special. Many people are worried about the controversy of subliminal messages because they have been used for less than stellar and beneficial ways by some people in our society. However, Taylor has been a forsenic hypnosis investigator, and he is aware of the importance and of the immense benefits of using this technology for good. He says, “today the science of subliminals is still poorly understood by many but it is a true science with valid merits. It truly can assist enabling individuals to overcome their doubts and fears and negative input that all too often create self-imposed limitations.” He truly believes in the power of self-hypnosis and of subliminal technology to be the greatest agents of change. Interestingly, daydreaming, meditating and quieting the mind, are all forms of self-hypnosis. Practicing self-hypnosis, when one quiets the mind, can allow for great things can happen. For example, one can rewrite deep memories and accurate personal scripts that sometimes are at the root of self-sabotaging behaviors, and one can access one’s higher self that holds the answers to the questions that we seek deep within us, but sometimes cannot access via any other means. “Your mind dictates your life, at least from the perspective of your choices when dealing with all that life brings you. Your thoughts may actually belong to someone other than you. Perhaps you are only storing them so as to act on them, and buy, vote, feel or emote on  cue.” “Hypnosis can be a powerful tool for uncovering all of the information stored in your mind, selectively choosing that which you no longer wish to store, and assisting in discarding it.” Stated this way, many of us could agree that we need a mental cleanse.
Why Is it Important to Be Conscious of Our Consciousness?

For many years, the study of consciousness was a taboo… now, it is being studied more. Eldon Taylor believes that:

    “Defining consciousness turns out to be a process somewhat akin to searching for the core of an onion. Revisiting consciousness is more than a philosophical exercise or a scientific inquiry. It is a duty, even a moral imperative to reevaluate the nature of consciousness, for this inherently devises the strategy by which humankind treats itself and all life.”

We are without a doubt, interconnected. “Perhaps it is the interrelated nature of all life, consciousness itself, upon which we are interdependent. Perhaps, just perhaps, humankind will only know its highest, most noble self when it offers the deepest respect for all life.” “[P]art of making your choice about whatever life you wish to have is influenced by your views of this world and any potential afterlife.”

Taylor notes that many of us push the small and large miracles to the corners of our life… which isn’t advisable because even though we can’t explain these events, “they can hold important clues for us with regards to the purpose of our lives.” Taylor’s book  What Does it Mean?” can provide a blueprint for people seeking the answers to questions pertaining to what our life events mean. Yet miracles abound incessantly. “Perhaps when we begin to think that we are not worthy, some unexplained intervention in our life occurs. What does that suggest to us? Perhaps when we give up faith, something takes place to rekindle our belief. Why these things happen is relative and relevant to the person they happen to. It’s part of a larger narrative.” “When we ignore or dismiss the unexplained in our lives, we close the book on our story.” In order to not minimize the grandiosity of living, Taylor encourages us to “live into yourself” as in the saying “lean into/in” to yourself so that you can discover what you are here for and what your calling is because it is the miracles of the so-called unexplainable events that are full of meaning. “When you are in the flow, you live with a sense of satisfaction. Even when things are hard, you rest well, knowing that you are being true to yourself and doing what is right for you.”
What Do Human Beings Want After All?

Human beings desire quality of life which is defined by:

1) absence of fear

2) loving relationships

3) fulfillment of necessities (food, water, shelter, health care).

Ironically, while many of us have fears, we often don’t realize that we impact the fear-based events that happen to us. Paradoxically, we often think that by diminishing the worth of others, that our worth increases. The truth is, “whenever we degenerate another, we subtract from ourselves. To the precise degree that we make less of another, we make less of ourselves.” “Thinking out of the box, so to speak, is the kind of thinking all of us must do if we are to get out of the box. The box many people find themselves in is self-defining and confining. The walls of the box are fear, anger, lack and the like.”
How Can We Make Sure that We Aren’t Held Back?

