Book Review: All There Is by Tony Parsons

All-There-IsThe cover of Tony Parsons’ second book blends golden russet tinctures in ways that few photographs can adequately express. And indeed this review will only hint at the implications of the book.

For Tony is an enigma, seemingly as down-to-earth as any shrewd wheeler-dealer, he asserts that he is not a person at all!

But it’s not that he’s from Mars and we are from Earth. Parsons proposes that he, you, and I are all characters in a hypnotic dream and the dreamer is no one and nothing.

This message is effectively, if repetitiously, conveyed in the transcripts of ten meetings with readers of his earlier books. The meetings were held in Amsterdam, Berlin, Brecon U.K., Encinitas U.S., London and Totnes U.K. Tony Parsons answered questions on many topics including ‘Awakening’ and ‘Enlightenment’.

They need not have bothered to ask for as the author says on page one of this book: “I’m not an enlightened person and . . . there is no such thing as an enlightened person.”

Indeed he goes on to state in various ways that the search for enlightenment, or awakening, is futile as are such disciplines as meditation, attempting to still the mind; get past the ego . . . the list goes on.

There is nothing that anyone of us needs to be or do, he claims, since there is nobody here.

“There appears to be evolution. It’s to convince you that things are going somewhere . . . The world’s evolution is a wonderful play to convince us that there is a journey. There isn’t. It’s a play, it’s a film, a film called ‘The World’. The film looks as though it’s going somewhere…. And if you see it all from another point of view, you begin to open up to the possibility of dropping the idea of a journey towards somewhere that you’ll never get to. You’ll never get there ~ you already are there. When there is simply presence, all meaning ends. Meaning is always attached to a story ~ ‘We are going somewhere’.”

From a conventional point of view one has to admire Tony Parsons’ cheek. He offers you ‘nothing’ and charges for the book, or the seminar. Selling bottled water by designer label is nothing compared to this!

In what Tony Parsons refers to as the film called ‘Our World’ many of the characters might consider his ideas as insane, or even dangerous, but some are spiritually addicted, and these characters seem willing to pay royally to obtain release from their ‘habits’.

He has a point. The human ‘self’ can be no more than a bundle of concepts conditioned by others via our language, culture and experience. People have told us who and what we are, and rarely do we question these attributes. But supposing we have been misinformed? Suppose the entire Western civilization is deceived? Then assuredly we need someone like Tony Parsons to awaken us to other possibilities?

You may not agree that you are just a character in a film or a dream that is going nowhere, but this book will certainly provoke you to examine what you think that you are.

It is the longest Zen riddle in history!

All There Is by Tony Parsons. Open Secret Publishing, December 2003. Price £12.00 (Paperback) 241 pp ISBN 0-9533032-2-5

Please note: This review was first printed in Nurturing Potential Volume 3 – No. 3 – 2004