What are Tovah's professional / lifestyle credentials that make him particularly well qualified to write 'The Meaning Of It All'?
By age 34, Tovah had lost his career, a relationship, his car, good health, a house, good friends and doubted his own sanity. Because he was working to help other people, he didn't understand why his own life was in ruins when he thought he was being such a 'good' person, and began asking the question, "Why me?" In 1995, he had a 'Dark Night of the Soul' experience and started having experiences which he hadn't had before. In 1996, the mathematical statement 1 = ∞, expressing The Theory of Everything (TOE) was revealed to him. During '97 - 2001, he camped in a tent & trailer (caravan) and by using the technique of ‘Ask and receive’, received answers in a series of 'a-ha' moments, (aka 'light-bulb' moments). Also in '97, he heard 'The Music of The Spheres', met his essence twin (aka twin flame), and was awoken by the brightness of the Morning Star. Not knowing where all this was leading, one by one, he recorded the answers that came to him in this book, which have lead to the Awareness that he lives with today.
Why did Tovah write the book? Is there any “back story” that inspired him to write it?
After Tovah started having experiences and reflecting on or contemplating their meaning (not rationally deducing them), he realized that he was on to something B-I-G. Out of his enthusiasm, he started delivering classes to small groups of people and some participants asked him to write a book. He resisted their requests for many a year, until in 2010, a student in a class said she would love to have a little book of Tovah's sayings to carry around with her. In an instant, Tovah knew he could do that and so recorded this collection of insightful one-liners that he'd received as answers in these 'a-ha' moments. So in short, this book is long overdue.
Which does Tovah feel is more interesting to others - himself or the book, and why?
Both! Tovah is not separate from the book and the book is not separate from Tovah. In order to live an authentic life as an inspirational speaker, Tovah has to 'walk the talk' or 'practice what he preaches' if you like. As Tovah says himself, "We are to live as though our word is our life. If we don't keep our word, we don't keep our life!"
The meaning of the sayings can best be rendered with the spoken word, body language and a few diagrams for the audience to 'get it' in the moment. The sayings in the book have come using the technique of 'ask and receive' or what science calls the Lateral Thinking Process (aka 'thinking outside the box'). The answers have come in all different ways - intuitively, or in meditation, or from other people's words or questions, or from opening a book or newspaper and reading where his eyes first glanced, or from switching on the radio and hearing the chorus of the song which was playing. Being a person who honors his feeling nature, he knew by the way he felt in the moment, that the answer was the Truth.
What is the most controversial aspect of Tovah's message or book?
To many people who only come from the logical-rational aspect of the mind (the left hemisphere), the sayings in the book will appear to be contradictory or paradoxical, but rather than just dismissing them out of hand, if the reader ponders them in his/her heart, or reflects upon, or contemplates them and uses the intuitive aspect of mind (the right hemisphere), the Truth of the sayings will become apparent. As Tovah says, "What our mind knows as paradox, our heart knows as Truth".
To discover the Truth in each saying for oneself is truly an exhilarating process - leaving the reader thinking/feeling to themselves - 'Geez, I wish I'd thought of that!'
What themes in the book are relevant to current news topics, society, or life in general?
The answers to the big questions of life - who we are, why we are here and what we are meant to be doing, allow us to live on purpose, or live in awareness, or live consciously, or live mindfully. Imagine if you will, if everyone living on the planet understood, as Tovah advises that "Life is a remembrance of who we truly are", just imagine how dramatically different human life on Earth would be. Imagine for a moment what it would be like if everyone understood the emotional purpose as to why: - we do this job for a living and not another job; - we believe this and don't believe that (aka motivated reasoning); - we have these addictions and not other addictions; - we do this and don't do that; - we say this and don't say that; - we laugh at these jokes and can't laugh at other jokes; - we like these people and not those people; - we listen to this music and not that music; - we read these books and not those books; - we watch these movies and not those movies; - we play these sports and not those sports; and so on.
