Author: Vishen Lakhiani
Publisher: Rodale Wellness
Book Review by: Moriah Hope
Maybe you’re like me and you’ve read a multitude of self-help books. They served you well in the moment but for some dang reason you just keep falling into the same old limiting patterns in your life. You’ve read books on chakra balancing, sound healing, self love… the list goes on, yet you still keep cycling back to the same problems. You’re not alone.
All of the above tools DO help, but jumping to energetic practices before understanding the very basic function of the human mind is like trying to read a book in a foreign language — one you have absolutely no background in. We’ve all heard about ‘living from the heart’ or ‘following your heart’, but for some this can be very challenging to do when you’re unaware of the workings of the mind and how it might be driving your actions and decisions without you consciously choosing it to.
I won’t deny that The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, at first glance, seemed cliche. But as soon as I opened it I could hardly put it down. Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley and author of The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, opens this literary journey through consciousness with these words:
“Before you begin: know that this is not your typical book. In fact, I would be hesitant to call this a personal growth book. This book forces you to rethink aspects of your life that may have been running on autopilot for years.
Which means that within months of reading this book, you may find yourself no longer accepting certain aspects of your current reality. Your relationships, your career, your goals, your spiritual beliefs, may all be forced to change as you come to understand that many of your beliefs and past decisions were never taken on by choice — but were installed by default.”
Sounding a bit like The Matrix? I know, I thought the same thing. But in all seriousness, Lakhiani, who went from a broke computer engineer to a successful ‘consciousness engineer’, tactfully applies his computational thinking to lay out a series of practical steps for living a successful life — not just monetarily, but physically, emotionally and spiritually. You will not walk away confused by practices that have no basis in this tangible human reality. You are given direct action steps and tools that are communicated in a simple and digestible manner.
The techniques found in this book were formulated through years of working with experts in personal development and human transformation. These systems and models are shown to work through the authors direct experience, my personal experience, and the experiences of millions around the globe who’ve adopted them through various online programs, apps, and talks on Mindvalley’s online hub, http://www.mindvalley.com.
Chapter by chapter, each of the 10 “unconventional laws” to redefine your life are revealed and expanded upon in a greater four-part framework of awakening:
Part I. Living in the Culturescape: How You Were Shaped by the World Around You
Part II. The Awakening: The Power to Choose Your Version of the World
Part III. Recoding Yourself: Transforming Your Inner World
Part IV. Becoming Extraordinary: Changing the World *Bonus Section: Tools for Your Journey
Each law is like a key unlocking new, progressive avenues of exploration in consciousness. In light of this, The Code is best read from start to finish. No skipping ahead! With patience, practice and commitment, you may even achieve higher states of consciousness that Ken Wilber details in this excerpt from the book:
“Humanity is flying way under its full potential simply because we do not educate for the whole or complete human being. We educate for just a small part, a slice, a fragment of just what’s possible for us… Because according to the great wisdom traditions around the world, not only do humans posses typical states of consciousness, they also posses profoundly high states of consciousness like enlightenment or awakening — and none of our education systems teach ANY of that.
Now, all of these factors I’ve mentioned… none of these are rare, isolated, esoteric, far-out, strange, or occult. They are all some of the very most basic and most fundamental potentials of a human being everywhere. So yes, I firmly believe that we can bring health about on this planet if we started educating the whole person with all their fundamental potentials and capacities and skills and stopped this fragmented, partial, broken system that we have now.”
I sense that within these pages lie at least a couple jewels of insight for people of all kinds, regardless of your unique goals. Whether you aspire to be a successful and financially-independent entrepreneur or a spiritual ascetic, or something in between — I believe there is something here for you. There may be some segments or ideas that you disagree with, which you can simply discard with ease. But I am certain you will absorb a great deal of wisdom.
I will say, if you are unable to stomach a certain level of subtle explicit language, you may want to save this one for another time. Now you might be scratching your head: Explicit language? In a personal development book? Yes, and Lakhiani’s use of it here is tasteful and hilarious. Take this bit from Chapter 2, “Question the Brules”:
“Chapter 2 —Question the Brules: Where we learn that much of how the world runs is based on bulls**t rules passed down from generation to generation.
Brule: A Definition — A Brule is a bulls**t rule that we adopt to simplify our understanding of the world. We use Brules to categorize things, processes, and even people. Brules are handed down by family, culture, and educational systems. For example, do you remember choosing your religion? Or how you got your ideas about love, money, or the way life works? Most of us don’t. Most of our formative rules about how to live come through others. And these rules are tightly bound to ideas of what is good and bad, right and wrong.”
Explore the edges of your discomfort. Expand your ideas of comfort. Learn to transcend the matrix, or what Lakhiani calls ‘The Culturescape’, by identifying what Brules may be running your life. With this knowledge in hand, you can begin to recode your mind to better suit your unique goals. Through humor, real life experience, and a compilation of wisdoms from some of the greatest creative minds of our era, discover your true potential — your true extraordinary nature.
Find more information on The Code of the Extraordinary Mind at http://www.thecodexmind.com. You can also learn more about Mind Valley and listen to thought-provoking talks at http://www.mindvalley.com.
To read more directly from Vishen Lakhiani, check out his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vishen
Entrepreneur, education technology innovator, speaker, investor and philanthropist – Vishen Lakhiani is the founder and CEO of Mindvalley, a company specializing in innovation in education by introducing mindfulness and personal development into global education and perpetual learning.