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1. The Portable Enlightenment Reader
2. Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest
3. Touching Enlightenment: Finding
4. Everyday Enlightenment: The Twelve
5. The Zen of CSS Design: Visual
6. The Enlightenment: A Brief History
7. How to Attain Enlightenment: The
8. Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment
9. Enlightenment for Idiots: A Novel
10. The Path to Enlightenment
11. Passionate Enlightenment
12. Haunted Universe: The True Knowledge
13. The Enlightenment: The Science
14. Atisha's Lamp for the Path to
15. Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy
16. The Rosicrucian Enlightenment
17. Light on Enlightenment
18. Winning Through Enlightenment
19. The Enlightenment and the Intellectual
20. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual

1. The Portable Enlightenment Reader (The Viking Portable Library)
Paperback: 704 Pages (1995-12-01)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$6.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140245669
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, also called the Age of Reason, was so named for an intellectual movement that shook the foundations of Western civilization. In championing radical ideas such as individual liberty and an empirical appraisal of the universe through rational inquiry and natural experience, Enlightenment philosophers in Europe and America planted the seeds for modern liberalism, cultural humanism, science and technology, and laissez-faire Capitalism. This volume brings together works from this era, with more than 100 selections from a range of sources. It includes examples by Kant, Diderot, Voltaire, Newton, Rousseau, Locke, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, and Paine that demonstrate the pervasive impact of Enlightenment views on philosophy and epistemology as well as on political, social, and economic institutions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars OK, so I'm a dilettante - but now a (more) educated one
More than forty years ago, when I was a college undergraduate, I ran across several lists books that were recommended reading for anyone who wanted to be truly educated.Those lists invariably included books such as Rousseau's "The Social Contract," The Federalist Papers, Voltaire's "Candide," and many other writings from the Enlightenment era (as well, of course, as other time periods).I dutifully noted the titles, and, wanting to consider myself an educated person, fully intended to read all of them.

Well now I'm 62, and it's time for me to admit that I'm almost certainly never going to read "The Social Contract."This volume is for me and others like me, who are suffering from the "So Many Books, So Little Time" syndrome.The book contains a broad selection of writings from the major thinkers of the Enlightenment, which the editor defines roughly from the 1680's to the 1790's.

What a marvelous time it must have been to be an intellectual!The barriers erected by the authority of the kings, priests, and classical writers were being shattered.The ability to ask new questions and propose new answers produced an almost intoxicating sense of infinite possibilities for the improvement - even the perfection - of human society.

Some of the pieces in this book will seem hopelessly naive to our modern cynical minds; on the other hand, some of the points being made so excitedly and even belligerently are now taken for granted - and we are likely to read them and say, "What's the big deal?Everyone knows that."And then there are the debates about the most fundamental questions - such as the source of knowledge - that have yet to be resolved, and probably never will be.

If you read this, you will almost certainly get caught up in the excitement of the exploration of the ideas.You will almost certainly have your own thoughts stimulated, and your own opinions challenged.

And you can smugly pretend that you have read Roussseau, Locke, Hume, Kant, and Voltaire - and no one (except real scholars) will be the wiser.

4-0 out of 5 stars A very good introduction and a broad selection
This well organized collection of extracts from Enlightenment Era thinkers is valuable on many levels.This edition does not restrict the reader to a narrow selection of French and English writers (important as they may be); it includes American, German and Italian authors and provides the reader with a sense of the scope of this important era.

The anthology is divided into topical sections and the selections are important because the selected content provides readers with even the very flawed thinking of some of these great minds, particularly on matters of race and women's rights -- issues that later generations would have to tackle.

The introduction is well written too.The Enlightenment Era's optimism was based upon assumptions that have not always proven too true and though the editor is certainly devoted to this great era in philosophy and political progress he is not an iconodule unwilling to present criticism of this era or honestly discuss the shortcomings of the Enlightenment Era.

It is impossible to present a comprehensive understanding of anything when compiling an anthology, but this selection is a good starting point.Readers would do well, and I suspect it is the desire of the editor, to select writers of this era to enjoy in the unabridged editions of their individual works.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good sampling
The Enlightenment was the turning point that created the World as we know it. The transition from the superstition and intolerance of religious dominated society, to the modern educated (at least in theory) democratic, science based lives we enjoy today.

This book is a good collection of examples of the kinds of thinking, and the free expression of those thoughts, that was impossible, and usually fatal in earlier times. Ideas that challenged the established order, and caught on like wildfire in the coffee houses and fraternal lodges where the future leaders of society gathered.

There are more complete and more detailed books available, but for a broad introduction to many of the important sources of the Enlightenment phenomenon, this book is a great start.

2-0 out of 5 stars A disappointing edition
Dr. Kramnick does a disappointing job editing the selections in this volume. I constantly found that they missed key points to the individual papers, which lend a great deal to their meaning. It is always difficult when compiling an abridged reader of this nature. What stays in? What goes out? I recommend skipping this reader, if possible, especially if you are interested in the Enlightenment. Stick with the source documents for the "whole story".

5-0 out of 5 stars FACINATING pure ANDsimple
The Age of Enlightenment, the Rise of Science, the art, and literature of the eighteenth century has always been an interest of mine. So you can imagine how amazed and elated I was when I came across this gold.

It has all the big enlightenment writers such as Voltaire, Diderot, Leibniz, Paine, Addison, Pope, Montesqieu, Franklin and many more. It gives a great run down of the wit, the result of the evolution of thought, politics, society and reason as seen in the words of these great minds.

The only thing that I didn't like about this is that there is no Hobbes, which is only a minor quibble. I just thought that since there is Descates, who is not of the eighteenth century enlightenment (17th century and dryer than dust), but a major influence (like Hobbes was included, Hobbes, who was a major link from Descartes to Locke should be included and the provacative and ENLIGHTENING words from The Leviathan should grace the pages of this indispensible book and yet another superb volume from the Viking Portable Library. ... Read more

2. Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing
by Jed McKenna
Paperback: 322 Pages (2009-11-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$19.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0980184843
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
AUTHOR, TEACHER AND SPIRITUAL MASTER Jed McKenna tells it like it's never been told before. A true American original, Jed succeeds where countless others have failed by reducing this highest of attainments - Spiritual Enlightenment - to the simplest of terms.Effectively demystifying the mystical, Jed astonishes the reader not by adding to the world's collected spiritual wisdom, but by taking the spirituality out of spiritual enlightenment. Never before has this elusive topic been treated in so engaging and accessible a manner.A masterpiece of illuminative writing, Spiritual Enlightenment is mandatory reading for anyone following a spiritual path. Part exposé and part how-to manual, this is the first book to explain why failure seems to be the rule in the search for enlightenment - and how the rule can be broken.Says Jed:The truth is that enlightenment is neither remote nor unattainable.It is closer than your skin and more immediate than your next breath.If we wonder why so few seem able to find that which can never belost, we might recall the child who was looking in the light for a coin he dropped in the dark because "the light is better over here."Mankind has spent ages looking in the light for a coin that awaits us not in light and not in dark, but beyond all opposites. That is the message of this book: Spiritual enlightenment, pure and simple. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (84)

5-0 out of 5 stars Jed McKenna's Enlightenment Trilogy
Jed McKenna is no ordinary author. He has written a trilogy of books that are easy to read and very entertaining, yet at the same time exceptionally profound. These books are nothing short of excellent, in fact they're so spiritually advanced that a lot of people might quite simply not realise what true gems they are.

Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing is the first in the series and announced the arrival of a major new voice in modern spirituality. Jed McKenna pulls no punches, but tells it like it is. It's probably not to everybody's liking, in fact some people might find his approach a bit upsetting, as he obviously seems more interested in truth than making you feel good. The second book is called Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment and is every bit as good as the first one. It contains a very interesting and enlightening in-depth discussion about Herman Melville's book Moby Dick (Wordsworth Classics), as well as more of Jed's hilarious and outrageous experiences and profound insights. The third book, Spiritual Warfare, might well be the best of the three books, and is even more uncompromising and direct than the first two.

Jed McKenna speaks of enlightenment and spiritual awakening, and does so without sugar-coating it. This is not for people who want something nice to play with, something pleasant to doze off to or some new belief or theory to occupy themselves with. Jed McKenna doesn't provide any kind of self-help and offers no tools for self-improvement. It would be more accurate to say that he encourages a complete dismantling of the self, instead of developing or perfecting it. His message is a stark and unforgiving wake-up call, yet it's all written in the most charming and eloquent manner possible. These are spiritual books in the very best meaning of the word. If you are serious about spiritual awakening, you are likely to find the weird, wild and wonderful writings of Jed McKenna truly enlightening.

Pathik Strand, author of All This is That

4-0 out of 5 stars A mirror book
Perhaps this book acts like a mirror where we can see ourselves and thus, we are all experiencing different opinions about it?
Here's what I saw about myself on the mirror:
- Nice to find someone who honestly recognizes that many of the so called spiritual practices don't help you wake up or free yourself but rather make you change seats in the Titanic.With this we might be freeing ourselves from all the unnecessary paraphernalia of the plastic and unreal spirituality.
-Nice to see that someone clever enough to hide an arrogant ego, doesn't even bother to do so, because he doesn't find it necessary, its just a chosen suit.With this we might be freeing our personalities from the rigid prison of a spiritual-ego, the must-do, should-do etc.
-Nice to see someone who claims to be enlightened and yet shows still signs of humanity.With this we might bring the realizations into our bodies allowing them to simply be as they are?
-Nice to read a book where, in spite of my judgments and preconceived ideas, I am still learning out of it.With this I might be freeing myself from the need to prove to myself or others where am I on my path and what is my level of realization and specially what is the level of resistance of my nonexistent ego...
-Above all, I enjoy reading someone who is not afraid of making his audience run away upon touching subjects such as death, suicide, so called negative states or emotions that seem to cause some of the so called new agies, to run away in search of the Ocean of bliss.

Nice liberations!

Jed Mckenna might or might not be what he claims to be, but his books will for sure help you clarify your own views in order to lift the unnecessary weight you carry and set you onto your most direct path to your "final destination".

I found his books refreshing and helping people return to "themselves" with an invitation to wake up.

At last, these books cannot wake us up, nor do they claim so, but within their pages, we can hear loud enough the Alarm Clock.

cuckoo cuckoo...

5-0 out of 5 stars Suspend knee-jerk reactions and you will benefit greatly from this book.
I am incredibly grateful to this book.It has caused me to grow in so many ways.It was the honesty I needed to actually face myself and my myriad of life controlling fears. The universe lead me to this book and I am thankful.

This is a volatile book. If you choose to take a long, hard look at the overall picture McKenna is presenting, it will shake your foundation. It will spur you to question all assumptions about existence.The book's ability to bring about a true audit of your assumptions (regardless of whether you like it or not) is reason enough to make it an extremely beneficial read.

If you have highly cherished beliefs you aren't willing to part with, this book will do no more than make you angry.I assume you are reading up on this because you aren't satisfied with your life.Remember, our minds dictate our reality.If we aren't willing to change our minds our reality won't change either.

Any giant leap in consciousness requires a dramatic rewriting of our internal maps.This is really uncomfortable, and requires a willingness to abandon any concept that shows itself to be no longer useful, no matter how much we may love or value it.In order to benefit from this book you must be willing to let go of preconceived notions.Even if an idea seems crazy, if there may be even a morsel of truth, entertain it for a while without judgment. If it resonates with your gut, internalize that morsel and move forward.If it doesn't, no harm done. Move on.

