Review: Psychosynthesis by Roberto Assagioli

This week Zoe is reading Psychosynthesis: A Manual of Principles and Techniques by Roberto Assagioli.

Psychosynthesis is a practical method for personal growth that helps you to become a more whole person. It was created in 1910 by Roberto Assagioli because he believed psychoanalysis, as it was then, was incomplete. He put together a new set of principles that provide the formula for an entire transpersonal psychological system.

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Review: Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill

The week Zoe is reading Mysticism: A Study of the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness by Evelyn Underhill.

This is the classic text on mysticism. It explores the subject in depth, and although Underhill focuses mostly on mystical Christianity, she also looks at Sufism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and others too.

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Review: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

This week Zoe is reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig. It’s a curious book: not really a novel, more an excuse to philosophise about anything and everything, and likely to provoke many arguments and lots of feverish thinking.

The narrator of the tale sets out on a road trip with his son, meeting up with various people on the way. He spends a lot of time fiddling with his bike, listening for malfunction, trying to catch problems before they become problems and get the machine running perfectly. And he does the same with his mind, searching for answers to something forgotten and hidden in his past.

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Review: The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

This week Zoe is reading The Tao of Pooh, a fun little book that explores Taoism through the wisdom of the Bear of Little Brain. Benjamin Hoff uses stories from the classics Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner to introduce the principles of Taoist philosophy, with original illustrations by E.H. Shephard plus loads of quotes from the books by A.A. Milne.

The Way of Winnie the Pooh is strangely close to the Way of Taoism. No matter what’s going on in the Hundred Acre Wood, Pooh has a way about him where things seem to work themselves out without much effort. Eeyore is gloomy and always assumes the worst, Piglet worries and is filled with anxiety, and Owl thinks he knows everything already. But Pooh just is.

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Review: Jake Fades by David Guy

This week Zoe is reading Jake Fades: a novel of impermanence by David Guy, about a Zen master who fixes bicycles and teaches meditation in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The tale is told by Hank, his long-time student, and the aging Jake hopes that Hank will take over teaching from him. Commitment phobic Hank doesn’t feel ready to take on the responsibility, but Jake is starting to show signs of having Alzheimer’s disease.

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Review: Dispelling Wetiko by Paul Levy

This week Zoe is reading Dispelling Wetiko by Paul Levy, which explores the collective psychosis now gripping our culture and challenges us to look inside ourselves for answers. The name ‘wetiko’ comes from Native American cultures and refers to a spirit or wicked person who terrorises others through its evil acts. Wetiko is an archetype that arises from the collective unconscious, a psychic virus that represents the nightmare we’re all dreaming up together.

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Review: When the Shoe Fits by Osho

This week Zoe is reading When the Shoe Fits – an Osho classic which includes commentaries on the stories of the Taoist mystic Chuang Tzu. Osho gives you the original story and then takes them apart, offering his perspective and unique comments.

The stories cover everything from the spiritual search for liberation, to the desire for love, acceptance, peace and happiness. Using his irreverent humour, Osho uses the stories to destroy your illusions and misperceptions of reality. He pushes you out of your comfort zone and stops you from taking yourself too seriously.

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