Book Reviews

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Posted January 2, 2000, 1:03 PM EST on Barnes and Noble: Go Deeper by Anonymous

The last century is in the books . . . and in spite of all the wonderful advances, we’re still in profound spiritual drought. We’ve tried power . . . it isn’t satisfying. We’ve tried atheism . . . it leaves us empty. We’ve tried license . . . and are both bored and dissipated. What’s left? The world’s oldest answer is still the best: spiritual philosophy. Neil Bezaire gives us a 21st century barrelhead of this blessed brew. FIRST EMPTY YOUR CUP satisfies. Taste, drink deeply . . . and be filled!          Reader Rating: 5 stars

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A new paradigm of who we are, November 4, 1999

By A Customer
This review is from: First Empty Your Cup (Paperback) Amazon.com

In this book Neil Bezaire delves into the age old question or who we are and why we are. He does not condescend to provide answers nor pretend to have them. Rather, he simply attempts to add his views to the discussion. This refreshing approach makes this book pleasurable reading even in light of the heady subject.

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By Bob Rich (Australia)
This review is from: First Empty Your Cup, Amazon.com

Our society is suffering from an epidemic of meaninglessness. Youth suicide is a terrible problem striking many families. Old certainties have crumbled, security in all its forms has proved to be an illusion. At such a time, we need a beacon, a light showing us the way to finding meaning. Neil Bezaire’s book, First Empty Your Cup, is that beacon. Neil doesn’t tell me the meaning of my life. How could he? Instead, he gives directions on how I can find it for myself. He writes: “Our birth was the beginning of an awesome free-fall to death, and between birth and death lies an infinite array of possibilities. We have the power of choice over these possibilities and the power to choose is what makes us responsible for our life. Development of a rich inner life enables us to enjoy life to the fullest. But instead of encouraging us to develop a rich inner life, our culture encourages our best minds to develop gadgets and things that bring fleeting pleasure and then leave us feeling empty and depressed.”

Neil is a master of many abstruse topics such as the concepts of modern physics, and has the rare ability to make them understandable in plain language. Not only that, but he makes the esoteric relevant to everyday life. Einstein could turn physics on its head. Bezaire can explain to us what this means to us, personally. He is equally authoritative about the mysteries of biology.

The language of this book is lyrical, sometimes bordering on the poetic, but one has the feeling that this is not studied Art. Rather, the lofty subject matter naturally elevates the author’s language: “Is my destiny to amass wealth, build monuments and wield power? Or is it to expand and deepen within myself goodness which is love, honesty, acceptance, and compassion?”  “We become more violent because we think about violence, more lustful because we think about sex, more authentic because we think about authenticity, and more compassionate because we think about compassion.  Maintaining our mind is akin to gardening. Producing good thoughts, like producing beautiful flowers, requires attention and effort. When the gardener tills the soil, plants seeds, waters, and fertilizes and keeps out weeds, insects, fungus, and disease, the results are beautiful fragrant flowers. Without this cultivation, the garden produces only a tangled mess of weeds and a few shriveled flowers.”  “The mind can travel beyond the ends of space and into the heart of an atom. In an instant it can encompass the universe and beyond.¨

I do not agree with all his attitudes and conclusions. For example, he dismisses emotions like anger as relics of the Stone Age. I think Stone Age people were as well endowed with nobility as we are. And, in an imperfect world, a perfect saint would be easy prey for the predators among us.

This is not a book you would want to read in one sitting. It is a heavy meal, slow to be digested, but all the more nutritious for it. Every thinking person should read it, then return to the beginning and read it again.

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By C. Penn “WordWeaving”
This review is from: First Empty Your Cup, Amazon.com, CDROM version

Neil Bezaire, author of FIRST EMPTY YOUR CUP, takes an extraordinary look at how to expand our vision so we see “from the beginning of time to the end of time, from the smallest particle to the largest star, and from here to eternity.” When we learn to see beyond ourselves, to experience something so simple as a rose without preconception, to identify ourselves as part of the cosmos, we become better people. As we gain the use of our imaginations and increase the order of our minds, we learn to live fuller, happier lives.

