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on December 31, 2002
I was shocked when I started reading all the reviews and (mostly negative) press about this book, as I have loved this book for years.
The "real people" (the small tribe of Aboriginal people) have a powerful understanding of spiritual things, as well as an ability to be practical and flexible. It must be understood that this "tribe" consisted of 62 people maximum, and typically, they traveled in much smaller groups (about 10-12 per group). Obviously, they are NOT the majority of aboriginals in Australia, but a very small minority of people, who have decided to stop "reproducing" mainly because they have indicated that the desert is becoming hotter and there is less food to sustain them.
I never sensed that they were "depressed" about their situation; in fact, their view of death is very positive. When one of the "real people" dies, it is because they have come a point in their lives (often at age 120 or so) that they are becoming "excited" about the Spirit World. They have a celebration (a party) and after that, the individual does a certain breathing technique which allows them to shut down their "chakras" and they die.
Although we westerners may call this a form of suicide, from the "real people's" perspective, it is simply time to continue in another form, as there is an understanding and an acceptance that we lived before we came to this earth, and we will live after we leave it... we are forever beings.
There are many criticisms of the book. I will share them, and I will share my perspective on them:
1. Criticism: Men's business and Women's Business: It seems that among Aboriginals, "men's business" and "women's business" are kept separate. Yet, in the book, there seemed to be no separation between the men and the women. My perspective: the "real people" are "flexible and adaptable"; they are in very small numbers now, and perhaps they accept that some customs and traditions no longer "fit" their needs.
2. Criticism: Among Aboriginals, no-one enters another person's tribal boundaries without permission, yet in the book it was never mentioned, even though they traveled about 1400 miles. My perspective: I see the "real people" as both "flexible and adaptable"; they were not looking to establish territory, conquer, fight, steal food, or anything bad. However, perhaps there is simply an easy explanation... if the "real people" did not encounter anyone to ask permission to enter, then it simply was not necessary.
I mean, seriously, if there was no-one at the "border crossing" (so to speak), then what's the worry?
3. Criticism: Desert Aborigines do not collect dung for fuel. It would take forever to collect enough of the small scats of kangaroos and dingoes to cook anything and would be pointless given the availability of dry wood. My perspective: Morgan said they wood was used when it was available... and only when wood was not available, did they use animal dung.
4. Criticism: Burnum Burnum "denounces" Morgan. Read his brief letter:
"I Burnum Burnum, hereby sever all ties with the Author Marlo Morgan and the book entitled 'Mutant Message Down Under'. My reaction to the book was an innocent response to what I considered an account of an inner journey, which uplifted Aboriginal Australians in the eyes of the world. In my innocence, I did not understand the tribal ramifications of my support for the Author. I am a non-initiated, non-traditional, urbanised, Aboriginal from the East Coast of Australia". Yours Sincerely, BURNUM BURNUM
My perspective: In this statement, I sense no "denouncing" of Morgan, but he is severing ties because of the "ramifications" from the tribes. That's quite a difference in motivation.
5. Criticism: Morgan (allegedly) admits her book was a lie.
My perspective: Here is what I have gathered:
In a interview with SBS Radio from New York, Morgan broke down and said: "I would like to say that I'm terribly sorry and my sincere, my sincere apologies to any Australian Aboriginal person if I have offended them in any way. "I think of them in only the highest ... please read this book ... with an open mind and see if there is anything, anything at all that is derogatory to your people, because it is not. I love them. and I wish them equal opportunity and the best."
Additional criticism: (Below copied from [...] ) Meeting with Steven Segal at Warner Brothers Studios... Mr Segal invited the delegation to meet with him and other associates at his Warner Brothers studio office. Dannion Brinkley, an associate and friend of Marlo Morgan, also attended the meeting and arranged for telephone link-up with Marlo Morgan who was in New York city...
At the completion of this discussion, Marlo Morgan gave her word that an apology in writing, set on the conditions and agreements of the Elders and cited and signed by a lawyer, would be forwarded to the delegation within 48 hours.
This apology was to include the fact that her claimed journey was a Hoax...
it was bitterly disappointing when two days later, during a brief discussion with Damien Brinkley at the foundation room, we were told that we were no longer negotiating with Marlo Morgan.
