July 28, 2009

Book review: The End of Your World: uncensored straight talk on the nature of enlightenment (Adyashanti)

As a typical rule, as soon as someone claims themselves to be awakened or enlightened, I get a little skeptical, having come across too many hippy-dippy, New Age hipsters preaching love, light, and warm cookies to all.  Fortunately, that’s not what Adyashanti does in his newest work, The End of Your World.  In fact, he makes the point that awakening is anything but any of those, though those are “byproducts” of becoming awakened to one’s true nature (warm cookies are optional).  The End of Your World takes a look at the destruction of the ego and the full realization of what interconnectedness really means.

The End of Your World is spiritual without being sectarian or even religious in nature, despite the use of some Buddhist terms; he quotes both Jesus and the Buddha equally well and meaningfully without the appearance of being forced.  In a refreshing look at the nature of awakening, the author warns that just because one becomes awakened does not mean that all of one’s problems will disappear; in fact, it’s just the opposite: the problems remain, just one’s perspective on them changes.  Nor does he claim that enlightenment possesses an end point where one becomes a magical being possessing extraordinary powers; instead, he acknowledges that it is a continuous process of development rather than an actual goal to be accomplished. Straightforward and honest, The End of Your World is a book that will both encourage while helping to realize that the creation of love, light, and warm cookies is up to each of us personally and individually.  From Sounds True and available at your local, independent bookstore. (Shop local, shop independent, and tell ’em you saw it on Elephant Journal!)

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