We can easily climb over these walls of our shadow beliefs if we become aware and are willing. “Deciding to step out of the confines of “the same old, same old” is the next step. It is a new genuine choice. It is a change in beliefs.” “Changing our beliefs [which we have been handed down from generation to generation as mental viruses called memes and most likely don't serve us] may be the most difficult aspect of personal growth.” Yet it’s so worth it, and so vital to the survival of our real essence.
How Does Language Affect the Quality of Our Life?

When we think about our beliefs, it is important to analyze the language/sayings that we use so that we can truly analyze whether these sayings keep us confined in the box of the reality that we despise OR allow us to be free to go after our real desires and take the good and honorable actions we need to make our desires our reality. It is critical that we scrutinize our own beliefs, that often are a direct reflection of our language, to see if there is anything that we believe that is attached to fear because in a tug-a-war of the positive circumstances we desire and those that evoke fear in us, the fear-based belief will be the stronger belief and will therefore most likely win… not because we want it to win, but because this belief will most likely be ingrained in our unconscious. Thankfully, love is stronger than fear. This examination of beliefs and fears will yield greater self-worth if you let it. And love is your ally. Love, as in a helping hand, a kind word, and kindness is powerful beyond measure.

     ”The word love may be out of vogue for those who need to prove something, but it never is for those who know who they are.”

What is Love and Why Love Matters?

Before attempting to know what love is, it’s important to know what makes it great. Awe, like the kind children often experience, “is the wonderment that empowers and ennobles the human spirit. Awe recognizes the miracle behind every breath we take. Awe sees the glory of creation, for what is is, an unexplained event of monumental even ineffable, stature.”

Taylor observes that unfortunately, many miracle naysayers teach concepts such as the Big Bang theory, yet “we are not told that only DNA can create DNA and that according to some, the original elements necessary to create DNA did not exist in the soup that was present on earth when life supposedly just appeared from nothing.”

This results, in humanity diminishing the beauty or awe of those things that truly are beautiful beyond measure and awesome. “We turn our lights on and enjoy the electric service, knowing where electricity comes from, but failing to recognize that even science has never explained where electricity truly comes from… If we don’t understand it, the rule is to ignore it.”

    “Awe is everywhere if we stop to sense the world around us. Love begins with a capacity for awe.”

Taylor states that there are 3 forms of nonromantic unconditional love. Love is:

    Humble and it ennobles us
    Empathic and is experienced when we imagine what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes
    Unconditional – it “is not attached to an outcome.”

In reading what love is, hopefully you experienced that you have been and are truly capable of giving this type of sublime love. And one of the most important people you could give love to, is you. “True self-esteem comes from what we give, not from what we take. It comes from the walk we walk, not from the things we say. True self-esteem builds character, not ego. It is, after all, the act of being who we really have been created to be.” And isn’t this what we all want? To be who we really were CREATED to be in all the inexplicable glory that that represents?
The World as We Know it Is Not Really As We Know it

“Today, we know that personality can change, it is not fixed and the mind can influence the DNA molecule.” Imagine what other neat surprises life has for us!

Taylor explains that just like in the movie The Matrix, there are trancelike conditions that we are living under. Whenever we are more focused on our thoughts to the point that we aren’t aware of our surroundings, we are in that trance. Even our sleep enables us to go in and out of trancelike states. And everybody seems to want a piece of the trance-pie. “The media has such control over us, that we tend to live under the power of a “media-ocracy.” However, after reading books like this, we can rest assured, that all hope is not lost.

    “Only in our honest authentic self can we escape the trance.”

The opposite of being our honest and authentic selves is when we try to be “versions” of ourselves, depending on where we are, who we are with and what we are wearing to camouflage and try to fit in. Now that you’ve read all of this review and hopefully the book, isn’t it an interesting question to pose right about now: “What are we trying to fit into?” A trance?! Not just any trance, but someone else’s trance. Well that’s ‘smart.’ ;) “Consistency in our beliefs is critical because there is no such thing as a belief that is not connected in some way to the vast web that is all of our beliefs.” So if there is anything that should be more than crystal clear for us is that it’s important to practice metacognition (self-reflection on our thoughts) because “thought monitoring is essential if you’re ever going to truly understand yourself or become truly mindful.”
What is the Central Theme of Choices and Illusions?

