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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Regardless of one's faith or religious practice, Create Your Own Religion challenges the pitfalls of blind faith and is a refreshing reminder that we all have a choice as to how spiritually open minded we allow ourselves to be." --Ben Harper, Grammy award winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist

STARRED LIBRARY JOURNAL REVIEW: This is one of the most refreshing, humorous, and radically honest books about practical and comparative religion this reviewer has ever come across. Bolelli (history, Santa Monica Coll. & California State Univ., Long Beach; 50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know: Religion), whose website declares, "Answering hopelessness with a defiant smile and raised middle finger!" offers a bold, passionate invitation to question everything we've been taught, saying only that which remains relevant. Thus, Bolelli is a heretic in the classic sense of one who picks and chooses what to believe. However, this is not shallow New Age drivel; rather, it is a candid and ambitious investigation of the beliefs of major world religions, Eastern and Western, on a wide variety of topics including afterlife, gender roles, sex, and laughter. Throughout, Bolelli cheerfully and irreverently searches for meaningful answers buried among the spiritual relics of humanity. VERDICT: Highly recommended for all those who are not absolutely certain about the truth of their beliefs or lack of them. Likely to be enjoyed by those who do not take themselves too seriously." -Brian Sullivan, Alfred Univ. Lib., NY

"Daniele Bolelli's book is a joy to read. It is clearly written and engaging, filled with humor and thought provoking ideas. The questions he raises and the dialogue he creates is not only worthwhile but, I believe, essential. I am thrilled that he touches on the Bruce Lee legacy within these pages. I believe wholeheartedly that my father's legacy continues to survive today precisely because he tried to honestly express himself and challenge himself to expand personally just as Mr. Bolelli is challenging you to do here. If this book creates an emotional reaction in you (whether good or bad), then I believe it has done its job. I for one have enjoyed seeing the world through Daniele Bolelli's eyes!" --Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee's daughter and CEO of Bruce Lee Enterprises

"With a cheerful, good-natured smile, Daniele Bolelli torpedoes the often luxurious but spiritually leaky battleships that sail under the various flags of the world's organized religions." --Tom Robbins, author of Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, Jitterbug Perfume, Still Life with Woodpecker, and several other books

"Daniele Bolelli is in the house. Minds will be blown. Lives will be changed." --Joe Rogan, host of the hit reality television series Fear Factor and television personality.

"Bolelli's direct confrontation with dogma without giving an inch and without prescribing a new dogma is about as fresh as it gets. His brand of radically honest philosophy is the perfect cure to liberate our minds." --Mike Vallely, musician, actor, television personality, stuntman, professional wrestler, and hockey player

About the Author

Daniele Bolelli is a writer, university professor and martial artist and the author of 50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know: Religion. He is a history professor at Santa Monica College and California State University, Long Beach and is a regular contributor to several magazines both in Italy and in the United States. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Disinformation Books (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938875028
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938875021
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniele Bolelli is a writer, martial artist, and university professor. He was born in Italy and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Writing: His first solo book, "La Tenera Arte del Guerriero," was published when Bolelli was 22 years old. This work, which is a philosophical exploration of the martial arts, went on to become a cult classic in Italy even outside the confines of martial arts circles. It was later published in the United States with three additional chapters under the title "On the Warrior's Path." Two more chapters were added for a second edition published in 2008. "On the Warrior's Path" has been published in Russia and will be published in Italy in a new updated edition at the end of 2012.

His second book entitled "iGod: Istruzioni per l'Uso di una Religione Fai da Te" was published in Italy in 2011. This wild ride through comparative religion will be released in the United States in early 2013. Bolelli's third book, "50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know: Religion," was published in the United States in December 2011. Some of the most influential thinkers to have affected his world view include Tom Robbins, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ikkyu Sojun, Thomas Paine, Henry David Thoreau, Lao Tzu, and Heraclitus.

Teaching career: After graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in Anthropology, and earning graduate degrees at UCLA (in American Indian Studies) and CSULB (History), Bolelli began teaching at several colleges in Southern California. Unlike most scholars who tend to specialize in one particular field of knowledge, Bolelli adopts a "renaissance" man-approach to teaching that has led him to lecture on a wide range of subjects including American Indian history and philosophy, history of the United States, world religions, history of ancient Rome, history and philosophy of martial arts, the ethnic experience in the United States, world history, plus several courses on the relationship between cinema and history. Perhaps even more peculiar than his unusually extensive repertoire is Bolelli's lecturing style. Much like his writing, in fact, his lecturing style combines discussions of complex, deep subjects with much humor and "street lingo." For this reason, he has been defined as "half stand up comedian and half Zen master." This odd mix has made him extremely popular among students.

Martial Arts: Bolelli has trained in several styles of martial arts including kung fu san soo, taijiquan, baguazhang, xingyiquan, submission wrestling, Brazilian jiujitsu, boxing, and judo. He holds a fifth degree black belt in kung fu san soo-a style that he has taught for several years at UCLA's John Wooden Center. Bolelli also coached and fought professionally in mixed martial arts (MMA).

