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Soul without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within Paperback – December 1, 1998


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Soul without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within + The Unfolding Now: Realizing Your True Nature through the Practice of Presence + The Power of Divine Eros: The Illuminating Force of Love in Everyday Life
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala; 1st edition (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157062383X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570623837
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

With Foreword, introductory quote, and chapter-end quotes by noted spiritual teacher A.H. Almaas, the reader is alerted to the fact that the author is a student of the Diamond Approach, yet the work stands perfectly well alone without previous introduction to the Ridhwan School. Focusing on the development and structure of the superego, Brown explains how its supposed moral guidance is more than suspect, exposing it as the harsh, purely mental, often untruthful critic it is. Assisting the reader through steps designed to encourage recognition of the endless tirade of blame, criticism, and comparison heaped upon the self by the superego, he provides 30 simple practices to increase self-awareness, decrease incessant judgment, and release this overrated mental projection's stranglehold on heart and soul. --Randall Cohan

From Publishers Weekly

Brown, a disciple of the Diamond Way Approach, a "modern spiritual path based on self-understanding," encourages readers to rediscover their life spirit by silencing their inner critics in this dense and rather ponderous guidebook. Chapters alternately muse on soul characteristics such as compassion and explain how the self-defeating superego, which the author calls "the judge," can be identified, understood and finally disengaged. Inexplicably, Brown never refers to the many classic and contemporary thinkers who have written brilliantly on these topics (a bibliography lists only eight books, four by Diamond Approach founder A.H. Almaas, who also provides the book's foreword). Reading this book is thus a little like sitting at the Indy 500 and watching someone try to reinvent the wheel. Painstaking explications of commonly understood concepts, frequent restatement and a hectoring tone ("The fact is, you do not recognize yourself as soul. You do not know the source of your own aliveness") make for laborious reading. Some of Brown's insights?particularly about the ways bodily awareness can both signal and halt the self-judgment cycle?are helpful, but fuzzy generalities far outnumber practical suggestions, while stories that might ground the book in actual experience are often unintentionally funny: "Frank observed the hairs sticking out of his nostrils and wished his fingers didn't enjoy scraping the inside of his nose so much."
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

A book that should read again and again over many years.
fliss
This book, if you are willing to do the work, will change your life.
J. Henry
HIGHLY recommend this book -- very helpful and informative.
meow mixd

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 100 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book provides incredibly detailed information on the workings of the inner critic, and helps build awareness and a solid skill set for disarming it. It is very well organized; each chapter introduces a topic and then gives you exercises to work with the material. It had a very powerful impact on me, equivalent to a week-long spiritual retreat.
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By theworld on September 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
It seems like a repeat of so many topics that speak about mindfulness. If you've read a few books on Zen and mindfulness, then you're probably easily bored with new authors finding new ways to say, "pay attention!" This book steps away from the rest by using the ideas of Almaas and essence. This is a very useful book to read slowly and repeatedly. It does not contain any miracle methods for killing the superego, but it has lots of simple and useful exercises to explore the depth of your judge.
I especially recommend this book to shy people.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
Personally and as a mental health therapist this is one of the most effective presentations I have read with regard to recognizing, confronting, and changing unhelpful and ineffective intra- and interpersonal patterns. If one is 'ready, ' for a personally fulfilling joruney, this text will serve as a welcome guidepost. Thanks Byron Brown.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
I love this book! It's one of the best books I've ever read. For me it's in the same category as Fromm's Art of Loving and Buber's I and Thou--that is a book that makes such an impression that you don't forget it for decades. Soul Without Shame is well written, deeply thought provoking, and practical. I found myself making use of ideas from the book before I finished reading it. The exercises and practices at the end of each chapter are very worthwhile. Chapter 8 (Engaging the Judge) and Chapter 12 (Why Judge?)were chapters that resonated for me. I strongly recommend this book to people who are interested in becoming more aware of their own thought patterns and for those trying to quiet the inner critic so they can express their creativity.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J. Henry on May 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Even after the first three weeks of elation that I experienced after reading the book and implementing the many skills I learned, and the subsequent return to the reality of my "inner judge" causing havoc in my life, I still find this to be the most powerful self-help book I haver ever read. I reference it constantly, to find language to support my soul and release myself from negative feelings and related behavior caused by internal criticism. I have recommended this book to many friends who all agree. This book, if you are willing to do the work, will change your life.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
Byron Brown captures every feeling I've felt in the past 3 years and addresses it simply by not determining it as good or bad but just the way it is. You can choose to continue to try to conform or you can realize that you have, along with your inner judge, the capacity to step out of bounds and make a singular decision from your soul, if you can find your soul.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
Tony Schwartz, author of What Really Matters, says it well in his blurb on the back cover: "Soul Without Shame is that rare book that blends intellectual depth, genuine originality, and practical usefulness. As Byron Brown envisions the 'inner critic,' (the superego) it is a force that most of us accept as a necessary moral compass in our lives, but which in fact attacks us relentlessly and insidiously. Gracefully and persuasively, Brown makes the case that we literally become our own worst enemies, undermining even our most determined efforts to grow and prosper. This book offers rich and fresh insights into an aspect of inner work that is far too often neglected, and also sets out systematic ways to break free of the prison of judgment--both of ourselves and of others."
Byron Brown has achieved a deceptively simple, compelling, systematic and clear distillation of basic superego analysis--as practiced in the Diamond Way so superbly developed by A. H. Almaas (Hameed Ali). The book might be more accurately and successfully marketed with a title such as Soul Without Judgment, if Shambhala just had to use popular buzz words.
From A. H. Almaas' blurb: "In very clear and available language, this book details how to recognize the inner critic and how to deal effectively with it. Byron Brown's presentation is useful for any individual who wishes to be free from the inner suffering and coercion of this ancient foe of our humanity, but it is specifically directed to those interested and engaged in the inner journey toward realization and enlightenment."
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
Very well laid out, presenting concepts in bite size pieces and with lots of supporting examples in simple terms. I found I resonated deeply with many of the issues raised. For the first time felt myself naturally doing the exercises at the end of the chapters because they made perfect sense. I gained much joy and hope from myself through this book. It's feels like having a friend confide their worst fears to you and realising that you feel exactly the same way and had been too scared to speak out.
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