THE CLINCHER: To exist within the ego is illusion.Judgment is the glue that holds this illusion together.So if your aim is to spiritually expand outside the boundaries of your ego and seek after truth, don't judge anything, especially this book.

If you aren't ready to get very, very uncomfortable, this might not be the book for you.It really is a bit of a billy club.For some people, that is exactly what they need, and for others, it'll just send them scurrying further into their holes.Go with your intuition (not your fear).Do you feel moved to get this book?Then do it.If you don't feel moved, then by all means, pass it up and go find something that does move you.We all have different paths to truth and different timing.This may or may not fit into yours.

If you have no desire to exit the illusion you're living but want to be more joyful and at peace in the experience, or if you just don't want to endure a billy clubbing at this time, a better choice would be McKenna's third book, Spiritual Warfare (the title is misleading).It focuses on living in harmony with the flow of the universe, for a more present and fulfilled experience: AKA - Human Adulthood.I found it to be more practical for the average spiritual seeker, and delightfully insightful in many ways.

IN REGARDS TO READER REACTIONS: For those who want a grittier evaluation and guide.

I understand completely why various reviewers have attacked McKenna's ego.His writing style is completely irreverent and shocking(not to mention hilarious). At first glance it seems very cocky.But I really don't see this as an ego driven book, and here is why: The author's humor style is utterly sarcastic.He makes fun of everything, himself included.He finds existence absurd.If you've watched the show South Park, you may have noticed the writers act out completely absurd story lines as a way of making commentary. You can't take what the characters say as face value for what the writers actually mean. McKenna is the same. His seeming egoistic comments make fun of the ego itself.He says things like "Jed McKenna action figure sold separately," which is an over the top statement that is meant to be so. It pokes fun at our desire to be idolized and to idolize others.When you choose to get riled up and take his humor seriously, you miss the point he is making.He likes stirring up trouble.Don't make it so easy for him ;-)

The word enlightenment is no more than a word that McKenna has used to get his point across.He could have used any word, but he chose this as it is the most misunderstood. People generally think of enlightenment as being abiding truth realization.McKenna points out that what we call enlightenment isn't actually abiding truth realization at all. He makes an important distinction between waking up within the dream (of ego existence), and waking up and exiting the dream altogether.He describes exiting the dream as being actual abiding truth realization.This is something people rarely ever actualize, and for good reason (the dream is fun).Most enlightenment seekers think they want to exit the dream, but what they are actually after is to wake up within it but still be part of it (like when you have a lucid dream).McKenna calls this Human Adulthood.He does not condemn Human Adulthood (and goes far out of his way to encourages it).He simply makes the distinction between the two to help you make an informed decision.

McKenna does not despise those who don't want to choose the path he has followed.In fact, he discourages us from doing so. He's utterly burned out on the illusion, that is why he endeavored to exit it.That tends to bleed into his writing. In one of his imagined talks with Maya, the goddess of illusion, she makes fun of him for his negativity.In his response he clearly concedes that his negativity is silly.He states multiple times that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the dream itself and that it actually is an amazing thing.

If you read this book and start feeling icky, don't just up and ditch.Ego is the tool by which we stay secured nicely within the illusion.Your ego's greatest fear is for you to internalize the understanding that it doesn't actually exist.It will do anything to keep you from internalizing this, seeing as it doesn't want to die (it only exists when you believe in it).When you happen upon a truth that endangers your ego's standing it will create a massive amount of fear and negative responses in order to scare you away.I'm not saying that feeling uncomfortable is always a good thing, but it certainly can be.Don't screen it out just because you don't like the feeling.Doing so will keep you stuck in the harbor.Work through it to see what it can show you.

You've gotta take this guy's style with a certain grain of salt.His shtick is waking people up by shaking them.I call him the grim reaper of enlightenment.He's purposely trying to get people out of their lofty little clouds and give them a reality check, and in doing so he tends to go overbore.His dark, melodramatic interpretation is belied by little stories that are scattered throughout, where he feels grateful and blissful.After reading three of his books it is clear that he has absolutely enjoyed and is thankful for the journey of existing in the form of "Jed", regardless of how it seems. Dark, sarcastic drama is his STYLE.Every human has their own style with something to be gained from it.This happens to be his.

This is the sentiment of many.But seriously, ask yourself: How do you know what an enlightened person acts like?How do you even know what enlightenment (abiding-truth realization, as a permanent state of consciousness) is like?You've never experienced it yourself have you?I haven't.We have no gauge for these things.I'm not sure where we got the idea that those who have realized the truth of the universe have to be nice and quiet and super joyful and peaceful and all loving.There is no rule anywhere that says they must act like that.On the contrary, if you truly realized the illusory nature of existence, it seems reasonable that you may not feel as moved to act like a saint. On the contrary, it may free you up to play with existence however you like (be that loving or not).I realize this isn't a comfortable notion, but as mentioned previously, comfort has little to do with truth.

McKenna seems to contradict himself all the time.But here's the trick: All concepts are based within the illusion.They are only useful in that they can help us understand the gist of truth.They can point us in the right direction. They will always end up contradicting each other in some way because they are inherently flawed.There is no way to describe truth without it sounding like a contradiction, because truth is everything and nothing and that is a contradiction in itself (as far as our dualistic, self-limited, articulating minds are able to comprehend, that is).

This book may depress you. It might put you into a funk for two weeks.It might put you in a funk for 2 years.In the long run, that could be a good thing if it points you in the direction you are wanting to go.If you are actually, truly, really, honest to goodness, swear on your grandmother's grave, gas pedal to the floor serious about finding truth, this is a must read (disregarding the fact that in the universe there are no rules and there is no must).

And with all that talk of doom and gloom, I still recommend it with a resounding and glad, indispensable five stars with thanks to McKenna and the universe.Bring it on.

Hope this info helps!

4-0 out of 5 stars Your spiritual curiosity has lead you to this book.
This is the kind of book that kind of shows up when you're ready for it.I'm sure I had a smirk on my face the whole time I was reading it.The spiritual disclaimer in the first two pages had me hooked.I loved the 'deal-with-it' frankness of Jed McKenna's voice. Virtually everyone with an interest in spiritual enlightenment owes it to themselves to let this information in.The shortest and simplest way to the truth is not what mankind's religions and philosophies have sold us.Jed's not selling anything.And it's not about Jed.It's about the truth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Killing False Beliefs
Hold onto your seat if you chose to read this book.It can be provocative and evocative.

I read Jed McKennas's third book SPIRITUAL WARFARE prior to reading this first book of the trilogy.I couldn't put SPIRITUAL WARFARE
down, and had a similar experience with Damnedest.Mr. McKenna is an engaging writer and his descriptions of "allowing" life to unfold
in the flow rather than listening to the contrived stories of the sly and cunning "egoic mind" is captivating.His question "why aren't more people awakening" inspires those who are "willing" to take their beliefs FURTHER to see if the favored beliefs are actually true?The quotations that he shares in the book are illuminating.The description of how the ego runs our lives is stunning and even a bit scary if you are resonant with Mr. McKenna's journey."Who am I being?" becomes the question when life unfolds.Life begins internally and then manifested externally. The Law of Correspondence reigns.

Websites that might serve as resources after the super luminal experience of reading Jed McKenna's trilogy may be [...] ... Read more

3. Touching Enlightenment: Finding Realization in the Body
by Reginald A. Ray
Hardcover: 395 Pages (2008-01-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$13.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591796180
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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How is it that a person can meditate for five, ten, twenty years or more--and hardlychange? Because they've reduced it to "a mental gymnastic," explains Reggie Ray. In Touching Enlightenment, the esteemed author of five books on Buddhist history and practice guides readers back to the original approach of the Buddha: a systematic process that results in a profound awareness "in our bodies rather than in our heads." Combining the scholarship he's renowned for with original insights from nearly four decades practicing and teaching meditation, Reggie Ray invites readers to explore:* The body as the ideal place for spiritual pilgrimage* How to cultivate imagination, deal with pain, breathe more naturally, and other essential skills* Why "rejected" experience becomes imprinted in the body--and the steps to release it"To be awake, to be enlightened, is to be fully and completely embodied. To be fully embodied means to be at one with who we are, in every respect, including our physical being, our emotions, and the totality of our karmic situation," writes Reggie Ray. Readers everywhere now have a map of unprecedented clarity and power for embarking on the journey toward ultimate realization in and through the body, with Touching Enlightenment. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Changed My Life
This is an easy to read book with a great layout. Everything I read in this book has helped me progress on my path to enlightenment, the meditations are great, a must buy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Reginald Ray has done it again!
This book enables us to escape from the intellectual prison of the cranium, into the rich sensory universe of the body.It has a predominantly "Rolfian or Feldenkras" flavor. I found it to be an intensley fascinating read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Like no other buddhism I've read.
Reggie Ray speaks about meditation practice in a way that I've never quite heard before.He finds ways to put practice into perspective very well.He focuses mostly on his understanding of meditation practice but also puts it into historical reverence of the buddhist tradition.It has definitely been a rethinking of what buddhist practice is for myself after reading this.I highly recommend this to anyone feeling that their own practice has gone stale in any way.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bringing it all back home
I was a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche back in the 1980's.He was, and remains a brilliant and very difficult teacher.Ray has been a senior student of Trungpa since the Tibetan came to the USA in the early 1970s. I wandered for many years in the spiritual wasteland until I saw an interview with Dr. Ray on a website called the Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.What Ray said in that interview rang me like a clapper in a bell.I went to my book shelf and pulled down this book which had been sitting there for 8 months and began reading.If you are interested in meditation and Buddhism, and particular if you are a little stale in your practice, please read this book.It could change your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars a brilliant scholar and meditation teacher
shares a lifetime of experience with us about how we can learn to meditate with real awareness of our bodies to truly effect personal transformation. This is a very important book and we are lucky to have him show us this path. ... Read more

4. Everyday Enlightenment: The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth
by Dan Millman
Paperback: 368 Pages (1999-06-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$5.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446674974
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
On the Journey of Life, Do You Sometimes Wish You Had a Map? You now hold such a map in your hands-a guide through the twelve gateways of personal growth to the summit of your potential. Dan Millman makes your ascent accessible by bringing enlightenment down to earth-applying spiritual wisdom to the practical realities of everyday life. Explore the challenges and mysteries of body, mind, and emotions. Discover a new approach to success. Change confusion into clarity and knowledge into action. It begins as you turn the first page and enter... 1. Discover Your Worth 2. Reclaim Your Will 3. Energize Your Body 4. Manage Your Money 5. Tame Your Mind 6. Trust Your Intuition 7. Accept Your Emotions 8. Face Your Fears 9. Illuminate Your Shadow 10. Embrace Your Sexuality 11. Awaken Your Heart 12. Serve Your World The Time is Now. The Road is Open. Your Destiny Awaits. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Life changing book!
I've read Dan Millman's, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, so I picked up this book. It's the most practical,down-to-Earth manuel for letting go of futile patterns of thinking and moving on toward being a whole and happy person. Very easy to read and broken up in simple, digestable sections. One to hang on to forever(after you loan it to all your friends). Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars awake
Great book, great insights and great revelations. I love all of Dan's books. I believe that he is one of the many modern day prophets.

4-0 out of 5 stars A guide for a better life.
Ireally enjoy this book it has a lot of positive wisdom and a look at life in a higher plane.

