Out Of My Mind
Alan Arkin, one of the most beloved and accomplished actors of our time, reveals a side of himself not often shown on stage or screen.Like many teenagers, 16-year-old Alan Arkin had it all figured out. Then came young adulthood, and with it a wave of doubt so strong it caused him to question everything he thought he knew about himself and the world. Ever skeptical and full of questions, Arkin embarked on a spiritual journey to find something—anything—to believe in. An existential crisis in his 30s led him to the study of Eastern philosophy. Soon he began opening himself to the possibility that there was more to life than what he had simply seen, heard, or been taught.In this Audible Original "mini-memoir," the 84-year-old actor shares his powerful spiritual experiences, from his brush with reincarnation to the benefits of meditation. In a gruff, earthy voice that sounds more suited to a New York cabbie than a spiritual guide, he shows us that wisdom can come from the most unexpected places and teachers. Out of My Mind is a candid, relatable, and delightfully irreverent take on how one man went searching for meaning and ended up discovering himself.

Out Of My Mind Details

TitleOut Of My Mind
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 6th, 2018
PublisherAudible Studios
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Audiobook, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography

Out Of My Mind Review

  • Mahlon
    January 1, 1970
    Too much self-analysis for me. I like and respect Alan Arkin, but I wasn't expecting to go to therapy with him!
  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this. The reviews I read below seemed misguided. This is man in his 70s or 80s reflecting on his inner experiences, there is something to be learned when older people speak.
  • Marty
    January 1, 1970
    Alan Arkin provides a narrative as an author, actor, father, husband and a man who's insights about meditation reveals his lifetime of spirituality. He reveals how he circumnavigated his life of many miracles he has witnessed and discovered. Many readers will broaden their knowledge of life to feel comfortable to think for themselves beyond societal expectations.Personal beliefs are often in conflict with what is expected while learning and discovering a world filled with many opportunities of s Alan Arkin provides a narrative as an author, actor, father, husband and a man who's insights about meditation reveals his lifetime of spirituality. He reveals how he circumnavigated his life of many miracles he has witnessed and discovered. Many readers will broaden their knowledge of life to feel comfortable to think for themselves beyond societal expectations.Personal beliefs are often in conflict with what is expected while learning and discovering a world filled with many opportunities of simple ways to live a life spiritually on ones on terms.
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  • Charles
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not sure what the point of this book was. It's a narrowly focused memoir about Mr. Arkin's spiritual quest... but it's not particularly spiritual. It's just a long series of anecdotes about things he has felt and experienced that seem extraordinary to him. I repeat: these events seem extraordinary to him. If there is one thing that all these experiences have in common, it's that he chooses again and again to describe them with the disclaimer, "I don't know how or why, but..."So we are told r I'm not sure what the point of this book was. It's a narrowly focused memoir about Mr. Arkin's spiritual quest... but it's not particularly spiritual. It's just a long series of anecdotes about things he has felt and experienced that seem extraordinary to him. I repeat: these events seem extraordinary to him. If there is one thing that all these experiences have in common, it's that he chooses again and again to describe them with the disclaimer, "I don't know how or why, but..."So we are told right up front that there will be no great truth revealed. No profound life lessons that he derives from his experiences.The experiences themselves? I'll recount just a few:--He once played 45 minutes of flawless tennis.--He twice healed his son by laying his hands on him. Once for a fever and once for a sunburn.--An untrained surgeon in a remote part of Brazil has extraordinary success resecting tumors with an non-sanitized pocket knife.To his credit, he admits that in the miraculous tennis session, he made a slight change to his tactics. He also admits that it's possible his opponent was having an off day.And the healing? He admits that he tried the same trick on other ill people without success. But thank goodness he stepped up for his son. Otherwise, the poor lad might be feverish and sunburned to this day!But the experience he spends the most time on is the healer from Brazil, a story that has all the hallmarks of an urban legend. By far the most interesting part of this story is that when he and his wife/writing partner attempt to write the screenplay, he goes temporarily blind at the end of each writing session, and she ends each day to discover that the ends of her hair singed. I guess the most extraordinary, astonishing thing about this book is that Audible chose to produce and promote it, but for the life of me, I can't explain how or why.