Through the eyes of the author, we examine the greatest cosmos right down to the smallest particles of our brains. Neil weaves together the thoughts of the greatest thinkers of our day: physicist David Bohm, theologian Matthew Fox, theoretical physicist Fred Wolf, and philosopher Fritjof Capra. Moreover, he offers meditations to allow readers to experience concepts presented by all these great minds, thereby, allowing us to relate to these new ideas, and experience them for ourselves.

This book asks more of us than the time-honored question of “who am I?” This book asks us “what am I?” We know where we fit, as mother, father, teacher, writer, or friend. But do we know our roles in a larger sense? Do we know where we come from, and where we are going as a member of the human race? Do we know how, as individuals, we fit into the “cosmic” picture?

Neil does not offer us definitive answers to these questions. What he does offer are his observations and experiences so that we might answer these questions for ourselves. In effect, he asks us to empty ourselves of the old thoughts, and fill our cup with “fresh tea”; that is, new ideas of looking at ourselves, each other, and the cosmos. Most importantly, he asks us to never be satisfied with answers, but to always continue filling our cups.

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This review is from: First Empty Your Cup, Amazon.com
By A Customer

In his book Author Neil Bezaire shows us how to strip away all the excess baggage that is the by-product of modern life and get to the essence of who we really are. With his step-by-step approach, including “awareness exercises” at the end of each chapter, Mr. Bezaire makes it possible for even those of us who are not in the habit of contemplative meditation to learn to “just be”.

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By Michael Friganiotis (United Arab Emirate)
This review is from: First Empty Your Cup, Amazon.com

If you settle down with Neil’s book, and a refreshing cup of fresh tea, you’ll probably not want to stop reading till you finish the book. But that wouldn’t do this work justice. To get the maximum value from First Empty Your Cup, you will need to pause, reflect, and examine your innermost self as you go. Neil begins by providing a summary of the formation of Life – how planet Earth was formed and how we came to be on it – in a non-technical way. Then he offers some guidance to help us determine why we exist, and more importantly, steps we can take to discover our true being, and why we behave as we do. At the end of each chapter, Neil has an “awareness exercise” to help the reader expand his personal horizons through introspection and reflection. If you’ve ever questioned the direction in which your life is headed, or what control you have over your own destiny, then First Empty Your Cup will help you in your search for answers. Stimulating and thought provoking – a “must read” for people of any age, from any walk of life.

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By A Customer
This review is from: First Empty Your Cup, Amazon.com

After spending time in recovery for co-dependents and therapy, I find the book to be along the same lines. Being responsible for ones own life and happiness. No one can make you happy. It is your own inner sole which is lacking. Your ethics, your integrity, your comfort zone, your spiritually. Being comfortable with yourself. I recommend it highly.

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By A Customer
This review is from: First Empty Your Cup, Amazon.com

Ah, finally a mini-manual synthesizing the best of Eastern and Western thought into a workable format for internalizing the otherwise nebulousness of “the human condition!” The experiential awareness exercises anchoring each chapter provide openings for awe-filled passage into the affective assimilation of the universality of creation. This reader is repeatedly re-visiting this work to absorb the potential of these invitations into increased intentionality. Neil Bezaire’s journey towards joy is a deep (yet simple) spiritual masterpiece, unencumbered by religiosity. While Neil’s languaging choices facilitate receptivity on the part of a vast cross-section of potential audience, this reader sees no conflict with the essential principles of unity common to world religions – including this reader’s Judeo-Christian tradition. The work extolls the wonders of creation. It manifests the metamorphosis of one man – and, mutually, all mankind. It speaks to our call to transformation into absolute oneness with the Universal Godhead, the Known and the Unknown. It celebrates Neil’s personal immersion into intentionality, while inviting the world to reap the rewards of the reflective life. READ…and BE REFRESHED!