5-0 out of 5 stars every day enlightenment the 12 gateways to personal growth
Dan is an amazing man.
I was lucky enough to participate in one of his workshops in alaska 2008.
i love his work and all his books.
fabulous, amazing gr8 work

Everyday Enlightenment: The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth

5-0 out of 5 stars Everyday Enlightenment
I am very impressed with my personal copy and the Men's Group for which I ordered 10 copies for have not met yet. So I can not speak for the Group at this time. I simply say I recommended the book and passed my copy around the Group and they gave the OK to get the 10 Copies for our book study. ... Read more

5. The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web
by Dave Shea, Molly E. Holzschlag
Paperback: 304 Pages (2005-02-27)
list price: US$44.99 -- used & new: US$6.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321303474
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Proving once and for all that standards-compliant design does not equal dull design, this inspiring tome uses examples from the landmark CSS Zen Garden site as the foundation for discussions on how to create beautiful, progressive CSS-based Web sites. By using the Zen Garden sites as examples of how CSS design techniques and approaches can be applied to specific Web challenges, authors Dave Shea and Molly Holzschlag provide an eye-opening look at the range of design methods made possible by CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). By the time you've finished perusing the volume, you'll have a new understanding of thegraphically rich, fully accessible sites that CSS design facilitates. In sections on design, layout, imagery, typography, effects, and themes, Dave and Molly take you through every phase of the design process--from striking a sensible balance between text and graphics to creating eye-popping special effects (no scripting required).

... Read more

Customer Reviews (94)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great CSS insight for novices, ameatures, and intermediates.
Hi, I'm a sophomore who bought this book to help me with my MYP/IB Personal Project (which was to create a website), and it was a GREAT resource! Reading it isn't like reading boring, detailed and dull instructions but more like clear, great, well written and easily comprehensible insight. Shea and Holzschlag has also included snippets of clean CSS that really helps you understand what the ideas are.

I borrowed this book from the library three times before I finally said "screw it", this book has been the most valuable and well-written CSS book I've read to me. I actually learn things and go "OHHHHHHHH" reading this book. I know I will never regret buying this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Zen of CSS desdign
Well written and illustrated concepts and ideas for using CSS in a 'clean' coding environment. Loaded with ways to avoid overly cumbersome and ineffective coding.

2-0 out of 5 stars The same information is available on the web
The basis behind this book is excellent. It takes CSS to another level.

However, you can find all of the information that is here in print on the Internet or specifically on the Zen Garden website itself.

Nothing new here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book!
As a dabbler in HTML for the last ten years, I have heard about CSS and it's many benefits, but had no hands-on experience with it.When I discovered the Zen of CSS site, I knew I had to get the book.It is a beautiful book, both physically and content-wise. There is a lot of effort put into this book and it shows.It melds the technical with the artistic in simple prose.I have learned much already, and would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to ride the wave of CSS in this exciting time of web design!Two thumbs up!- Mark Howell, Round Rock, Texas.

5-0 out of 5 stars great book
Excellent assortment of examples on just how CSS can manipulate HTML.Not only does it teach Css basics and advanced markup, it explores just how versatile CSS really is.A good book for the elements of web design as well as how to. ... Read more

6. The Enlightenment: A Brief History with Documents (The Bedford Series in History and Culture)
by Margaret C. Jacob
Paperback: 237 Pages (2000-10-04)
-- used & new: US$8.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312179979
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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In an unusually diverse collection, Margaret Jacob presents the eighteenth-century movement known as the Enlightenment that forever changed the political, religious, and educational landscape of the day. Selections by some of the period’s most important thinkers include pieces by Locke, Rousseau, Mary Wortley Montagu, Denis Diderot, and Moses Mendelssohn. She covers the movement’s lengthy evolution in a comprehensive introduction, which establishes the issues central to understanding the documents and provides important background on the political and social debates of the period.All documents are preceded by headnotes, and the volume includes a chronology, 14 illustrations, a bibliography, and an index.
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment 101
The Enlightenment: Brief History with Documents (Bedford Series in History and Culture)
This is a brief, but concise, overview of the ideas spawned by the Enlightenment. The author provides documents to illustrate the the ideas of major figures of the enlightenment. The author indicates this book as suitable for a one week course session on the Enlightenment. Here we see the formative ideas of individual freedom, religious tolerance, and government by the will of the people displayed in the various source documents. Not an exhaustive treatment, but an excellent tickler to the study of this most important period in the history of human freedom.

5-0 out of 5 stars A good survey of the Enlightenment
After reading a bunch of these Bedford series in History books for a history class, I have really come to appreciate them.They are all pretty short, smooth reads that give a historical overview of the time, then include selections of documents written during that time related to the topic or whatever.As only having a vague knowledge of such things as the Enlightenment before reading these books my knowledge and understanding of such has been greatly increased, and I feel like the history is pretty well covered for the purpose of simple survey; in any case it's a good way to start learning about the time and point one in the right direction if further interested.I plan on reading a bunch more of these just on some parts of history that I'm rather ignorant about or only partially interested in, just to have a basic idea of the period and place.I particularly enjoyed this book on the Enlightenment simply because it was a really exciting time in history to reflect on and see the variety of new thoughts of new thinkers. ... Read more

7. How to Attain Enlightenment: The Vision of Nonduality (Spirituality Religious Experie)
by James Swartz
Paperback: 317 Pages (2010-02-16)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591810949
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Enlightenment has been eagerly sought for generations as a means to remove the limitations that compromise one's happiness. Vedanta, the science of self-inquiry, has been described as the grandfather of all enlightenment traditions. James Swartz explains and unfolds the methods of Vedanta in his direct style, while unraveling the myths and mysteries behind the enlightened state. But How to Attain Enlightenment does not simply present one more set of spiritual techniques; it presents a comprehensive body of knowledge and practice that has successfully directed the inquiry into the nature of reality by untold thousands of enlightened beings.

The author starts from the point of view of any individual seeking happiness and logically walks the seeker through the whole spiritual path. The book explains how self-inquiry affects the lives of those who practice it, including its effects on personality, relationships, and the mind. How to Attain Enlightenment considers the qualifications necessary for enlightenment, as well as the obstacles encountered on all spiritual paths, and unfolds proven methods. The ancient teachings of Vedanta, once available only to those who could receive them directly from the sages of India, are now accessible to anyone with a hunger for freedom and enlightenment. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is a really good book
This is a really good book on self-inquiry.It is much more practical than many modern advaita books that advocate seekers to "just be" which is equivalent to saying, "Why don't you just be enlightened?"Telling someone to "just be" is not suitable to the vast majority of seekers - it leaves many confused, frustrated and unenlightened.

Swartz details the traditional approach to Vedanta that is time tested and effective.I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Swartz delivers on his promise in the title.
I happened on James Swartz website, [...] and read some of his free material. There is quite a bit of it and well worth reading. Other than this, I had never heard of him, despite having read non-dual books for over forty years. What I read was enough to convince me the book would be good.

This is one of the best books I've ever read on the subject. It brought me to final clarity, and after forty years, that's a lot! This is not new stuff. This is going back to the roots of Advaita Vedanta, explaining it clearly, and then pointing out the tried and true methods of obtaining enlightenment. This is not instant nirvana, this is the real method, the one's yogis practiced for thousands of years.

James explains that this is not a religion, not a philosophy, but a method to reach the truth. As with any method, there is work to be done. I'm not going to say more, except to repeat, this reader has read in this subject are for 40 years, this is one of the clearest, most precise works on the subject I have read. THANK YOU JAMES !!!


4-0 out of 5 stars Lives Up to Its Title
I hesitated on this book at first because of the title but, having read through it once I can say it does deliver on its promise.On going back through and highlighting my original highlights I can see how there are enough gems, and a wide sweep of valuable ideas, to make for an extended and valuable study.

As I began reading the first chapter or two I found myself feeling impatient for the author to "get to the good stuff."Having read it all I can see how the beginnings were laying the groundwork for a patient, in-depth and very thorough exploration and preparation for what is to come--and it does come.I don't feel like anything was held back; it's all right here.

The last chapter explores what the author considers to be some of the shortcomings of "neo-advaita."The critique is thoughtful and insightful, and the body of the book as a whole furnishes enough in-depth background to understand the basis of his point of view.His occasional characterizations of seekers and teachers is delightfully snippy, bringing a smile and an occasional cringe when the snippy approaches the all too familiar.His website, shiningpath.com, is full of very good content as well.I had to explore the whole sitebefore I finally bought the book.

What always used to put me off about yoga and vedanta was the inferred exclusivity of it all,"only for the truly dedicated seeker," etc.And then there was the solace of a possible "payoff" if only one were willing tobe patient for what might be just a few more lifetimes.I just never was a gung-ho "seeker-type."But the inner drawing, on the other hand, the mystery that has sustained my curiosity for all these years, has never diminished.Whatever IT is, I used to think, is certainly already right here, right now.And this eloquent book clearly seems to agree.

"Neo-advaita" has brought the ultimate human issue into the immediate present for many of us, and in a language that westerners can relate to.So personally I really have no criticism of it.But in my opinion, this book provides the missing backstory.If you feel drawn to the promised payoff that the title infers, get this book.I'm sure you'll enjoy it and appreciate how James Swartz has laid it all out so beautifully.Clearly, a lifetime of heart went into this work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great.
Excellent for anybody who has been searching for enlightenment and still doesn't really know what it is. I guess this book could be likened to the ultimate self-help book, as the prize is the end of suffering. Big claims, but anybody who considers themselves semi-intelligent and open-minded can realistically get there. So do I recommend this book? Yes. If you want peace, if you want love, if you want limitlessness, this is what you should buy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A powerful survey any new age library needs
How to Attain Enlightenment: The Vision of Nonduality explains methods of Vedanta in his survey of spiritual techniques, pairing theory with practice and explaining the myths and realities behind an enlightened state. From reflections on moving to a larger living space and clutter to assimilating experiences, How to Attain Enlightenment is a powerful survey any new age library needs.
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8. Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment
by Thaddeus Golas
Hardcover: 112 Pages (2002-08-28)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$31.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 158685190X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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$10.95 cloth hardcover· 1-58685-190-X·August5 x 7 in, 112 pp, Rights: W, Self-Help Originally published by the author in 1972, the underground classic Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment teaches how to improve the quality of life, to feel good, and to determine what's real. Golas leads the reader down the path toward enlightenment with simple steps, like memorizing key phrases and incorporating them into daily life and thought. Think of how much better your life might be if you reminded yourself to "love as much as you can from wherever you are" or "love it the way it is." This classic book is full of useful tips on how to live a more conscious life and to be an engaged and aware member of the universal community. "While we have humility and pride enough to act on the knowledge that we exist in an infinite harmony, that we are neither greater nor lesser than any others, we can enjoy exquisite spiritual wealth and pleasures. When you love yourself, you are in truth expanding in love into many other things. And the more loving you are, the more loving the beings within and around you. On all levels we are mutually dependent vibrations. Play a happy tune and happy dancers will join your trip."

- From The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment After serving in World War II, author Thaddeus Golas graduated from Columbia College in New York. He later moved to San Francisco, where he became involved in the activism and spiritual quests of the 1960s. He was an editor of Redbook magazine and a book representative for publisher Harper and Row. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (63)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cuts to the Chase
This little gem is like a laser light, cutting through the fog. No attempt to manipulate your thinking or build some kind of fancy 'program' for you to accomplish or anything like that. A simple description of the Universe.It's only 80 pages long, but you don't even have to read that far; he states the whole thing in one paragraph near the beginning of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is based on the author's use of LSD
I put that title in because one reviewer felt ripped off after buying the book only later to discover that the book is at least in part, written as a guide to get you out of a bad lsd trip. The author clearly states in the book that psychedelics are ONE way to follow a path towards enlightenment.

Of course many Buddhists and religious types would disagree. But as Golas says "Enlightenment doesn't care how you get there" or something to that effect.

