In this coffee-table style book, brief spiritual observations are married with provocative images to create a volume that challenges readers to broaden perceptions of themselves and the world.
Deirdre Hade notes in a short biography that she “has been an artist and a visionary, writing poetry and conversing with the mystical worlds.” Her husband William Arntz, credited as the book’s “creator,” is noteworthy for producing the popular 2004 film What the Bleep Do We Know!?, a documentary blending quantum physics with spiritual connection and consciousness.
In the foreword, Arntz asks “Why a book of Surprises?” His answer: Surprises cause shifts, and thereby growth, in people. The material that follows, indeed, presents provocative ways of thinking about the world. For example, “THE DARKNESS SERVES THE LIGHT, IF YOU ARE CONSCIOUS,” reads one page. “THE DARKNESS IS JUST THE DARKNESS, IF YOU ARE UNCONSCIOUS,” reads the opposing page. Topics include enlightenment, energy fields, the cosmos, creation, the soul, the brain, imagination, God, angels and occasional mentions of holy figures, such as Buddha, St. Teresa of Avila and Archangel Michael.
The book delivers interesting insights throughout, and Endre Balogh’s often-otherworldly images that mix photography with enhancement techniques are stunning. But the book’s presentation also presents obstacles. The type varies in font, color and size (sometimes all on one page), which makes for a chaotic reading experience. Further, some ideas seem to flow from page to page, while others are encapsulated in a single page. Unfortunately, it’s hard to discern which is which, and readers will often find themselves wondering if a passage is a continuation of a previous thought, or something entirely new. Many will yearn for some connective narrative to guide them through the material, particularly those new to New Age concepts.
Still, readers familiar with these ideas may find themselves at home here, and anyone open to browsing will glean more than a few intriguing thoughts in these pages.