Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

Book - 2002
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Random House, Inc.
In this modern spiritual classic, the Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa highlights the commonest pitfall to which every aspirant on the spiritual path falls prey: what he callsspiritual materialism. The universal tendency, he shows, is to see spirituality as a process of self-improvement—the impulse to develop and refine the ego when the ego is, by nature, essentially empty. "The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use," he said, "even spirituality." His incisive, compassionate teachings serve to wake us up from this trick we all play on ourselves, and to offer us a far brighter reality: the true and joyous liberation that inevitably involves letting go of the self rather than working to improve it. It is a message that has resonated with students for nearly thirty years, and remains fresh as ever today.

This new edition includes a foreword by Chögyam Trungpa's son and lineage holder, Sakyong Mipham.

Publisher: Boston : Shambhala ; [New York] : Distributed in the U.S. by Random House, 2002
ISBN: 9781570629570
1570629579
Characteristics: xiii, 251 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Baker, John
Casper, Marvin

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georgekkataoka
Nov 11, 2017

The thesis of the title of the book is only really explained in the first third of the book. It was enlightening to learn how seeking spirituality from an egocentric, "I have achieved something" mindset is a common pitfall.

However, the rest of the book comes across as esoteric and overly philosophical. It's still a great read, but not as straightforward and impactful as I was hoping.

Chapel_Hill_AmerB Nov 13, 2014

While the title may arouse confusion at first, the gist of the matter is straight forward enough. The ego can and will use even the most powerful tools of positive self transformation available to thwart our personal development.
Since personal development involves the subjugation of ego, it only makes sense that the ego will do everything in its power to preserve its influence up to and including adoption of said spiritual path in an effort to undermine positive, concrete development
Be careful with your "self" :)

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