I bought this book, indeed, while I was experimenting with lds in the 70's and it did indeed set me on the path towards spiritual enlightenment. I have since read many books on enlightenment and of all of them, this is the simplest and most basic, while also being "right".
(I also am a big fan of Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now".)

This is a classic and it is a shame it's out of print.

Get a used copy. Even if you have to pay $20-30, it's worth it, especially if you plan to blaze a trail down the well-traveled but full-of-surprises and pitfalls path of psychedelic exploration.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the top 10 spiritual books you must read!
Golas wrote this book during the psychadelic hippie era with the goal of providing something helpful to read when you're "stuck in a weird place."It's a short work, and you can get through it under an hour, which is why you'll be inclined to re-read at least one more time. Golas masterfully consolidates his ideas about enlightenment, freedom, reality, resistance and love into ten power-packed chapters that will leave you wanting to read more. He asks us to consider the REAL question:"If you are a completely free and self-determined being, how did you lock yourself into a body and play games on the material plane? How did you get yourself and others to agree to this game?"

Golas explains that we are all completely equal. Every being is self-determined and chooses to experience life at a certain vibration level.We cannot change anyone else's vibration level, and we are not obligated to change anyone else's vibration level.Even more, we cannot hurt or help others without their agreement "to play the game," and likewise, no one can help or hurt us without our agreement. He reminds us there are many paths to enlightenment but he advocates taking the easiest path, the one that's available to everyone, which is love."Go beyond reason to love -- it is safe.It is the only safety.Love all you can, and when you are ready all will be shown to you."

5-0 out of 5 stars More useful advice on life in less space than any book I've ever read
I spent most of the 80s and 90s reading every spiritual text, Bible, Gita, Koran, etc etc I could find. This one says more with fewer words than any other holy book I know of. Golas proves that there are many routes to enlightenment and peace of mind, and his pithy ability to condense history's wisdom into less than 100 pages is truly legendary.

The end page, Even Lazier, has a few sentences that will remind you what really matters when you need it most. For instance, "What do you think it is that needs to be loved?", a perfect answer to every time you struggle with negativity in any form. The ultimate reminder is "No resistance". Once you read this book--takes an hour or two max, and is a lot of fun--you'll know how deep those two words really are.

No new age book yet has come close to the concision and relaxed optimism of the Lazy Man's Guide.

Not bad for a broke head writing in a Berkeley hotel in the late 60s.
But then, old JC was a nutty freak too, wasn't he?

Blessings and much love, Mr. Golas.
May you expand forever.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment
I was terribly disappointed to come across this preface-laden edition - complete with family photographs - of a little book that I had kept at my side constantly for many years. Blew a lot of my illusions. This guy really did seem to think he's someone special for writing it, whereas in fact it's so obviously channeled, and in channelled works you'd usually rather the writer remained as anonymous as possible. Thaddues Golas, the author, proceeds to treat the book almost as a kind of holy text (which it isn't) and rambles on, by way of introduction, for a number of extra redundant pages in the slightly pompous and loopy epigramic prose style which we accept as an integral part of the Guide itself, but don't therefore necessarily condone as a good or even consistent example of mainstream thinking. Golas seems to harbor that illusion, and appears really to have a guru-complex of sorts. The book itself, though, remains perfect in its way. Pity he couldn't have just left it in it's perfection, and stayed back in the wings paring his fingernails,and cashing in his royalty checks.
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9. Enlightenment for Idiots: A Novel
by Anne Cushman
Paperback: 384 Pages (2009-07-07)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$7.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 030738165X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A yoga teacher finds new life in India–just not the one she was expecting.

Nearing thirty, Amanda thought she’d be someone else by now. Instead, she’s an ex-nanny yogini-wannabe who cranks out “For Idiots” travel guides. True, she has a sexy photographer boyfriend, but he’s usually off shooting a dogsled race in Alaska or a vision quest in Peru–or just hooking up with other girls. However, she’s sure her new assignment to the ashrams of India will change everything.

What she finds, though, is an ashram run by investment bankers, a model-obsessed guru, tantra parties, and silent retreats. India, it turns out, is not the spiritual refuge she’d pictured. But when a wandering mystic offers her an enigmatic blessing, Amanda realizes a new life may be in store for her after all. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars awesome
Very entertaining and well written from the beginning to the end! Cushman is funny and serious in a very balanced and appropriate way. The ending contains a little bit of an unneccessary spoiler, a detail that does not seem to quite fit, but no big deal.

The people I gave the book to so far loved it too.

3-0 out of 5 stars typos galore
I was so excited to read this book and have borrowed it from the local library. I'm loving the content and excited to see where the story goes but honestly, it's FULL of errors. It's driving me crazy trying to read a book only to come across glaring mistakes at least every once a chapter. If you can see past all the mistakes, it's not a bad book. I feel bad for Anne Cushman for the lousy job her editor/publisher did on this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A lightly substantial novel about enlightenment
I'm always interested in the ways people put in-depth knowledge to work in fiction. I picked up Enlightenment for Idiots because I was curious about what someone who knows enough about yoga to have experience as an editor at Yoga Journal would write in the way of a novel.

Anne Cushman does a fine job of grounding this work in the various types of yoga, playing off that foundation, but it was her publishing-specific details that had me reading out loud to my daughter.

The premise is that Amanda, a freelance writer in need of cash (a redundant statement, I know), takes on an assignment to produce, on deadline and as part of a series, a book called Enlightenment for Idiots. (Cushman herself wrote a nonfiction book called From Here to Nirvana.)

Amanda heads off to India, looking for personal direction and enough enlightenment to pull off her assignment. While there, she gets e-mail notes from her editor.

Here's what the editor writes shortly after Amanda arrives in India:

From: Maxine@bigdaybooks.com
To: Amandala@yahoo.com

Amanda, Production is pressing me about art and design so I'm hoping I can get some sample chapters from you soon. If you haven't found enlightenment yet just leave that part blank, we'll dummy something in until you get it.

And, later on:

From: Maxine@bigdaybooks.com
To: Amandala@yahoo.com

Interesting story in the Times today about yoga teachers trademarking the names of certain yoga postures. Very foresightful of them. I suppose "yoga" was taken centuries ago, but any way we can lock up the word "enlightenment"? Please look into it.

Except that the last sentence would have gone to the publisher's legal department rather than the author, this is bizarrely too close to reality for comfort these days.

Enlightenment for Idiots has a chick-lit-style cover and many characteristics of that genre, with more depth than is common in that (ouch) marketing segment. Cushman manages to explore the topic of enlightenment in a variety of ways throughout the text. As she says in an interview about the book, "I've always been interested, in my writing, in exploring the intersection between the lofty ideals of spiritual practice and the way those ideals actually play out in our flawed but beautiful human lives. I'm particularly interested in the experiences of contemporary Western women as we practice these paths that were designed primarily by and for celibate Eastern men."

The plotting tends to be too orderly in some ways (characters show up at just the right times, and so on), but it was an entertaining (amusing but not fluffy) read.

Great for the current circumstances of overwork and need for a bit of thoughtful escape.

Speaking of specialized knowledge, there's a story about hemp near the end of Enlightenment for Idiots that does not ring true to a textile worker. The story is offered as a sort of parable, and I expect it's repeated frequently within some communities of spiritual seekers. It refers to the use of the plant's roots to make rope (p. 339), and that fact is a pivotal component of the brief story. Because hemp is a bast fiber, the parts that are useful for textiles (including rope) come from the stalk, not the roots... The story thus works in its context, but doesn't connect to the reality of fiber production.

by Deborah Robson
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women

4-0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
I am on a quest to read all things yoga and pilates.What I particularly like are novels that feature yoga and the inner workings of this spiritual journey.

I found this in the absolutely delightful and perfectly titled book 'Enlightenment for Idiots' written by Anne Cushman.

First off, it is obvious that Cushman has extremely good firsthand knowledge of the subject matter.

She has created, in her main character, Amanda - a funny, flawed and perfect heroine.

As the book opens, we find Amanda sitting in as a 'sub'.The descriptions of Amanda's thoughts as well as the yoga studio (both are entertwined) immediately made me love this novel.

I particularly loved that Amanda is not one of those perfectly, perky, sage yogis....she is an average person, who happens to enjoy yoga, but al the while trying to find some serenity and a level of calm in a very chaotic world.

As the book progresses, we find out that Amanda is a writer and has, by pure chance, happened upon the opportunity of visiting India and writing about 'all that spiritual stuff' before its too late (according to Amanda's editor who is clearly clueless about what yoga, India and inner peace is all about.

The book details Amanda's arrival in India and then goes on to wonderfully describe Amanda's spiritual and emotional growth (two steps front, one step back).We can actually see the progression Amanda is making - particularly when she will get hit by a major surprise that will make her question everything around her.

I really enjoyed the writing style - the author uses humor and dry wit and it works very well.

You will want to go out and discover India or, at the very least, try downward dog at least once.

I highly suggest this great read.The only little thing I hated was that this book was hardcover - this book should have been published in trade paperback - much easier to tote around.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining and Moving Journey
I fell in love with the character Amanda right away.Her challenges and struggles are vividly real and easy to identify with.Her travels through India read like the best travel journal.This book inspired me to look into trying yoga and read up on some Eastern religious thought.The book made me laugh, made me contemplative, and made me cringe (in a good way) all on numerous occasions.I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to many. ... Read more

10. The Path to Enlightenment
by Dalai Lama
Paperback: 238 Pages (1994-12-25)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$10.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559390328
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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One of the most accessible introductions to Tibetan Buddhism ever published. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars A tough read
I worked my way through this book out of personal commitment to the Dalai Lama and his ideals. No doubt a profoundly insightful teaching, it was a bit too esoteric for me. If you already know a lot about Buddhism, you may be able to make your way through this book easier than I.

5-0 out of 5 stars So much to take in but worth the effort
Great book for those interested in Buddhism. I have just started getting involved in Buddhism and this book is a great asset. Do not think you will read or listen to it just once. You will continue to pour over this book and each time get more knowledge out if.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Path to Enlightenment
For the last forty years, the Tibetan government has been exiled in India. In 1959 the new Communist Chinese government forced the non-violent Tibetan Buddhist government, lead by the fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, to flee the land in preparation to overtake the Tibetan people. In his years in exile the Dalai Lama has written literature on the Tibetan Buddhist way of life, not only to attract the Buddhist population but the world's religions. This life is one of clarity, love, and good deeds. Path to Enlightenment, which is a commentary on the third Dalai Lama's Essence of Refined Gold, gives spiritual advice through the eyes of Buddhist over a span of many years, defining the life of a Tibetan Buddhist. The writing of Tenzin Gyatso and Sonam Gyatso together is showing us Buddha's principal on the path to enlightenment. ALong with defining the Lam Rim, which are the stages on the spiritual path. His holiness described the difficulty of attaining Nirvana(full Buddhahood), but urges determination. Path to Enlightenment makes one aware of the steps that must be taken in advance for the true inner peace., while giving up the expectation of a quick fix to a problem. The Dalai Lama explains how to cultivate a person's own meditative concentration, to give the mind a clear state. A person has to train their mind to discipline themselves, but enlightenment is feasible by any human being.

