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The Mother of God Paperback – July 6, 2009

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The Mother of God + American Guru: A Story of Love, Betrayal and Healing-former students of Andrew Cohen speak out + Enlightenment Blues: My Years with an American Guru
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Epigraph Publishing (July 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098245306X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982453063
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,040,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 91 people found the following review helpful By rain cloud on July 29, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The world of eastern spirituality in the USA is a small world and, if you're a member, you really owe it to yourself to read this book. Whether you buy it new, used, or even interlibrary loan it, I humbly urge you to do so.
First of all it is very, very well written. It is also painfully self-revealing, almost agonizingly so. I'd like to point out that although this book deals with an aspect of eastern civilization, we have a tradition in western civilization, too, a tradition of written history and biography, going back thousands of years (e.g. Plutarch), a tradition that says we tell the truth--no matter where that truth leads--the unvarnished, unexaggerated truth. And the fine lady who wrote this book about her son has, by doing so, placed herself squarely in that tradition. If I ever met her, I would offer her a bouquet of flowers. There is absolutely no self-aggrandizement to be found here anywhere. It is a really fine piece of work.
I read the book in less than two days, I found it so interesting. It recounts the story of how her son, well known guru andrew cohen, was "enlightened" through eastern "holy man" h.w.l. poonja. (I'd heard about this by word of mouth years ago).
However, what I hadn't heard was that upon her son's return to america, like so many westerners who play guru, he became a power-mad tyrant, bully, and monster.
(The book this most reminded me of was "Mildred Pierce" by James M. Cain, another story about a woman whose child grew up to be a selfish monster).
As someone else pointed out, no one in this story looks good. To give you a taste of the goofiness at large here--poonja claimed that several other westerners were enlightened through him, INCLUDING THE WOMAN WHO WROTE THIS BOOK. Yes!
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By "hongbarco" on February 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a truly courageous book! This book is far from a vengeful diatribe, but a sincere portrait of a woman caught up in the whirlwind of her son's sudden guru-dom. Andrew Cohen's teachings are a kind of radical eastern fundamentalism, that rejects(to the point of ridicule) the Personal/ego/suffering for absolute surrender to the Impersonal. As a result, any attempt of Luna to relate to Andrew as a mother to a son is swiftly quashed by Andrew. It becomes apparent that Andrew's own sense of security as a guru is dependent on his mother's willingness to see him as Master and not son. When she falters, he becomes possessed with a rage and impatience. Such outbursts(which were not exclusive to Luna alone) were often glossed-over as "skillful means"(teaching methods) by his disciples. Luna watches her son fall prey to the seductions of absolute power(unconditional adulation, a life free of financial worry, the freedom to not be held accountable for your actions), and wonders how such a "perfect being" could be so imperfect. On more than one occasion does he refer to himself as a "god" to his mother! In addition, his commune of disciples unravels into a sort of nazi camp where conformity and fear run amuck.
"The True Teacher knocks down the Idol that the Student makes of him." - Rumi
Andrew Cohen claims that Enlightenment is a PERMANENT state of consciousness that results in an end to suffering. When I was in college, I held similar premature beliefs of enlightenment as a sort of mystical "finish-line", that once crossed, you are forever free from self-doubt, self-delusion. At the time, I sought out numerous guru-types and Andrew Cohen was the first I met.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a very interesting book. Even though I was not with Andrew Cohen's community at the time that Luna Tarlo was involved, I can tell you from my experience with the community later, that events, like those written about in this book, still take place and worse. One does not know about them until one gets more deeply into the community life and a bit higher up in the hierarchy. Luna has shown a bit of this but little does she even know the extent of the travesty ... how badly he treats people, especially women. All with the barbaric notion that fear, cruelty, withholding, intimidation, punishment, "crazy wisdom" can uproot your "ego" and lead you towards enlightenment. Like Luna illustrates, what it does do is make you more self-preoccupied, fearful, awash in self-doubt, even suicidal. Andrew Cohen is a man who speaks about the "Unknown" yet who is convinced that "he knows." That he has experienced the mystical, there is no doubt, but beware. I can only liken him to the judgmental, punishing God of the Old Testament. In fact, his method of bringing people to "enlightenment" is an outdated paradigm (rarely worked), really no different than the fundamentalist religious methods. His methodology is as barbaric to many of us as psychotherapy is to him. So little true joy and much fear and intimidation - as Luna states - in this nazi-like community. Under Andrew Cohen's "seemingly true" curiosity and interest in others, he is always only trying to prove that he is right - look at his magazine that the cult publishes called "What is Enlightenment?" from this perspective and you will be amazed at this underlying current. I've been on the inside.Read more ›
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