My perspective:
The meeting was uneventful. Morgan has apologized only to the effect that her book may have offended people, but, never that the book was a lie.
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on April 30, 2016
I just loved this story!! I couldn't put the book down. Having been in the Outback just a few months ago & having learned about the Aboriginal culture I was wow'd with the alignment to details from my learnings. These are precious learnings and humbles me as a Canadian who feel in love with the Outback. I will definitely go back again & with a broadened perspective thanks to this awesome book. To the author... Thank you for sharing your amazing experience. You are someone I would love to coffee with!
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on June 18, 2004
This is a fantastic book, it is one of the books that lets you reconsider all the superficial things one tends to worry about.
I wanna share some of the quotes I particulary liked in the book.
How would one put a coin in a telephone, dial a number and call someone?? We use mental telepathy...
According to the Aborigines, there are no misfits, or accidents, just mysteries not yet revealed by man.
Everything exists for a certain purpose.
We don't celebrate getting older, we celebrate getting wiser and better.
All in all this book helps you to learn so much more about the culture of this indigenous people than you could ever do through any other book.....
I recommend it highly and hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did!!
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on December 23, 2002
I read this book and it made me feel amazed and a bit depressed at the same time. The message conveyed reaffirmed beliefs that I had, but also made me realize that I must work harder to live a life that is meaningful to me. I think that the point of this book is not to say that you must have the same experiences that Marlo Morgan had, or to rid yourself of all material possessions, but rather to live life as honestly as you can. It doesn't have to be grand, it can mean small decisions, small attentions, and respect for even the littlest things. People may be shocked by this book because the way of life depicted seems so far-fetched or far-off from what most people are living today, but maybe that is something people should think about. For me, at least, life is full of tiny lies and a lot of seeming obligations, but this book made me ask myself why do I feel obligated to tell lies and do things I don't want to do? The book made me examine my life and try to think about what is worth looking out for and what kind of life I want to live. It's an ongoing process and it is sometimes hard because it means being truly honest to yourself.
It seems that many people are worked up over whether this account was fictional or true, but I think that is irrelevant because it is the message that is true, and arguing about the validity of the circumstances is just nit-picking. Would the message be any more true if we had concrete evidence about what happened? It's up to the reader to see how much knowing for a fact gets in the way of really listening to what is said.
I wish I could convey how much this book made me remember truths I had forgotten. It is so easy to let things wear on you until you become indifferent, but once in awhile something comes along to make you care again. That's what this book did for me.
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on July 2, 2002
Wow, people either love it or hate if the books message is about love and acceptance then thoes that dislike it and are so critical and petty must be haters and the ones who like it must be lovers......When I read the book some of the things could have been made up but how could she have made up the things like the telepathy head to head talk with animals and people? I found more REAL spiritual lessons in this book than all the sunday school ive ever had to sit through...... As I type this some fake looking actress making the WORST forced grin is staring at me from the cover of a people magazine...... anyways this is what im talking about.......of couse people didnt like this book....because alot of it tells us to be REAL and who the hell is real in the mutant world? ive met VERY few....from bosses to girlfriends to friends and aquainences in general.
Most of what I read everday that is said to be REAL reads like fiction to me while Marlo's fiction sounds alot more like fact......this WOULD happen if you were abducted by Aborigineese......And I like what the aboriginese say , things like animals were not originally used as food by humans coincides with some eastern religions ive researched (Taoisim). And we ARE destroying our planet if you havent they didnt have polluted skies 200-300 yrs well as everyone haveing a valuble place in the tribe weather you were a tool maker or a tribal chieftan. I really liked the PART ABOUT OUR BUSINESS ETHICS, it was soooo right on what the Ooota fellow said about it. ANd to answer some idiot a few reviews back ,who cares if Oota is spelled with upper or lower case letters , its probably niether since his name is a sound or thought that cant be properly expressed in our language,lower that nose a little you may be scareing the sun seems that EVERYONE was needed for survival and included even the extremely old.....and growing old was not seen as negative in the tribal culture......and is it really? to live a long time seems in our culture to be punished rather than celebrated......look at that poor old man/lady or "oh hes just a little kid whats he good for" mentality...... well the human race is gonna pay and pay BIG very soon, hell, America already has gotten its karmic debit repaid (september 11th) mark my words ladies and germs.....for what it does to itself and everything else it comes in contact with........we are not alone in this universe..... even that can be almost proven....its only a matter of time when someone spills the beans on the truth behind "aliens" too....
