Book Reviews

By Dennis Lewis

I will be adding more reviews as time moves on…

Click on the book title to read the entire review!

Exchanges Within

Questions from Everyday Life Selected from Gurdjieff Group Meetings with John Pentland in California 1955-1984

Transmission of the Flame 

“People frequently ask me about the esoteric form of yoga Jean Klein taught and the role of the body in his non-dual teachings. The following book review explores some of the reasons that Jean believed it was important to undertake the subtle, energy-oriented bodywork that he brought us. …”

The World of Silence

“In this profoundly illuminating book, first published in 1948, renowned Swiss philosopher Max Picard expresses the nature and meaning of silence in poetic, lyrical, and honest language that helps call forth the silence that lies as the mostly unrecognized source of our own being. …”

The Art of Happiness

“Not many of us would disagree with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s belief that the “purpose of our lives is to seek happiness.” But in this world of complexity, anxiety, insecurity, conflict, intolerance, anger, and hatred we might be inclined on the one hand to ignore this extraordinary book on the grounds that it is too simplistic or idealistic, or, on the other hand, to agree too readily to its premises without actually practicing the difficult inner and outer work that the Dalai Lama believes is necessary for real happiness. …”

The Primal Scream

“According to Arthur Janov in his … book, The Primal Scream, ‘neurosis is a disease of the feeling. At its core is the suppression of feeling and its transmutation into a wide range of neurolic behavior. …’”

The Mechanism of Mind

“Freddie was designed as a space age pet for modern living. He is a small black sphere which is completely smooth on the outside. When Freddie is kicked he starts to roll about. To stop him you kick him again. Whenever he comes up against an obstacle he just backs away, moves along it or just changes direction as he feels inclined. The purpose of Freddie is to provide intelligent animation without the owner having to feed him, look after him or take him round the lampposts every evening. …”

The Life of Milarepa 

“The beauty and power of the autobiography of Milarepa, the beloved Tibetan saint of the 12th century, are splendidly manifest in this new English translation, the first to appear in more than 50 years. Though finding its sources in the magic and mystery of Tibet and in the precise psycho-spiritual teachings of Buddhism, particularly the Vajrayana, The Life of Milarepa cuts across all regional and doctrinal boundaries in its celebration of the search for ‘indestructible truth,’ establishing itself as one of the great classics of world literature. …”

Dragon Thunder

Dragon Thunder is a significant book on many counts. The book not only gives us a close-up, no-holds-barred view of the extraordinary life and work of Chögyam Trungpa, one of the great spiritual teachers of the 20th century, but it also shows, without equivocation, some of the many both serious and humorous complexities and paradoxes and challenges involved in Trungpa’s “crazy wisdom,” and his relentless efforts to bring Buddhism to the West. …”

On Dialogue

“This relatively unknown little book by David Bohm, one of the great physicists of the 20th century, should be required reading for anyone serious about the question of personal and societal transformation. …”

The Art of Travel

“I remember many years ago telling my main teacher in the Gurdjieff Work, Lord John Pentland, that I hoped to travel more in my life. He looked at me with just the hint of a smile and said simply: “Some of us find it useful to travel outside and some inside. Perhaps you should learn to travel more inside. …”

News of the Universe: Poems of Two-Fold Consciousness
One need only read and contemplate a small fraction of Robert Bly’s marvelous collection of poems in News of the Universe to realize the tremendous power that great poetry has to help awaken us from our sleep to the mystery and miracle of who and what we really are.
Understanding Marshall McLuhan
Right now you probably think you’re awake. It isn’t true. You’re in a kind of hypnotic trance. But you don’t know it. That, essentially, is the theme of Marshall McLuhan’s book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man.
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