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Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path Paperback – October 1, 2009
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The Amazon Book Review
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—JOHN WELWOOD, author of Toward a Psychology of Awakening
" Essential reading for those on the spiritual path, and for those who want to see effective spiritual paths developed in our culture."
—CHARLES TART, author of Altered States of Consciousness
About the Author
Mariana Caplan, PhD, received degrees in cultural anthropology, counseling psychology, and contemporary spirituality. However, she attributes the majority of her education and inspiration to years of research and practice in the world’s great mystical traditions, and to living in villages in India, Central and South America, and Europe. She is a counselor, professor of yogic and transpersonal psychologies, and the author of six books in the fields of psychology and spirituality, including Halfway Up the Mountain and To Touch Is to Live. Mariana resides in the San Francisco Bay area and teaches at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Mariana Caplan has received the following awards for Eyes Wide Open:
- 2010 Gold IPPY - New Age (Mind-Body-Spirit)
- 2010 Gold Living Now Award - Enlightenment/Spirituality
- 2010 Silver Nautilus Award – Spirituality
Top Customer Reviews
This book also helps bridge the duality and non-duality perspectives and draws on transpersonal psychology, shadow work, Buddhist philosophy, developmental psychology, and other sources to help bring together psychology and spirituality to support integrative approaches to spiritual development.
Fans of Ken Wilber may appreciate the integral approach of Caplan, as there is a depth to this exploration that is lacking in a lot of "new age" spirituality and popular spiritual and psychological approaches. This is not to condemn those other approaches - they are certainly valuable and can assist spiritual growth, yet they are incomplete and lack the balance needed to guide aspirants even further along their spiritual journey. It's easy to get a false sense of mastery or enlightenment at various stages of our spiritual path - Caplan's book gives us cautions and insights to help us maintain our commitment to continued self-examination and discernment.
Halfway through the book she references herself in relation to Halfway Up the Mountain, stating that after she wrote - and taught - on the concepts in that book, she could still see herself doing all of the things that she warns against in that book. While I'm not into the whole idea that enlightenment, awakening, of self-development is some never-ending process that is all about the journey not the destination, I really do appreciate a person who is open and mature enough to see themselves as they truly are. A very real person.
While many spiritual dogmas tell us to deny, wage a war against, or squelch our egos, Caplan takes a much different approach that is more in line with how we actually function as humans, a non-essentialist view of the ego itself, and a very illuminating analysis of the current state of western spirituality.
A great resource and absolutely perfect for anyone who feels called to explore all of their dimensions but who has been turned off by old and new age spiritual leaders, movements, and practices. I don't want to put words in Jed McKenna's mouth (if said mouth actually does exist :), but I would say this book would fit as a good guide for the person who wants to really be a mature adult and is ready to open their eyes.
Things I love:
- The organization of this book deserves a special mention. Each chapter is carefully and accurately named, with subdivided sections and numbered lists. This makes the book very easy to follow, possible to read out of order, and a pleasure to read in bite sized chunks.
- The glossary of Sanskrit terms, coupled with definitions wherever they are first mentioned, makes for a much easier read, and less misunderstandings than books where this isn't provided.
- The author's range of experience and education. She is definitely not a hack and I appreciate that she has a diverse background, and is not biased toward anything in particular.
- Her willingness to state unpopular opinions about spirituality. Who really wants to stare this type of statement in the face (paraphrased): "There's nothing special about you that's going to lead you to enlightenment anytime soon, or sooner than anyone else."
- I can relate to just about everything she's saying, and it rings true for me.
Things I question:
- Is the author self realized? I always take pause when receiving any information on self realization from someone who is not, even when it's about discernment. Can she really know that what she is stating is the truth?
- Is it really true that a lifetime of sadhana (spirtual practice) is required for spiritual progress (if there is such a thing?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mariana Caplan is a true gift for those on the spiritual path. Her book can save you years of struggle. I highly recommend Eyes Wide Open. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
She reached the same conclusions I had several years ago. There's a lot of spiritual books out there, this one had much more substance than most.Published 10 months ago by Tommie L. Clendening
A confession. I haven't completed this book yet. I read a chapter ever few days and meditate and think about her insights and openness about her own spiritual discoveries in her... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mona Chrone
The best ever read on opening up the doors on enlightenment and the spiritual journey. A perspective
that dispels a lot of myth and misguided New Age presentations. Read more
Very important reading, with honest discussion of the results of giving 'gurus' absolute power, with frequently disastrous results... Read morePublished 15 months ago by brian quinn
A systematic approach to concepts of enlightenment. Caplan writs in a clear, readable style while presenting clear ideas about methods and reasons for using them. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jan Francis
An important book for anyone serious about embarking on a spiritual self-investigation. Warns that flashy or impressive mental states can be mistaken for enlightenment, and that... Read morePublished 22 months ago by David Spector
'Been there, done that' explains my journey on the spiritual path. She explains the delicate balance between listening to your heart and paying attention through logic. Read morePublished on July 22, 2014 by PR