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Handbook for the Recently Enlightened: What Enlightenment Is and How to Attain It Paperback – May 3, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Heptarchia (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956332137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956332134
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,016,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ron Holiday on September 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is what we call a hardcore dharma book, folks. These things are few and far between. Daniel Ingram's "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha" is another. Indeed, this book is dedicated to Daniel Ingram, which suggests that Daniel and his manner of teaching must have been a great influence on Duncan. That is a GOOD thing. What Duncan has done here is taken the virtues of Ingram's hallmark piece-the rawness, the honesty, the fearlessness of explicit description of states of consciousness-and fleshed them out with the lessons of his own personal experience as a spiritual practitioner.

I think there are two types of people who purchase dharma books (actually this is a distinction that I picked up from Duncan's book): 1) those who seek spiritual practice as a means of making themselves happier, ie to have a better mood. The majority of people fall into this category and there is nothing wrong with that. but then there are 2) those who seek spiritual practice because they are absolutely fascinated with the fact that they exist and because they get the sense that existence isn't what it presents itself to be.

This book is definitely going to speak much more to the second category of readers.

Furthermore, it might not speak directly to someone who is looking for an introduction to Buddhism or other "enlightenment"-seeking traditions, but for the individual who has been dabbling in Buddhism and other spiritual traditions and making the teachings of such traditions a part of his or her worldview, this will speak loudly and clearly.

Duncan comes at Buddhism from a very peculiar angle-that of Western occultism.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Wilson on May 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book left a lot to be desired. It doesn't seem to have a coherent point or purpose, there doesn't seem to be a genuine underlying theme or thread that really ties everything together. Instead it seems a mishmash of essays concerning spiritual matters in reference to their significance to enlightenment. I deeply appreciate the attempt to bring 'enlightenment' down to earth and to call out the spiritual materialism people bring to their practice of trying to fix their problems and whatnot. I feel he is spot on when he says the people that keep going to the 'end,' even after hitting blocks, downfalls, disillusions, etc, are the people who HAVE to, who just can't stand not to do so. The first chapter is great because of this. The beginning of the third chapter also has some gems concerning practice, results, and the paradox between the two. That stuff really hit at home for me and it was nice to be able to relate to someone through their writing of concepts I haven't read anywhere else which describe how I've been feeling lately. That right there practically made the book worth it for me, but for twelve bucks? Not so sure....
Basically the book is very short and gives the impression of a bunch of random blog posts strung together and published without really having an overarching point or otherwise lasting impression. It doesn't seem like he knows what he wants to say, and if he does I didn't really get it. I finished with the feeling "that's it?" It left me wanting more cohesion and depth.
Also, in reference to another reviewer calling this a "hardcore dharma" book, I disagree entirely.
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