gift ideas: “new” books about new age nonsense & other modern spirituality

Please don’t buy books for ma’hab; he has plenty right now, thank you!

Bolded is a must-own for ma’hab, please-please? zffrp
Italicized is low-priority.

Books: (Mostly) Modern Goofy Woo-Woo Nonsense
Letters To A Young Poet From The Seeker’s Handbook by John Lash: “…short enough to read in a few hours…the great German lyric poet gives incomparable advice on how to live in vital relation to the world while nurturing the secret resources of the inner life. Indispensable for those who believe that spirituality involves commitment to a creative calling.
Behold the Spirit:
A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion
Alan Watts explains how Eastern mysticism (especially Zen Buddhism) can be incorporated into modern Christianity, dissecting the weaknesses of both it and modern psychology in the process. This is the book that got ma’habocath interested in Western spirituality, particularly Judeo-Christianity; he long ago lost his first copy and would be grateful to acquire it again if only to share with others
The Varieties of Religious Experience:
A Study in Human Nature
From The Seeker’s Handbook: “The famous American psychologist interprets conversion, near-death experiences, sainthood, madness, mysticism, and altered states. Covers the gamut of spiritual adventures in a clearheaded way that has yet to be surpassed for its sheer readability.”
Cosmic Consciousness:
A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind
Maurice Bucke proposes a theory of “…a progressive shift in three stages from mere sense awareness to self-consciousness to superconsciousness…One of the greatest testaments to the wonders of independent seekers.” —The Seeker’s Handbook
Modern Man in Search of a Soul Carl Jung’s lectures and essays from 1930’s Europe about psychotherapy as a modern spiritual alternative to traditional and revealed religions.
The Little Prince From The Seeker’s Handbook: “Naive charm and timeless wisdom combine in this fable by a pioneer of transcontinental flight whose gifts of childlike imagination enabled him to produce a parable not by any means for children only…The Little Prince is still leading us to the discovery of primal magic in the simple things….Saint-Exupery’s dauntless little adventurer is certainly one of the earliest and most notable representatives of the inner child who is so widely and fervently sought nowadays.”
The Perennial Philosophy From The Seeker’s Handbook: “Original, one-of-a-kind anthology covering all the great religious themes and questions of the ages, taken from a wide spectrum of world cultures and woven together by [Aldous] Huxley with a keen, highly readable commentary. Treats every variation of mystical experience and God-seeking, putting them all in perspective.”
The Journey to the East From The Seeker’s Handbook: “A book to read in an afternoon and remembered for a lifetime…this fabulist novella from [Hesse’s] late period is by far his most magical. Cryptic and elusive, yet strangely direct in communicating the wonder and confusion of the eternal quest. Magical realism at its best…”
The Murder of Christ From The Seeker’s Handbook: “A brilliant, daring probe into the sickness of modern humanity; challenges the conventional representation of Christ and proposes an alternative way to resolve humanity’s main conflict, which Reich sees as a conflict with itself due to setting its will against the life-force. A response to Freud’s notion of the death-wish, showing how traditional religion in the West has failed, and thus defining the urgent need for some kind of nontraditional spiritual revival in our time.”
The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead From The Seeker’s Handbook: “An adaptation in catchy modern idiom of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, written specifically for guidance in going through the psychedelic experience…it still holds up today because of its sharp, innovative treatment of typical human hang-ups and blocks that sit like scrappy sphinxes in the way of every seeker.”
Be Here Now From The Seeker’s Handbook: “Very widely read description of the devotional path of self-awakening in the Hindu tradition, converted into Western terms as a cookbook for a sacred life.”
The Crack in the Cosmic Egg: New Constructs of Mind and Reality From The Seeker’s Handbook: “A stirring account of a man’s breakdown and escape from ordinary reality to a new world of inner/outer discoveries…especially stimulating in the way it shows the author’s diverse efforts to interpret and explain to himself the breakthrough in mind and feeling he underwent.”
The Road Less Traveled From The Seeker’s Handbook: “A major landmark on the broad road of the new spirituality…Reflections and directions on the nature of love, problem solving, commitment, evil, grace. All the big issues, well-resented case histories, a lot of good insight on what we’re looking for–and how, in some instances, we are looking for it in the wrong ways.”
Buddha in Blue Jeans: An Extremely Short Simple Zen Guide to Sitting Quietly “Poet-philosopher and Zen Priest Tai Sheridan’s ‘Buddha in Blue Jeans’ is an extremely short, simple and straight forward universal guide to the practice of sitting quietly and being yourself, which is the same as being Buddha. Sitting quietly can teach many ways to accept life, meet pain, age gracefully, and die without regret.”
Zen: The Supreme Experience “Embark on a personal exploration of Zen spirituality, guided by the late Alan Watts–a foremost interpreter of Eastern thought for the modern West. Comprised of Watts’ acclaimed (and never before published) radio transcripts, this remarkable volume offers unique insights that clarify Zen’s essence. With wit and lucidity, he discusses the nature of the self and the mystery of existence, presenting Zen both from his standpoint as a scholar with a deep understanding of Judeo-Christian traditions and as a Westerner who found meaning in Buddhism.”
Cloud-hidden, Whereabouts Unknown “Over the course of nineteen essays, Alan Watts ruminates on the philosophy of nature, ecology, aesthetics, religion, and metaphysics. Assembled in the form of a “mountain journal,” written during a retreat in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais, CA, Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown is Watts’s meditation on the art of feeling out and following the watercourse way of nature, known in Chinese as the Tao. Embracing a form of contemplative meditation that allows us to stop analyzing our experiences and start living in to them, the book explores themes such as the natural world, established religion, race relations, karma and reincarnation, astrology and tantric yoga, the nature of ecstasy, and much more.”
In My Own Way: An Autobiography “In this new edition of his acclaimed autobiography — long out of print and rare until now — Alan Watts tracks his spiritual and philosophical evolution from a child of religious conservatives in rural England to a freewheeling spiritual teacher who challenged Westerners to defy convention and think for themselves. From early in this intellectual life, Watts shows himself to be a philosophical renegade and wide-ranging autodidact who came to Buddhism through the teachings of Christmas Humphreys and D. T. Suzuki. Told in a nonlinear style, In My Own Way wonderfully combines Watts’ own brand of unconventional philosophy and often hilarious accounts of gurus, celebrities, psychedelic drug experiences, and wry observations of Western culture. A charming foreword written by Watts’ father sets the tone of this warm, funny, and beautifully written story of a compelling figure who encouraged readers to “follow your own weird” — something he always did himself, as his remarkable account of his life shows.”
Does It Matter? “The basic theme is that civilized man confuses symbol with reality, his ways of describing and measuring the world with the world itself, and thus puts himself into the absurd situation of preferring money to wealth and eating the menu instead of the dinner….Here, a philosopher whose works have been mainly concerned with mysticism and Oriental philosophy gets down to the “nitty-gritty” problems of economics, technology, clothing, cooking, and housing.”
Nature, Man and Woman “Western thought and culture have coalesced around a series of constructed ideas—that human beings stand separate from a nature that must be controlled; that the mind is somehow superior to the body; that all sexuality entails a seduction—that  in some way underlie our exploitation of the earth, our distrust of emotion, and our loneliness and reluctance to love. Here, Watts fundamentally challenges these assumptions, drawing on the precepts of Taoism to present an alternative vision of man and the universe—one in which the distinctions between self and other, spirit and matter give way to a more holistic way of seeing.”
The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness The Joyous Cosmology is Alan Watts’s exploration of the insight that the consciousness-changing drugs LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin can facilitate “when accompanied with sustained philosophical reflection by a person who is in search, not of kicks, but of understanding.” More than an artifact, it is both a riveting memoir of Watts’s personal experiments and a profound meditation on our perennial questions about the nature of existence and the existence of the sacred.”
Out of Your Mind: Tricksters, Interdependence, and the Cosmic Game of Hide and Seek In order to come to your senses, Alan Watts often said, you sometimes need to go out of your mind.

