Jan 05, 2011 12:00AM

Oyster #90: Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror's Ryan Lucero and David Riley review a bunch of self-help books!

Mirror Mirror might be from NYC, but they sound like folk musicians recording somewhere in the vicinity of Alpha Centauri. They have also made great progress along the path to enlightenment. For Oyster #90 we asked band members Ryan Lucero and David Riley to review a bunch of self-help books. It was a task we knew they would embrace; on the band's website there is a section entitled SELF, in which you answer a few yes/no questions (e.g. "Are you an island?") and you are offered a piece of sage advice along with some recommended reading.

MM REVIEWS - 1 Low, 5 High

The Road Less Travelled

M. SCOTT PECK, M.D.

MM rating 5

We are big fans of M. Scott Peck. This is one of the great works of pop psychology in our opinion. It's accessible and honest about human flaws. We also used The Different Drum [another of Peck's books] as the basis for a community-building art project last year.

Astral Dynamics: A New Approach to Out-of-Body Experiences

ROBERT BRUCE

MM rating 4

We haven't read this particular book, but we have several guides to astral projection in our library. We love energy skills and OBEs (out of body experiences). Practice makes perfect!

How to Win Friends and Influence People

DALE CARNEGIE

MM rating 3

This book was written in the thirties, and while it contains a lot of useful, common sense info to improve your people skills (remember people's names, show appreciation, don't be a jerk...), it was intended for salesmen; not for creating profound relationships.

Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health

L. RON HUBBARD

MM rating 1

L. Ron Hubbard was a self-deluded sci-fi writer with no medical or scientific qualifications, who compared the invention of Dianetics to the discovery of fire. Scientology only became a religion so that Hubbard could avoid malpractice lawsuits. Hubbard also claimed that his critics were communists and that psychologists controlled the government. That is not the behaviour of an enlightened person. We encourage everyone to create their own religion, but Scientology is just a pyramid scheme.

The Rainbow Bridge Visualization

AUTHOR UNKNOWN

MM rating 3

The Rainbow Bridge books don't make any religious claims. Instead they encourage discipline, meditation and experimentation in the search for truth. Just imagine that the world has chakras and is swaddled in a giant rainbow! Harmless stuff.

The Secret

RHONDA BYRNE

MM rating 1

This book is spiritually corrupt. It promises, "you can have it all" without requiring any sort of self-awareness or discipline, all you need is positive thoughts! It's religion purged of anything religious. And one of the inspirational teachers from the book, James Arthur Ray, led a disastrous sweat-lodge ceremony in Arizona last year that caused the deaths of three people.

Handbook for the New Paradigm

TELEPATHICALLY RECEIVED FROM AN ADVANCED

ULTRA-DIMENSIONAL RACE BY GEORGE GREEN

MM rating 2

We like the message of peace, but George Green seems to be peddling some conspiracy theories as well. If you're going to read this, be prepared for extraterrestrial contact. You have been warned.

The Red Book

CARL GUSTAV JUNG

MM rating 5+

The Red Book was a highly guarded secret for almost 80 years, until Jung's heirs finally allowed it to be published in 2009. Jung fearlessly probed the depths of his psyche in an attempt to develop a personal cosmology. "rough a process of meditation and visualization (which he termed "active imagination") he translated his internal experience into images and narratives. The Red Book stands as a unique synthesis of psychology, shamanism and psychedelia, a bridge between the conscious and the unconscious. Plus it's beautifully illustrated and bound in thick, red leather - the ultimate self-help fetish object.

Photography: Sam Crawford