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The Neurotic’s Guide To Avoiding Enlightenment b

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raymond.mathiesen View Drop Down
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Joined: 14 Nov 2013
Location: Armidale, NSW,
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    Posted: 24 Nov 2014 at 10:35pm

Reviewed by Raymond Mathiesen

4 out of 5 stars

 

Deep thoughts about the self and self-improvement…

 

Even a quick look at the self-help shelf at any bookstore will quickly reveal that the industry is booming and that most of us seem to have a secret desire to ‘be a better person’.  We search for that magic formula which will give us enlightenment, hopefully the quicker the better.  But is enlightenment, as we understand it, really achievable?  If we did have a better life what would it be like?  Would it be very different from our current life?  Even more, what if we found that this ‘self’, which we are so bent on improving, turned out not to really exist, to be a myth, an unreliable creation of our own brain?  Can modern neuroscience throw any light on this subject, and if so do you have to be an expert to understand it?  If you are confused already get ready to have many of your ideas challenged by Chris Niebauer’s thought provoking book The Neurotics Guide To Avoiding Enlightenment: How The Left-brain Plays Unending Games Of Self-improvement.

 

Many self-help books are written from a New Age / Eastern Mysticism perspective and in a way Niebauer’s book fits into this category.  Niebauer is strongly influenced both by the mid twentieth century author Alan Watts and the contemporary writer Eckhart Tolle.  Watts wrote on a variety of Eastern Religions including Zen, Hinduism and Taoism and Tolle is greatly influenced by Buddhism.  To describe the book as being purely of this ilk, however, would be greatly misleading.  Also, to describe The Neurotics Guide simply as a self-help book, would be equally deceptive.  Certainly there are mind-exercises and meditation techniques included which the reader may find helps them achieve a new mind-state, and which gives them a new approach to life, but this is very much a book of theory / philosophy which concentrates on challenging our standard ideas about ourselves and our lives.  Niebauer is indeed “a college professor specializing in cognitive neuropsychology” (Preface) and the book has a heavy neuroscience content.  In essence Niebauer is attempting to give Eastern Mysticism a neuroscience framework, taking it from the world of pure ideas and giving it a firm background in science.

 

 

http://goo.gl/oKlcFz    The Neurotics Guide (Book ed.)

 

http://goo.gl/z8HkhM  The Neurotics Guide (Kindle ed.)

 

http://goo.gl/IgXUcJ    Chris Niebauer’s Facebook Page

 

http://goo.gl/HBAXap  Chris Niebauer’s Web Site

 

 

For the full review please click:

 

http://raymondmathiesenbookreviews.blogspot.com.au/

 

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