Philosopher Jacob Needleman's groundbreaking study of America's alternative spiritual movements is back in print with a new introduction by the author.

Originally published in 1970, The New Religions was the first full-scale study of ...
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The New Religions

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Philosopher Jacob Needleman's groundbreaking study of America's alternative spiritual movements is back in print with a new introduction by the author.

Originally published in 1970, The New Religions was the first full-scale study of alternative spirituality in America. It remains unparalleled for the intellectual depth and seriousness with which it regards Eastern, New Age, and alternative faiths on the American landscape.

Needleman’s writing and reportage are unfailingly thoughtful and incisive as he illuminates topics that other scholars failed to consider or could not fully grasp.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101145050
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • File size: 358 KB

Meet the Author

The acclaimed author of  An Unknown World, What is God, The American Soul, Why Can’t We Be Good? and Money and the Meaning of Life, Jacob Needleman is Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University, and former Director of the Center for the Study of New Religions at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. He lives in Oakland, CA.
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Table of Contents

Preface to the Cornerstone Edition xiii

1 Introduction 1

Suspicions 1

What Is California? 3

The Loss Of The Cosmic 4

A Wider Sense Of Psychology 6

The Agonies Of Religious "Relevance" 9

The Sense Of Asian Teachings 11

Why Now? Why Here? 14

The Inclusion Of The Mind 15

The Return Of The Practical 17

The Modern Underestimation Of Man 19

Hinduism, Buddhism And Sufism 23

Hinduism 23

Buddhism 26

Sufism 30

The Occult 34

The Place Of California 36

2 Zen Center 39

The Embrace Of Zen Buddhism 39

"Just Sitting" 41

Drugs and "Extraordinary" Experience 45

Difficulties 48

Suzuki Roshi 52

What Is a Master? 52

The Uses of Ritual 56

The Place of the Intellect 57

The Question of Discipline 61

Tassajara 67

An American Zen Monastery 67

What It a Monk? 69

A Monastery in the Midst of Life 71

The Monastery as a Laboratory 76

3 Meher Baba 79

The Age Of The Avatar 79

Psyche And Cosmos 80

The Instrumentality Of Love 82

The Life And Work Of Meher Baba 84

The Silence 89

The Baba-Lovers 92

A Search For The Emotions 102

Love From The Point Of Failure 104

4 Subud 111

The Experience Of Latihan 111

An "Ordinary" Man 116

Energies 120

The Meaning Of Submission 124

The Energies Of Sex 129

Social Order And Self-Perfection 132

Understanding Death 135

5 Transcendental Meditation (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) 139

Promises 139

The Attracted Mind 144

The Theory Of The Mantra 149

"It's Easy!" 151

What Is A "Practical Method"? 154

6 A Note on Krishnamurti 157

Instantaneous Self-Observation 157

A New Understanding Of Freedom 159

Thought And Death 163

The Surface Of Krishnamurti 165

The Existence Of Psychological Help168

Relationship: An Example 171

Right Education 176

7 Tibet in America 181

The Appearance Of Tibet 181

The Compassion Of Reality 183

Why Are They Here? 186

Tarthang Tulku 190

The Vajrayana 192

Balanced Disillusionment 194

The Path To The Path 197

The "Accumulation Of Merit" 201

The Weight Of Tibet 205

8 The Hunger for Ideas 207

A More Fundamental World 207

Astrology 209

The Idea Of Influences 209

Reincarnation 212

Ideas Us Tools 212

The Sacred In Nature 215

The American Indian 216

The Silence Of Nature 218

Western Esotericism 220

Civilization in the Midst of the Cosmos 220

9 A Note about the Ideas of Gurdjieff 225

10 In Search of a Central Question 229

Other Groups And Teachings 229

Drugs And The Problem Of Work 232

Enthusiasm 234

Spiritual Effortlessness 235

The New Religions 238

11 Conclusion 245

References 253

Suggestions for Further Reading 259

Index 263

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