"From the day we are born-when we enter into the mystery of not knowing-until the day we leave the planet, the only way to grow is to step into the unknown time after time."
Uncertainty wears many faces. It can be thrust upon us by external forces beyond our control, such as losing a job, or it can be something we worry about that might happen in the future, or it can be something we shy away from, such as letting go of familiar but unhealthy habits. Jones points out that most of our uncertainty anxieties are based upon a fear of loss. But what we perceive or project as loss also cracks us open to newness, to unforeseen gifts, to the richness of life. Driving this point home, the author asks readers to imagine themselves ten years ago and notice the ways in which life has changed in that time, how many uncertainties were faced, overcome, and embraced. How we respond to uncertainty, to life, is a matter of choice-or "the altitude of our attitude," as Jones says, as well as ample doses of faith, consciousness, intention, patience, and mindfulness-and more.
Life is a glorious mystery and The Art of Uncertainty is like having a spiritual primer for gracefully leaving behind our coveted, safe - but stifled - comfort zones and being liberated to love the ride of our life.
New Consciousness Review
Do you approach changes in your life with fear and trepidation or with joy and enthusiasm? As we face life's challenges, one thing is certain, we must navigate a sea of uncertainty. In The Art of Uncertainty: How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It, Dennis Merritt Jones offers tools to become wise mariners of that sea and know, "Every action you take moves you one step closer to either evolution and expansion or redundancy and a reduction of your life force." Each beautifully written chapter draws on the wisdom of the sages, both past and present, and contains straight-forward, practical strategies illustrated with real-life examples that are relevant to readers. Jones addresses our fears, potential, habits, intentions, patience, and perseverance, reminding us, "The only thing we can control is our next thought."
A "Points to Ponder" section at the end of each chapter clearly summarizes the concepts presented and offers questions to help one personalize the information. Also at the end of each chapter, Jones's "Mindfulness Practices" guide one in anchoring the learning and stepping into an awareness of our oneness with source. When we are centered in that knowing, living in the mystery of what is yet to be becomes a joyous adventure.
With The Art of Uncertainty, readers can chart a course for learning how to live in the "I don't know" while maintaining a sense of inner-peace and optimism. This simple but beautifully wise and practical book is a gem. Don't step into the unknown without it.
Editor, Science of Mind Magazine
Dennis has put together a piece of work that, to be honest, just may have pulled me back from an emotional brink. The amazing part is how I found key phrases, metaphors, and visualizations that had me scrambling for a pen (okay... okay... I used the notes feature on my Kindle, but you get the idea) so I could get my thoughts and feelings into a form for future reference. In fact, the book will require another reading in the near future, as I am sure the material will strike different chords with different people in varying situations.
As I am currently undergoing a lot of changes in my life (financial status, living situation, marital strife, self-employment), this book's message made so much sense on so many levels. While I avoid spoilers in my reviews, you should know this: You will not view your station or path in life the same when you shine the light of this material on them. Living in fear has so many of us curled into virtual balls of inactivity where we believe that we are safe - when the opposite is true.
Off the top of my head (as my notes would be too extensive for this review), I can list a few concepts discussed by Dennis that will have a lasting impact on how I view the changes and the unknown future in my life:
1. Habit energy's ability to carve ruts into our minds that can set us on auto-pilot when it comes to how we live our daily lives. More importantly, there is a poignant discussion on how habits themselves are neither good or bad and must be judged their relative merits: Whether they moves us closer or further away from our visions of our ideal selves.
2. The campsites that have been set up along the path to the top of the mountain where others ceased their journeys and decided (whether consciously or subconsciously) to abandon their dreams.
3. The great influence and power of the Collective Unconscious to affect the lives of those who do not live consciously and brave the edge of the unknown - where real growth takes place. For me, this was a big one, as I have been living with an excess exposure to the media in the past few years. It is no wonder I am paralyzed. The media exerts a great influence on the Collective Unconscious - an it sells the worst news to us in massive doses.
This is by no means a "top three" list. There are many others that had just as much impact on how I am now viewing my world. I will be forever keeping so many of these concepts in mind as I forge ahead with my life. This should be required reading for anyone who wished to live their life more fully and avoid the pitfalls of negative group thinking that permeate the airwaves.
Thanks, Dennis. I owe you one. :)
It's hard to even put into words what a special book this is! Dennis Merritt Jones has a way through his story telling that is able to speak to people's hearts and souls and help others not only grow but to awaken to the possibilities around us every moment by just being present. The book is in small digestible chapters that you will read and want to spend time ruminating over because this is not just a book that tells us what our potential is, but one that shows us how to see our potential, how to move past the ruts we often find ourselves in by understanding why we are there and what is stopping us from growing. It gives examples of how to do this and then takes.