5-0 out of 5 stars His Holiness
His Holiness is truly amazing, and his thoughts truly profound.Within the pages of this text you can explore the depths of your consciousness, and end up seeing the world and oneself in a totally new light. Trulyamazing ... Read more

11. Passionate Enlightenment
by Miranda Shaw
Paperback: 307 Pages (1995-09-18)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$19.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0691010900
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The crowning cultural achievement of medieval India, Tantric Buddhism is known in the West primarily for the sexual practices of its adherents, who strive to transform erotic passion into spiritual ecstasy. Historians of religion have long held that the enlightenment thus attempted was for men only, and that women in the movement were at best marginal and subordinated and at worst degraded and exploited. Miranda Shaw argues to the contrary, presenting extensive new evidence of the outspoken and independent female founders of the Tantric movement and their creative role in shaping its distinctive vision of gender relations and sacred sexuality. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars outstanding scholarship, very substantial teachings, spiritually tuned-in-- an amazing book
This book is amazing. Shaw describes the content of the Tantric texts starting from an awareness of women's full participation in creating Tantric buddhism as a religious system. She reads the texts through the eyes of who the participants in Tantra really were and uncovers a ton of material about visualization practices, gender relations, enlightenment, and relationships between men and women. She is very sensitive to the interplay between religious texts, awareness practices, and social realities and really talks about Tantra as a religious construction meant to bring awareness within a particular social setting (a setting which is not that unfamiliar in certain tragic respects-- ie patriarchy). It was extremely satisfying to be introduced to the concept of "dakinis" with as much depth and poetry as she brings to her discussion.

I used a lot of the images and text in her book to do my own visualizations, with very powerful results in my own life. I think these Tantric buddhists are really on to something.

I am in a feminist episcopal community and a lot of her discussion about the way the metaphysics and theology of Tantra supported female enlightenment and full participation by women in this religious community, in a context of patriarchy, was illuminating. I can see in our own Christian community many of the dynamics she describes and this book helped shed light on various strategies for engaging those dynamics.

Much respect for the proud and fierce women who created the dakini images of Tantra-- and much respect for Miranda Shaw for writing with such depth and passion about such an important religious accomplishment. The level of commitment that was required to write a book with this kind of substance is amazing to contemplate. Thank you Dr. Shaw for bringing the fruits of your research to light, for the benefit of others.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best book I have read on the subject
Many of the books I have read on Tantra are basically garbage.This one, however, is that jewel that makes it worth while sifting through the garbage.It is well written, well researched, and can be understood by westerners.I highly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars well researched and essential reading
This study by Miranda Shaw is a must for everyone trult interested in the finer aspects of Tantric Buddhism. The author thoroughly explores the role of women in the development of vajrayana and comes to the justified conclusion that women's role has been much greater than is usually admitted by both Tibetan AND Western scholars. Rufus C. Camphausen ... Read more

12. Haunted Universe: The True Knowledge of Enlightenment, Revised Edition
by Steven Norquist
Paperback: 200 Pages (2010-05-14)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1452859663
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"NEWLY REVISED EDITION" Haunted Universe is a journey into dark realms, an uncompromising presentation of the real cost of Awakening. Where other books have promised that the path to Enlightenment is one of joy, bliss and self discovery, this book makes no such claims. Haunted Universe does not attempt to gloss over, but actually emphasizes what those who embark on the path of Enlightenment must face about themselves and their lives before they dare make an incautious leap into a state that demands a confrontation with humanity's greatest fear-the loss of self. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

1-0 out of 5 stars NO STARS
This book is not what you want to buy. The front cover is cool and the back cover reads interestingly enough. The problem is that there is nothing in between. Literally, there are pages that have one word on them.I'm telling you, this book is just for profit, a rip off.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Dragon and The Void
Haunted Universe is a manual.A precise manual to the most important thing we can ever know - that we do not exist nor have we ever existed.There is no one writing this review.No one wrote Haunted Universe.It was spoken from the lips of the Dragon, utterances from the black Void that is the Universe.The Void that we constantly deceive ourselves from everyday of our nightmarish lives.

These utterances will rip your ego to shreds; the Dragon will awaken and burn it all to fiery ash.Leaving a charred husk remaining. An empty undead shell - a zombie, a vampire.But Ultimate Truth will be known.Follow this manual to the letter, read and re-read and all questions will indeed be answered.

The style is quick, confrontational, and brutal.Just like the Dragon.But it is efficient at what it does and always gets its way.Awaken the Dragon at your peril.

5-0 out of 5 stars rocket fuel to nitroglycerine
Written on Saturday, May 29, 2010
Flushing, Ohio

I was reading Haunted Universe: The True Knowledge of Enlightenment (revised edition), by Steven Norquist, for the second time when I called a friend, spoke for about ten minutes, then then hung up.I put Norquist's new book in a box addressed to my friend and drove to my village post office before it closed today.My friend is in Delaware and should get it by the middle of next week, I hope.

I read Norquist's original version of Haunted Universe last year and thought he was pointing at the most primal, fundamental subject.I recommended Haunted to a few of my friends on the path who I thought were 'ripe' or gone enough.

In this current revised edition, I notice its significantly diminished size and am struck by a certain distillation.What had been rocket fuel was now nitroglycerine.

I was grateful to have Norquist's new edition when my friend on his ultimate path needed, I thought, to hear an ultimate bell.I told my friend to just read.If someone can come to this book empty handed, as Norquist challenges the reader in his introduction, I believe they're damn lucky--to be able to consider something uninhibited by personal bias and to have the fortune to run across Norquist's newest version of his book.

Tiny bells tinkle flatly and great big cracked ones clang off-tones in this haunted place called living.When a gong of pure direction sounds true and loud... I just hope that someone is standing in the woods, near enough, to hear it.

I think you should open Haunted Universe, the revised edition, without caring about being right or wrong.As my Delaware friend turns past the cover page, and encounters each of the silent pages thereafter, I hope that he may dissolve into something larger than the universe and himself.

David Weimer
Co-Editor of the TAT Forum

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment Dudes Video Review of "Haunted Universe"
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R2ED9JFER5D13Z This is just a short review of this book we created for our blog

if you liked it, please click "yes" under this amazon video review next to "Was this review helpful to you?"


Jim Ravenscroft

2-0 out of 5 stars The "Jackson Pollock" of Enlightment
A number of readers might be familiar with the random like style of Jackson Pollock, his painting "technique" having consisted of merely tossing the dripping contents of the paintbrush onto the blank canvas and it would yield whatever it was supposed to yield.

This book is to me in that style.For some(as it clearly evident among most of the reviewers here)that can "resonate" well and one would presumably have to be in the right frame of mind for that to happen.For me, however, there was no such reaction, just my perception of the free verse like utterances/observations about the essence of the "haunted universe" we inhabit. ... Read more

13. The Enlightenment: The Science of Freedom
by Peter Gay
Paperback: 744 Pages (1996-02-17)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$14.03
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Asin: 0393313662
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The second volume of Peter Gay's in-depth studyof the dawn of the modern world—the Age ofReason.The Science of Freedom completes Peter Gay's brilliant reinterpretation begun in The Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism. In the present book, he describes the philosophes' program and their views of society. His masterful appraisal opens a new range of insights into the Enlightenment's critical method and its humane and libertarian vision. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment.
I picked up a copy of Peter Gay's Enlightenment as a discard from our public library. It was a terrific book, but I noticed it was "Volume 1." So I had to go to Amazon to find volume 2 (They are not labeled as volume 1 or 2, they have different subtitles.) It, too was fine, better than fine. This is history writing at its best - great accomplishment for Peter Gay.


4-0 out of 5 stars Peter Gay knows that the enlightenment is not infallible, like many modernists belive
As is said in my review of the first volume of this work, "The Enlightenment:The Rise of Modern Paganism," the most endearing quality of the present book is that Professor Gay is unafraid to admit the inadequcies of the enlightenment thinkers and theories,while in general agreeing with them.Few other enlightenment dogmatists do the same.

I'm glad that Gay exposed the radical and foundational philosophe Voltaire as anti-semitic, while the more centrist enlightener, Montesquieu, a philo-semite. p, 38. On p. 61, Gay exposes Voltaire and Diderot as cultural snobs, which their descendants continue to be.

Dissapointingly, Gay on p. 125 refers to the barbarism of the [medieval] schools, but offers no proof, and thus is engaged in mere name-calling.Gay generously admits that Isaac Newton, Euler, Priestly were believers in at least the argument from design, but contemporary hubris-filled thinkers think that they are smarter than Newton and company.

On pp. 169-70, Diderot is quoted as saying the human heart is alternatingly a sanctuary and a sewer, which is a fine summary of the Christian doctrine of original sin, which the philosophes fought like Cervantes fought the windmills.

Many liberals consider themselves compassionate toward the less fortunate, but on p. 517, Gay mentions "...the suberb sneer that most of the philosophes directed, most of them at their less fortunate fellow beings." This is confirmed in our day, with the very low rate of leftist giving to charity, compared to 'kindler, gentler' conservatives.Even Immanuel Kant, the last of the philosophes, described "the people" as vacillating, emotionally unreliable, unjust, cruel and fanatical." p. 521

In conclusion, I cite Gay as staing (178) "As i have noted before, like other revolutionaries, the philosophes were anything but just to their adversaries or their ancestors."

This trend continues in the writings of the enlightenment-reductionists to the present time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Breaking the "sacred circle"
Before I read The Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Paganism and The Enlightenment: The Science of Freedom by Peter Gay, I had no idea that one could study the history of intellectual thought, even though I had read and studied almost all of the authors he discusses in detail in these seminal books.

Gay argues that there was in fact an Enlightenment (an issue hotly debated during my college years). The essential elements -- convergent rationalism, critical skepticism and anticlericalism -- created modern Western thought. Gay writes brilliantly, with great clarity, and his analyses of ancient and modern thinkers provided me with a number of important insights that my teachers and I had missed when reading the originals. Gay's bibliography is particularly illuminating.

Gay discusses the Greek and Roman philosophers in his first volume, and argues that thinkers of the Enlightment agreed wholeheartedly with Gibbons:

"If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world, during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus."

At the same time, Gay is blunt in his judgments:

"History has been far from gentle with its hopes and predictions. The world has not turned out the way the philosophers wished, and half expected it would. Old fanaticisms have been more intractable, irrational forces more inventive than the philosophers were ready to conjecture.... Problems of race, of class of nationalism, or boredom and despair in the midst of plenty have emerged, almost in defiance of the philosopher's philosophy. We have known horrors, and may know horrors, that the men of the Enlightenment, did not see in their nightmares."

Gay does not, however, trace out the consequences of these philosophies but instead focuses on the study of the ideas themselves, and in particular the revolt of the philosophers against Chrisitanity and their return to classical (i.e. pagan) and secular thought.

Gay communicates the sense of excitement the men of the Enlightenment shared, a sense of adventure and daring. They were aware they were breaking with a thousand year old tradition with a great deal at stake.

I wished Gay had covered more ground in these two volumes; his modern Enlightment is limited to England, France and Germany in large measure, and ignores some intellectual leaders even in those countries like Gustavus of Sweden and Joseph of the Holy Roman Empire. In particular I would have liked to read his analysis of how the Enlightenment played out in the American colonies.

Nevertheless, this a splendid history, beautifully written, a truly exciting intellectual journey.

2009 Addendum

Peter Gay has been an important intellectual historian during my adult reading life. His "Enlightenment" reinforced and greatly enhanced my two years in college participating in the Integrated Liberal Studies program.

In the 1980s I was fascinated by Freud: A Life for Our Time, which was based primarily on original sources.

In the 1990s I browsed with great pleasure (but never studied seriously his five-volume "The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud."

I found his memoir, My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin, compelling and enlightening, and browsed with pleasure through Modernism: The Lure of Heresy, a survey of modernism in prose and poetry, music and dance, architecture and design, drama and the movies.

