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The Way of Selflessness: A Practical Guide to Enlightenment Based on the Teachings of the World's Gr Paperback – 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: Center for Sacred Sciences (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0962038725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0962038723
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,308,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
The book is comprehensive and it's beautiful.
Sylvia Hawley
The Way of Selflessness is more than the advertised "practical guide to enlightenment," much more than a map along spiritual paths.
Robert Fripp
This book is also highly recommended for scholars.
James M. Corrigan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Carol Lynn Blackwell on September 12, 2009
As a child has no idea the value of a good teacher until years down the road so am I, in regards to this book. There is just an inkling of its value, and words to describe that suspicion are difficult.
Joel points in this book to the well worn path the mystics of all great traditions have traveled and sets our feet firmly on it. Because of the purity and conciseness of their voices with his it is difficult for the ego to find comfort in its old ways of approaching the world. He quotes the great saints, sages and enlightened ones then applies their teachings in modern terms so that their secrets are revealed. He shows us clearly what is mysterious on the path and what is not, this alone cuts through years of unnecessary confusion. We marvel with him at the fact that cross culturally and across the centuries these teachers are saying the same thing. Then as any good teacher he implores us to find out for our-selves if what these great masters have said is true. In our time I would say of this book "where the rubber meets the road" on the spiritual path.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Karen Fierman on September 15, 2009
This is a great book. If you had only one spiritual how-to-do-it (become wiser, more compassionate, happier, and--if you persist--Enlightened) book you could take to a desert island, you could do no better than to take "The Way of Selflessness."

Not only does it contain detailed instructions on how to walk a spiritual path with grace and style, it shows the reader that at the core of all of the world's major religious traditions (and even many of the smaller ones--Native American, e.g.) there exists one core capital T Truth. There's simply no other book I know of that demonstrates this fact so comprehensively.

Written with warmth and personality, this book is imminently accessible and entertaining as well. I can't recommend it enough.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By James M. Corrigan on October 18, 2009
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I have searched high and low for a book of this stature, that clearly sets out the universal understandings of all spiritual, mystical, and religious traditions in a way that is eminently useful for both understanding one's own way as well as how others approach Truth.

That there is such a Truth is the point of Part I of this book. Again, the points are clear and succinctly given with just enough words to make them understandable, but no more, and adequately illustrated by quotations from writers without regard to what traditions they are associated with. The effect of this is two-fold: they reinforce what the author is stating and they break down the hard divisions that we are so ingrained to expect. That latter is a subtle way of reconfirming that first point that there is an absolute Truth.

But please don't misunderstand me. Nowhere in this book will you find the absolute Truth, nor does the author imply that you will. What you will find in this book is an expression of an understanding of that Truth with clear and comprehensive explanations of the different paths to understanding (gnosis/realization) regardless of how you must approach your own path, whether through an intellectual exploration of your own illusory beliefs, or as devotional practice. Even here though the author does us all a great service by pointing out that these two ways that understanding unfolds are not exclusive. They are, rather, a continuum within which we all find ourselves, thus we are more or less attracted to one pole or another of that continuum, but never are we exclusively served by the one or the other pole. This is not very frequently the case with other books as they all tend to focus on one path or another.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. W. Taylor on September 28, 2009
Are you an American seeker who: a) rebelled against the exoteric nonsense your parents tried to jam down your throat, but have retained faith there is esoteric Truth to be revealed; b) got burned by a charismatic figure or charlatan cult leader who preyed on your credulity, took your cash, or even exploited you sexually; c) realizes you can't fully adapt to a spirituality or religion which is infused with cultural traditions and practices which simply do not fit your upbringing? All of the above?

Or are you any seeker anywhere who seeks Truth from a true Teacher?

This book is a gift from a gnostic who has synthesized the most profound mystical teachings and practices from all world religions into a practical guide to gnostic awakening.

And who will tell your right off the bat: do not beleive what I say because I say it. Do it, experience it, find it for yourself.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sylvia Hawley on September 8, 2009
Is a spiritual teacher who can mix plain speak with comprehensive scholarship. Joel Morwood has said this is the book he wished he had on his search, a search that culminated in a seemingly spontaneous, joyful awakening sometime in 1983 in northwest Washington state, as far as imaginable from his native NYC.

Since then, Joel has been teaching and practicing, sometimes in California and most recently in Oregon. His focus is on the mystics of all the great traditions and their unified field concept of what it is to awaken, to be awakened, to become Buddha mind, to lose the delusion that seems to separate us from our true home.

In his title, The Way of Selflessness, if I understand him, he refers not only to what we might call unselfishness but also to the ultimate fact that there is no self at all and what we've done by making a reality of our local consciousness is to lose our belonging with the absolute reality, that only conscousness itself exists, that only conscousness is real and all forms are part of the dream of seeming.

The book begins at the beginning and takes a comprehensive tour of the awakening process, traveling along in plain speak with quotes from every tradition's mystics, quotations that are triggering of various key and liberating realizations.

I highly recommend the book. Joel vetted his manuscript with practitioners at the Center for Sacred Sciences in Eugene, Oregon for more than a year before letting his manuscript be printed. Those members worked through the manuscript chapter by chapter and after that year, gave suggestions and feedback to their teacher. In turn, he applied their feedback and the book became available to the public.
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