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on January 18, 2002
There is a lot of controversy over this book. I can understand why. It is a book that promotes love and unity, a book that asks us to take care of ourselves and the planet, a book that us not to live life in search of more money and more things but to accept and use what we are given in life, concepts that us mutants (westerners)don't fully understand. This book is beautiful. It is the tale of a journey that one woman was invited to undertake. What amazed us about the book, was not just the journey, but that this aboriginal tribe practiced and believed in truths that are found in ancient texts of other cultures as well. This tribe does not just love the world, but is a pure embodiment of love. This book teaches us to value the important things in take care of ourselves, our health, to take care of the planet, to see the divine in everything. Some of the things that this tribe can do may seem like fiction and fantasy or just plain new agey, but these are techniques that are found in other parts of the world as well where people live their lives as love. Unfortunatly there is a lot of controversy over this book by other aboriginal organizations stating that this book represents misinformation about the aborigines. The author only portayed these people as beautiful misunderstood and wrongfully persecuted people. Further more, in the book, it is clearly stated that not all aboriginal tribes are like this one she encounters. This book is about one tribe...NOT ALL Aboriginies. There is a lot of controversy because some people feel that this book is hurting aboriginal australians because they are trying to establish their identity. They are afraid that people will read this book and judge all aborigines in this way so they feel it is necessary to discredit the book. Aboriginal people will suffer from maintaining an identity with or without this book...that is part of life. Each ethnic group, each race, each nation, each religion, each tribe, each village, each family, each individual person struggles to maintain an identity throughout life. To discredit an author and prevent her from telling her side and her beliefs is not going to solve the problem. Not only that, but she wrote it as fiction, so if you don't want to believe that it is true, so be it, no one is forcing you to believe that this encounter was real, not even the author. what saddens us most about this controversy is that they missed the whole point of the book...petty little differences don't matter. look at the bigger pictures in life. Love eachother, we are all one. It is unfortunate that we need to create controversy over a fictious book that promotes nothing but love and being good to one another. The book is written as fiction so take it as fiction if you would like and don't believe that the author had these experiences and is mispresenting THIS tribe (NOT ALL ABORIGINIES). That is fine. Just learn from what this book is telling us: that we are all one and that if we as a race and as a world are going to survive, we need to wake up. We need to realize that what we do to eachother and what we do to the earth affects us all because we are all connected. Instead of fighting and feeding into controversy and worrying over whether the statements in a fictious book are true or not (seems like an unnecessary argument), learn to live your life in peace, love and in consideration of the earth and eachother.
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on August 7, 2001
Here we are, people measuring the quality of a product with starts. Five for an excellency. Rating is the last thing that matters.
Marlo Morgan's book.
It's not a cry of despair, although I cried when it came to an end.
What made me write a review was Mr. Christian's review, stating in a first sentence his professorship. Who cares, Mr. Christian??? Despising everything connected to Mrs. Morgan.
I strongly feel that the purpose of the book is fulfilled in its every reader. One picks out what matters. I'm not saying that we have a fine example of master writing but it's not what it is about. I'm sorry, Mrs. Morgan, I owe you an apology for a previous sentece. I know it's pointles to talk about the style and such things. That's not what your book was about. And I'm also sorry for the people who don't see it. I was very, very deeply touched and am very content that I could sense it. I have a strong aversion to a society I live in presently (the USA) and your book revealed many answer to my queries.
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on February 26, 2001
After reading some of the previous reviews, seems that Marlo's Morgan book could be maybe one of that - most decisive/important in my life - , - turning everything upside down- like ... Although i didnt finish reading this book yet, partly thanks to the fiction/nonfiction debate, and exploiting the real „real people" accusation notes, loosing thereby a lot from its power and trustworthyness, its worth to read anyway, i think. Even for those, who's this one is not their first book from the - most important in the life - box And if you are dissapointed either by its fictiousness, "exploitness" or just for that „one star" reviews,.. - one of the reviewers of Daniel Quinn's - The story of B - book wrote: read that book, you have nothing to loose - except humanity. Well,whether you lost it or just start to think and to see the things other way ...that's what is maybe important here ..the message intended to deliver ..less the story, fictious or not ...and real „real people" should understand it too i think...
