Overview

Caplan (TO TOUCH IS TO LIVE) asserts that "the reality of the present condition of contemporary spirituality in the West is one of grave distortion, confusion, fraud, and a fundamental lack of education." She claims that, as positive as the tremendous rise in spirituality is, there is not any context for determining whether any particular teaching, or teacher, is truly enlightening. Caplan compiles interviews with such noted spiritual masters as Joan Halifax, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee and Rabbi Zalman ...
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Halfway Up The Mountain: The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightment

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Overview

Caplan (TO TOUCH IS TO LIVE) asserts that "the reality of the present condition of contemporary spirituality in the West is one of grave distortion, confusion, fraud, and a fundamental lack of education." She claims that, as positive as the tremendous rise in spirituality is, there is not any context for determining whether any particular teaching, or teacher, is truly enlightening. Caplan compiles interviews with such noted spiritual masters as Joan Halifax, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi on the nature of enlightenment. In the first section, Caplan examines the motivations people have for seeking enlightenment and contends that very often they seek this state as a means of gratifying the ego. This "presumption of enlightenment," she says, often afflicts teachers masquerading as spiritual leaders. These teachers sometimes look down on their students and gloat over how far they have come and how far the students have to go. A second section focuses on "The Dangers of Mystical Experience," in which Caplan claims that many seekers mistake the mystical experience itself for enlightenment; she and the teachers she interviews all assert that enlightenment always involves gaining some knowledge about self and others. The third section, "Corruption and Consequence," focuses on the nature of power and corruption; the fourth section, "Navigating the Mine Field: Preventing Dangers on the Path," provides a survey of the ways in which practitioners can avoid the "pitfalls of false enlightenment." A final section, "Disillusionment, Humility and the Beginning of Spiritual Life," concludes that "the Real spiritual life [is] the life of total annihilation and the return to just what is." Caplan's illuminating book calls into question the motives of the spiritual snake handlers of the modern age and urges seekers to pay the price of traveling the hard road to true enlightenment.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935387510
  • Publisher: Hohm Press
  • Publication date: 3/21/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 444
  • Sales rank: 420,187
  • File size: 714 KB

Meet the Author

Mariana Caplan, PhD, MFT, is a licensed psychotherapist, professor of yogic and transpersonal psychologies, and the author of seven books in the fields of psychology and spirituality, including,The Guru Question: The Perils and Awards of Choosing a Spiritual Teacher (Sounds True, 2011), Eyes Wide Open: Cultivating Discernment on the Spiritual Path (Sounds True, 2010), which won five national awards for best spiritual book of 2010, and the seminal Halfway Up the Mountain: the Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment. She has spent 20 years researching cutting edge and controversial topics in Western Spirituality, and dialoguing with the great spiritual teachers, scholars, and luminaries of our time. She is a leading spiritual psychologist, using somatic approaches to psychotherapy to support spiritual practitioners and teachers with the process of healing trauma and moving towards psychospiritual integration, and working with the complex discernments that arise in the context of spiritual practice and in spiritual communities.
She is an adjunct professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies where she creates and teaches innovative public and academic programs. She has degrees cultural anthropology, counseling psychology, and contemporary spirituality, and is a teacher, lifelong practitioner, and lover of yoga philosophy and asana.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    Amqzing

    Keep going!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    Awesome!

    Great story starter, intantly hooked, keep going! ~Katie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2014

    Awsome!

    Pretty good! Are you going to make another story?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    Good!

    Very good!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    Needs a follow up

    Write another!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2014

    Billy's Mountain

    Morning was just arriving, casting beams of light over New York City. I wiped whisps of dirt from my face, stlifling a small cough. The summer of 1941 was just dawning on me, and I felt a rush of excitment. No more freezing winter nights, no more frozen food. A jubilant feeling was welling up inside me as the sun bathed my skin. I took a deep breath, treasuring the sweet summer air. My name is Annie. I'm an orphan, who roams the streets and alleys of New York City, the Big Apple they call it. My whole life has really been a test of maturity, fending for myself, digging through dumpsters to find a decent meal! I've never had anyone to help me, so I guess I've passed the test. I gaze into the open air, as if every little fragment were interesting. The growl of my unpatient stomach interrupted my dreamy sensation, adressing that I really needed something to eat. I hadn't eaten a meal for the past three days, that is,if you call a left over turkey sandwhich a meal! Delicate water droplets dripped from the pipes, pitter pattering on the ground. The sound was ever so annoying, so I left the alley way. The streets were not yet crowded, only a few pedestrians here and there. My stomach growled again; I really needed to eat! I glanced around, searching for the nearest restaraunt. Charlie's Burger. I slyly crept towards the empty building, ever so cautiously. I tiptoed towards the back, looking for a dumpster. Ahha! There it was! A large, forest green, metal container. Not hesitating, I reached into the dumpster, my hand searching for a leftover burger, or maybe a few stray fries. I finally felt a piece of bread brush my fingers. I automaticallyeaned down and searched for the bread I had touched. A moment later, I saw the bread. I turned it over, examining it. A few fragments of meat were dotted here and there, but no bugs or mold. I strolled back to the sidewalk, satisfyed with my find. I suddenly heard something, sirens. The piece of bread fell from my hands as I froze on the spot. Cops HATED it when people stole from restaraunt dumpsters! I glanced over my houlder, seeing two burly men galavanting towards me. I had no choice, but to run. I bolted across the sidewalk, the tattered clothes I wore flapping in the wind. The cops'voices echoed in my head, booming through my mind. I shivered, looking back to make sure they hadn't followed my this far. Seeing they hadn't, I collapsed in relief. Once again, my stomach grumbled. I clenched my teeth. I needed something to eat! Thise darn cops made me lose my piece of bread, my one beacon of light for today! I sighed, rubbing my eyes. The sun had now risen, and New York City residents were spilling onto the streets. Great, I had to hide in the alley again,"Hey you, girly!" Called a man. My heart froze as I turned around,"M-me?" The man looked annoyed,"Yes you, who do ya think I was talkin' to lass, the sky?" He burst out laughing. It wasn't even funny. I stepped back,"What do you want?" I asked, my tone suspicious. The m stepped closer evertime I stepped back,"Who are you? I feel like I seen ya before," I stepped back yet again,"Annie, Annie Plithivous," The man snickered,"Plithivous, eh. Never heard o' ya!" The m went on his way, his ragged coat ruffling in the wind. I took a deep breath,"That was odd," I mumbled. ~Liv
    <p>
    [I know there are a few grammar errors the diolouge, but hey live in 1949, so they don't use the best grammar!]

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