Author: Gregory Nicholas Malouf
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-61448-321-2 PB
ISBN: 978-1-61448-321-9 eBook
My copy of this book is splattered with asterisks. Mr. Malouf has provided so many memorable images and ideas that I will return to these pages again. I hasten to say that I am not a big fan of the “self-help” genre, but a realist who understands how books and speaking engagements go together. This one attracted me because of its title: “Silent.” I expected a new take on meditation. Instead, I found a man joyfully relieved of pain.
The type is small. I procrastinated for several nights. I finally read the Foreword, starting: “Through the opening and reclamation of his true self, Greg Malouf became aware of the devastating effects contemporary society can have on relationships as the unhealed wounds of childhood surface.”
Chapter one begins his story. The author grew up in a household made miserable by his father’s ambitions and missteps, which threw the son into a false reality, fueled first with alcohol, sex, and drugs, and then with making money. While achieving success in business Malouf managed to ruin two marriages and fail his children. At mid-life he realized he was “dancing to his shadow,” neglecting his inner self.
Malouf’s writing is generous in more ways than one: it is loving; he uses poetic more than “proper” English, easy to access. He asks: “…are you always thinking of the future, and delving constantly into the past? Are the images that whisper sweet nothings forever keeping you in a place of wanting?” In his case, building skyscrapers and throwing parties for VIPs were new avenues for his addictive behavior. He describes how his anxieties drove him further and further away from happiness. Having overcome alcoholism, he became trapped in “obsessive control disorder.” He employed hundreds of people who felt they must also dance to the shadow he created. He and they all were dancing out of fear.
Malouf’s views are not rooted in spirituality so much as in his newly-discovered passion for ordinary life and unity with others. He uses “we,” not “I,” as if referencing all human experience. His confessions are interspersed with insights, beliefs, and suggestions for the reader to improve self-understanding and relationships. For example, in “Guidelines to Develop Healthy Young Minds,” he succinctly writes: “Preserve their innocence. Recognize their age, and let them live it.” There is more to share with young people throughout the book. One example: “Whom you will choose to associate with will greatly impact your outlook on life and the evolution of your life purpose.”
Malouf’s Epsilon Healing Academy offers guidance through his blogs, newsletters, coaching sessions, seminars and webinars. If you think you don’t have time for “healing,” but are curious about how to achieve a less chaotic life, I would urge you to read just his Glossary of Terms. Four pages will ease you into the language of introspection. It is a small sacrifice of time that will demonstrate the power of attentive silence. If that seems unnatural, then read his two-and-a-half pages of acknowledgements, which will tell you who influenced his correction of purpose and what he now values. I especially liked, “A special thank you on behalf of my children to Disney Productions and Universal, who bring to the screen inspiration and creativity that open the imaginations of our young and teach them vital lessons and trust in their own imaginations.” Malouf shows humility and hope.Follow Here To Purchase Silent: The Power of Silence