Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
How to Be Ultra Spiritual: 12 1/2 Steps to Spiritual Superiority Paperback – February 25, 2017
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“Learning to laugh on our path may be the most potent spiritual medicine there is, and I believe there’s no better guide to help us do just that than my dear friend, JP Sears. This whole game of spirituality, awakening, ‘Namaste’ this, and ‘love and light’ that is often taken way too seriously—so why not read this book, lighten up, and laugh at the fact that we’re all a little ‘Ultra Spiritual’ in our own way?” —Chris Grosso, author of Indie Spiritualist and Everything Mind
“This book is simply brilliant and made me laugh out loud on every page. JP also sneaks in his trademark wisdom and insights. We humans are such a ridiculous species—I mean, ask any animal, mineral, or plant—and yet no one points this out more humorously than Mr. Sears. Don't miss the joy of reading this book.” —Paul S. Dolman
“Spirituality is a funny thing. By the mere act of personally identifying ourselves as ‘spiritual,’ we instantly drop out of spirituality into ego. JP Sears sheds a critical and humorous light on New Age attempts to grasp, speak of, and take ownership of that which is ungraspable, unspeakable and uncontainable. You'll find yourself laughing, thinking, and laughing some more!” —Elliott Hulse
“I still remember the first time a friend sent me JP’s ‘Ultra Spiritual’ video—I laughed my ass off! I sent it to everyone I know. I share How to Be Ultra Spiritual with my students because I want them to live more fully connected to the power of their hearts—not society’s hyper-spiritualized B.S. of the egos. This book is loaded with laugh-out-loud humor, but it still intelligently exposes the spiritual delusions that many people trick themselves into adopting. Finally someone has intelligently shined the light; JP provides a clever and upfront riposte. Enjoy his perceptive underlying insights while you laugh beyond all understanding.” —Tony Robbins
“How to Be Ultra Spiritual bridges the wisdom of bearded Jesus with the playfulness of baby Jesus.”
“His Enlightenedness JP is funnier than the law of karma!”
“I got really attached to this book!”
“His Enlightenedness JP is the honey badger of the spiritual kingdom!”
“Finally someone has intelligently shined the light; JP provides a clever and upfront riposte. Enjoy his perceptive underlying insights while you laugh beyond all understanding.”
—Tony Robbins, author of Awaken the Giant Within
About the Author
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Unfortunately, on the day of my scheduled interview with JP Sears, my internet went down shortly before we began and didn’t come back on until 25 minutes later. I apologized to JP for the unforeseen interruption and asked when he would be able to reschedule so I could accommodate whatever time would work for him. I got no immediate response, so I assumed he was just booked solid for the rest of the day.
A few days later, to my deep surprise, I got a passive aggressive and highly condescending response from his assistant/partner Karen explaining to me that she and JP have a no rescheduling policy because their “non-replaceable asset of time” was too valuable, so it was necessary for them to “set up some boundaries and honor their hearts.” I wasn’t sure what to make of this, as it literally sounded to me like a line out of JP’s satire that he would probably mock someone for using seriously. It also showed a complete lack of respect for the money I had spent on his book (both Kindle and audio versions) and many hours I had put into consuming his work in preparation for our interview.
During this interview, I had hoped to address the, frankly, confounding aspects of JP’s social media popularity explosion and now infectious brand identity as the Ultra Spiritualist. The only way I could interpret his actions was that he saw his time as several orders of magnitude more important than mine. Then I recalled that when I scheduled the interview with JP, he stated (without prompting) that he would not be sharing our interview with any of his following when it was posted. Again, this was odd to me, as it defies common podcast etiquette, but it suddenly made sense to me if you think of JP as only concerned about the virality of his brand and sales of his merchandise, and not a platform for serious spiritual/psychological discussion.
Since I cannot share my thoughts about the book in my podcast interview with JP Sears as planned, I might as well share them here instead. Or, to put it another way, since I had to suffer through it in preparation for an interview that never happened, I figured I would save you the trouble of doing the same. In a nutshell: there’s no clever social commentary in How to Be Ultra Spritual. Just a lot of obvious, extended jabs at a group of people who are criminally easy to make fun of. The JP Sears formula seems to go something like this:
1. Think of an aspect of the New Age movement that is well known. Example: yoga.
2. Write down everything an outsider would consider strange or confusing about it. Example: Why are there so many specific types of yoga? Why are the names of the styles so hard to pronounce? Why do practitioners talk about it so much?
3. List every single one of these as a reductio ad adsurdum carried to its hyperbolic extreme.
Example: “the harder it is to pronounce your favorite variety of yoga and the more often you talk about it, the more spiritual you are! You should spend five times as much time talking about it as actually practicing it so everyone will know how spiritual you are!”
4. Repeat for 250 pages.
JP Sears is a funny guy. The principal problem with his book, How to Be Ultra Spiritual, is that when the humor goes on for longer than the 3-minute length of his popular YouTube videos, it quickly becomes clear how one-note his humor is. Reading/listening to this was mostly an experience of long stretches of wondering why he was working so hard to drive the same points home over and over, punctuated by the occasionally witty/insightful observation about how easily we delude ourselves into thinking we are more important than we actually are.
