Your Garage Buy 2 kids' books and save Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it $5 Albums Fire TV Stick Totes Amazon Cash Back Offer PilotWave7B PilotWave7B PilotWave7B  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis Shop Now STEM
Profile for zencat > Reviews


zencat's Profile

Customer Reviews: 21
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,052,000
Helpful Votes: 5

Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
zencat RSS Feed

Page: 1 | 2 | 3
Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
by Dan Barker
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.62
124 used & new from $2.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Common sense and irrefutable logic... [yes, such can still be had], August 9, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
What a great well done book this is!

My thanks to Dan Barker for this personal, logical, commonsense look at what Christianity is and what it isn't. This book will be ideal for anyone not sure what to believe about the claims of the Jesus sellers. Oh, yes, they want you to agree with them-- they want to reinforce their own doubts by getting another vote [you] in their favor. They want so desperately for this mind-virus, Christianity, to be a true and good thing. They want to feel superior to those heathens in outer darkness who just can not see the light.

Let's face it; Christianity is a cult. To be sure it is one of the longest lived and most successful cults in all of known human history but-- cult it is.
It works as a mind virus, passed on from person to person, playing on the natural fears and insecurities the mortal thinking animal naturally feels. Those promoting the cult are deeply embedded. They can not even think clearly in a context outside of what Christianity claims: You have the choice of eternal bliss or eternal damnation--oh, sinner, what will you do when the stars begin to fall?

Doesn't it seem extremely odd, challenging the absolute limits of creditability that the 'one eternal god of the universe' can't leave behind any clear record of his earthly life or his instructions for our way to live. Of course, the true believers will vigorously insist that there is good history and clear instructions aplenty for those willing to see the real truth. Many of us disagree with that: actual honest investigation will show extremely little evidence that the famous Jesus character ever even existed. The so-called book of instructions, the Bible, is a mishmash of contradictory stories and instructions. And even if it were true, it's not, but if it were-- why follow up that little flurry of godly intervention in human history by absolutely no additional contact from 'the god' for going on two millennia now? According to the 'bible' [bible simply means book] Jesus claimed he would be returning 'in glory' before his audience that day would themselves die. Over 1900 years later--still waiting. What's the holdup? I can't see how any one can be taken in by the Christian mind-virus at all if they are even reasonably intelligent and have made an honest reasonable investigation of all the facts, and lack thereof.

Dan Barker in an honest man, forced by his own integrity and love of truth to abandon his Christian ministry. Now as a self proclaimed atheist he works tirelessly to help those trapped by religious insanity to break free from that bondage of irrational belief. He likes to debate and is extremely good at it. I for one refuse to debate because the experience of many such encounters has proven over and over that the Christian arguer has no regard for common sense, facts, logic, reason, or truth. The cult is all and they will lie and ignore real arguments in favor of some non sequitur argument for their own preferred point of view. So, no, I won't waste my time debating with the true believers.

Let each and everyone decide for themselves what belief positions they want to hold. This wonderful book makes it plain you DO NOT need to believe in a pack of lies and illogical arguments to save your 'soul.' You are good and free and may choose to live that way. That's my way for sure and this book will help the confused searcher to find freedom and dignity, too.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 13, 2016 11:31 AM PDT

Timeless in Time: Sri Ramana Maharshi (Library of Perennial Philosophy)
Timeless in Time: Sri Ramana Maharshi (Library of Perennial Philosophy)
by A. R. Natarajan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.19
31 used & new from $9.95

5.0 out of 5 stars "...the whitest spot in a white space.", July 29, 2016
Ramana is my greatest hero. C. G. Jung famously said of him, "In India Ramana is the whitest spot in a white space."

This book serves well as an introduction to this great spiritual master, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. There are many photos, many of his quotes, many quotes of others who knew him. To me, the two great indispensable Ramana books are 'The Collected Works Of Ramana Maharshi' and 'Talks.' This book, 'Timeless In Time' added to those other two would very nearly comprise quite a substantial 'Ramana library.'

Ramana always recommended the spiritual seeker ask themselves, Who am I? Ask until you know. When you realize you are actually the one Self of all [same as everyone else], all your questions will be answered. To live in constant awareness of awareness itself is to ultimately realize and experience 'the whitest spot in a white space' for oneself.

Ramana said:
"Leave God alone.
Speak for yourself.
You do not know God.
He is only what you think of Him.
Is He apart from you?
He is that pure Consciousness
in which all ideas are formed.
You are that Consciousness."

