- Hardcover: 338 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; 1st edition (September 2, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520238168
- ISBN-13: 978-0520238169
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.2 x 6.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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.
The Way Things Are: Conversations with Huston Smith on the Spiritual Life Hardcover – September 2, 2003
"Maybe You Should Talk to Someone" by Lori Gottlieb
"This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book." ―Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post Pre-order today
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that he would gladly walk 100 miles through a snowstorm for one good conversation. Fortunately, readers don't have to trudge through a blizzard or even leave their armchairs to listen in on these 22 fascinating conversations with renowned religious scholar Huston Smith. Kudos to editor and accomplished author Cousineau (The Art of Pilgrimage) for gathering these interviews that span more than 30 years. Readers will find themselves ravenously eavesdropping on captivating discussions, such as Smith's humorous story of meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the first time or his soothing anecdote of how he became spiritually reconciled to the death of his eldest daughter to cancer. When Smith speaks about religious violence, his insight could be relevant to any era of humanity: "First of all, my persuasion is what really breeds violence is political differences. But because religion serves as the soul of community, it gets drawn into the fracas and turns up the heat." Indeed, a lifelong career of studying the world's religions has made him especially gifted in illuminating the dialogues that are timeless. As a result, his conversations touch upon many Big Questions: what is the meaning of God? Where do science and religion meet? How can we teach children about the sacred in everyday life? Why do we move toward the light? Incidentally, Cousineau's stunning preface is worth the price of admission alone.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that he would gladly walk 100 miles through a snowstorm for one good conversation. Fortunately, readers don't have to trudge through a blizzard or even leave their armchairs to listen in on these 22 fascinating conversations. Readers will find themselves ravenously eavesdropping on captivating discussions... dialogues that are timeless. Cousineau's stunning preface is worth the price of admission alone."--Publishers Weekly -- Review
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Very evocative snippets (e.g., science views humanity from the ground up and religion from the gods down) ... but these don't make up for the utter banality of the overall thinking.
Lot's of arguments against scientism, but they are vastly, vastly, vastly inferior to Feyerabend's 'Against Method' arguments as viewed from the side of science.
If you're a fan of PBS - Bill Moyers trivializations of religion then you'll love this book. If you're more into the thinking of St. John of the Cross and his 'Ascent of Mount Carmel' then you'll find the arguments in these interviews just plain laughable.
In The Way Things Are Conversations with Huston Smith, author and editor Phil Cousineau records twenty three interviews in which Smith debates his thoughts and theories with renowned scholars, theologians and journalists. This new compilation encapsulates both his personal contemplation, and public conversations, regarding religion and spirituality in contemporary society.
Brought up in China by Christian missionary parents, Smith describes his first contact with religion as one of simple trust. "We are in good hands and in gratitude of that fact it would be good if we bore one another's burdens."
A frequent reference of Smith's is to his concept of a primordial tradition. By forming a list of the common elements within all religions, he has uncovered what he calls the spine of religion. Informing our similarities, while warning us to "Beware of the differences that blind us to the unity that binds us", he encourages readers to see beyond personal beliefs and acknowledge others relationship to divinity.
This unity, or single religious root, should not be confused with the modern trend of religious pluralism. He banks on the integrity of individual traditions, rather than the scotch-taped spiritual beliefs of pluralism, which have left people alienated from their traditional roots. "The moral is to find some tradition and to steep one's soul in it. To me it is immaterial which tradition; it is of maximum materiality that it be a tradition."
An area of concern for Smith is the ever-encroaching "Newtonian view.", in which all reality is relative. A reality of relativity provides no room for the existence of an Absolute, the foundational element of religion. Without an Absolute we are left floundering with what Smith describes as an unlivable philosophy, based on the technically competent but metaphysically impoverished methods of science. "Scientism", the religion of science, or oracle we now look to establish truth, leads us further into isolation, cynicism and despair.
Conversations with Huston Smith guide the reader, using both religious traditions and scientific discovery as signposts, on the quest toward the greater mysteries. Revered for his insight and wisdom, this book is a tribute to Smith's life work and a challenging read for any curious seeker. Though cynics may be adverse to the constant reverence and faith Huston Smith places in God, reading The Way Things Are may result in a basic trust that things are as they should be.