Media: Bolelli was featured in "I Am Bruce Lee" which broke Spike TV's rating record for documentaries. He has appeared as a guest on popular podcasts such as Duncan Trussell's, Adam Carolla's and Joe Rogan's.

Customer Reviews

It's a very interesting read with the author giving you many very controversial opinions on many religious topics.
Jay Richley
What I like about the book is how he skewers the hypocrisy of organized religion yet shows us the illumination inherent in some of the world's perennial philosophies.
Tuco Ramirez
Listen to Bolleli on Joe Rogan or Duncan Trussell or his own podcast first.... that way you can read the book after hearing Bolleli's Italian accent in your mind.
Tyson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tuco Ramirez on March 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
I have read Daniele Bolelli's other works and grew to be a fan as he distills ancient and current wisdom into a form and substance anyone can apply to their own life philosophy. If anyone is familiar with the philosopher Alan Watts, Daniele basically tells us that "This is It" and you might as well have a good time while one is here breathing as there is no where to get to. While Watts wrote in an Eastern way about the interconnectedness of all, Daniele synthesizes this in this treatise on Religion. If all of life is a web connecting everyone else then why not choose the best bits of culture/philosophy in order to live the best possible life. What I like about the book is how he skewers the hypocrisy of organized religion yet shows us the illumination inherent in some of the world's perennial philosophies. If you want to read one of modern day history's greatest story tellers infused with great quotes by Nietzsche and others than this is a book for you. I had fun reading this and had a wry smile on the whole time. Bolelli is half monk, half raconteur.. ie, the Drunken Taoist..
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tyson on March 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book - all of it cover to cover. Daniele has a Bruce Lee approach to philosophy i.e. take the best qualities of all religions/ philosophy and use what you like. Daniele is a regular on the Joe Rogan and Duncan Trussell podcasts and has his own podcast called "The Drunken Taoist ". I don't read a lot of paper books as i am an audiobook type person. I made an exception in this case and actually read a paper book for the first time in ten years. That is how exceptional this book is.
We think the title is a bit misleading- in a good way. The core focus is examining Religion AND Philosophy from a unique and interesting perspective. There is not a dull moment- Bolleli comments and prepares you for what is coming next in a funny way.
Listen to Bolleli on Joe Rogan or Duncan Trussell or his own podcast first.... that way you can read the book after hearing Bolleli's Italian accent in your mind. Some compare his accent to GSP George St. Pierre the UFC welterweight world champion. If you listen to them side by side you can tell the difference. Bolleli plays an example of this on one of his earlier podcasts and often makes fun of his own accent and how it mangles people's names. He is a great intellectual without the typical my s√|t doesn't stink attitude. In fact he is quite to opposite and voices his opinion on academia and it's snobbery. Like GSP Bolleli might say to the snobs of academia "I am not impressed with your performance"
Could go on and on
Highly recommended book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Hagbard Celine on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
If you already know Daniele "The Drunken Taoist" Bolelli, then this book is a special treat. If you don't, let's just say you've never read someone so knowledgeable about religions of all stripes be so funny and irreverent about the topic while still having incredible insight. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ida on March 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is for those among the human race who are not keen on blindly following orders. It is a call to experience true spirituality, something which various religions have tried to institutionalize and make a profit off for millennia. Bolleli guides his readers on their individual path to religion with all the power-grabbing, dogmatic, pedophilia, oppression nastiness stripped away. He invites you to reject dogma and to be truly spiritual. You really don't need this book because, as the title says, it's not a manual. It merely shows you a truth that you already know. But you'll love this book because it will be your companion and your friend who supports you when you trust in that which you know to be true but which is contrary to what everyone is telling you that you have to believe. This book can be read from beginning to end or you can drop in on whatever chapter is most appealing to you. Great book for all types of readers!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Book-Movie-Music Lover on October 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
The title of this book can be confusing. It leads potential readers to believe that, if they are disillusioned with organized religion, they can create their own religion. Implicit in this would seem to be a goal of finding personal peace, experiencing more love for yourself and others, and especially building more tolerance for people of all religions.
If this is the kind of book you're looking for, this is not likely to help you achieve your goals.
This is a book filled with anger and resentment toward virtually all organized religions. There is virtually no mention of the concepts of peace, love and tolerance in the book. The author opens the book by stating: "What you are holding in your hands is not another angry, organized religion-bashing atheist book." However, if you remove two words "not" and "atheist," this first line describes this book perfectly: "What you are holding in your hands is another angry, organized religion-bashing book."
The author definitely has a lot of anger toward organized religion, and this anger comes out on almost every page. In fact, the author also seems to be angry with life and people in general. Some comments selected from two pages at random: "This is why any time someone tells me that everything happens for a reason, I have to work really hard to avoid punching them in the face." (pg.46). "Just a few hours ago, as I was writing some of the harshest, most cynical paragrahs of this chapter...." (pg.47).
For some people, and certainly for the author, this book can be an excellent way to vent if you have a significant amount of anger with organized religion. If this is your goal, this book is definitely five stars.
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