JP is, ostensibly, more than a humorist. He appears to be a genuine emotional coach and teacher whose primary goal is to help people find peace and move beyond the delusions of one’s ego. To that end, targeted and strategic satire can be a wonderful tool for getting people to look at themselves from outside their highly biased self-view. This is why it absolutely frustrates me how much the author falls squarely into the same traps of the audience he pokes fun at. Other reviewers have commented on his highly dubious and unscientific views and various “hippie” subjects before. But I think it goes much deeper than that.
I remember, just recently, being slightly shocked when JP hosted a live Facebook video interview with Russell Brunson, author of Expert Secrets Revealed, shilling affiliate-linked copies of the book to his legion of followers. The headline for the interview was something like “This information has never been made available online before, and now he’s giving it away for FREE!” I immediately flashed back to JP’s video poking fun at entrepreneurs and their hyperbolic self-promoting attitudes about everything and vague clickbaity headlines. I saw I wasn’t the only one to make this observation. Right away, several commenters chimed in asking JP whether or not this was intended to be satire because he sounded exactly like the kind of people he regularly pokes fun at. None of them got a response from JP that I saw.
This small example demonstrates a very important point about the fundamental failing of JP’s book and overall style. Great satire should do more than make you laugh at a comical exaggeration. It should make a statement about how seriously we take ourselves and how to evolve our thinking and acting. If there were any particular satirist where this should be especially true, it would be JP Sears. Instead, from what I can tell about the lackluster and beaten horse approach of his much too long book, it’s easy to reach the conclusion that JP had no other motivation in publishing it than to capitalize on his social media fandom with another product with his name on it. Like so many author overnight YouTube stars today, it was just another box to check off on a media list. All he had to do was take the same observations he had made in his videos and draw them out to 10 times longer.
Over and over throughout the book, I kept wondering what the point of it all was supposed to be. He’s clearly not telling these people to change their behavior, as that would make him a hypocrite for participating in them himself (with apparent sincerity). If the point of the book is not to change behavior, but just to get people to stop taking themselves so seriously, it fails there too. JP takes himself very, very seriously. The survival of his brand depends on it. Either he really does believe his own story, or he doesn’t but has no problem pretending to (so long as there are sales and affiliate commissions to be made by harvesting the audience he has built).
Poe’s Law states that any sufficiently advanced satire is indistinguishable from the genuine article. Perhaps JP Sears is such an accomplished performance artist that he intentionally blurs the lines with his own life. Until my private encounter with JP and his staff that demonstrated his “more-important-than-thou” attitude wrapped so eloquently in straightfaced New Age flowery rhetoric, I was willing to believe that was the case. However, it seems clear to me now that he is, ironically, victim to the very same social weaknesses he unapologetically (sometimes even ruthlessly) tears down in How to Be Ultra Spiritual.
Don’t buy this book expecting anything more than a few chuckles, and please don’t waste your non-replaceable asset of time trying to make it all the way through.
I just finished Dom Mazzetti's "The Swoly Bible", which is a send up of muscle gods and body builders, drawn mostly from Mazzetti's "Bro Science Life" You Tube channel. Now I have this, a send up of Karma gods and spirit builders drawn heavily from Sears' "Ultra Spiritual" You Tube channel. I see a trend.
There's a risk here. In videos the authors can sell hip irony and satire with a wink and a smile. It's harder to get that across in a book. Videos are snippets; you aren't going to watch a two hour video, and what works in a video can become tedious in a 300 page book. A character who is funny and appealing on screen may feel like a tedious bore on the page
Well, Sears navigates that tricky course with a good deal of success, (actually with ultra success). The message, such as it is, is clear. Spirituality isn't a competition, even if lots of people think it is. The book consists of a vast range of shots taken at competitive, ultra, spirituality. Nicely, it operates on two levels. On one level, the book is loaded with very funny one-liners and throwaway bits. On a second level, it makes the larger case against one-upmanship in the world of enlightenment.
So, while I get that larger message, I keep coming back for the one liners. Here's an example. There is a longish bit about selfie-taking yoga babes who style around in their yoga outfits, drinking lattes at the sidewalk cafe and "receiving aesthetic saturation from people's fascination with how beautiful they are". Said ultra-spiritual person's "amazeballs post-yoga coffee shop aesthetic strategy" includes wearing "maximal beauty notification apparel". If you think maximal beauty notification apparel is a funny line, you'll like this. And if you think Gwyneth Paltrow should maybe take a few weeks off, you'll like this.
To be fair, we get some repetition, and if you try to read too much in one sitting the method behind Sears' madness may start to feel predictable. But I don't think of this as an I-couldn't-put-it-down read. It's a skimmer and more like a themed anthology, and it's just fun to turn to when the competitive need to be ultra spiritual overtakes you. And isn't that just fine.
(Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
Most recent customer reviews
She loved it!