Dennis Merritt Jones is an excellent writer, a deep thinker, and a "for real" spiritual adventurer. He means what he says, and he lives true to every word. He is also a warm, loving, funny guy who has been my friend and colleague for over 30 years. I had the privilege of reading the original manuscript of "The Art of Uncertainty." I was immediately captivated by Dennis' thesis that we are not in control of our individual life in the sense that if we just sit tight, hang on, and affirm the positive, we can "rest assured" that things will go as we have planned. Throughout his book, he continuously reminds us that if we can surrender, moment-to-moment, to "What Is," no matter what seems to be, and if we can continue to have faith that things will unfold according to the Divine Mystery of One Beautiful Universal Plan (that includes us), we can live each moment in joy and peace. I highly recommend this book. It contains the quintessential message for these uncertain times.
Dennis Merritt Jones has captured the essence of the key to the spiritual journey in his new book, THE ART OF UNCERTAINTY. That key is learning to live in the essential mystery that all of life is - learning to live artfully in uncertainty. His clear writing style with personal stories and frequent inclusion of pithy quotes from others gives readers clear access to his deep message. I highly recommend this book, either as a "gateway" to totally new ideas, or as a compelling review and re-examination of familiar ideas.
Being uncertain about outcomes in our daily lives is a widely accepted fact of life, but it tends to be a tad unsettling for most of us. Using practical examples drawn from Dr. Jones' own real life stories, combined with his astute wisdom, this book drew me into sharpened insights about the inside action going on "behind the scenes" in my own everyday living, and pushed me into new awareness' with every chapter. While reading The Art of Uncertainty, unavoidably at least some part of your consciousness is transformed. Once that happens your thinking will be transformed if you so choose, and if you do choose that, your life is transformed. Insight I found in this book helped me discover that combining work with love... reveals art!
The Art of Uncertainty is an extraordinary work from the brilliant mind of Dr. Dennis Merritt Jones. Dennis clearly expresses the freedom, peace and power that comes when one embraces the mystery, excitement and boundless possibilities of the unknown. His wisdom and his wonderfully profound ability to reveal sacred truths is reflected in the beauty of his writing. After reading The Art of Uncertainty, I immediately bought another copy for my daughter in the certain knowledge that it would be of help in her own struggle with the unknown. I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking to live joyfully in the face of the uncertainties of life.
This easy to read (and understand what you just read) book is the perfect life coach for those of us seeking or curious about spiritual as well as practical principles as part of our journey. Dennis Merritt Jones explains the steps necessary to live in the moment without fear and not worry about the unknown. My favorite phrase in this book is "life by the inch". Each chapter ends with Mindfulness Practices which reinforce what you have just read. I envision rereading this book many times.
The Art of Uncertainty is an enlightened companion for anyone facing the uncertainties of change in their life. Whether these changes are mandatory or chosen this book will be of great assistance in transforming life's uncertainties into opportunities for a life truly worth living. I highly recommend this great little book written by an insightful and dedicated teacher, Dennis Merritt Jones.
This is a deep book and it does take time to process all of it. I am a work in process and progress...I do recommend it.
I enjoy reading the works of Dennis. He writes in a clear, easy to understand style which is very accessible to all those that desire to improve their lives and live with peace of mind.
Vintage Guy "Clay"
THE ART OF UNCERTAINTY is a brilliant guide to overcoming insecurity and self doubt. So much of the text is put into simple metaphors and concepts that one only needs to embrace the concept of being comfortable in letting go of worry, and the awakening to the reality that worry does little to serve or help oneself.
THE ART OF UNCERTAINTY is the ability to challenge yourself, explore life in the directions you desire, and to let go of failure as an obstacle to achievement. Dennis Merritt Jones writes with compassion and encouragement, and finds a way to talk about spirituality in a voice that anyone can embrace, regardless of their religious beliefs.
I found this book inspiring, comforting and have taken away so much wisdom from it that I have been recommending it to friends, and do so here.
I am not sure I can say anything more than the others here have said... but this book certainly changed the way I look at life and how I will live the rest of my life. Dennis is not simply an author, but an insightful spiritual guide, who obviously writes from his heart and a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities we each can face or ignore on a daily basis. While I read certain passages and considered the the concepts outlined so clearly, I was struck with such familiarity and personal identification that I felt the book had been written to speak specifically to me. Things I have felt all my life, but have never been able to articulate, were right there in black and white, like a positive affirmation. The reason for this, I think, is that Dennis is in tune with the fact that we are all facing a lot of the same things, and are all part of a much larger and unifying truth of being than we really consciously know. I suspect anyone who reads this book, with an open mind, will feel the same personal connection to the truths it holds that I did. That someone has been able to step back and consider this thing we call 'life' so thoughtfully, and then took the time to step by step explain it.. well.. it is a gift for us all.