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
by Sam Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.25
584 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A book I wish everyone would read--it could save the world [really]., July 24, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It is great to see this book has sold and continues to sell many copies. It is vital information: the history of religious insanity, the current religious fanaticism that threatens to destroy civilization, rational warnings and workable suggestions to the wise, the way out of our self-made destructive traps, the nature of the mind, the way the brain works, the real nature of who and what we are i.e. Consciousness itself.

Buy it. Read it. Buy another copy and pass it on to your best friend [or your worst enemy]. The book is among my favorites to have and to read. Thanks, Sam Harris, for this treasure!

Ashtavakra Gita - Archival Special Edition
Ashtavakra Gita - Archival Special Edition
by Ramana Maharshi
Edition: Paperback
2 used & new from $21.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Another famous Gita of easy one to love..., July 22, 2016
Ashtavakra Gita is among the most translated of India's great spiritual treasures. It would be an important book to consider for anyone interested in Eastern Wisdom or Vedanta or Advaita or Jnana Yoga or Monistic Idealism--- well, you catch my drift; it is a classic that poetically testifies to the ultimate oneness that we are. Call it God, Reality, Consciousness, the Source or anything else, this book points from every direction back to the true center--the center of what you are--the one, the true, Consciousness itself. As the Upanishads also teach; there is only Brahman, the One Source , and That Thou Art.

This edition is especially valued by me as a special edition produced by Ramanashramam, the spiritual center in southern India which was founded by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi whom I consider my spiritual guide and teacher and ideal example of how to see and be the One Self.

This book is artistically designed to appear antique which I find esthetically quite pleasing. It also includes facsimile reproductions of Ramana's own handwriting of the Sanskrit translation of the text to compliment the Kannada and the English verses found on each page. And another great feature is the beautiful color photo of Ramana about 25-30 pages into the book. This is a very pleasant book to keep lying around where you see it, to pick up often and flip through and read some inspirational verses.

There are a lot of different editions and translations of Ashtavakra Gita. I have 4 or 5 others but this is my favorite.

One of my favorite verses [one of many] :

"Rare is the man who knows himself as one without a second as well as the lord of the universe. He does what he knows and has no fear from any quarter."

The Heart of the Ribhu Gita
The Heart of the Ribhu Gita
by Maharshi Ramana
Edition: Paperback
19 used & new from $39.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Another would-be 'teacher' trys association with Ramana Maharshi, July 19, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I can't endorse Franklin Jones as anyone you want to associate with. Even though he morphed into Adi Da Samraj [after going through many other names] and built his own little private cultic empire on a tropical island and declared himself the one true and ultimate god of the universe. He literally demanded his disciples worship him and prove their loyalty through all kinds of bizarre activities-- the usual cultic ugliness. In my opinion this was a case of the most extreme ego inflation I've ever heard of.

But he started out with an interest in occultism and then Eastern wisdom and there one could easily stumble upon the Ribhu Gita, a classic Advaita Vedantic text that was sometimes recommended by Ramana Maharshi. So Jones did his own translation treatment of part of the text and with Ramana's picture on the cover came up with what is actually quite a good little book. I acquired a used copy some years ago and would not give it up. It's a great book.

Here's my favorite quote from this unusual little book:

"Abide as That which is 'I' as well as 'You' as well as everyone else,
is the basis of all, is one without anything else whatsoever,
is extremely pure and the Undifferentiated Whole-- and
with the firm conviction you are That, be always happy."
--page 27--

As the old saying goes, 'God can use imperfect tools to do perfect work.'

FREEDOM: The End of the Human Condition
FREEDOM: The End of the Human Condition
by Jeremy Griffith
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.89
51 used & new from $7.35

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Move along, folks, there's nothing to see here..., July 17, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is not great literature. I think it was never meant to be that. But-- is it the end of the human condition? No, it's not that, either. What the heck is it then?