Eldon Taylor’s book attempts to teach us that:

    “Self-growth is only possible when you allow for the possibility that you might be wrong, when you learn to question yourself from every direction, when you stop accepting the limiting norms that society attempts to place on you- and instead, strive for the seemingly impossible.”

In order to do this, you must start the journey inward, and you’ll know you have arrived when you can love yourself so much, that you aren’t afraid to be you.

It is important to keep ourselves in motion because life is motion. On a physical level, “when we do leave this plane, the moment we die nothing happens but the breath… what stopped is breath [cells in our body continue their functions for a while longer].” In a way, this shows that we are much more than our body. We are our essence. And if life can continue with ability to breathe and even despite our ability to breathe, then what we do when we are alive and feel the most alive, can be very meaningful. For that, we must know what makes us feel alive.

In order to know the purpose of your life and the meaning of life in general, you must connect with Spirit, which is “giving, creative, kind, loving, beautiful, expanding, abundant and receptive.” Eldon Taylor, along with one of his admired authors, Dr. Wayne Dyer, invite us to recognize that each of us, is “God experience walking.” Saying that we’ve been successful in finding our life’s purpose simply because we found a job that we like, would be minimizing what the purpose in life is. What matters here is that we are fully, safely and often able to express who we are.
Is Choices and Illusions a Helpful Book?

Taylor wholeheartedly recommends the teachings in Choices and Illusions because he’s applied them and says that they’ve worked even for a person like him, who he confesses wasn’t always on the spiritual path. An important way to raise the potential in life is to eliminate fears. Taylor suggests that instead of focusing on the acronym of fear that he mentioned at the beginning of the book, which was, “for every anger response,” that we see “fear” as an acronym that stands for “forget everything and run.” We’re to run from our desire to get even and instead remember our holiness, our light and focus on being the best versions of ourselves that we can be.

Is it an easy task? Not really. According to Mel Gill, author of Uncommon Sense, there are 12 ways that we escape accountability. However, we must be accountable if we want our life to be different than the less than stellar life it has been thus far. “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. It is all a matter of challenging some old views.” So we do have to put in the work and we do have to apply the principles, but the benefits we can reap can be life-altering.

Despite the little voice in your head that may be saying that this is all great, but that improving your life is maybe not for you. “There is nothing for you to feel shame over. Shame is a tool of guilt. It can be used to control you and force you to deny your higher self. What you’ve done in the past is a lesson, and when you understand that, accept and forgive yourself and all others, commit to your very best — all else is taken care of for you.” ALL is taken care of. Who doesn’t want that sense of peace that is more attainable than we think?
How Can I Change for the Better?

Eldon Taylor presents a unique and controversial argument for change. Believe it or not, change is a highly sought-out goal in life because we all want more ____, or less ____ in our lives, but in order to achieve this, we must let go of some pattern in us. Ironically, we can all win in this thing called change (or in anything else, for that matter) because “we only lose when we let ourselves down! We can only win, in the real sense of winning, when we do our very best,” and show great character. The author recommends that as a true boost for ourselves that we create a sign that we can see everyday that says, “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” Just saying that gives me chills. Try it!

Dr Christian Enesu, a New Jersey prominent neurologist gives his point of view on Eldon Taylor’s InnerTalk CDs. Enesu says, ” I truly believe that InnerTalk has the capability to change human civilization. It is so powerful and so needed that I think it should be in every hospital.” With subliminal reprogramming, with your choices, changes, and chances, and this book, you are highly likely to achieving the dreams you want to achieve.

