Having read all three books and having initial difficulty with the TONE, I have come to feel that as a body of work with progressive evidence of detachment from ego and identity, they are extraordinarily useful. The MP3 books were a better experience than the print versions. They are hilariously useful as he elucidates what enlightenment is not. Soggy, moony, dreamy, kind, blissful...tantric, Hindi, Buddhist, Zen...nicely read and fashionably accessorized. And what it is, an increasing distance from believing you are a mind or body, while being viscerally intimate with all of it. Being human, without the usual stagecraft. A life in which the question "why the hell not?" is increasingly unanswerable. Like Adyashanti, this guy is a closer. If you are near the end of teachers and teaching, a friend indeed. E. Dunn
I read this book several months ago when it first came out. I had previously read the first two books in the trilogy. I enjoyed the first book but the second one was disappointing for me. I would say this one is the best written. It's dramatic, funny, and even touching at times. What a great writer! I would have given it 5 stars but the first chapter was irritating and drawn out to point of becoming boring. It's basically a chase scene that goes into minute detail about every move made. I knew the details of the chase were irrelevant so I just skimmed through it.
There is a lot of great stuff in this book. I love the way he skewers much of the new agey spiritual scene. There is page after page of fresh musings on life and the spiritual path. BUT, this book left a weird taste in my mouth. He definitely sets himself up (or the main character in the book) as an authority on how to become grown-up or self actualized or an adult. I can't remember the main term he uses. But do I really want to listen to the teaching of someone who needs an assistant to travel with because he can't deal with routine interactions with the public? Or how about the fact that he wants nothing more than to live alone with his dog and not have any close relationships with other human beings? If this was a book on geometry, then his personal life wouldn't matter, but he's talking about becoming a mature adult and "experience a direct and authentic spirituality". If he can't really deal with everyday normal stuff, how seriously can I take his mature adulthood?
I don't usually write reviews unless I feel very moved that a book clearly illustrates some point - a point the author generally doesn't intend to make. I think this book, as all of the trilogy, does that in a very five star way. It isn't the faux-storytelling, I understand why the author is doing that. It frames a narrative used as example. It isn't even the underlying points of truth the author is trying to illustrate. The five star quality is something I refer to as "sucking your own exhaust"...being so immersed in your views that you don't see what really is, even though you think it's all quite clear because you've walled yourself off thinking that you're done done. Point one: there is no such thing as "done done".
There is a point in the book where the author (I will just use "the author" because we don't really know who he/she is) says "all that is, is good". He's talking about perfect intelligence and the fact that whatever happens is the best possible thing that could happen. To anyone who knows and is paying attention, these thoughts are anathema. The author just did what he's railing against in a lot of this installment: the non-serious syrupy New Age crapola where everything is light, beauty, and peace. He just coated the truth with it to make you feel better about it. Because the truth is much more simple: everything that is, is. Full stop. Nothing more. End of discussion. There is no good, there is no best outcome, there is nothing but what is. Your human failure to grasp what that means is the issue, not what is. Your very human quality of wanting to believe something is for the best is over-riding the truth that the universe is unconcerned with your interpretation of good and bad. It's beyond that. And so is anyone who truly understands.Read more ›
I quite liked the first book in the trilogy, and the second was a grind to get through, although I loved the literary analysis of Moby Dick. Spiritual Warfare, however, was a total page turner for me, and when I finished it, I picked it right back up and read it again (this is only the second book that has ever inspired me to do that).
There is no book quite like this one, and I resonated so greatly with its suggestion to focus on what's really true - that we can die at any moment, and that we have no idea when that moment will be. No spiritual practice gets to me quite like the practice of remembering, at as many moments of the day as possible, that in a flash, this could all be over. The concept is presented and illustrated brilliantly throughout the book.
Also covered, surprisingly, is intuition and manifestation, though he certainly doesn't call them by those names. Those sections are a great reminder of what's possible when we're in a state of flow.
If you've made it this far, and have read the first two in the series, Spiritual Warfare is the icing on the cake. Don't deprive yourself of reading the best of the three. If you're considering diving into the trilogy, do the work of reading the first two thoroughly so that you can fully enjoy this fully worthy ending.
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