Customer Reviews


24 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legitimate science and spirituality!
If you are ready to explore new discoveries connecting spirituality and neuroscience, and have an expert collect them, summarize them and make them not only readable but meaningful, read this book.
As the jacket cover of this terrific book says, "Dr. Vaillant lays out a brilliant defense not of organized religion, but of man's inherent spirituality." He finds that...
Published on October 10, 2008 by William Clark

versus
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant read, but somewhat slow
Recommended by a friend of mine who heard the author's NPR interview, I purchased the book right away since I was really confused between being religious and spiritual. This book presented very satisfactory answers that you could be spiritually mature and full of positive emotions without submitting yourself to one particular religious community. Based on decades of adult...
Published on August 24, 2008 by Jae Yeon Jung


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legitimate science and spirituality!, October 10, 2008
If you are ready to explore new discoveries connecting spirituality and neuroscience, and have an expert collect them, summarize them and make them not only readable but meaningful, read this book.
As the jacket cover of this terrific book says, "Dr. Vaillant lays out a brilliant defense not of organized religion, but of man's inherent spirituality." He finds that the positive emotions of love, joy, hope and forgiveness are rooted in the evolution of the human brain. He predicts that our spiritual evolution will continue, and quotes published research in neuroscience and related fields that support this idea.
His writing is informative, clever and witty, filled with humanity, compassion, and the wisdom of a scholar with a deep commitment to understanding how the tapestries of human connection and spirituality are interwoven.
He is justifiably well-known for scholarly publications derived from his direction of the Harvard study of adult development for 35 years, his work in alcoholism, and his willingness to integrate diverse points of view.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Amygdala meets Emily Dickinson - WONDERFUL BOOK!, June 3, 2008
Here is what will happen to you when you read George Vaillant's Spiritual Evolution:
* During the chapter "Joy," you may cry as you feel Joy. During the chapter "Love," you will want to call home to say Hi.
* You will be pulled in by personal stories from the Study of Adult Development, and how these men have come around to positive emotions and spirituality.
* You will be inside a colossal head fake - a situation in which you're learning but it seems like you're playing.

In Spiritual Evolution, Vaillant does something amazing: he makes the reader feel the emotion in the chapter about that emotion - Joy, Love, Compassion, Awe, and more. Imagine having a book in which you could reach for the emotion Joy just by opening that chapter again. This is the psychoanalyst at his best - he has bottled the emotions. Furthermore, he's bottled them by connecting your curiosity about how the mind works with your love for Emily Dickinson. It's the best kind of learning when it feels like play. Imagine having a book that you open up, and Vaillant on the other side says, "Let's play."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beauty of Connection, October 15, 2008
Spiritual Evolution is really a book about what binds us together. Religions have historically done some great things, but have also spread violence and segregation in the name of truth. Vaillant's heart-filled and wise book addresses what is universally good and true about all spiritual practice, and does so in a way that will inspire you to spread love, joy, and forgiveness.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A blend of science, spirituality, AA, and prosocial behavior, May 29, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you want to read just one good book about spirituality, I highly recommend George Valliant's (2008) Spiritual Evolution: A Scientific Defense of Faith. Vaillant is a research psychiatrist (which means the book is crammed with neurobiology) and directed Harvard's Study of Adult Development for 35 years. His conception of spirituality revolves around the eight positive emotions that involve human connection. He argues throughout that prosocial behavior is part and parcel of natural selection, that positive emotions both promote and follow prosocial behavior, and that this process occurs in the limbic and parasympathetic systems and the amygdala (rather than in conscious, cognitive thought processes), and that humanity is moving (from an evolutionary perspective) in the direction of greater spiritual (prosocial) interaction.

Vaillant would argue that spirituality defies rational, cognitive description. Vaillant's final chapter, entitled "The Difference Between Religion and Spirituality", is primarily a fascinating discussion of Alcoholics Anonymous ("AA"), which he concludes is mostly a spiritual rather than a religious program. AA certainly has its detractors, but it has also helped an awful lot of people to maintain sobriety, and Vaillant's discussion of the spiritual aspect of the program was most interesting. Given my emphasis on the importance of humor, I was also pleased to note his comment that AA meetings tend to be filled with laughter and humor (although, beneath it all there is a "deadly seriousness"). Excellent book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks mom for "that" gene!, January 28, 2009
I finished my reading and this is really an amazing book, for it states in one place many things about spirituality and positive emotions that you may have heard about here and there or seem to be intuitive, but are not linked to any formal scientific knowledge. Here you may the links that were missing, or at least the first step to bring spirituality, positive emotions and science closer together.
It puts in black and white many ideas about religion and spirituality. I think the last chapter is the best, but you will not feel it if you have not read the other ones.
It's always good to read and meditate about positive emotions, it helps in keeping them alive! Useful for my spiritual journey. Helps understanding goals and means.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking......, August 23, 2009
The book is a wonderful example thanks to the author, that when one studies people from around the world, even if they are of a different belief or religion there are things that they all have in common. This is NOT about religion, far from it. The author writes so well about how cultures have evolved and as wisdom is discovered and put into place that history itself changes.

And we are reminded that religion often if not always, requires some 'leader' or dogma, whereas a universal spirituality can be as simple as sitting on a mountain top and sensing something bigger than ourselves, with no name, has created or allowed all we see to be created.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faith is not Blind, September 20, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Vaillant brings great insight born of experience and education to this topic. His work acknowledges the contribution of both science and the religious to the spiritual way of life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended to many others., June 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Spiritual Evolution: How We Are Wired for Faith, Hope, and Love (Paperback)
I think this is an important book that can extend the appreciation of science and spirituality. Well reasoned and well written. I have recommended it to many friends.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Read, February 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Spiritual Evolution: How We Are Wired for Faith, Hope, and Love (Paperback)
It is difficult to bring clarity to the difference between religion and spirituality, but he has done it. Simple yet powerful concepts in this book fill each page and help us to understand ourselves better. A good example of one of these concepts is that normal human development is actually a spiritual progression. He shows with great success how religion harnesses our positive emotions and how cults abuse them. After reading his book I have renewed hope that we can all coexist, and that we can put the nonsense to rest.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Evolution; how we are wired for faith, hope and love, February 21, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Spiritual Evolution: How We Are Wired for Faith, Hope, and Love (Paperback)
I have never read anything by this author that I didn't like. This book arises out of his experience with a longitudinal study on the natural history of mental illness. Within this study was around 180 alcoholics that he followed through most of their life. His finding that Alcoholics Anonymous was superior to professinal treatment led him to consider how spirituality contributed to his process. I have been dealing in these issues for 30 years and find his book breathtakingly to the point. It is a must read for Ministry and Professional's involved in recovery.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Spiritual Evolution: How We Are Wired for Faith, Hope, and Love
Spiritual Evolution: How We Are Wired for Faith, Hope, and Love by George E. Vaillant (Paperback - June 9, 2009)
$15.99 $13.61
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.