This book is reviewed from the download version. The download works perfectly in all types of ‘readers’. I encountered no problems with the format, on phone or iPad type devices: lap or desktop.
The chapters are well defined and sequential. Due to “Trust Your Spiritual Sat Nav’s” (TYSSN) genre; it is essential this aspect is well thought through. Many authors fail to format a book with care; in consequence, the reader is left confused as to where the chapters are taking them. There is no such problem with Noel’s book.
The book is a good reading length. My version has 131 pages: a number which allows TYSSN to be read in four comfortable sessions: Probably some readers will complete the book in a single sitting. Noel’s format wins the heart of the reader, because, information read earlier cascades within the memory. Noel has resisted a temptation followed by many writers: that of repetition and paraphrasing. A method which makes a book ‘look’ good size wise, but does not read well. I’m sure readers will understand the frustration of ‘reading a book twice’. Having the confidence to be restrained in this area, indicates knowledge of the subjects covered and demonstrates ability as a writer. Hat’s off to Noel, TYSSN is a concise and compelling read.
Before continuing to the review, it is this writers opinion the book should be owned in both ‘e-book’ and ‘paper book’ format. It is a nice sized book to have stored on one’s phone for casual reference.
However; TYSSN cries out for annotations and reference markers. (Something which cannot be done well with ‘e-books’ – and the reason for considering owning both versions). The book contains numerous ideas, statements, and lists. Many paragraphs will resonate with the reader, who may choose to make reference or focus on a line or section. The reason may be for conversation, consideration or meditation. By marking up the areas of interest, TYSSN becomes a unique and substantial reference point.
While reading any book: this one included. It is likely the reader will not agree with every idea put forward. In this situation, an open-minded reader may wish to mark up a book for further reference. In areas where there is a need for further explanation, a notated book could help when talking to Noel about his point of view at a later date. Noel has an active social media and internet presence. It is now an accepted aspect or writing this type of book that readers questions are personally answered. Readers should not be afraid to contact authors for claification of a statement. Indeed, all writers should consider this an essential aspect of promotion.
You may surmise from the review so far that I feel the book would be an excellent focal point for debates. Groups, such as spiritual, or philosophical thinking come to mind.
What is the purpose of the book?
When reviewing any book, it is important to resist the temptation of revealing the ‘body’ of the work. To do so negates the books potentials. It is a little like peeking into a wrapped Christmas present. It takes away the whole of the surprise. Of course, a review must guide readers to help decide if it is worth reading. Let’s see if this can be accomplished, without ruining the enjoyment of exploring TYSSN.
Noel writes about himself in the introduction and initial chapter. He subtly explains how and why changes in his opinions occurred. This initial meeting with Noel is essential to understand the purpose of TYSSN because there is a marker during Noel’s life when he enters a transformtion: a change of opinion. The defining moment was moving from one way of life into another. Without this knowledge the reader could be left floundering, wondering if the ideas put forward work.
When you meet Noel (I have done so on six or seven occasions) his persona is one of balanced confidence. Balanced confidence is one bound with intelligence. One could conclude if his persona is a result of the ideas and thoughts presented in TYSSN, the book fulfils its purpose.
Noel guides the reader through something I would describe as ‘considerations’. There is no pushing the reader into accepting the information put forward. For example, he writes about the fluoridation of water and its implications. Now, you may not feel this is relevant to spiritual attainment. However, Noel uses fluoridation as an example of opening one’s eye to realities. He suggests when one blindly accepts the will of the establishment: the result is self-restrictions on many levels.
Examples of where the ‘soul’ of the book takes the reader:
There is are references to ‘The Law of Attraction’ and ‘The “I Am” meditation” while these are universally accepted spiritual concepts. Noel brings a nice way of explanation to those who are unaware or ‘new’ to spiritual practice’s.
Chapter titled ‘Opening Doors’ is a fascinating observation about an encounter with illness, the power of the mind, a connection to a spirit and the loss of a friend. This is one of my favourite chapters in the whole book. It is nicely connected and would make an excellent stand alone presentation to an audience.
The chapter on Meditation is a welcome addition of thoughts to anyone who meditates or settles the mind for extended periods.
Two chapters are well placed and sequential – Near Death Experience and Final Breath. These will appeal to those who have questions about death. I like the way Noel offer’s support to those who may have a fear of ‘the final sleep’. There is no inference the chapters have the full answer to this unnecessary fear. The suggestion is many people will find some degree of peace in his words.
Noel, asks the reader to ‘consider’ lifting the veils of illusions (my description not Noel’s). This is achieved by learning to see and understand the world from higher levels. In other words to ‘Trust Your Spiritual Satellite Navigation System!’ If there is a principal purpose of TYSSN, you find it in this paragraph. It should now become evident TYSSN is a well rounded spiritual book with many different aspects of spiritual attainment being covered.
The second part of TYSSN is titled “Following The B Road” There is a list of sixteen pointers to consider at any time of the day. One could use them as seeds of meditation or beginnings of conversation within a group or with a like-minded friend.
Following the sixteen pointers there is list of ‘Daily Reminders’. It is a long list useful to anyone on a spiritual quest. Next is a section titled “Noel Recommends” this list may resonate with many people. All are worthy of further exploration. The final part of the book is “One Last Note” I will not reveal anything about the two recommendation made and spoil the treat for the reader.
Remember, all books (there is no exception) are written from the creative mind of the author. In my library, this genre of book must run into hundreds of titles. Many of them have not fared well. Ideas presented in the 1970s do not work with the fast-paced World of today. Interestingly, Noel references Alan Watts; I remember watching his programs first time around in the 1970s. Alan was a post-war philosopher of the highest order. He was a philosopher, priest, monk who lived a varied and exciting life. His essays, audio recordings, and numerous television appearances have much to offer the open-minded thinker. From my perspective of ‘knowing’ or ‘exploring’ Alan’s works for the last forty years, I sense a thread of the great philosopher work in this book.
I mention this because when a book of this nature is read with care, it seems beneficial to understand where the seeds of ideas put forward have come from. An excellent writer can come up with new and up to date ideas developed from an in-depth consideration of previous approaches. When the seeds become a new garden of thought worth exploring the writer has accomplished the next stage of an evolution of a worthy subject. Noel has indeed fulfilled this obligation. A rare and difficult task to complete.
We could consider the marker of a good spiritual book is for it to offer ideas from an open-minded perspective. Noel accomplishes this well. An essential ingredient is to provide insights which are qualified by examples, again Noel offers good comparisons and information to support his philosophies.
Do not think I agree with every idea offered within Noel’s book. There are some areas which do not fit well with personal opinions. It would be wholly unfair to centre on a personal view. The book asks the reader to think about the ‘whole’ picture, not agree with every sentiment.
For a ‘spiritual’ book to impress, it has to offer something which becomes fixed in the memory. It also has to follow the axiom of ‘As Above – So Below’ which means a spiritual idea cannot work alone, it has to be able to work in the living world.
Alan Watts would explain it in this way:
‘To be free and wealthy as a spiritual being – One has to be free from illusional wealth and the power to influence in the living world.’
Noel’s book “Trust Your Spiritual Sat Nav” is sure to help you find your way in a fog of material illusions and a blind desire to control.
See You Soon
A great review, Ian. here is my take from some time ago.https://garylongden.wordpress.com/?s=noel+hogan
I think your review is better Gary! Not surprised! – Ian
I enjoyed both reviews, I look forward to reading the book for myself and while I may not be as eloquent with my writing skills as both of you, I will put down some words of my own once I have read this book.
Great review, Ian – Looking forward to reading Noel’s book. Janine