Taylor states that it’s important to think and have the courage to act upon the answers you get when you ask the question, “What would I do if I knew I could not fail?” and know that “you will never achieve a goal if you cannot imagine it.” As the well-known Star Wars phrase goes, “May the force be with you.” more precisely, know and put to good use the fact that the Force IS with you. =)

As thorough of a book that Choices and Illusions is, even the author states that “The mind is an absolutely awesome power and we still don’t know its potential.” Taylor recommends that in order for you to foster the greatness that we know of so far, that you:

    “Continue in your progress to becoming all that you might be”
    Forgive and forget
    Reflect on and question “any and all thoughts that limit your potential good for self and society”
    Do good deeds, at least 1 daily and journal at night on how doing the good deed(s) made you feel
    Begin meditating (e.g. get quiet and listen to your inner voice that will help you get the answers and the direction in life that you need)
    “Seek the inner noetic (e.g. mental/intellectual) sense of your real being.”
    Apply what you learn (and I add, LEARN MORE)

If interested, you can buy the InnerTalk CDs, or better yet, enjoy the blessings and the teachings you already have in life and listen to the Unlimited Personal Power CD included for free with the hardback version of Choices and Illusions. According to Taylor, by listening to the CD one hour a day for 30 days, you can bank on seeing change. This works even when you watch TV or sleep. If you’d like to follow the phrases that Taylor uses in his CD our of curiosity, skepticism (and hopefully not fear), Appendix D is comprised of that CD’s affirmations. It’s important to note that in all of Taylor’s 400 InnerTalk titles (which are designed to meet everybody where they are and to help them overcome the many issues that abound humans), he incorporates important themes such as responsibility, forgiveness, appreciation and an awakening process.

No matter how difficult it may seem to live our life differently than you have, one important thing you can do is to take the first step and ‘fake it till you make it.’ Even if you don’t feel like smiling and being kind, with enough consistency, you will see how you will soon be the kind person you always wanted to be. Most importantly, you’ll be surprised by how your choice to change and your rejuvenated mind will help you soar above your wildest expectations and inspire others to do the same.

I was given this book by Hay House to review, but the opinions expressed here are my own. If you’re open to deep mind-digging and life introspection, I recommend this work.
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Nov 13, 2013 mommyinpa

Mommy in PA: Ever wonder how everything in your life falls into place the way it does? Are there goals you want to reach but not sure how? Why are you the way you are? "Choices and Illusions" attempts to tell us how our mind works and how to get the things we want in life.

I am all about positive thinking right now and have been reading a lot of material about it so this book seemed right up my alley. I also like the idea of it coming with a Free InnerTalk CD, it seemed like the next step on making my goals a reality.

I was so excited when it came in the mail because I couldn't wait to get started on learning as much as I can about this subject. I figure the more I know, from as many sources as possible, the better, right? Well that's what I thought until I started reading. I literally had to force myself to read the first half of the book. I'm pretty sure it was just a combination of "I already knew that" and the author's particular writing style that made it seem like it dragged on forever.

Honestly I was expecting more positive thinking and got more of "This is how your brain works at tricking you into thinking this....". It was more like a course in psychology than a positive thinking breakthrough experience.

All in all the book is very informative about things like optical illusions, the way your mind processes information, people's beliefs and how they came to be, and why people behave the way they do. It just wasn't what I was looking for at this point in my life (maybe about 15 years ago when I was wanting to go to school for psychology).

As for the Included "InnerTalk CD", it too was not at all what I expected. It seems to be a disk of just peaceful music. Which again, makes sense but I figured it may be a version of the book to listen to when you were driving or doing your exercises, not the case.

All in all, this would be a great book for the right person it just wasn't what I was looking for

disclaimer: I received the following book for free from Hay House,Inc. in exchange for my honest opinions. All opinions remain my own.

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Oct 21, 2013 blessedelements

“How Did I Get Where I am, and How Do I Get Where I want to Be?” Have you ever asked yourself that question? Most of us have and that is exactly the subject matter that is discussed in this book. In fact the question I just asked you is part of the title.

This book is a revised edition of the original release of Choices many years ago. The reader therefore will notice the same examples and text used in the previous one.