“For those both new and familiar with Watts, this book invites us to delve into his favorite pathways out of the trap of conventional awareness, including:

“• The art of the “controlled accident”—what happens when you stop taking your life so seriously and start enjoying it with complete sincerity

“• How we come to believe “the myth of myself”—that we are skin-encapsulated egos separate from the world around us—and how to transcend that illusion

“• Why we must fully embrace chaos and the void to find our deepest purpose

“• Unconventional and refreshing insights into the deeper principles of Buddhism, Hinduism, Western philosophy, Christianity, and much more

Psychotherapy East & West “Watts demonstrates his deep understanding of both Western psychotherapy and the Eastern spiritual philosophies of Buddhism, Taoism, Vedanta, and Yoga. He examined the problem of humans in a seemingly hostile universe in ways that questioned the social norms and illusions that bind and constrict modern humans. Marking a groundbreaking synthesis, Watts asserted that the powerful insights of Freud and Jung, which had, indeed, brought psychiatry close to the edge of liberation, could, if melded with the hitherto secret wisdom of the Eastern traditions, free people from their battles with the self. When psychotherapy merely helps us adjust to social norms, Watts argued, it falls short of true liberation, while Eastern philosophy seeks our natural relation to the cosmos.”
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind “‘In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.’

“So begins this most beloved of all American Zen books.  Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as has this famous opening line.  In a single stroke, the simple sentence cuts through the pervasive tendency students have of getting so close to Zen as to completely miss what it’s all about.  An instant teaching on the first page.  And that’s just the beginning.”

Freedom from the Known “Krishnamurti shows how people can free themselves radically and immediately from the tyranny of the expected, no matter what their age-opening the door to transforming society and their relationships.”
Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts “Through his widely popular books and lectures, Alan Watts (1915-1973) did more to introduce Eastern philosophy and religion to Western minds than any figure before or since. Watts touched the lives of many. He was a renegade Zen teacher, an Anglican priest, a lecturer, an academic, an entertainer, a leader of the San Francisco renaissance, and the author of more than thirty books, including The Way of Zen, Psychotherapy East and West and The Spirit of Zen.

“Monica Furlong followed Watts’s travels from his birthplace in England to the San Francisco Bay Area where he ultimately settled, conducting in-depth interviews with his family, colleagues, and intimate friends, to provide an analysis of the intellectual, cultural, and deeply personal influences behind this truly extraordinary life.”

The Meaning of Happiness By Alan Watts.
Beyond Theology: The Art of Godsmanship By Alan Watts
One Minute Wisdom & others by Anthony de Mello By Anthony de Mello.

Last Update: 25/06/17
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