Mr Griffith is a longtime trained biologist active in his field. They say if your only tool is a hammer you begin to see every problem as a nail. That's part of the trouble with this book. I believe his understanding is not as deep and universal as he believes it to be. For one of many possible examples: He seems to believe that Moses and Jesus were historical figures which I find highly doubtful. And even if they were real people, we have very little chance of understanding fully what they were all about way back then. According to the source that he refers to over and over, the Christian Bible, Moses repeatedly advocated the complete destruction of neighboring cultures and the taking of their property [including their little girls] for the benefit of his own followers. Jesus, in the 'new testament' threatened those who disagreed with him with eternal damnation and hellfire. Now some of you may see these 'people' as heroes of enlightenment and clarity but I do not.
Meanwhile, many great true masters of psychology and spiritual genius are [very nearly] completely ignored-- The Buddha, Shankara, Loa Tzu, Ramana Maharshi, Ghandi, C.G. Jung, and a great many others. The book has almost nothing to say about the vastness and the awesome wonder of Consciousness itself; how it is the light of the world and the true connection that makes us all One.

Leaving all that aside, I think its just not enough to say the human condition has been 'solved' by the power of insight as the book claims-- the idea that some of the darker aspects of human nature are unconscious and instinctual has been well documented over a hundred years ago by Dr Freud [and many others]. There is no adequate treatment here of the vastness of Life, Cosmos, Truth, Infinity, Death, God, Ego, the Collective Unconscious. The book's explanations of our current state of incomplete faulty thinking just doesn't do all the amazing wonders of Life any real justice. The book is fine in many respects but is not as complete and all inclusive as the author seems to think it is.

Read the book-- and keep on looking. The mountain can only be climbed one step at a time and no one else can do it for us. Don't worry, Be happy, Walk on...
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2016 7:34 AM PDT

2 used & new from $19.99

5.0 out of 5 stars My all time favorite American novel..., June 20, 2016
I am rereading this brilliant classic-to-be and every few years when I reread it I am again newly amazed at how awesome this book is. It's very funny and heartbreakingly sad at the same time. The structure of the story, the characters, their conversations, the drunken debauchery, the money-making schemes-- It's Huck Finn on steroids and in overdrive. The beauty of the flawless consistent voice is close to pure poetry. [in a good way].

If you love great intelligent literary writing, as I do, do not miss this one.

A truly astonishing work of art!

The Meaning of Human Existence
The Meaning of Human Existence
by Edward O. Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.86
115 used & new from $4.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining wisdom we should all pay attention to..., June 16, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Suppose you had the opportunity to spend an afternoon in the shade by the river with one of the smartest most accomplished people you will ever know. After a few beers he begins to tell you what his long lifetime of science and deep thought has taught him and what he thinks could happen in the future. He addresses the BIG questions. As an added bonus he happens to be a great imaginative story teller and funny, too.

If you recorded it all this might be the transcript.

This is the plain vanilla straight scientific view right from the lecture halls of Harvard [!] no less. Human origins and our ultimate destiny and much more... No hint of mysticism or meaning beyond the 'what you see is what you get' variety. Well, all right, every point of view deserves to be heard in my opinion. Whether or not one agrees totally with this pure existential humanistic point of view, it is clear the scientist who wrote it believes it. He makes his case in a clear and interesting way that is fun and enlightening reading.

Great book!

Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion
Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion
by Sam Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.11
81 used & new from $3.01

5.0 out of 5 stars We're here anyway--might as well wake up now..., May 20, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Are you awake? Am I? The devil is in the definitions, of course.

Sam Harris paid his dues-- those of us who have read some of his books know he is not a sentimental believer of fairy tales or pie in the sky.
He makes the case here, and makes it very brilliantly, that we waste our lives mesmerized by thought habits we believe constitute real thinking when in fact there is a further brighter step yet to go: recognizing the unblemished one consciousness that is the real nature of us all.

As Ramana Maharshi used to say, 'happiness is our real nature' -- Sam Harris now says so, too.

Why I Am An Agnostic
Why I Am An Agnostic
by Robert Green Ingersoll
Edition: Paperback
Price: $4.95
9 used & new from $4.13

5.0 out of 5 stars A clear short easy-to-read summary of the agnostic way to real freedom..., April 27, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Why I Am An Agnostic (Paperback)
Robert Ingersoll is/was a great American hero. He worked tirelessly for years to help his fellow human beings escape from the mind-numbing trap of irrational religious belief. Here in this short book he very eloquently presents a succinct summary of his well reasoned point of view.

This book can be an excellent addition to your own 'truth' collection or is also ideal to handoff to someone who struggles with seeing and facing the existential facts of human life on this planet.

Give me Reason over Faith every time. Here Ingersoll does just that and does it exceedingly well.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3