ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Answers From Silence

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

Who wouldn’t want a personal answering service for the daily questions that flood our minds; answers to questions about relationships, careers, spirituality, and the like; personalized wisdom delivered straight to our hearts? But where can we find such a guru?

There’s wisdom within each of us in the form of an Enlightened Self who will direct us, Jeffrey Chappell writes. He defines enlightenment as “the shift of identity from that which is bound by time and space to that which is eternal.” Whether we know it or not, everyone is on the path of enlightenment and everyone has an Enlightened Self, he believes.

Chappell is a musician by profession and has spent his life seeking a spiritual course through the physical world. Raised by parents with deeply spiritual leanings, he falls naturally into the realm many find hard to believe in, let alone access.

In Answers From Silence Chappell provides a record of the highly personal questions he asked and the answers he received from his Enlightened Self after waiting in silence for him to speak. He shares his journal of these conversations. For example, he writes:

Q- I feel like I have been wasting my time lately. Have I?
A- There is no time, so there is no waste.

Q- How can I heal this pattern of rage caused from the delay of my needs being taken care of?
A- The answer is to take care of your own needs.

In truth, Chappell may see more wisdom in the replies than readers, who may find some of the answers trite and others obscure, in a “you had to be there” way. They may not fully appreciate the insights that are so profound to Chappell. Presumably, another’s Enlightened Self might reply differently than Chappell’s, but this is never specified.

Chappell eventually reaches “the end of questions” and crosses “a line to an entirely new mode of existence,” which he defines as enlightenment-an identification with his cosmic self.

With the guidance of his Enlightened Self, Chappell concludes, “If God is experiencing things through people’s lives, then God is having the experience of being Jeffrey Chappell. And if God is everything, thenÂ…I am God having the experience of being Jeffrey Chappell.”

He ends with a brief guide to communicating with your Enlightened Self, which involves asking questions and mentally hearing the answers. If it sounds a little like talking to yourself, Chappell reminds that your Enlightened Self is yourself.

This may not be the book for people whose feet are rooted firmly in terra firma, but seekers of enlightenment will be interested in Chappell’s take on the matter.