The (not so) Little Book of Surprises

sruprisesBy Deirdre Hade and Will Arntz, photographs by Endre Balogh

This beautiful coffee table book spans the distance from head to heart, reverberating back and forth with the occasional detour to the funny bone. Deirdre Hade’s poetry – alternately ethereal, humorous, and downright cheeky – subtly leads the reader into a contemplation of the eternal existential questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? In fact, am I really here? Am I really alive?

The short answer is that we are here as mystics to experience, choose, create, and play. One poem, In The Honey Jars, appears in parts throughout the book like a leitmotif, poignantly illustrating our quest for the sweetness of life. Throughout the pages of the book we explore consciousness and awakening, light and darkness, time and eternity, and ourselves in relationship to the whole.

My favorite quote is: “The darkness serves the light, if you are conscious. The darkness is just the darkness if you are unconscious.” How profound is that!

This guided journey from cosmos to earth and back again is strikingly illustrated with the visionary photographs and artistic creations of the remarkable Endre Balogh. Endre is a renowned concert violinist who has become an equally acclaimed photographer, and the illustrations virtually sing from the pages. Either the words or the visuals alone would be enough to justify getting the book, but the combination is far greater than the sum of the parts. I should think that the music of the pictures and the imagery of the words would light up both hemispheres of the brain like a Christmas tree.

This sumptuous creation was the brainchild of William Arntz, the producer and director of the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know?” and Deirdre’s Hade’s husband. The (not so) Little Book Of Surprises has the potential to be as much of a consciousness game changer on the literary scene as “What the Bleep” was for cinema. You could think of it as the Cliff notes of metaphysics, or mysticism without tears; it’s spiritually subversive, universal, uplifting, and utterly delightful. It is also priced incredibly well for such a beautiful book, and would make a perfect gift for the holidays or any special occasion.

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