The book points out that most of the decisions we have made in life are due to our influences, environment and people that share our life. One example given is from a story about an eagle that was raised by chickens and believed too that she was a chicken. Her habits were the same as the other chickens and she performed the same routines although treated different than by other chicken. She chose to think she was not as good as the others rather than to entertain the idea that she was different and perhaps had a different role in life. When approached by another eagle who remarked on her beauty, revealing to her that she was really an eagle, she was given the opportunity to soar the skies rather than to spend the rest of her days peaking the dirt and feeling less of a chicken then the rest. Her decision was to not believe the eagle and escape into the chicken coop to join the other chickens. She could not escape how she had to be programmed to believe about herself and did not realize that the choice she made at that very moment had been decided for her by the perception of herself in the eyes of the other chickens. The illusion in her life was that she was a chicken and she turned her back on the opportunity to be an eagle.

The point of this book is that everyone of us has been give false illusions of ourselves and our role in life. These influences are from family, friends and media bombardment. This book teaches powerful ways we can identify those illusions by being aware of our perceptions and behaviors that have been self taught or accepted from our past influences and shows the reader how to take back their choices and end the illusions in their lives.

This edition of the book also comes with a copy of an InnerTalk CD. Eldon Taylor is the inventor of the patented InnerTalk technology which has been used by millions.

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Oct 13, 2013 kmgrafe
Eldon Taylor’s “Choices and Illusions” is a book that will take a hold of you from page 1. “Why are we here?” is a question that most of us ask ourselves in the course of our lifetime, and this book attempts to not only help you answer that question, but provide you with tools to concretely get you to where you want and need to be. One key aspect to unlock this answer stems from our mind and our control over it. It seems that, according to Taylor, our mind has been reprogramed subconsciously through subliminal messages that we come across every day—from ads and newspaper articles we read to the TV shows and movies we watch. With specific examples and scientific research, as well as stories of his own experiences, the author takes us to another dimension of thinking that will allow us to reach our highest potential and achieve our dreams and aspirations…if we take control of our minds. As a bonus, an InnerTalk program (“Unlimited Personal Power”) is included with the book. It’s a terrific tool of positive subliminal messages imbedded in relaxing music to add to the specific advice offered in the book. You will feel uplifted, motivated, hopeful and energized after you read this book.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Oct 10, 2013 timlarison

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.

I received a complementary copy of this book for review purposes.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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Oct 06, 2013 ASimpleGuide
In Eldon Taylor’s book, Choices and Illusions-How Did I get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be?-- the author presents compelling insight into the components, many subconscious, that went into the shaping of our lives, and thus, through reviewing our choices honestly, we are able to uncover, and recover our authentic selves.

The author shares the story of “The Chicken and the Eagle”, explaining how a young female eagle fell from her nest and landed herself in a chicken yard. Adopted and raised by the chickens, the young eagle learns to act, behave and perform as if she were a chicken. The eagle was happy to be loved by her chicken “family”, but still sometimes felt out of place and unfulfilled. One day, a male eagle spots the female eagle in the chicken yard and is dismayed by the sight. The male eagle attempts to inform her that she is not a chicken, but she is afraid of the male eagle, runs away back to her chicken “family.” Nothing could convince her that she could fly, and see and do so many things.

This staying in the “chicken yard” is something that so many of us do. Eldon Taylor provides scientific information and observations of the effects of subliminal programming in our society, through media, music and other sources. Through our addictions to consumerism and consumption, we are easy prey to marketing strategies and lifestyle practices that do not encourage us to live the authentic, satisfied, soul-fulfilled lives that we desire.

I recommend this book. It will open your eyes about what is and has been influencing you in creating the life you currently have.