I feel very lucky to have had access to his works over these many years.

Robert C. Ross 1970 2009

Note: One of twelve NY Times "Editors' Choice" books for 1969; see first Comment.

5-0 out of 5 stars a classic book on the enlightenment!
I have the desire to have the book translated into Chinese!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most brilliant account of the Enlightenment
The Enlightenment by Peter Gay (2 volumes: The Rise of Modern Paganism and The Science of Freedom) surely ranks among the most brilliant accounts of eighteenth-century philosophy ever written. It is a sweeping account of the intellectual history of the 18th century, form its origins right into theFrench and American Revolutions. It traces the struggle of the small cliqueof 'philosophes' -a dispersed group of intellectual giants such asVoltaire, Hume, Lessing and Beccaria- as they fight against corruption,superstition and ignorance, which has kept Europe slumbering since thedemise of the Roman Empire. The book vividly illustrates the ideas of the'philosophes' and how they wanted to bring their reform programs intopractice, and thereby spread the ideals of liberty and the pursuit ofknowledge. Peter Gay deftly describes the cultural background of the'philosophes' and explains how they came to challenge the establishment inorder to bringing about these much needed changes so as to give theirideals a chance to prevail. The book has an extensive and well-readablebibliography with many good suggestions. This account of the Enlightenmentis among the best ever written in the twentieth century, along with PaulHazard's European Thought in the 18th century and Ernst Cassirer's ThePhilosophy of the Enlightenment. I do recommend all to read both volumes ofthis book. ... Read more

14. Atisha's Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment
by Geshe Sonam Rinchen
Paperback: 215 Pages (1997-09-25)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$9.49
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Asin: 1559390824
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The famous source of the graduated teachings on the path to enlightenment found in all schools of Tibetan Buddhism ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars isn't simple, but important...
This book isn't simple, but this kind of informations thats a few years to familiarize.

5-0 out of 5 stars a master speaks
i had to write a reply to the comment that this is not a well written or inspiring book. geshe sonam rinchen was hand picked by the dalai lama to teach bhuddism in his adopted home dhramsala. when i met him theyre i decided to stay and studied this text for about a month, it is the reason i now practice budhissm and found him to be the most funny, wise ,compassionate teacher one could hope for. i dont think you need personal expereince of him to understand from this book the immense wisdom contained within, this is one of he most important books on tibeten bhuddhism ever written, the commentry brings it to life and the translation by ruth sonam is exteriodanry as they have been working together for 25 years, i cant recomend this text enough. read it on the tube today and it instantley inspired me

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the foundation of the lam.rim literature
This book by Atisha, or commentary, is the prototype of all other forthcoming Tibetan lam.rim (stages of the path to enlightenment) literature by Je Tsongkhapa (Lamrim chenmo), Pahbonka Rinpoche, and others.Actually, Je Tsongkhapa requested for blessings from Atisha to compose hisLamrim Chenmo.

Maybe the translation or the style is not applicable forsome readers, but it's important to notice that without Atisha's text, thewhole lam.rim literature from Tibet would most likely not have happened inthe big scale as it did. --Kent

3-0 out of 5 stars A dull translation and commentary on this seminal text.
The most basic texts of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition, "lamrim" texts, cover all the stages of the path to enlightenment. They all trace their origin to this text by Atisha. I have long been attracted to thelamrim tradition, and have read a number of modern renditions. I purchasedand read this book hoping to glean something extra or some special insightfrom a translation and commentary on the original source text of this wholetradition. I was disappointed.I doubt it is Atisha's lack of clarity thatmakes this book, and even his own verses, so uninspiring, so humdrumactually. Perhaps later exponents like Je Tsongkhapa and Je Pabongkhapareally did improve upon the original, and having read their works this oneseems superfluous, but that has not typically been my experience in thisfield. I think that the authors, while they have done a great service inbringing this work to the English language, have not translated norcommented upon this work in a way that makes for compelling or eveninteresting reading. By its very history alone, this should be a book Irefer to frequently, but I have never looked again at it even once since Iread it a year ago, and that seems sad to me. ... Read more

15. Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750
by Jonathan I. Israel
Paperback: 832 Pages (2002-09-12)
list price: US$49.99 -- used & new: US$35.67
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Asin: 0199254567
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In the wake of the Scientific Revolution, the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw the complete demolition of traditional structures of authority, scientific thought, and belief by the new philosophy and the philosophes, including Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau. The Radical Enlightenment played a part in this revolutionary process, which effectively overthrew all justification for monarchy, aristocracy, and ecclesiastical power, as well as man's dominance over woman, theological dominance of education, and slavery. Despite the present day interest in the revolutions of the eighteenth century, the origins and rise of the Radical Enlightenment have received limited scholarly attention. The greatest obstacle to the movement finding its proper place in modern historical writing is its international scope: the Racial Enlightenment was not French, British, German, Italian, Jewish or Dutch, but all of these at the same time. In this wide-ranging volume, Jonathan Israel offers a novel interpretation of the Radical Enlightenment down to La Mettie and Diderot, two of its key exponents. Particular emphasis is placed on the pivotal role of Spinoza and the widespread underground international philosophical movement known before 1750 as Spinozism. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Spinoza, point and lines
I only wanted to add to some of the remarks present and give kudos for this work but not enter a whole review (for which my qualifications would be limited to "having read this book once over twelve nights five days ago"). First, this is a history of ideas and it is very strong on the context and relations of ideas and their authors. Most powerful to me was the chapter on censorship ("Censorship and Culture"); "Publishing a Banned Philosophy" also provided delights. Both chapters emphasize the stakes involved in the transmission of ideas and the willingness of those on fire for ideas to lose everything and suffer miserable incarcerations for their sake. Terse sentences on the abject circumstances at death of pamphlet writers and publishers abound. I do not believe that at present our technologies or incorporated venues of discourse can liberate or inform or provoke citizens as efficiently or effectively as these old school machinations.

Perhaps because there are those who do not feel intellectual history or the history of ideas is real history, Israel is methodical and thorough in his presentation. The Dutch come in as heroes, the French as patrons of transmission and censorship alike. The bit-parts played by individuals in provincial cities also loom large. I have grown passionate toward large sections of this book. The chapter called "Women, Philosophy, and Sexuality" is of great interest and it is a slight disappointment that more is not made of the radicalism of Spinoza's ideas employed in behalf of women throughout Europe at this time. Alas, no book can be all things to all people, so this book stands proudly as a Spinoza book, and one that enlarges the period (and locales) of Enlightenment for study and one that places books, publishers, individuals, rulers and confessions (not salons and philosophes) at the heart of the turbulence of this time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read
In this impressive first instalment of his planned trilogy, Jonathan Israel champions the case of Spinoza as being of pivotal importance in the early Enlightenment. With elegance and wit, Israel tells an engrossing story of the rise of radical thought in Europe, notably in the Low Countries. The destiny of these early defiant writers is sometimes pitiful. While not burned at the stake, they were more often than not thrown in prison; in the case of Koerbagh even denied access to pen and paper and subsequently never heard of again.
Rightly or wrongly, Israel has been criticized for the all-important influence he ascribes to Spinoza. Throughout the book he's described as the foremost enemy and sharpest, as well as most dangerous, critic of the ecclesiastical authorities. A staunch defender of freedom of speech, denier of a providential God and the deity of Jesus, as well as the possibility of miracles occurring, Spinoza is in many respects also atruly modern philosopher. In The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes's Leviathan, Edwin Curley says that Israel is right about Spinoza's importance, but wrong in denying Hobbes an equally central role. Curley claims that Israel has subsequently modified his reading of Hobbes (p. 329). In his The Riddle of Hume's Treatise, Paul Russel likewise avers that it is important not to underestimate the importance and influence of Hobbes (p.312). Be that as it may, Spinoza was in his time, and afterwards, often referred to as a most pernicious heretic. Widely regarded as an atheist, he nevertheless managed to avoid imprisonment during his short lifespan. The fact that he, unlike Koerbagh, wrote in Latin played a part in this. To be sure, his books were often confiscated, but the charges of irreligion were perhaps not so straightforward to make. Spinoza's equation of God with nature was of course blasphemous, but apparently still ambiguous enough. The secular authorities also often dragged their feet. In 1674, just three years before his death, the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus was formally banned. Still, it is a myth that Spinoza's Tractatus ever circulated freely (Israel, p 276).
Zeev Sternhell thinks that Radical Enlightenment in no way lives up to its subtitle, Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750, but is really about Spinoza (The Anti-Enlightenment, p. 471). This may be so, but Israel nevertheless covers every nook and cranny of the Continent, from the relative backwaters of the Iberian Peninsula to frosty Scandinavia and the Baltic. The reader can for example follow all the ins and outs of Swedish early Enlightenment, set off by the infamous invitation of Descartes to Queen Christina's court. In his entertaining Descartes' Bones - A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason, Russell Shorto relates the peregrinations of Descartes (and later his skull). He also unwittingly calls Spinoza the "intellectual godfather" of Israel's Radical Enlightenment...
Whether you agree or not with Israel's separation of a radical Enlightenment and a moderate one, there's no denying the clarity and force of his argumentation. How best to perceive "the Enlightenment" is, of course, a matter on controversy. Was it an essentially British or French affair, or could it perhaps rather be viewed as a family of Enlightenments? To be sure, Israel stresses the importance of, and sympathizes with, the early radical wing. But by defending the idea of a single European Enlightenment which was "most emphatically not inspired by any single nation, be it France, England or the Netherlands," he accentuates the importance of viewing the "ebb and flow of ideas" within a broad European context (Israel, p. 141).
A rare combination of erudition and style makes this book eminently readable as well as intellectually challenging. One can only hope that the third and concluding volume will be just as captivating.

4-0 out of 5 stars atheorum notstra aetate princeps
This is a book for historians and for lay-people who are willing to work for their intellectual meat; this volume(out of two or three volumes) includes some 800 medium-large pages in a medium-small font. Jonathan Israel's robust erudition and relentless scholarship are a pleasure to experience. The breadth and especially the depth of the research overwhelmingly challenge the accepted history of the Enlightenment and prove the dominating role of Spinoza's thoughts across Europe in the first century of the Enlightenment.It appears that Professor Israel has read and collated "everything", including obscure manuscripts many languages (Latin, French, Dutch, German, Italian, Spanish,Portuguese, Danish and Swedish). This book shows the difference between real scholarship and simple point-scoring typical of superficial popular histories, such as Charles van Doren's "History of Knowledge", where Spinoza is sloughed off in a single scoffing sentence.

Israel's other thesis, that the radical Enlightenment was a pan-European phenomenon, is demonstrated beyond question.Historians are now forced either to accept Israel's theses or to contest his mountains of evidence.

Although the style is dry, and a few sentences require several attempts for the reader to parse, the narrative includes fascinating details about many topics: the subterfuge of radicals who wished to disseminate their ideas without losing their heads; conservatives focussing on tearing each other to pieces; the outwitting of censors; the clergy and elites who succeeded in stopping ideas in entire countries; well-intended amateurs whose feeble attacks on radicals often led to their own demise; the sudden growth of book collections in the 17th century (Oxford's collection had only 2000 volumes in 1602); the secret sale of censured books by 17th century book stores; the censors who collected and admired the books they were supposed to censure; the erudite librarians with secret collections for select visitors; the numerous clergy and elites whose main concern was to keep the "vulgar" classes ignorant and obedient; the many names given to Spinoza by his enemies ("prince of atheists", "chief atheist of our times"); the vanity of most intellectuals; the post-humus outings of book collectors thanks to book-lists created for auctions; the safety found by outcasts in the realms of aristocrats having a taste for radicalism; the meetings, correspondence and emotions between famous intellectuals (such as Spinoza and Leibniz); and the gaping lack of tolerance shown by various "fathers of liberalism" (Locke, Newton and others) towards freedom of thought or atheism. Although the author would not comment on such a thing, one remarks the parallels between the subterfuge of the early European Free Thinkers and that used by rebels within the Soviet Union.