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on February 11, 2001
So it's Sunday evening, and on a whim I thought I'd check out the reviews for this very poignant book and see what others had to say about it.....
I stand aghast (and disheartened!) at the insinuations made regarding the authenticity of this story. I work at a bookstore and I admit, I was flabbergasted to discover that this book resides in the fiction section, but I suppose I understand why (to protect the anonymity of those involved). I truly feel sorry for those who only safely believe in the 'concrete'. For one to assume that such a monumental experience could not have happened because there is no accompanying video or photo display is to totally expose one's lackthereof any sort of spirituality.
I have recommended this beyond powerful, absolutely mesmerizing story to countless people, many who have in turn thanked me. For those who are not about to sit and read a book, I have verbally shared the insight gained and miracles 'witnessed' (as through the eyes of Morgan) time and time again, and with great awe for such an advanced people.
Why one would assume such a story to be entirely made up is lost on me, and once again evident of the absolute NEED of some to immediately 'question' and disqualify the higher experience of others. I mean, how easy is it to prove that she was 'missing' for over three months, etc? Where ELSE was she? (Duh!) Also, this book wasn't exactly 'complimentary' to western medicine, and Morgan herself is a doctor?! I have no idea if there are aborigines who are 'upset' with her, and if there are, then so be it; I myself am a feminist and have spent more time than one would, er, 'think', defending my views to WOMEN(?!) My point? You're never going to please everyone with what you do. (I think we all know that there are ALWAYS going to be those who disagree just for the sake of doing so!)
In further readings on spirituality, I have come across the fact that we are INDEED 'born' with a soulmate (we just don't always share the earth at the same time with that person---in fact, we usually DON'T!) Upon reading this, I immediately remembered the moment in THIS book when Marlo is told of her connection to one of the tribe members and informed of their 'agreement' before coming into the world. Unfortunately, there are those who will utterly contradict anything of such spiritual magnitude and label it 'kooky' or impossible. But for those of us who truly 'believe' (uh,'KNOW'!) that there is more out there, such insights are beyond useful in their beautiful reminder of universal truths and love.
I am beside myself with praise and recommendation for this utterly fascinating book. Please do yourself a favor and read this. It will blow your mind. You will never view this world the same. I think of her mecca often, and of all that I learned, thanks to her (THEM!) I consider it instrumental to true spiritual advancement. A MUST!
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on January 22, 2001
I literally chose this book from a list that my teacher gave me. For some reason, when I saw the title, I got the feeling that it would be about aliens or some other oddity. As it turned out, this book had absolutely nothing to do with aliens, but had everything to do with the Australian Aborigines, known in this book as 'Real People.'
Once I got into this book, I was completely hooked! I read the entire book in one sitting! After reading it, I have really come to think about how the universe and 'Divine Oneness' effects me and my life. I am a Roman Catholic who is active in my church. I take pride in my religion, and pray to God for guidance throughout my life. I am willing, however, to learn about knew cultures and was intrigued to find out that Aborigines do the same each day. They ask Divine Oneness to help them through their days and give thanks when they are blessed with a good day.
Marlo Morgan went to Australia thinking that she would only be spending lunch with the Aborigines. She never thought that she would spend time in the Bush actually learning the ways of life of the ancient Australian culture. She breathed, smelled, ate, and was part of the Real People lifestyle. The Aborigine race truly appreciates what they are given by Divine Oneness, using practically everything they are given without waste. Four months later, with mangled hair and hardened feet, Marlo came out of the Bush a changed woman. She went into the desert as a 'Mutant' and came out with 'Two Hearts', as they nicknamed her; one tied to her American culture and the other willing to learn and accept the life of the ancients.
I have often wondered about silent communication, or telepathy, and how people survive in such desolate circumstances. Through this book, I now realize that in order to practice telepathy, one must be in complete peace with the universe; they must only speak and practice honesty. As Marlo Morgan put it, Real People "tune into the wisdom learned by all creatures and all humans who ever lived," (page 146). In my lifetime, I can only hope to achieve such serenity and peacefulness with my surroundings.
I took great pride in being able to learn about her trek through the Outback with the Real People. I would definitely recommend anyone and everyone to read this marvelous journey through life and spirituality. [CAH-4]
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