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Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life Paperback – January 3, 2008
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Living Deeply is the accumulated wisdom of many of our greatest living teachers, all adepts in the goal of personal transformation. This is one of the finest collections of gentle, penetrating insights available. Highly recommended.
—Larry Dossey, MD, author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things
Living Deeply provides us with some of the most significant insights into spiritual transformation that I have ever read. Based on interviews with spiritual teachers, leading scientific researchers, religion scholars, important public intellectuals, and major writers, this volume is a remarkable example of an integrative approach to a topic of immense importance. It is marvelous to look through the different windows of transformation that are so richly described and interpreted both spiritually and scientifically. Living Deeply is a major accomplishment that will hopefully become a classic in an emerging field. It is truly a brilliant synthesis. I think Living Deeply will change lives and change the world for the better.
—Stephen G. Post, Ph.D., professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
From the Publisher
The book Living Deeply is the product of the Institute of Noetic Sciences' decade-long investigation into transformations in human consciousness. It transcends any one approach by focusing on common elements of transformation across a variety of traditions, affirming and supporting the diversity of approaches across religious, spiritual, scientific, academic, or cultural backgrounds. Living Deeply makes these teachings accessible without diminishing their complexity, empowering readers to become their own scientists, develop and test their own hypotheses, and reach their own conclusions.
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I agree with you that a catalyst can trigger the transformation. you said "quantum changes convey the sense of having passed through a one-way door. There is no going back". This is one of SJ Anthony De Mello's stories that best describe the nature of spiritual quest: “A man came upon a tall tower and stepped inside to find it all dark. As he groped around, he came upon a circular staircase. Curious to know where it led to, he began to climb, and as he climbed, he sensed a growing uneasiness in his heart. So he looked behind him and was horrified to see that each time he climbed a step, the previous one fell off and disappeared. Before him the stairs wound upward and he had no idea where they led; behind him yawned an enormous black emptiness.” Though I think that stairs lead to illumination!
The idea is how to induce artificially this first step, this Aha moment; and this “primordial drive that, once you awaken to it, will not leave you alone" as expressed by Andrew Cohen. I have some practical ideas how to do it. And aside the importance of this primordial drive, I agree with you about the four essential elements: intention, attention, repetition and guidance in order to pursue the way.
I have also appreciated some other ideas in "living deeply" like the awareness of beauty and in general the fact to be surprised by everything like a kid, the wisdom of silence (as an inner refuge), water purification, the importance of gardening and in general any everyday act while done with attention and mindfulness. I have also appreciated the idea of illuminated nature of all human beings expressed as authentic self; we are all cosmic beings of light. "we do the best that we can to remember what we can of the original contract". "The great change is no more than an unveiling, recognition". This reminds me the idea of collective unconsciousness in the works of CG Jung and stansislav Grof. You talked also about healthy ego and I think that it's a wiser approach than considering ego as an enemy to kill; you have also said "the ego back to its appropriate role".
I also agree about "a person who finds inner peace is able to discover and create peace in the outer world". "from oness into plurality into the world of immense diversity" and you talked about "the soul as having one motive: going to the one". This reminds me the journey back to the beginning (big bang) expressed by Andrew Cohen.
I appreciated also that you talk about possible trauma as a result of the change catalyst. I already think about this idea even if I had not made a serious reflection about it. " a balance is called forin our response to pain and suffering. Having this balance can make a painful experience more transformative and less traumatic". I think that this is an important idea, could you please explain more. In what cases transformation could go in a wrong way.
"transformation is about connecting with the deeper mysteries of existence" "there is a deeper knowing in the universe than our own knowing". Please refer to the book "Science and the Akashic Field" by Ervin Laszlo.
The stated purpose of the book is contained in this excerpt. "Throughout all of our research, our goal has been to learn more about the phenomenon of transformation, whereby people's lives are changed for the better in profound and long-lasting ways." To some, this statement may contain a religious ring, but the book carefully avoids the promotion of any particular religion. It does contain many places where the idea of sacredness is honored.
The concept of a person adopting a serious daily practice is described as a crucial pathway in the search for enlightenment. This comes from the observation that practice acquaints us with those things in life that bring meaning, the numinous things, so that we can recognize and honor them when they appear in ordinary life experience.
The book is full of rich quotes, artfully arranged where they will be the most effective. It is full of the words of great teachers, sometimes quoting their own teachers, so that the wisdom comes to the reader in successive layers. One feature seems to lead to the conclusion that it will prove to be an extremely influential force in its field. This is that the book slowly and carefully builds a rational for seriously choosing to lead a good life.