Pub. Date:
Awaken the Power Within: In Defense of Self-Help

Awaken the Power Within: In Defense of Self-Help

by Albert Amao


View All Available Formats & Editions
Usually ships within 6 days


The $12 billion self-help industry is under constant attack for pedaling false miracles to duped believers. But sociologist Albert Amao demonstrates that Americans eagerly support self-help books, seminars, and programs because, under the right conditions, these things work.

Sociologist Albert Amao analyzes the accuracy of self-help and positive-thinking claims in this groundbreaking—and wholly unexpected—exploration of what works, what doesn't, and why.

"Regarding my personal experience," Amao writes, "I can testify that positive thinking and positive action have worked wonderfully for me. Born in a poor Latin-American country into a very impoverished family with both parents practically illiterate, I was the oldest of five children. I started working when I was six years old, shining shoes and selling newspapers to help my family. Nobody then would have believed that I would be able to finish high school. Nevertheless, I was able to do it going to night school, which allowed me to be admitted at the San Marcos University in Lima to get my Ph.D. in sociology. All these things were possible because, when I was teenager, I had access to New Thought," or positive-thinking philosophy.

Contrary to the critics who blithely dismiss self-help methods, or the New Age gurus who sell it them as miracles, Amao—writing with sobriety, scholarship, and drawing on deep personal experience—explores the conditions under which self-help is authentic.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143132592
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Albert Amao Soria is a graduate of the National University of San Marcos, in Lima, Peru. He holds a PhD in sociology, and is a social theorist and cultural critic. He lectures widely on metaphysical subjects and is a national speaker of the Theosophical Society in America. Mr. Amao has written on metaphysics, New Thought philosophy, and Hermetic Qabalah, and is the author of several books including Healing without Medicine, and The Dawning of the Golden Age of Aquarius. He is the founder of the Center for Spiritual Self-Development and is available for lectures upon request. Mr. Amao can be contacted by email at For further information, visit

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Excerpted from "Awaken the Power Within"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Albert Amao.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword Mitch Horowitz xiii

Introduction xvii

Part 1 Self Help and Positive-Thinking Movements

1 Overview of the Self-Help Movement 3

2 Overview of Positive Thinking 23

3 Making Sense of Self-Help and Positive Thinking 42

4 The Fallacy of the "Power of Now" 56

5 The "As If" Principle and the Power of Assumption 81

Part 2 Self-Help and Self-Healing

6 Self-Help and Therapeutic Suggestions 91

7 Christian Science and Collective Suggestion 105

8 Exploring a Scientific Rationale of Self-Deception 116

9 Religion and Placebo Healing 130

10 Faith Healing and Mass Suggestion 137

Part 3 The Oneness of Life

11 The Mental Universe 147

12 The Will to Create 158

13 The Qabalah and the Quaternity Principle 174

14 The "I Am" and the Power of the Lost Word 186

15 An Existential Question: Who Am I? 205

Epilogue: A Metaphysical Answer: You Are a Magician 216

Notes 223

Bibliography 241

Index 247

About the Author 261

Customer Reviews