This Is It

and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience

Author: Alan W. Watts

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307784320

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 160

View: 3567

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Six revolutionary essays exploring the relationship between spiritual experience and ordinary life—and the need for them to coexist within each of us. With essays on “cosmic consciousness” (including Alan Watts’ account of his own ventures into this inward realm); the paradoxes of self-consciousness; LSD and consciousness; and the false opposition of spirit and matter, This Is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience is a truly mind-opening collection.
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Spiritual, but not Religious

Understanding Unchurched America

Author: Robert C. Fuller

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198033547

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 7326

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Nearly 40% of all Americans have no connection with organized religion. Yet many of these people, even though they might never step inside a house of worship, live profoundly spiritual lives. But what is the nature and value of unchurched spirituality in America? Is it a recent phenomenon, a New Age fad that will soon fade, or a long-standing and essential aspect of the American experience? In Spiritual But Not Religious, Robert Fuller offers fascinating answers to these questions. He shows that alternative spiritual practices have a long and rich history in America, dating back to the colonial period, when church membership rarely exceeded 17% and interest in astrology, numerology, magic, and witchcraft ran high. Fuller traces such unchurched traditions into the mid-nineteenth century, when Americans responded enthusiastically to new philosophies such as Swedenborgianism, Transcendentalism, and mesmerism, right up to the current interest in meditation, channeling, divination, and a host of other unconventional spiritual practices. Throughout, Fuller argues that far from the flighty and narcissistic dilettantes they are often made out to be, unchurched spiritual seekers embrace a mature and dynamic set of basic beliefs. They focus on inner sources of spirituality and on this world rather than the afterlife; they believe in the accessibility of God and in the mind's untapped powers; they see a fundamental unity between science and religion and an equality between genders and races; and they are more willing to test their beliefs and change them when they prove untenable. Timely, sweeping in its scope, and informed by a clear historical understanding, Spiritual But Not Religious offers fresh perspective on the growing numbers of Americans who find their spirituality outside the church.
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Character Strengths and Virtues

A Handbook and Classification

Author: Christopher Peterson,Martin E. P. Seligman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198037330

Category: Psychology

Page: 816

View: 7278

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"Character" has become a front-and-center topic in contemporary discourse, but this term does not have a fixed meaning. Character may be simply defined by what someone does not do, but a more active and thorough definition is necessary, one that addresses certain vital questions. Is character a singular characteristic of an individual, or is it composed of different aspects? Does character--however we define it--exist in degrees, or is it simply something one happens to have? How can character be developed? Can it be learned? Relatedly, can it be taught, and who might be the most effective teacher? What roles are played by family, schools, the media, religion, and the larger culture? This groundbreaking handbook of character strengths and virtues is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of widely valued positive traits. They approach good character in terms of separate strengths-authenticity, persistence, kindness, gratitude, hope, humor, and so on-each of which exists in degrees. Character Strengths and Virtues classifies twenty-four specific strengths under six broad virtues that consistently emerge across history and culture: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Each strength is thoroughly examined in its own chapter, with special attention to its meaning, explanation, measurement, causes, correlates, consequences, and development across the life span, as well as to strategies for its deliberate cultivation. This book demands the attention of anyone interested in psychology and what it can teach about the good life.
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Moral Calculations

Game Theory, Logic, and Human Frailty

Author: Laszlo Mero

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1461216540

Category: Mathematics

Page: 276

View: 8087

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What does game theory tell us about rational behavior? Is there such a thing as rational behavior, and if so, is it of any use to us? In this fascinating book, renowned Hungarian economist Laszlo Mero shows how game theory provides insight into such aspects of human psychology as altruism, competition, and politics, as well as its relevance to disparate fields such as physics and evolutionary biology. This ideal guide shows us how mathematics can illuminate the human condition.
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Making Sense of Religion

A Study of World Religions and Theology

Author: Richard L. Corliss

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1498200710

Category: Religion

Page: 216

View: 9779

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We live in a world with many religious traditions. People in these traditions believe that their religious view of life embodies what is important, true, and real. Their religious views of life, however, differ significantly. They can't all capture equally what is important, true, and real. This book seeks to unravel this dilemma. It rejects two approaches to address the problem: First, the view that one religious view of life is the absolute, unique product of revelation, and second, the view that the foundation of all religious views of life is the same--that they are all the product of religious experiences of the same religious ultimate. This ultimate is sometimes called Being-Itself, sometimes the One. Under the second view, the differences between them are considered cultural. Making Sense of Religion shows us that religious views of life are often radically different, and these differences are not just cultural, but substantive. This book explores the hidden logic beneath the surface of religious views of life that holds them together and helps explain their differences. What follows is a way presenting, comparing, defending, and criticizing religious views of life. This is a type of theology.
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The Complete Relaxation Book

A Manual of Eastern and Western Techniques

Author: James Hewitt

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1448175593

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 224

View: 5182

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Stress is a major cause of disease today. This book is a comprehensive guide to the art of relaxation for happiness, health and well-being. Based on over thirty years of study and experience, it offers a unique synthesis of Western therapies and Eastern mysticism. James Hewitt explains how to use practical relaxation techniques such as self-hypnosis and breathing exercises safely and sensibly. He shows how, if used every day, these techniques can help relax tense minds as well as tense muscles, and even open up the possibility of 'peak experiences'. He then focuses on particular Yoga, Zen and other Buddhist methods, offering a range of techniques that will enable readers to relax in the ways that are most suited to their individual temperaments and situations.
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Zen and the Birds of Appetite

Author: Thomas Merton

Publisher: New Directions Publishing

ISBN: 0811219720

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 2963

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Merton, one of the rare Western thinkers able to feel at home in the philosophies of the East, made the wisdom of Asia available to Westerners. "Zen enriches no one," Thomas Merton provocatively writes in his opening statement to Zen and the Birds of Appetite--one of the last books to be published before his death in 1968. "There is no body to be found. The birds may come and circle for a while... but they soon go elsewhere. When they are gone, the 'nothing,' the 'no-body' that was there, suddenly appears. That is Zen. It was there all the time but the scavengers missed it, because it was not their kind of prey." This gets at the humor, paradox, and joy that one feels in Merton's discoveries of Zen during the last years of his life, a joy very much present in this collection of essays. Exploring the relationship between Christianity and Zen, especially through his dialogue with the great Zen teacher D.T. Suzuki, the book makes an excellent introduction to a comparative study of these two traditions, as well as giving the reader a strong taste of the mature Merton. Never does one feel him losing his own faith in these pages; rather one feels that faith getting deeply clarified and affirmed. Just as the body of "Zen" cannot be found by the scavengers, so too, Merton suggests, with the eternal truth of Christ.
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