As soon as I finished the last page, I flipped back to page 1 and started reading again. That is how full of insight I found this piece of work to be. The brilliant part, Dennis didn't just explain how it all works, and why.. but he offers specific techniques and processes to put in to place that are life changing and beneficial not just to me... but all the people I come in to contact with.
Dennis, thank you for your thoughtful consideration, artful writing and spiritual leadership in a world that so desperately needs these things.
The Art of Uncertainty... is a very informative book and really gives a great perspective on why a person needs to learn to control the thoughts he/she may toss around in his/her head. Also, the book explains why you ought not be led by your emotions or the emotions of others. The result of reading this book will make you not only come to the edge of uncertainty, but take that next step in faith into the unknown... knowing that what you are facing will no longer control you once you take a step in releasing it and moving forward into your future. Dr. Dennis Merritt Jones is a fantastic author and speaker. You will walk away learning something new and exciting from absorbing what he has to share in his books and speaking seminars. Visit [...] to find out more about him and where you might be able to attend one of his seminars. You can also sign up for his weekly MindfulPurpose e-Message. Don't miss out on his "The Art of Being..." book which is a counterpart to the "The Art of Uncertainty...".
Make it a great day! GiGi
In the spirit of full disclosure, I've known Dennis Merritt Jones as an inspiring teacher and mentor who, more than 25 years ago, taught me a new way of thinking that forever changed my life in so many wonderful ways. I have read and own copies of all of Dennis's books and believe this one to be his best work so far in his ability to convey the information with such concise simplicity and user friendly format.
I really appreciate that the Introduction includes a segment on "How to Use This Book to Your Greatest Advantage". It really sets the stage for the kind of tools this book offers and how to benefit the most by utilizing them. I also thought it a stroke of genius to follow the Introduction with a note "To The Reader: About The Word God". This short clarification has made it much easier for me to feel comfortable giving a copy of this book to someone who could really benefit from these tools, but who also (currently) considers them self an atheist. It may be just what's needed for them to be willing to read it with an open mind and, who knows, they may even change their belief system.
I found "The Art of Uncertainty" to be a most enjoyable read with many relatable stories and aha moments. As things change in my life, I know I'll read this book again and again as it will always remind me of the many options I have at my disposal to continue to grow and move my life forward in the most positive and abundant ways possible no matter my circumstances.
In short, I really love this book and highly recommend it to anyone looking to expand their existing toolbox with more positive and enlightening ways to improve their relationship with life as they move through our challenging 21st century.
It was a bit of Providence that guided me to this book. At a time when things are in a state of flux and transformation for me personally and professionally, I decided to buy this book for a fresh perspective for navigating the waters of uncertainty. Dennis Merritt Jones has an easy knack for writing and communicating even familiar ideas in new and creative ways. I just began facilitating this book as a book study for four weeks and our group is very excited about the process. I believe this book can be valuable in the long-run as a good review to keep things fresh. "Ah, sweet mystery of life at last I've found you..." Thank you.
Dennis Merritt Jones' "The Art of Uncertainty" is a deft blend of principles and practices to help pull us to where we really want to be. He patiently and persistently coaxes us to see a greater possibility for each of us, quoting many luminous minds who had passion for their vision.
This book is so full of wisdom, I know I'll be returning to it often for inspiration. Beautifully written and composed, it is especially timely for anyone facing life changes and challenges in this current economic climate. I will put it on my bookshelf alongside The Four Agreements; as far as I'm concerned, living by the spiritual wisdom in those 2 books alone is a recipe for happiness, serenity, and self-realization in this life! I look forward to reading other writings by Jones, he writes in a clear, direct, original, compassionate style; I also love his choice of quotations and references. I will certainly be recommending and in fact giving this book as gifts to many friends.
Excellent book! Relevant and appealing to my students. Great Study Guide with good discussion questions -- easy work for the facilitator!
I have had the privilege of knowing Dennis for several years, attending his workshops, and working with him one on one. He never ceases to inspire me with his wisdom, and gentle simplicity of the Truth. And yet, his works are profound in their ability to create motivation, retrospection, and action on the part of the reader. This particular book, "The Art of Uncertainty" is especially powerful for me at a very intense time in my life. I love his metaphor of being stuck in a rut, as "a grave with no ends". How true! Going to the edge of our uncertainty can be very scary, and yet Dennis teaches how to embrace this, claim our power, and move ahead.
I intend to use his Study Guide, and create a class for others to experience a valuable shift in how our daily living can create a life of compassion, contribution and accomplishment.
Thank you Dennis Merritt Jones for being in my life!
Very challenging ideas presented in a way that am able to learn and move forward. It is one of those why didn't I see it before because it seems so right but it didn't get as clear before. Still reading and practicing and loving it.