When we can understand why we feel drawn to any of these behaviors or beliefs, it allows us to have *true* freedom, that is, the freedom to choose our emotional reactions or motivations in any given situation. In understanding ourselves better, we can understand others better. This mental clarity in turn leads to clear communication, which then leads to less confusion / misunderstandings and therefore less conflict whether it be within ourselves, in our intimate relationship, with other family members, in our neighborhood, with our work colleagues, in our government, or in our society as a whole. As Tovah says, "When We all speak with Our One True Voice, We are all singing The Uni-Verse." (The One Song)
Is the book based on Tovah's own life experience in any way?
Each of the sayings, or learnings in the book have resulted from him having an experience of life and then pondering in his heart, or wondering about, or contemplating, why he was having that particular experience, in other words, what was the meaning of the experience. So the sayings in the book are all from his own life experience. Some people have remarked that the answers in the book are answers specific to Tovah. But they have failed to realize that on Christmas Day in 1995, he asked quite literally, to be shown (not told), a way that he could impart what he was experiencing (and where it could lead) to others.
What specific problems / challenges does Tovah's target market face that the book can solve?
Do a test! Ask people that you know what their favorite color is and you'll get answers like 'red', 'blue', 'green', 'yellow', and so on, or 'I don't know', or 'I don't have a favorite color'. For those that can nominate a color, then ask them the follow-up question: 'Why is that your favorite color?' Most of the time, they'll say 'I don't know, I just like the color.' There's nothing bad or wrong with a person not knowing why a certain color is their favorite. But it reveals a lack of self-awareness. And just as they don't know why a certain color is their favorite, they go through life continually making decisions or behaving in ways without knowing why they're saying this or doing that. The problem arises that their habitual ways of thinking and behaving, may not lead to what they want to experience in life - the wanted outcomes / results of joy and happiness, good health, peace of mind, harmonious relationships and/or material abundance.
Amongst people generally there is a basic lack of understanding as to who we are as individuals, why we are here and what we are meant to be doing and the conflict between our ego-personality and our Higher Self (also called the Super-conscious Mind) leads to our lack of understanding of ourselves and therefore others, our inability to express our emotions openly and honestly in the moment (i.e. assertively) which can result in confusion / misunderstandings and ultimately disagreements / arguments / conflict. This process unfolds on an individual level and a societal level.
By contrast, when we are in Awareness, we can ask for an answer to any question, then with patience receive the answer and then having the courage to take the required action, confident in the knowledge that the action is the correct action to achieve the wanted outcomes / results of joy and happiness, good health, peace of mind, harmonious relationships and/or material abundance.
What one thing does Tovah want readers to learn / take away from this work?
Because, as Tovah says, "Absolutely nothing happens by coincidence!", readers are exhorted to take with them from this book, that every single moment of our day, every day of our lives, can be pregnant with, or infused with, or informed by, an experience of the Oneness of All of Life, by simply refraining from anticipating the future or dwelling on the past and maintaining the presence of mind to stay in the Now. Elsewhere he says, "In Truth, there is only this Present Moment; there is only this Eternal Now".
What was the most challenging part about writing the book? The most fun / rewarding?
As has been said by another (and paraphrased by this author), "the best things in life can't be spoken; the second best things are misunderstood and the third best things are what we talk about." All of us, at one time or another, have had experiences for which there are no words - words simply cannot do them justice. Try describing to someone how exquisitely subtle it is to be awoken, before dawn, by the brightness of the Morning Star. How about describing to someone all the feelings, sensations, expressions and thoughts of those present at the birth of a new-born infant. Or perhaps, the vague, seemingly non-sensical imagery of the dream one had last night.
As most people are probably already aware from their own experience of life, if someone understands something well - they are able to explain it simply! To find the words to accurately express the experiences of life which most people haven't had, in a way that they can understand, is what Tovah found to be the most challenging in the writing of this book.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.