Israel maintains a consistent focus on ideas and how they were transmitted by whom to whom. Some personal details are mentioned, allowing the reader to remember who's who, but this is often frustrating because the personal-side of a story is not concluded. For example, how a particular person's life came to an end or what happened with the rest of Spinoza's family.The end of the book makes no reference to the fundamentally relevant question of the influence of the early Radicals on the American constitution. Perhaps this is dealt with in the second volume.

For me, the most remarkable aspect of this history of the Enlightenment are the heroic struggle and groping in the dark of great thinkers trying to come to terms with things they simply did not know, but that are part of today's common knowledge. For example:
1. Unknown: How the brain functions.
Theories/Problems of the early Enlightenment: How can matter think?
2. Unknown: Origin of the Universe:
Theories/Problems of the early Enlightenment: How can nothing come from nothing?
3. Unknown: Evolution.
Theories/Problems of the early Enlightenment: An eternal Universe. Argument by design.
4. Unknown: Genetics.
Theories/Problems of the early Enlightenment: Law of Nature vs. free will. Human motivations.
Surely we are groping similarly today in different ways.

A more pictorial but similarly brilliant comparison of "Spinoza the Bulldoza" to other thinkers can be found at Ian Vandewalker's site: [...]

5-0 out of 5 stars The Specter of Spinoza
There are already some fine reviews here that concisely relate Israel's argument. I just want to register my own vote of five stars for a couple of reasons that, again, have already been offered by others. First of all, Israel's thesis is that Spinoza was the cornerstone of the radical enlightenment and that he also served as the bogeyman or dialog partner for the moderate enlightenment. The argument, which stretches across 720 pages, is tightly argued and doesn't lag toward the end. Readers should keep in mind that he's concerned with philosophy (and necessarily religion) and the making of modernity, not Locke's political theory, etc. The research, as one reviewer has mentioned, is deep and broad. For such a monumental size, the editing is relatively good and consistent. This is my first read on the Enlightenment and Israel was the perfect tour guide.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Radical Enlightenment not a French creation
This was required reading for a graduate course in the history of the French Revolution.Jonathan Israel's Radical Enlightenment is the best in depth analysis of the Enlightenment, which was an eighteenth century intellectual movement in Europe that emphasized reason, knowledge, science in philosophy, and the study of human culture and the natural world.To be Enlightened a person had to know themselves.One way to do this in the eighteenth century was through the arts.Enlightened philosophes believed that science contained universal truths, and progress was a process of discovery; with perfection at the end of linear progress.The kaleidoscope of Enlightenment ideas played a crucial role in the eighteenth century in general and in the French Revolution in particular.Israel, an eminent Enlightenment scholar, laid out the framework for the changing interpretive methodologies historians have employed since the 1960's regarding the Enlightenment.In particular, he disagreed with Roger Chartier's reliance on "the `new' social history's way of ordering historical studies, focusing on changes in attitude and practice in society while marginalizing intellectual history" Israel, while not diminishing "cultural sociology," has devoted many years to studying the intellectual initiatives of the Enlightenment.To that end, he advocated a fusion of several schools of thought that will be "...of considerable importance not only to historians but also philosophers, social theorists, political analysts, and the lay leader.The result may usefully be termed the `controversialist' approach to intellectual history, a methodology envisaging the interaction between society and ideas..." Israel posited that the pressures of religious and intellectual intolerance throughout Europe was a critical factor in making the very tolerant Dutch Republic, "...the hub of the Radical Enlightenment."Israel placed Baruch Spinoza at the hub's center because his atheistic writings made him "the most feared philosopher in eighteenth-century Europe."

Israel theorized that there were two enlightenments that emerged from the late seventeenth century.The "Conservative Enlightenment" was a mixture of "reason" with tradition and religion.This is the philosophy that was gaining support by many functionaries of state and in the Janesist movement of the Church.Conservative Enlightenment ideas advocated needed improvements in the existing socio-political order, such as relief for the poor and judicial reforms.However, the danger was that although Conservative Enlightenment philosophy did not teach revolution or democracy, it succeeded in transforming people's minds to lose respect for tradition."Radical Enlightenment" propelled by "reason" alone encompassed a plethora of values, such as democracy, equality, and toleration of personal freedoms, which included freedoms of speech and both sexual and racial liberties.Thus, most Radical Enlightenment writings were about wholesale destruction of the current order and the rebuilding of a new society.Radical Enlightenment writers used Rousseau's ideas to teach French citizens that all men are equal, men by nature are good and noble, and thus, society must return to a state of nature by using reason to rebuild society again.Since society was poisoned, there was no need to care about tradition.The danger was that the revolutionary fervor persuaded citizens that it was simple to demolish and rebuild society as commonplace as it was to speak about it in the salon.

Recommended reading for anyone interested in political philosophy, and enlightenment history.
... Read more

16. The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (Routledge Classics)
by Frances Yates
Paperback: 352 Pages (2001-11-09)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.02
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Asin: 0415267692
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A history of the role that the occult has played in the formation of modern science and medicine, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment has had a tremendous impact on our understanding of the western esoteric tradition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

2-0 out of 5 stars Nuggets of Insight Within a Mountain of Insanity
To style this work of Dame Yates as historical is to do damage to the notion of history.What the book represents, more than anything else, is an apology for the rather absurd hermetical, cabalistic Rosicrucian mythology.As with her "Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age", Dame Yates here demonstrates a rather profound lack of foundation in reality for one who would call herself a historian.

Within the corpus of the text, perhaps more than ninety percent of the narrative deals with the esoteric aspects of Rosicrucianism and its fairly interesting connections with freemasonry, Calvinism, and Lutheranism.That remaining small fraction that could be described as historical has to do mainly with the ridiculous attempt of the Elector of Palatine to usurp the throne of Bohemia at Prague.In terms of historical value, a short chapter would have captured everything.Relative to esoteric doctrine, volumes would not have yielded any rational thought.

One of the most insidious poisons transmitted in this work is that, somehow, the cabalistic Rosicrucians founded the modern European study of mathematics.We wonder, in this context, by what formulation the Dame would explain how Descartes and Pascal, certainly the two greatest mathematicians of the age, were Catholics, and thereby diammetrically opposed to the satanic Rosicrucian doctrine.

Michael A. Hoffman II has an excellent study tape, "Magic and Paganism in the Reign of Elizabeth I", which captures all that is of historical value within this and the aforementioned works of Dame Yates.Seekers after the truth would be much more well served by reviewing that study tape than by wading through these esoteric meanderings.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and cleverly constructed, but writing is mediocre
Having known nothing about the Rosicrucians but having a long-standing interest in Renaissance magic, I found this topic completely fascinating and I can't believe the Rosicrucian movement isn't more intriguing to the general public today.Yates' discussion of Rosicrucianism was thoroughly researched, particularly from primary documents, and was very well-organized, but his writing style wasn't the most captivating (to say the least).This book is perfect for someone looking to do some serious research, but I purchased this book in the interest of having some summer reading-- whew.

All in all, reliable author and material, but it probably won't keep you up all night.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Rise of Rosicrucianism.
_The Rosicrucian Enlightenment_ by Renaissance scholar Frances Yates is a fascinating account of the Rosicrucian movement in seventeenth century Europe and its relationship to various political intrigues of the time.Yates begins by remarking that in referring to Rosicrucians she is not referring to any of the modern day occult groups which go under this name and by referring to "enlightenment" she is not referring to the historical period known as the "Aufklarung" in which philosophers attempted to shed light on the darkness of superstition.Rather, Yates suggests that certain documents referred to as the "Rosicrucian manifestos" published in seventeenth century Germany brought about an enlightenment in which other intellectuals attempted to copy from them and incorporate elements of Rosicruicianism into their utopias.The word Rosicrucian refers at once to the semi-mythical (at least believed to be mythical by most modern scholars) hero of the manifestos Christian Rosencreutz but also to the Rosy Cross (combining "Rose + Cross" or perhaps "Ros" (dew) and "Crux" in an alchemical interpretation).Yates emphasizes two aspects of the Rosicrucian movement.First, she wants to ground this movement in the Hermetic philosophy, cabbalism, and magical traditions of the Renaissance (emphasizing her earlier studies on such Renaissance figures as Giordano Bruno and Marsilio Ficino).Second, she wants to emphasize the influence ofthe Elizabethan magus John Dee on Rosicrucianism.

Yates begins by describing a "royal wedding" between Princess Elizabeth and Frederick V, Elector Palatine of the Rhine.These two became known mockingly as "the Winter King and Queen of Bohemia" after Frederick's failed attempt to take the throne of Bohemia and their flight from Prague.Their union was supposed to represent a Protestant front against Hapsburg aggression and the forces of Catholic reaction.Yates shows the influence of Shakespeare and the theater on the pair as well as Spenser who wrote the _Faerie Queene_.It was at around this time that three Rosicrucian manifestos appeared.These include two pamphlets which first appeared in 1614 and 1615 with abbreviated titles of the _Fama_ and the _Confessio_ and a third publication appearing in 1616, an alchemical romance with the title _The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz_.This last romance is believed to have been written by Johann Valentin Andreae, a Lutheran pastor with socialist interests.These writings inform the reader of an invisible and hidden society of Rosicrucians founded by Christian Rosencreutz and explain his exploits and adventures as well as delving into alchemical symbolism.Yates suggests that they express political support for "the Winter King and Queen".

Yates argues that one of the most important figures to play some role in the development of the Rosicrucian movement is that of John Dee.Dee, a learned magus well versed in mathematics, numerology, and science, was an important figure in Elizabethan England; however, as Yates suggests he came to influence the Rosicrucian movement when he visited Germany, Bohemia, and Prague.Indeed, the Rosicrucian manifestos, which praise science and rationality are developed along some of the same lines as Dee's writings.Other important figures involved in the Rosicrucian movement, though denying their Rosicrucianism, include Robert Fludd and Michael Maier, both of whom expressed in alchemical writings cabalistic principles as well as the relationship between microcosm and macrocosm.Rosicrucianism created a furore in Germany and also spread to France where it created a scare among the populace.Rosicrucians at first were believed to be linked to the Jesuits; however, given the antipapist sentiment expressed by the Rosicrucians in their manifestos they were soon taken to be enemies of the Jesuits by counter-reformation thinkers.Cartesian philosophy and the thought of Francis Bacon were also taken to be linked with the Rosicrucians.Rosicrucianism emphasized science and regarded the discovery of two new stars as a beacon in the sky which mirrored the coming age of enlightenment.Another figure associated with Rosicrucianism is that of Elias Ashmole, the chief representative of the alchemical movement in England who copied the manifestos.Eventually Andreae came to move away from Rosicrucianism, advocating instead Christian unions as part of his utopian "Christianopolis".However, these unions were motivated by the same basic underlying philosophy as the Rosicrucian manifestos.Others who wrote utopias based on these manifestos include Campenella in Italy and Comenius.Some have maintained that the founding of the Royal Society, a society of scientists and mathematicians, in England serves as the instantiation of the "invisible brotherhood".Even Isaac Newton has been regarded as influenced by Rosicrucianism.In addition, Rosicrucianism came to influence freemasonry, which incorporated Rosicrucian elements into its grades.

