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A Spiritual Journey (Paperback)

A Spiritual Journey (Paperback)
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This jewel of a book is gentle balm for any seeker who has ever broken his/her heart on the sharp spikes of the harsh, demanding intellect. Graeme Hughes has written the story of his journey from existential questioning to the utter limits of the egoic mind and its ability to understand. There, with tremendous courage, and at some considerable peril to his sanity and health, he discovers something beyond thought and reason.

On his way to this new place of tenderness, trust and compassion, Hughes is hurtled into a maelstrom of intellectual quandries and assumptions. It is his gift and his cross to confront these spiritual dilemmas squarely through reading, contemplation and tough thinking.

He takes on the New Ages's sacred cows he meets along he road, not with malice but with curiosity and diligence. For example, psychic powers - "...If you have the gift of (psychic powers) use it rarely and circumspectly and never let it distract you from the real goal." (pg. 51) And again, that a state of oceanic bliss is desirable or helpful on the spiritual path. Hughes investigates this phenomenon and concludes, bravely, I think, that this is a regressive state, characterized by an infantile with to forgo the necessary hardships on the road to true transcendence. He seems to be finding his way to the Zen paradox, "First there is a mountain, then no mountain, then mountain again." You have to have a self, then lose it, to find the Self. It is quite "other" than a trip back to undifferentiated oneness. There are others: meditation, exoteric ritual and esoteric knowing, to name two more.

There is so much in this short book that I will only mention some of the terrain he has covered by listing some of the authors, teachers and spiritual systems he contemplates: Carl Jung's individuation archetype and psychological types, Joseph Campbell and the Hero's journey, Aldous Huxley and the Perennial Philosophy, Ken Wilber, Vedanta, the Tao, modern Christianity, Ramara Maharshi, Bahkti, Gnana, and Karma Yoga and the list goes on. Really, it is extraordinary what he as packed into this book.

Finally, nearly broken many times in body and mind, (and by the mind, as well) he finds his path, his particular practice: trust. This is the solution that renders irrelevant the mind's insane drive to own, know and separate. It is a stunning step for a man with a mind so powerful it almost dropped him in his tracks. Gently and transparently he describes his personal battles and breakthroughs and the applications he has come to from all he has (un)learned. It is here that the book takes on its benediction for those of us whose path it is to do battle with the intellect.

Keep this book close by. It is one you will read more than once and graze through often for that special inspiration.

Lavida Bond, Therapist

Product ID: 43902     ISBN-13: 9781552124369     ISBN-10: 1552124363
Category: Psychology & Philosophy
Supporting language: English
Platforms/media types: Printed Matter