What are you reading?

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#23
Wondering if anyone here read this book? The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of a New Era by Steve Taylor, about how and when the ego came into being.
The Fall is a major work that overturns mainstream current thinking on the nature of civilization and human nature. It draws on the increasing evidence accumulated over recent decades that prehistoric humanity was peaceful and egalitarian, rather than war-like and crude. It is not natural for human beings to kill each other, for men to oppress women, for individuals to accumulate massive wealth and power, or to abuse nature. The worldwide myths of a Golden Age or an original paradise have a factual, archaeological basis.
Looks interesting. It's got an intro by Stanley Krippner and Sciborg has linked to pro-psi articles that Taylor has written. He's written a lot of other books about the ego, like Back to Sanity: Healing the Madness of Our Minds.

He was interviewed on batgap.
 
#24
SciFi, when you've read the Swartz book, would you mind telling me if it's a how-to book as well as exposition of Vedanta? I see he published a previous book that seems to focus on the "how": How to Attain Enlightenment: The Vision of Nonduality. Anybody read it?
Almost done with Swartz. The book has some pros and some good reviews on Amazon. but it failed to impress, mostly because the author is a tad bit too self-righteous. The presentation on the folly of desire and the inability to achieve happiness by pursuing the things of this world, even romantic love(which I agree) and his exposition of Karma Yoga are quite good. But then the author proceeds to lambast all other ways of attaining enlightenment, for example Zen Buddhism and Daoism and believes that all humans have a svadharma or some fixed calling, which btw was the cause of the caste system and its multiple inequities(Buddha opposed this concept). It is basically Vedanta with all the trappings of archaic Hindu tradition.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#25
But then the author proceeds to lambast all other ways of attaining enlightenment, for example Zen Buddhism and Daoism and believes that all humans have a svadharma or some fixed calling, which btw was the cause of the caste system and its multiple inequities(Buddha opposed this concept). It is basically Vedanta with all the trappings of archaic Hindu tradition.
Thanks a lot for this, I'll keep away from it!
 
#28
sante.jpg

A really good book by a prominent Zen teacher who studied under Phillip Kapleau, that examines the doctrine of reincarnation from both a scientific and Buddhist perspective. Most folks on this forum are probably aware of parapsychology research, the emergence of mechanistic scientism and the observer effect in quantum physics, subjects which are explored in the middle of this book. The most interesting parts are at the beginning, where the author talks about his personal experiences during sesshin, an intensive meditation retreat, which include viewing a past life and sharing the consciousness of a pimp of all people, and the end where he presents the Buddhist view on karma, reincarnation and what components of the personality or self are incarnated. It has good reviews from B. Alan Wallace and Dean Radin.

 
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Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#29

In Gotama Buddha, Professor Hajime Nakamura embarks on a search for the details of the historical Buddha's life. He conducts an exhaustive analysis of both the oldest, most reliable texts and later biographies of the Buddha that contain mythological material.

Carefully sifting these texts to separate facts from embellishments, he constructs a biography that begins with the Indian historical context at the time of Buddha's Birth and takes the reader through all the stages of his life. Professor Nakamura also compares the oldest Buddhist texts with the earliest Jain and Hindu writings and finds surprising similarities that elucidate the significance of the historical Buddha. Archeological discoveries and factual elements from Buddhist art support Professor Nakamura's fascinating story.
Started up again and finished this one. I purchased it a while back before it became out of print and extremely expensive. I didn't realize until it was too late that this is only volume 1 of 2. Volume 2 is now going upwards of $340 used.

Fortunately I got this one, which is more condensed, a lot cheaper, an easier read and more informative about the general historical period. Both rely more on the older Pali Canon for building a likely historical portrait.

 
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