This book has been provided to me by Hay House Publishing for free, for review, and for my personal and honest opinion of the material.
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Oct 01, 2013 alpha_andy_omega

Eldon Taylor's new book Choices and Illusions is a fascinating study of the human mind. It goes beyond what most motivational or inspirational leaders teach. If you are a person who is serious about improving some area of your life, you'll benefit greatly from Choices and Illusions. By focusing on how the mind relates to perceptions and behaviors, the reader is educated in the how and why it can be difficult to change. Some of this is heady stuff. I found myself having to reread sections, several times, but didn't mind at all because the writing is brilliant and thought provoking. The idea that our subconcious belief patterns hold us in check, and prevent us from achieving what we truly want, is something everyone should take a look at. The book comes with a CD of Eldon Taylor's patented Innertalk technology. A 55 minute program entitled Unlimited Personal Power. I've been using it for about 4 days, a little early to say so, but I do feel maybe a bit more confident and hopeful. As a daily meditator, and someone who's been using subliminal technologies going back to Robert Monroe's original Hemisync tapes, I have to say it certainly hastens me into a deeper trance state than any of the other technologies on the market today. This book is worth taking a look at if you're curious, but especially if you're serious about taking control of your life and the mind that colors it, even when you're not looking.

I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing. I wasn't paid for my opinion, it's mine alone. I suggest you read Choices and Illusions (2013 edition) to develop an opinion of your own.

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Sep 24, 2013 LisaAlaiana

Whether you are interested in the science of how your mind operates or learning how others are and have been controlling your thoughts you may want to check out this newest title, Choices and Illusions by Eldon Taylor. Reading Choices and Illusions – How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be? is a real eye opener as Eldon exposes the illusions most of us live by. You may find it a bit disturbing once you realize the manipulation you have undergone through our government and marketers. I would call Choices and Illusions a self-awareness book that will help you regain the power of your mind to create the reality you have always wanted. Also included with this book is an original Unlimited Personal Power CD, subliminal messages that when listened to help us to empower and become our best selves. Eldon is the inventor of the patented InnerTalk technology used in the CD included with the book.

Many of us think we are in control of our thoughts but in reality we are not. Eldon shows how we have been manipulated in so many ways that most of our thoughts are not even our own original thoughts. Can you answer the question of when was your last original thought? Whose thoughts are you thinking? I personally had to think about it for a few moments and then I did remember my last original thoughts. I did a little babble about my last original thoughts if you care to peek and weigh in on them; My Personal Experience The fact that we have had and are having our sub conscious programmed by subliminal forces through various avenues of media and government is a bit disturbing however Eldon Taylor does give us some guidance as to how we can change our subconscious information so that we may be more consistent with our genuine selves. I have always believed that our thoughts have energy and that we can create our own reality. Choices and Illusions helps us to regain the full power of our beliefs so that we most definitely can create our reality. Most of us have been taught to accept certain things in life that may and likely do limit our real potential. It takes a lot of courage to create real changes in our life. If we are under the influence of another’s thoughts then this change can be even more challenging.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

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Sep 15, 2013 Lu47
Eldon Taylor’s revised copy of Choices and Illusions takes a fascinating look at how our subconscious minds are responsible for where we are in life. In order to live the life we truly want, Mr. Taylor claims that the key to happiness lies within the unconscious mind. It is there that our deep-seeded beliefs are stored, providing filters in which we view life.

Mr. Taylor asserts that subliminal messages have influenced our daily lives, such as the promotion of consumerism as a way to lessen our stress and anxieties, which leads to further unhappiness when the bills come due. Accordingly, it is suggested that, in an attempt to find our true authentic selves, we reprogram ourselves with more healthy inner dialogue, possibly via Mr. Taylor’s “InnerTalk” programs. A cd is included with the book which contains one of these programs.

On the cd is pleasant and inspiring music containing subliminal messages which include 52 affirmations for unlimited personal power. These affirmations are found in Appendix D of the book and include such things as: I accept myself; I am powerful; I deserve good; I can do anything; and, Success is mine. It is recommended that you listen to the cd a minimum of once a day. I’ve listened to it twice and found a slight difference to my mood and outlook.

Although this is different than most spiritual books, it truly is a real page turner. Those who are serious about deepening their spirituality will benefit immensely, as well as all those people who feel unfulfilled with their current situation.