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  • Joshua Rigsby
    January 1, 1970
    This pile of malarkey is aptly named, if nothing else. For some reason, actors believe that average Americans want to hear their undigested self-referential beliefs, no matter how poorly founded they are. In fairness, I listened to the audio book of my own volition, so half of the blame is on me. But still. What a wagonload of incense-scented bullshit. This was like an episode of Touched by An Angel that was rejected for being too implausible for a gullible daytime TV audience. Incredulous story This pile of malarkey is aptly named, if nothing else. For some reason, actors believe that average Americans want to hear their undigested self-referential beliefs, no matter how poorly founded they are. In fairness, I listened to the audio book of my own volition, so half of the blame is on me. But still. What a wagonload of incense-scented bullshit. This was like an episode of Touched by An Angel that was rejected for being too implausible for a gullible daytime TV audience. Incredulous story, after easily debunked mythology, after urban myth cloaked in legitimacy by celebrity anecdote. In an age when science and reality are under daily assault by powerful ignorami, children are dying of vaccine-preventable measles, and seawater has risen above our ankles, we do not need to entertain this neo-pseudo-religious-Hollywood-mystical charlatanism any more. This is not just a case of having your "touchy feelies" lubed up with snake oil. It encourages the kind of rejection of reason that keeps us from thinking, voting, or living in a remotely intelligent way. This isn’t just a waste of time; it’s dangerous.
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  • Kelly ...
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed the stories that he told about different acting experiences as they felt personal, and a touch voyeuristic. I also felt that he was open with himself, talking about his mother, his stage fright and his conversations with a survivor of Hitler's death camps. However, a good chunk of the book is about his personal religious convictions and what he terms consciousness. I have learned that I really do not enjoy books that delve deeply into religion. It always feels preachy to me and I really enjoyed the stories that he told about different acting experiences as they felt personal, and a touch voyeuristic. I also felt that he was open with himself, talking about his mother, his stage fright and his conversations with a survivor of Hitler's death camps. However, a good chunk of the book is about his personal religious convictions and what he terms consciousness. I have learned that I really do not enjoy books that delve deeply into religion. It always feels preachy to me and I hate it. Proselytizing isn't something I do, and isn't something I enjoy in my literature. Often it feels like the person is lecturing and judging. Sometimes this book felt like that. For me religion is very personal. Luckily it was both very short and free.
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  • Penny
    January 1, 1970
    (Audible)I really like Alan Arkin. I like his voice, his speech cadence and the quiet intensity that he commits to his roles.I'm not really sure what I was expecting. What Arkin gave me was a surprise.The book is a series of unrelated chapters that together build an experienced based belief system for Arkin. He stresses that each of us through our own experiences create, mold, massage, reinvent and revise our belief systems as we go through life. We are impacted by what happens to us, the work w (Audible)I really like Alan Arkin. I like his voice, his speech cadence and the quiet intensity that he commits to his roles.I'm not really sure what I was expecting. What Arkin gave me was a surprise.The book is a series of unrelated chapters that together build an experienced based belief system for Arkin. He stresses that each of us through our own experiences create, mold, massage, reinvent and revise our belief systems as we go through life. We are impacted by what happens to us, the work we do in therapy, reading, spiritual quests, tragedies and successes.There's a universal human condition to want to know why we're here. What's the purpose of our life? Where Arkin loses me a bit is when he relays his experiences of past life found memories and psychic surgery. I realize he believes in these. And he tells us about his own skepticism and why he believes in them. If i'd had his experiences, perhaps I'd be as committed. But my experiences and context make me more skeptical. Perhaps I haven't had enough experiences?Some interesting stuff here. Some thoughtful stuff. And a little off the deep end stuff. But a worthwhile read.RECOMMEND
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  • Ani
    January 1, 1970
    I very much enjoyed Alan Arkin’s open, honest and revelatory sharing about the unfolding of his consciousness, highlighting some key moments in his inner journey. There is much wisdom to be found here. Alan’s stories about the indelible impacts—of the Holocaust survivor, Esther Raab who never lost faith, the remarkable Brazilian “surgeon,” who removed tumors with a pen knife and no blood, the Guru who taught him meditation, and others—are rendered relatively succinctly as he manages to mine for I very much enjoyed Alan Arkin’s open, honest and revelatory sharing about the unfolding of his consciousness, highlighting some key moments in his inner journey. There is much wisdom to be found here. Alan’s stories about the indelible impacts—of the Holocaust survivor, Esther Raab who never lost faith, the remarkable Brazilian “surgeon,” who removed tumors with a pen knife and no blood, the Guru who taught him meditation, and others—are rendered relatively succinctly as he manages to mine for and reveal the treasure in each of those encounters. His telling builds to a crescendo—a quiet serene one—when at the end he shares about living in the present without plans and ambitions and about his “I” briefly dissolving. I read some reviews here on Goodreads that dismiss what is contained and communicated here. Alan’s age, informed by decades of meditation practice, and yes therapy as well, have given him perspective and insight that does not conform with popular, conventional messages about striving, identity and what success in life means. This is precisely the value here: to listen deeply and respectfully as he harvests what he does. For one who is still living immersed in the illusions of which Alan speaks and to which he was bound as well—it is quite understandable that they would devalue the wisdom gleaned in Alan’s journey and shared here. True wisdom can sound so simple, even simplistic, especially when one has not yet seen through the illusions. Alan has. He shares wisely,generously—and with humility—about that transformation.
