Book Review: Dare to be Yourself, by Alan Cohen

spiritedStarred Page By spirited, 14th Jul 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Religion & Spirituality

This wonderfully written book is a primer on fear and love.

It tells you that to be your real self, you must love yourself, and not fear being the person, that is "meant" to be you. Follow your spiritual path. Fulfil your spiritual purpose. Be the real you.

God has fashioned you from his love. Stay in fashion. Love!

"Dare to be yourself," is the title of this very interesting book

With a title like this book has, I guess the author is telling us that it takes daring, or courage for us to be our real self.

On the other hand though, if we are not being our real self, we must be living a timid life then.

Something must be stopping us from so doing. This is usually fear.

When we live from love, because our real self is made from love, or by God, we are automatically then living as our real self.

Fear places a cloak over this self, and we thing that this bag of rags that we wear then is really who we are too. We are far more than just our outer covering.

The author of this book tells us this:

"Each of us has a personal path that we must follow."

Is this entirely right though?

Any personal path is not greater than you, of course though.

You actually make or break your path as you go along. Your personal path is not a given, nor is it given to you just to follow. It is more a description of the way your life has gone. It is a record of your journey in your experiences through love, with love.

The author makes this clear as we read along with him.

If we live in the now, how can our path be a given, and exist as a blueprint somewhere for us to follow?

Does this idea about our soul having a plan, a purpose, a journey to take, that are all mapped out for us in some ways beforehand, have any validity to it then?

The now is now.

Doesn't our soul live with us in the now, or does it exist outside of the now, because the now exists as a pivot point within time or through, and which time passes through, so to speak?

Your soul lives with God in an eternal space which you only call now because you are living in time, as you suggested the now is actual part of this idea of time in which it passes through like the eye of a needle it focusses you to always be present and not dwell too much in the past or the future.

Time to God is un-timed because he is eternal but never the less something similar does transpire in heaven which allows given events to fit together linked by a common denominator within oneness, and this is really the movements of each part of that oneness in relationship to all of the other parts.

Photo credit:

The photo used in this section is one belonging to me, the reviewer.

Let's meet the author of the book. Would the real "Alan Cohen" please stand up!

The author of this book was born in 1939. This makes him around 75 years of age, at the time of my writing of this review.

Alan H. Cohen is an American self-help writer, who has written more than twenty books in this field. His writing has been described as inspirational by many. He is also a well-known and respected seminar leader. He holds retreats too, in spiritual awakening.

Here is a link to his website.

Alan reckons that all perception is selective.

On the other hand though, perception is only ever focussed through two lens, either fear or love. This is calls your, "lens of perception".

One lens is based on love, and the other is based on fear. Our own lens is usually made up of some mix of these two energies.

The more love in our lens, the better we will see the true reality of things. The more fear in our lens, the more we will only see a distorted view of what is.

If we are trudging along through life, and it feels heavy upon our shoulders, it is because we are carrying along with us this heavy burden of fear.

The author doesn't just talk about daring to be ourselves here in his book. There are many chapters about our daring to be many other things, as well.

"Dare to be wrong," is one chapter

"Dare to be Enough," is part of another.

There is even a chapter entitled, "Dare to be Beautiful".

If we are afraid to be any of these, we are not daring fully to be ourselves, he points out.

"To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don't wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now."

This is one my favourite quotes of Alan Cohen's.

The only problem is that this is not really one of his quotes.

It is from another Alan Cohen apparently, an American businessman of the same name.

Just the same though, I can imagine the author of this book saying something very similar to that!

Photo credit:

The photo used in this section has been sourced from the free media site, Wikimedia Commons.

Some more itty-gritty, about the book

The copy of the book I am reviewing was published by Ballantine Books in 1994. It has 329 pages in it.

"How to Quit Being an Extra in Other People's Movies and Become the Star of Your Own."

That is the sub-title of his book.

Here is the summary from the back cover of this great book:

"In this powerful map to self-discovery, Alan Cohen draws on sources from Buddhism to the Bible, from Gandhi and Einstein to A Course In Miracles, sharing many of his own radiant moments of revelation on the spiritual path.

He shows how we can let go of the past, overcome fear, and discover the power of love in our lives. Once we are engaged in the work of truly being ourselves, each challenge becomes an opportunity for growth, each choice a lesson in commitment, each relationship a renewal of God's work.

Dare To Be Yourself will dramatically enlighten, empower, and enliven you as you awaken to life and love and the unique gifts that are yours to give the world."

We must wake up to our own power to leave our apparent smallness behind, he tells us, and even more than that though he shows us here how to do just that!

“When you protect yourself from pain, be sure you do not protect yourself from love.”

That's my final quote of his for this article, reviewing his inspiring, impassionately written book, and this time, this quote is from the real Alan Cohen!

Photo credit:

The photo used in this section has been sourced from the free media site, Wikimedia Commons.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
15th Jul 2015 (#)

Thanks Spirited for keeping us on the right track of love.

The famous words of Oscar Wilde comes to mind “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

We seek refuge, safe passage, in life; and to dare to be different stand out, is a challenge. But I have succeeded mostly in being myself; one of my tenets is to treat others like I would like to be treated - siva

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author avatar spirited
16th Jul 2015 (#)

thanks siva, I like that quote of Oscar Wilde's too.

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author avatar Carol Roach
19th Jul 2015 (#)

yes fer does destroy our reality

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author avatar Carol Roach
19th Jul 2015 (#)

oops fear I mean

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author avatar spirited
19th Jul 2015 (#)

yes, I agree with that, thanks Carol.

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author avatar Kingwell
22nd Jul 2015 (#)

I see that the author was born in the same year as I was which does give him some experience in life. Sadly,most people fear being themselves. Many children try doing, not what they want but what they feel their parents expect of them. Most gays never come out of the closet, in fact it would be far too dangerous in some parts of the world. Even in the west, where the gay lifestyle is becoming more accepted all the time, many are still afraid and often with good reason. It takes a bold person to be themselves. Blessings.

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author avatar spirited
22nd Jul 2015 (#)

Yes thanks Kingwell.

As long as we are being our real self, and not trying to be something/someone, we are not, I guess.

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