An Extraordinary Tale of an Ordinary Bloke – John Hofton

April 9th, 2010  |  Published in Reviews  |  No Comments


This is the extraordinary tale of an `ordinary bloke’ as Ken Mellor describes himself, in his book, `Urban Mystic’.

This is a great read: I savoured … this book the way one leaves the best part of the meal until last, taking in one chapter at a time, digesting it and awaiting the inspiration that would come from each one.

With his typical lightness of touch and humour, Ken Mellor captivates the reader from the very first page and deftly guides us through the main episodes of his life during which he relates his constant questing after ultimate truth, perfection, and self-actualisation in all the forms it manifests itself to him.

This is an exciting, even, at times, roller-coaster ride, as he relates each intriguing episode of his life to us with great acuity and in such a way that we witness these events not merely through his eyes, but at times through the totality of his being.

Moreover, there is a deep-seated wisdom and integrity that shines through everything that Ken introduces us to on his path.

For from an early age, (13 years of age to be precise) Ken was led to make decisions that were based on certain life-enhancing principles. His solid, one might say, dogged adherence to these principles run like a seam throughout the whole book. He also demonstrates again and again his courage, strength, and commitment to these principles and his goal to achieve self-realisation.

Ken calls himself an urban mystic because he believes that it is not enough in the 21st century merely to devote oneself to a life of contemplation without making the insights available to the wider world. Hence, he is determined to use these principles to enhance not only his own life and that of his beloved wife, partner and co-teacher, Elizabeth Mellor, but also his immediate family, loved ones, friends, clients (he has been a social worker, university lecturer, psychotherapist, meditation teacher and mentor and Reiki Master) but ultimately for all sentient beings.

Ken’s style is at once engaging and exciting, but it also has that lightness of touch that comes from someone who is able to distil his past history, life events, feelings and thoughts so that what is left is information in its purest form.

For Ken is a born teacher. Indeed, it is clear from reading his book that he has dedicated himself to pushing the boundaries of knowledge in the field of personal development, to synthesising his discoveries, and redefining and expressing them in terms which are very clear to the lay person [so they] speak directly to him / her.

What he teaches is wide-ranging, and the term `Renaissance Man’ springs to mind throughout this book as we are taken on a voyage of discovery in the fields of social work, psychotherapy, telepathy, meditation, personal well-being and self-realisation.

We learn that in his own wish to get to the bottom of things he would often make discoveries that were not always accepted by his mainstream contemporaries, but which now are considered to be the norm. At times he has had to be resolute, unflinching and totally committed to accept whatever happens to him in order to uncover the ultimate truth about himself and the basic mechanics which might lead us all ultimately to embrace the Oneness in all that is, the Divine or complete transcendence. Ken reveals all of this, and more, and in so doing, does not flinch from revealing to us the sometimes tortuous path, the agonies, the darkness of the soul he has had to endure in order to achieve this.

Because of the distilled nature of the information in the book, Ken’s words speak directly to the reader who is provided with insights, a cornucopia of effective self-improvement tools and the encouragement to persist in one’s own quest for self-realisation.

At the more subtle levels of what Ken has to teach, we are provided with an energetic blue-print to which we may open ourselves as we are guided step by step through Ken’s own process.

There are many twists and turns and surprises on the way. Just at the point where we think that Ken has arrived at the resolution he has been seeking, he suddenly reveals the new path to which his life has opened him and the ensuing consequences of following that path. On the way, we meet with his spiritual mentors and engage with them as he is taken, over many years, through intensive training (first as a Social worker, then as a psychotherapist and finally as a Master of meditation and Reiki Master). At each stage, what he learns for himself he immediately makes available to others, in an open, frank and honest way. Throughout, Ken obeys the dictum: `Unto thine own Self be true’

The climax of the book comes when Ken describes the dark night of the soul through which he goes in order to first annihilate and deconstruct his old self so that he might be reborn, Phoenix-like, from the ashes of the fire in which he is ultimately forged.

The subsequent discovery he makes about his true nature, of life and our connection to the Divine and of our purpose as human beings comes as a complete surprise and we are touched to the depths of our soul and Being as
Ken reveals himself in his true compassionate nature.

This book is truly inspirational: not only because it is the true and frank account of an extraordinary life lived by an `ordinary bloke’ and one to which we can all therefore relate, but also, because we are drawn [by the way he writes] into the more and more refined levels of our very natures … we, too, feel inspired to want to dance in the light.

Ken is precisely the person who can encourage this, not only by what he has to offer us in terms of his teachings and his insights, but by the very nature of what he reveals to us of himself. This book will be an inspiration to the casual reader who is curious about how meditation works, as well as to the experienced meditator who is thirsty for knowledge of how to relate to our inner self, to the world and to the very essence of the Cosmos itself.

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