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  • Andy Klein
    January 1, 1970
    Total and complete crap. He totally lost me with his belief of some mystical Brazilian who cured people of cancer by doing surgery with a rusty pocket knife while in a trance. Seriously. HE. BELIEVES. THAT. next up is the Easter bunny. Good thing this drivel was free on Audible.
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  • Taher Al Kiyumi
    January 1, 1970
    What we need is already buried in us!
  • Alan
    January 1, 1970
    Bits Cut from An Improvised Life?Review of the Audible Audio editionI haven't actually read Alan Arkin's biography "An Improvised Life," but I assume that it primarily covers his stage and film acting career.This compendium of spiritual or therapy related anecdotes seems like it might be collecting chapters that were deleted from that biography as being of little interest to fans of the actor.I'll admit that I became skeptical of the book as soon as Arkin began recounting the career of Zé Arigó, Bits Cut from An Improvised Life?Review of the Audible Audio editionI haven't actually read Alan Arkin's biography "An Improvised Life," but I assume that it primarily covers his stage and film acting career.This compendium of spiritual or therapy related anecdotes seems like it might be collecting chapters that were deleted from that biography as being of little interest to fans of the actor.I'll admit that I became skeptical of the book as soon as Arkin began recounting the career of Zé Arigó, a Brazilian psychic surgeon (see also Arigo: Surgeon of the Rusty Knife) which was a failed film project of his.
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  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    Some of the stories in this memoir were fascinating, but I don't want to be a critic of someone's spiritual journey.
  • Gil Bradshaw
    January 1, 1970
    This book is him discussing his spiritual journey in a way that is very brave. He started out as an atheist and then documents his journey to becoming convinced of a higher power and then finally his attempts to harness that power in his daily life. I think his open discussion is brave and honest. He doesn’t try to explain his miracles or try to convince you that they happened. He doesn’t know why or what these experiences mean himself and I think that he made himself very vulnerable. People hav This book is him discussing his spiritual journey in a way that is very brave. He started out as an atheist and then documents his journey to becoming convinced of a higher power and then finally his attempts to harness that power in his daily life. I think his open discussion is brave and honest. He doesn’t try to explain his miracles or try to convince you that they happened. He doesn’t know why or what these experiences mean himself and I think that he made himself very vulnerable. People have experiences like this but nobody wants to talk about them like Mr. Arkin does here. Good for him. I think some of these things may have been coincidence but so does Mr. Arkin. I love reading about people who make healthy efforts to tap into God’s power. It’s important.
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  • Maddielucy
    January 1, 1970
    I love Alan Arkin but this was sooooooo boring. Thank God it was short or I would’ve quit.
  • Ernesto I. Ramirez
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing life stories.
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    A free audiobook from Audible. The telling of his unusual experiences might bump into your pre-conceived notions about life.
  • Vivian Adram
    January 1, 1970
    A little confusing but intriguing to go into the mind of Mr Arkin
  • Bolelang
    January 1, 1970
    The narration is great however the story has holes. I don't think Alan is sceptical enough. He is a believer, even though he says he is not.
  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    This is a review of the audio edition read by the author: I enjoyed this autobiography for the simple reason that it takes courage to expose the intimate details of your life and here he lays his heart out about subjects no one can explain and require faith in purpose to process. Most people can’t even open their minds to the possibility that there is more to this life than what we see. He briefly addresses this in the beginning of his story using his own mother as an example. Despite such famil This is a review of the audio edition read by the author: I enjoyed this autobiography for the simple reason that it takes courage to expose the intimate details of your life and here he lays his heart out about subjects no one can explain and require faith in purpose to process. Most people can’t even open their minds to the possibility that there is more to this life than what we see. He briefly addresses this in the beginning of his story using his own mother as an example. Despite such family influence he goes on further with his work to explore mystical subjects that piqued his curiosity. If I have a complaint at all about this book it is its brevity. I have more questions and want more details to which I am not entitled, it’s his story. It’s a framework of his self exploration... not instructive but informative; not a prescription but a light in the dark; not a roadmap but a mirror to make us look at our own lives for comparison. We all have moments of illumination, clarity and mystery. This is his story. Be respectful.