M. L. H.
I had the privilege of being a member of Dennis Merritt Jones' congregation over 25 years ago. He is a brilliant writer and speaker in that he converses in a language that everyone can understand and identify with. His creativity and ability to articulate at a gut level the opportunities in our life for growth, never ceases to amaze me. His newest book, "The Art of Uncertainty" feels like a conversation between friends. It is lighthearted and profound. Just opening the cover and reading the Table of Contents made me excited to see that it was the perfect book for me at this time in my life when so many things are uncertain and rich with opportunities to have a life that matters. I applaud Dennis in his new addition to his library and I am anxious to dive in and be enlightened and awakened once again by his common sense and eloquent delivery of the truth. I encourage anyone that is on a spiritual path and looking for answers to purchase this amazing book. Thank you Dennis!
I first downloaded the sample of this book on my Kindle, I was very please to find that it talks about exactly what I want more of in my life, living in the moment. I like is approach, easy, pleasant, it touches my soul. I woke up this morning wanting to read more of it, but he says to sip this reading, like a good cup of coffee, a little at a time and to let it sink in. Maybe I ought to just read again what I just read. Thank you Dennis.
A GREAT read! I was privileged enough to purchase an advanced copy. It is a wonderful reminder that the reality of our world is really one of "groundlessness." We are very uncomfortable with this Truth and spend our entire lives trying to create the illusion of "solid ground." Dennis Merritt Jones gives good reasons to embrace the Truth, and instead of resisting it, learn to love it! Great read! Five stars!
Having lived most of my life in "uncertainty," I've seen it as something to be endured. To me, Dr. Dennis' audacious idea, "How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It" was like a red flag to a bull.... CHARGE! And off I went.
Well, THE ART OF UNCERTAINTY is now one of my nightstand requisites. Since Page One, I have found this book to be soothing, practical and provocative. It is a book to read at many levels - for comfort, for coaching, and - if I'm willing - for motivation to free-fall into the questions... THE ART OF UNCERTAINTY provides space and support to feel safe in that which is unsafe - and, like a white-knuckle ride, to bring me safely back, and better for the journey.
Mary Beth S.
Dennis Merritt Jones' book, The Art of Uncertainty, is an uncomplicated explanation of how to live one's life in the moment. For me, it has been an eye opener and I recommend it to all seekers of truth and comfort.
The Universal themes to live by are presented in a clear, concise and beautiful prose. I have reached a much better understanding of my relationship with the Cosmos due to the ideas presented.
For those of us who like to know what is going on at every moment; what is going to happen in the next moment; and what will be 10 or 20 years from now; this is the book to read. As a Type A personality who is very much into control, I found this book a breath of fresh air. Dennis illustrates in this book how "uncertainty" can actually be fun and something to enjoy rather than fear.
With stories and examples from his life, Dennis guides the reader to a place of realization that uncertainty is really good and a reason for celebration. Living in the moment, being mindful of one's day, walking in faith. These are the tenants I want to embody. Mindfulness techniques are explained simply. Tools to awaken one's full spiritual potential are included in each chapter.
This is a warm, straightforward and enjoyable book to assist everyone to live in the moment. Enjoy! and as Dennis says "Soar."
I am so glad that I discovered this amazing book! I have read a lot of Spiritual books and this is truly one of the best ones I read. Dennis has so much amazing information in the book and one of my favorite things was the exercises. Doing those exercises and applying his principles to my own journey has truly changed my life in a short period of time. I have been telling all of my friends about this book because it is so powerful and well written! Thank you Dennis for sharing your incredible wisdom with the world.
This book about the inevitability of change asks us to trust that whatever the Universe sends will be for our good. May help "Type-A's" to surrender to The Process. Thought-provoking. Hopeful.
This book makes you think, slow down, and realize that most things in life are out of our control. It helps us "let go" of the things that don't matter and really focus on ourselves as we journey through our short lives.
Dennis Merritt Jones lives in our county and publishes his articles in a small local newspaper. I've enjoyed reading his articles and when I discovered he wrote some books I ordered some. I like his wisdom.
The Art of Uncertainty provides a concise overview of the power of positive thinking, including quotes from many recognized authorities. More importantly, it provides mental exercises that promote a positive attitude and combat depression. There is no one size fits all cure for depression, but this book is an important resource for readers,their loved ones and friends. I do not recall the author mentioning the importance of physical exercise. A reference list of exercise programs, or exercise guidelines, would have been a welcome addition.
My husband and I shared reading the book out loud...it's wonderful! We found ourselves deciding to shift quite a few ways that we interact. The author is amazingly insightful.
Dennis Merritt Jones has a humorous and engaging way of getting down to all of your core issues, which are based in ego, and exposing them in a way so as to open you to a new way to view your present moment and move into a more positive future. I highly recommend this book.
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