Reviews of Mind on Fire
If you haven’t read Philip Muls’ book, 'Mind on Fire,' yet I can totally recommend that for you. The writer takes you on an emotional rollercoaster of substance abuse and recovery through his alter ego Peter Baer. The sheer authenticity of it all grabs you by the throat and there is no doubt in my mind that the writer has experienced all of this in real life. You simply cannot make this stuff up. Not only those people who themselves are struggling with alcohol or drug dependencies, but really anybody who feels they have difficulty in coping with life itself, should probably read this book. The brutal honesty and the fast-paced writing style make it into a page turner that will hold you in its grip. And when you have finished reading it, you will likely feel that you came a bit closer to understanding the human condition. I did.
I was hooked on the first page.
The title of the book intrigued me – 'Mind on Fire.' I read the first page I was hooked. I had never seen the style of writing addressed in this book and found it mind bending and riveting. Who on earth has the boldness to allow their psychiatrist to write chapters in the book and lay them bare before the world? Shouldn’t alcoholism and addictions be covered up and hidden? Don’t we only want to share our triumphs?
That is not what Philip Muls did. He allowed not only his psychiatrist to paint a realistic viewpoint of alcoholism that is so deep it will snatch your breath away, but also his family. They didn’t hold back. Their being despised of his addiction is clear for the world to see. After I had my “Oh my God” moment I said to myself that only a person that wanted to help relieve the pain and struggle of someone would do this.
'Mind on Fire' is raw, hard, and brutal but in my mind exactly what is needed to lead someone away from a depraved lifestyle of alcoholism. It is written in, “in your face style,” and compels you to either deal with your alcoholism or keep destroying your life. However, Philip Muls desire is clear, he wants the reader to come to a point of restoration. It is an outstanding work that examines alcoholism in an unusual way.
An Excellent Story with a Different Perspective on Alcoholism
The book is about the life of Philip Muls as told by his alter ego Paul Baer. He describes himself to be an extremely successful, world-traveling businessman living as a functional alcoholic. He lives in the glittery world of high-powered executives. The lifestyle flows with opulence and alcohol.
Over time the glitter fades and he desperately wants to be set free from his addiction. The pathway to freedom is like climbing Mt. Everest with no shoes, hat or coat. Yet, through sheer determination and destroying the demons that have haunted his life, Philip makes it to sobriety. He leaves a trail for others to follow.
I was deeply moved by 'Mind on Fire' because I have loved ones that have suffered from alcoholism. It gave me a greater insight into what is really going on in their lives. It’s not just about drinking it is about a state of mind.
In Muls case, fear of death and an unwholesome perspective of God as taught by religion laid the grim foundation for twenty-five years of alcoholism. My heart ached because his marred perspective of God did so much harm to his life.
The Ultimatum Concerning Alcoholism
I could see God standing all around him. It was in the unconditional love of his wife. It was in the realness of his children saying in their own way, you need to be set free. They stood by him like sentinels on a wall. And it was the gentle spirit of his wife that said, you must correct yourself or I can no longer be in this relationship. As he describes, it didn’t come out bitter, just resolute.
That breaking point caused him to dig deep, determined to be free. You will go on the ride of your life as he journals amazing stories that led him to recovery. The stories are harrowing, full impact and will compel you to reflect on your own life. He begins to see not the God of religion, but the God of the universe, which brings him into a spiritual state of mind that transcends religion.
If you have or know of anyone that has an addiction, this is the book to read. The authenticity of it will rip pride out of your life, cause you to face yourself and be healed. 'Mind on Fire' is one of the best books that I have ever read.
-- Linda Leon
I have read Philip's writing with a myriad of emotions over the years. He has a unique style and class of his own and his experience and research throughout his travels and life clearly show in his writing. I am always left wondering and wandering on life and its many complexities after absorbing Philip's words. His stories have lead me through many places and given me a pause to reflect, evaluate and re-address many issues of not only humanity but the wonderment of existence and all the world has to offer. Brilliant writer in a league of his own.
-- Poppy Silver
'Mind on Fire' takes the reader across the globe with a software mogul as he descends into addiction and ultimately faces the demons that nearly cost him his life. Several years ago I “met” author Philip Muls in an online writing group and eventually I realized he was in recovery, a fact that interested me and which I wanted to support, since I had spent much of my career as an addiction therapist. In this book, he describes the therapeutic process that eventually helped him confront destructive core beliefs about himself and life in general. He exposes the role those beliefs played in leading him into and sustaining addiction—and how they continued to undermine his recovery, keeping him in a robotic dry drunk. His life as a disembodied mind creates dissonance with his true self and only when he faces that and embarks upon intuitive and authentic living does he achieve quality recovery. I am excited about this book because of its application not only to those in recovery from chemical addiction but to most of us in the 21st Century whose lives conspire to separate us from our true selves. I enjoyed the window into a very interesting life and a courageous soul. The author's insights into himself give pause at least for me to ponder my own "core beliefs." And it's a lot cheaper than therapy!
-- Carolyn Gutierrez