Note: I received a copy of this book at no charge from Hay House Publishing at no cost in exchange for my opinion.
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Sep 15, 2013 awatson
I received Eldon Taylor’s latest release, Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be? free from Hay House Publishing for review. The material was so compelling and inspirational, that I finished the book in one day.

“Most people hold beliefs that are mutually exclusive…At some point in their lives, the conflicting beliefs challenge one another.” The author supports this notion with an analogy he uses concerning most people’s desire to become millionaires as they simultaneously hold an “unconscious” negative belief about money. Usually the negative belief wins the tug-of-war between the two conflicting beliefs because as he states, “Our beliefs are strongest if fear is attached to them.” Many of his explanations and findings throughout the pages of the book may surprise or even challenge you. He asserts that who you’ve become or how you view your world is probably the result of others’ manipulation of your thoughts.

I really enjoyed the story in chapter 18 about the Buddha, Edgar Cayce, and Jesus, which addresses a common theme amongst many of those in “helping” professions.

The book also included a beautiful Innertalk cd entitled, “Unlimited Personal Power,” which can be combined with the accompanying affirmations found in Appendix D in the back of the book—or you can use your own.

What I most appreciated was the author’s willingness to address his own vulnerabilities, doubts, and flaws in his quest to merge the numerous spiritual revelations he’d encountered with his logical side. He is encouraging, practical, and even optimistic in his outlook on the human condition, which is admirable considering the amount of time he spent time working with members of the incarcerated population. I highly recommend Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be? for all seekers of the authentic self.
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Sep 13, 2013 BookLover
Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be? by Eldon Taylor is the second edition of this book and includes five additional chapters. The author Eldon Taylor shows us how most of our choices come from our subconscious and most if not all of our thoughts come from other people and the media. Choices and Illusions shows us hot to discover our own truth and examine our own thoughts. We are also shown how to reverse negativity and to forgive others to find our personal empowerment. We are also shown how to embrace life and love ourselves.

The part of this book that I found among the most interesting is the section that shows us how much of what we think are original thoughts are really coming from the media and others. I also liked the InnerTalk for Unlimited Personal Power CD that accompanied the book and found it to be helpful.

I would certainly recommend this book to those who wish to stop having thoughts from others and learn how much of our thoughts really are not our own. I would also recommend this book for those who want to live a more empowered life.

I acknowledge that I received this book from Hay House in exchange for my honest and unbiased review of the book.
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Sep 11, 2013 Eleven11
The new Revised edition of Eldon Taylor's, "Choices and Illusions", available at HayHouse or Barnes&Nobel, includes five brand new chapters and an InnerTalk CD. This book is an exciting and extremely informative look at the subconscious mind and its role in creating your world.

If you want to learn more about how the mind works, who better to go to than a man who has spent most of his life researching, experimenting, teaching, and applying the inner workings of the mind - that man is Eldon Taylor.

Anyone who has been around metaphysical teaching for long at all, will most likely already know your thoughts create your reality, or better put, the focus of your thoughts, the vibration of your thoughts, is what determines what you will pull out of the "quantum soup" of all that is. But do you realize that its not so much your conscious thoughts as it is your subconscious thoughts and beliefs that are doing the pulling. Knowing that, don't you think it is vital to know what kind of beliefs are stored in your subconscious, how they got there, and how to change them?

This is where Eldon's book comes in - he asks the question, "When was the last time you had an original thought?", and then reveals how much of what we believe, and therefore are creating in our lives, is based on messages we might not have even been consciously aware we were receiving, how our every day experiences are filtered through those beliefs that have been formed in the subconscious mind, often slipping in undetected by the conscious, thinking part of us.

Eldon then shows us how we can turn the tables, make our thoughts truly our own, and use the power of the subconscious mind to manifest the world we desire to see. As Eldon so wisely admonishes, "...the key to maximizing our experience rests in the incredible power of your mind. You can foster this power, nurturing it and allowing it to grow, or you can turn it (all of it or just parts of it) over to others. The choice is yours, and that is not an illusion!"


*FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product
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