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  • Skyler Layne
    January 1, 1970
    As much as this book is an autobiography, it is spiritual. Rather, the author writes about their journey through life from the perspective of spirituality and follows many phases along that bane.It starts by level setting Alan's youth, young, narrow minded, and stubborn and follows his journey as an Actor meeting those who had a large impact on his life. Namely in his work in telling the Sobibór extermination camp (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sobib%C...) for a CBS special.Moving on to his lear As much as this book is an autobiography, it is spiritual. Rather, the author writes about their journey through life from the perspective of spirituality and follows many phases along that bane.It starts by level setting Alan's youth, young, narrow minded, and stubborn and follows his journey as an Actor meeting those who had a large impact on his life. Namely in his work in telling the Sobibór extermination camp (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sobib%C...) for a CBS special.Moving on to his learning of the spiritual healer Zé Arigó (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z%C3%A9...), to actually using those teaching to heal his own son on multiple occasions. Indirectly using drugs to gain enlightenment beyond therapy, bumping into a Guru, and diving head first into meditation.It seems the author has learned substantially about themselves through meditation and spirituality, reading many many texts from various authors and topics.Even learning and questioning popular theories about works of Plato. He references Allegory of the Cave in this text, as contrary to historians. This is not a philosophical essay, however a state of consciousness.Towards the end of the text, Alkin brings up the ideas of past lives. Loosely stating "We come into this life with an agenda that we've defined for ourselves. Things that our souls have determined we should work on in our next life. ... As we clear up these tasks that we've outline, we fear death less". This stuck with me as an interesting interpretation.All in all, a great listen and reminder of the importance of meditation and taking the time to learn about yourself for personal and professional gain.
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  • Blythe
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve read a lot of criticism about this book that it isn’t the memoir readers expected. I fully understand that; however, Arkin accomplishes what he sets out to do: write a memoir of his spiritual/philosophical journey throughout his 80+ years. He is open minded, intelligent, and humble. I appreciate his hunger and perseverance in seeking purpose in life. And I’m in awe of his ability to process and articulate his journey. I found this short memoir intriguing and interesting.
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  • Nick Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the free Audible original options that comes with the subscription. I love Alan Arkin, so thought it would be a fun listen. It turns out that it is less humorous, and much more about his life philosophy and his journey to find peace and happiness through therapy, meditation, and letting go of what he thought he believed in. Whether or not you can agree with (or believe) him, it’s worth the small investment of time.
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  • Mark Hillick
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book because it seemed like a fun read per the Audible Originals recommendations for December.It was an easy listen/read and there were some interesting anecdotes, but overall it came across as a therapy session with Arkin. I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you want to do some therapy.
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  • Jan Carter
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoy listening to Alan Arkin, or reading interviews with him, and of course, seeing his movies; The In-laws is probably my favorite, perhaps followed by Catch 22. The audiobook is not a movie star tell-all, but rather some deeper thoughts, perceptions and experiences that stood out in his life. I found his commentary quite interesting and will probably remember parts for some time. 5 stars.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    This was another free Original from Audible. It wasn't bad - I did finish it, but there were times I found it a little repetitious and/or a little too hard to relate with to truly enjoy it. It was interesting, however, to hear about Arkin's personal spiritual journey through the span of his lifetime in his own voice.
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  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    A very entertaining read of how changing one's mind can have profound positive effects. I loved the stories of people he's come across in his work in Hollywood and how difficult he's found it to explain what happened to those people, despite growing up as a child of the enlightenment worshiping at the altar of science's ability to answer all questions. The takeaway for me from this book was to embrace the possibility that you might be wrong about your most cherished beliefs, and how such a move A very entertaining read of how changing one's mind can have profound positive effects. I loved the stories of people he's come across in his work in Hollywood and how difficult he's found it to explain what happened to those people, despite growing up as a child of the enlightenment worshiping at the altar of science's ability to answer all questions. The takeaway for me from this book was to embrace the possibility that you might be wrong about your most cherished beliefs, and how such a move might not lead to the disastrous result you expect to be inevitable.
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  • Yalonda
    January 1, 1970
    Not an audiobook fan but I do enjoy listening to Alan Arkin! I thoroughly enjoyed listening to his story of self-discovery. It can be a relief to be reminded that others - even famous others - have to find themselves and that "everything changes" is a perfectly reasonable mythology for life.
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  • Lisa Shultz
    January 1, 1970
    I got a lot out of this short Audible Original. I didn't know much about the author prior to listening to this book. His stories have made me pause and contemplate a great deal of assumptions I might have had in the past. It also confirmed a few things I felt, which was a relief to feel less alone in those thoughts. If you are open to some amazing stories that might shake your beliefs a bit, I recommend it.
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  • Sergey
    January 1, 1970
    Against the author's wise advice I won't remove myself from judgment to write this review.I like to read what other people learned about life and their opinion doesn't have to match mine.In this book, though, the author earns your trust with some sensitive statements to pour buckets of pseudo-science into your head. It's irresponsible of him, he should know better.Read it if you want to listen to someone describing in the serious tone the miracles he's witnessed.
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  • Thezoo232
    January 1, 1970
    Odd.
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