This book serves as an excellent introduction to the Rosicrucian movement in the seventeenth century.Yates is indebted to A. E. Waite whose book on the subject proved useful to her; however, she notes the problematic parts in his book.Yates also details much of the political intrigue surrounding this movement.This book includes an appendix which features the two Rosicrucian manifestos in full:the _Fama_ and the _Confessio_.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best,, so far
I found this book to be invaluable in clearing the factual fog around the original Rosicrucians. The author was a scrupulous and brilliant historian who has not, as far as I can find, been seriously challenged on her major conclusions by another scholar of similar standing and specialty. The reviewers of this book who claim Dames Yates made "HUGE assumptions" and "misinterpretations" do not cite sources for these claims. Not to do so is, at best, a disservice and at worst, indicative that the sources are not of the same caliber as Dame Yates.

5-0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary Rosicrucians
This book began a revolution in encouraging scholars and laypersons to take the role of Esoteric movements as a legitimate element in the study of Western history.Though there have been recent disputes with some conclusions drawn by Dame Yates in this work, it still remains a pioneering document of historical research.The recent collection of essays by Christopher Bamford, "The Roscicrucian Enlightment Revisited" goes toward validation of much of this work.A seminal book in esoteric studies, highly recommended. ... Read more

17. Light on Enlightenment
by Christopher Titmuss
Paperback: 232 Pages (1999-11-16)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$29.50
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Asin: 157062514X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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A former journalist and Buddhist monk shares his straightforward observations about Buddhism, presenting simple exercises for incorporating Buddhist practice into ordinary life. Original. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Non-inspiring, Non-creative and Heavy Unyielding Dogma...
...everything the Dharma isn't.
This may not be a fair review: I quit reading at about page 80, where the "shoulds", "ought to"s, "have to"s and "musts" had pretty well established themselves.By then I had had enough of what appeared to me to be the author's negativity.I paraphrase: "Inspiration from books doesn't last.""There's only one way to walk the path - mine."
This was only my impression, of course. Much of what I read used the vehicle of first person plural, so much so that I began to feel I was being delivered a disguised sermon.
If you're looking for a book that gives inspiration to practice the Dharma, uplifts and supports the seeker to continue his inquiry for truth, please try another book from which I'll violate the publisher's copyright directive and give you a direct quote:

"Do not become attached to the idea that there is only one right way or technique of practicing the Dharma.Freedom and compassion are the reference points for all practice.Everything else is skillful means.There are many experiences along the way.As soon as we take a stand any place at all, thinking 'this is it,' we have already overshot the great jewel of emptiness, creating yet another sectarian view."

"Insight Meditation" by Joseph Goldstein

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book. One Complaint.
I enjoyed studying this book. As a new student to Buddhism, I found thetopics interesting and easy to understand. I especially found Mr.Titmuss' Noble Eightfold Path essays useful.

My complaint is this, the book has many typos. I found the lack of proof reading and editing disappointing as a reader. As a former journalist, I would have hoped Mr. Titmuss would have been more diligent in having his work proof read.

The typos do not take away from the overall content, however, instead of 5 stars, I have to give this book 4.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing clarity
Christopher Titmuss is a well-respected expert, but more than that, he's a friend on the Path, and this book shows it.I just can't convey how useful and clear this transmission is; I recommend it without reservation for all those who care about what they're doing in this world. ... Read more

18. Winning Through Enlightenment : Mastery of Life, Volume I
by Ron Smothermon
 Paperback: Pages (1979-09)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$65.00
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Asin: 0932654010
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This is Ron's first book and a perennial favorite.Recommended by Norman Vincent Peale, with a comment by Werner Erhard,and a foreword by Ken Keyes Jr., this book is about bringing anenlightened condition to everyday life. It is composed of short, easyto digest chapters, straight to the point, and full of lasting value.Readers report reading and rereading this book over and over. Manypeople buy it in bulk to share with friends. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent - does not get any better than this in the world of Enlightenment! Very well written for such a hard subject to write about. It is the Bible of Enlightenment books to me! This is my second copy; in fact the people whom I lend it to like to lend it to others and therefore I had to buy a second copy! it replaces many other books on the subject easily. There is nothing that I am aware of that is any better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Step by Step Enlightenment!!
I did the est training in 1981 and had the experience of my mind shutting off and discovering that who I am is not my thoughts but the witness to my thougts. That's a start. Now comes the work. After that experience what became available was the possibility of watching your "mind" react to your day to day experiences and seeing that what you thought was a "real" reaction was just that, a mind reaction that you no longer had to follow. You could now look in the moment and see what was really wanted and needed. This book presents many concepts, like jealousy, and gives you an enlightened perspective that is very to the point and impactful. You can not go wrong in buying this book and absorbing what is in it. In fact, to fully absorb everything presented in this book and make it your own, so to speak, can take many years. Really! The stuff is that dense. If you are into expanding your awareness of yourself and how you percieve reality then this is a must read. Combine this with The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle for some real insights. Be aware that your "mind"/thought system will want to be right about how it has been percieving things and it is those reactions that you are confronting with this material.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life Changing
This book helped put life in perspective. I believe everyone should read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
The other day a friend asked me what was the most significant book I had read in my life....THIS IS IT. Smothermon's book is certainly not mainstream, and it contains the most densely packed wisdom of what life is about that I know of. Over the years, I have recomended this book to MANY people, and the feedback is fantastic. Get it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unsung classic -- Tells it like it IS!
I have read Dr. Smothermon's "Enlightenment" book many times and also pull it down from time to time to savor his dynamic writing style: 2-3 page chapters just sock it to you and move on.To the point.He describes the way the world ( and that includes us ) works and if you pay attention, are patient and read (and re-read) it with an open mindyou will get a lot of great insights to chew on.I've read his other books and they are also good, but this one, for me, is the classic.Thanks Ron! ... Read more

19. The Enlightenment and the Intellectual Foundations of Modern Culture
by Louis Dupre
Paperback: 416 Pages (2005-11-01)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$23.13
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Asin: 0300113463
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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An eminent scholar of modern culture argues that the Enlightenment—the importance of which has been vigorously debated in recent years—was a more complex phenomenon than either its detractors or advocates assume.

“Ranging as it does over art, morality, religion, science, philosophy, social theory, and a good deal besides, [Dupré’s book] is a marvel of scholarly erudition. . . . Formidably well-researched, . . . [this] would make an excellent introduction to Enlightenment ideas for the general reader.”—Terry Eagleton, Harper’s Magazine

“This immensely readable book will cause readers to rethink the Enlightenment and to see its positive aspects. It will also add crucial historical perspective to current discussions of modernity.”—Donald Verene, Emory University

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A sweeping review, dense but accessible
A panoramic survey of the philosophical landscape of the Enlightenment period (1648 - 1789), covering the sense of selfhood, art and aesthetics, morality, social theory, science of history, religion and faith during that period.The advent of modern science, particularly the mechanism of Newtonian theory, knocked down many of the medieval concepts about the cosmos, Providence, creation and human's place in the world, and ushered in rationalism as the mainstream thinking of the Enlightenment period. This does not mean key thinkers in this period were of one or similar stripe.They held different, and sometimes diametrical, views.Louis Dupre summarizes and comments on the views of key philosophical figures in this period, including Locke, Hume, Diderot, Rousseau, Leibniz, Lessing, Spinoza, Kant, and many others.The text is somewhat dense, especially for the uninitiated, but it is definitely accessible.Overall, it is a very good survey of the philosophical views of the period. ... Read more

20. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
by Eckhart Tolle
Paperback: 224 Pages (2004-09-29)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$3.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1577314808
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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It's no wonder thatThe Power of Now has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 30 foreign languages. Much more than simple principles and platitudes, the book takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light. In the first chapter, Tolle introduces readers to enlightenment and its natural enemy, the mind. He awakens readers to their role as a creator of pain and shows them how to have a pain-free identity by living fully in the present. The journey is thrilling, and along the way, the author shows how to connect to the indestructible essence of our Being, "the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death."Featuring a new preface by the author, this paperback shows that only after regaining awareness of Being, liberated from Mind and intensely in the Now, is there Enlightenment.Amazon.com Review
Ekhart Tolle's message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle's clear writing, supportive voice, and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who's ever wondered what exactly "living in the now" means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container--more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.

Tolle packs a lot of information and inspirational ideas into The Power of Now. (Topics include the source of Chi, enlightened relationships, creative use of the mind, impermanence, and the cycle of life.) Thankfully, he's added markers that symbolize "break time." This is when readers should close the book and mull over what they just read. As a result, The Power of Now reads like the highly acclaimed A Course in Miracles--a spiritual guidebook that has the potential to inspire just as many study groups and change just as many lives for the better. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1180)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Powerful
I was recommended this book by an acquaintance who I very much admire. I had come to him in a fit of distress that was triggered by the end of a difficult relationship I was in. I bought the book without hesitation. I was 17 years-old and everything in my world had a despondent haze hovering over it. I wasn't going to hesitate to buy something that would 'fix my problems'.

I opened the book hoping to find a path to salvation. What I found was much different, and much more powerful. There's no way I can see to briefly explain the book, but the power in what is said inside is out of this world. The book is not a guide to 'fixing your problems', it's an assistant to a finding a new, and true way of life.

I would recommend this book to just about anyone. Even if you don't take away from it what I did, it's still very insightful and completely worth reading.

1-0 out of 5 stars Order one thing and receive another
I ordered the book "the Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightment" and received a totally different book.I sent two emails to the seller explaining the mistake and I have not received any feedback or the book.I am extremely disappointed with this transaction.

4-0 out of 5 stars outstanding
This book hit the spot!Perhaps the serendipity of timing, but the outstanding focus on NOW, along with multiple perspectives of staying in the window...and why one might stray, was just what I needed to get me one small step of additional enlightenment, Highly recommend this as standard reading for anyone whom is even slightingly interested in better understanding ourselves and others.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Powerful
During my last vicious bout of crippling depression, I was recommended The Power of Now by somewhat of a friend who I had never really gotten close to, but has a strong value for his opinion. After a lengthy email about how tortured I felt, he simply sent me the link to the book. No description, not much of an explanation, and no summary. I bought the book on a whim. I was searching for anything at all that could possibly 'save' me. After reading bits and pieces of the book, I began to grasp the concept, but I did not yet feel myself Being.

Finally, a day came around where I was presented with the opportunity to perform a song in front of a live audience, right then and there. Music is my passion, but I always looked relied on the future for progression. "I'll perform next week," was my initial thought, until I realized the opportunity was being presented to me Now. I took the leap and played my song. In that moment, sitting in front of the piano, singing into the microphone, I realized I am present.

I feel that The Power of Now has made me realize my true Being. As I discuss any event prior to my feeling of enlightenment, I feel as though "...I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else's life," as Tolle put it in the introduction.

Being only 17 years-old, I feel this book helps me to see the burdens of typical teenager-ism from a point of view that exists outside of my mind. Honestly, it's difficult for me to put the power this book has on me into words, as I have found that words are just carriers of "the high-energy frequency that is presence".

There's really no way for me to conclude what I'm saying. What I can say though, is that this book hasn't 'saved' me. The book is a lesson on how to 'save' yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars very useful and practical
The book is non-judgmental and aims to explain complex philosophical and spiritual issues in a very accessible manner. Not something you can read in one afternoon, but in little chunks now and then as you get in a mood for some "deep" thinking. Or even "deeper" :-). I am not done reading it yet, but it has been very useful to me while dealing with various life situations and I believe it offers practical advice in addition to the "thinking" suggestions. ... Read more

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