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Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism (Shambhala Dragon Editions) Paperback – June 12, 1987
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Examines the self-deceptions, distortions, and sidetracks that imperil the spiritual journey as well as awareness and fearlessness of the true path.
About the Author
Chögyam Trungpa (1940–1987)—meditation master, teacher, and artist—founded Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, the first Buddhist-inspired university in North America; the Shambhala Training program; and an international association of meditation centers known as Shambhala International. He is the author of numerous books including Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, and The Myth of Freedom.
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The problem with spiritual materialism is that we cheat ourselves with it; we try to profit from it, but we lose as a result. Maybe we feel wonderful about having earned an important sounding credential within our church; we have now become one of those people who walk around with a VIP button on their lapel. Maybe there is nothing wrong with the button, but if we mistake it for genuine spiritual accomplishment and stop working on our own hearts and minds as a result, then we have truly done ourselves a disservice.
Although spiritual materialism is rampant nowadays, Chogyam Trungpa made its dangers very clear in his original teachings, many of which are contained in this book. I would say that Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism is a must read for everyone who may be considering embarking upon a spiritual journey, or even for those people who have already begun and wish to stop, catch their breath, and take a second look at where they are going.
It manages to strike the head of the nail of a cancerous issue in modern Western spirituality: The desire to wear your spiritual "achievements" as a crown and a proof of your superiority. Trungpa disassembles this notion, in a very direct and easy-to-understand way, and leaves you naked and (hopefully) with a little less ego. Back in the human realm.
This is not a book for the faint-hearted. It is a book for people who would like to expand their understanding of the human condition and the traps and dead-ends of spiritual communities.