“self-help” book recommendations

(Not a self-help book, but for you more sciency and intellectual types, this should help you understand the mindset of more artistic and spiritual people. A brilliant [and if more people listen, potentially revolutionary] viewpoint and mental-structure that legitimizes emotion as just another type of thinking [of a “low-focus” form, whereas “high-focus” results in logic, math, abstractions, etc.] rather than the typical strict separation of thought and feeling prevalent among cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind.)



(This book was the first time in my life I was ever told one of the most powerful phrases I’ve ever heard: “There’s nothing wrong with you at all.” Some [like parents and teachers] may have told me but I obviously wasn’t listening.)

(If you get only one from here, make it this. But skip Deepak’s intro until after you’ve finished, for it gives the show away! For you leery of more “religious” tracts, don’t worry, Mr. Watts denounces religion as a total failure in its task of alleviating anxiety in the masses before he gets down to business. But he does the same with science, rationality, humanism, etc. So now what? Read and see for yourself!)

(The above is so you get a far less “hippy nonsense” treatment of the >5000 year old religion/philosophy of Taoism than you do in the following.)

(The only “real” self-help book in my list.)

(Read the above for a basic [almost childishly simplistic] primer, then the following two for… well, if you want the “real deal” you need to read such heady books as the Heart Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, the Upanishads… but those books are about as mind-blowingly hard to study as the Holy Bible, so I’m not going to recommend those to the unwary! So unless you wish to become a Mahayana monk and spend the rest of your life reciting the Bodhisattva Vow and following the Eightfold Path, then you probably don’t need any more than the following.)


(“Zen” is, more-or-less, Buddhism plus Taoism as interpreted by the Japanese, stripped of most of the fat and pessimism. So Zen Buddhists get the best of both worlds of two of the most ancient religious/philosophic traditions on Earth.)

(And as for those not interested in Eastern stuff, we can remain firmly planted in our Western traditions with the following insights into the Buddha of the West our Lord, Savior, and Shepard.)




Author: ma'habocath

ma'habocath knows some, tells much. ma'habocath knows few things others do. This one is a live-alone, full-time burger-flipper with an odd mind and too much to say. ma'hab always tries the best ma'hab can to keep up: • Chores • Bodybuilding and other health-nuttery • Japanese language studies • Culinary experimentation (see “other health-nuttery”) • Exploration of newfound spiritual territory • Exploration of my Self • Figuring out how to socialize well enough, mostly face-to-face • Backlogs: books, heavy metal, anime • Blogging, chatting, texting, and talking to whomever will listen about all of the above

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