Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Book Review: A Thousand Names For Joy

Genre:  Religion & Spirituality
Author: Byron Katie
Rating: 2 out of 4 Stars

"We're born alone, we die alone, and we live alone, each on our own planet of perception. No two people have ever met. Even the people you know best and love with all your heart are your own projections. Sooner or later, you're the one who's left." (Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy, page 126)
Katie's basic premise is my favorite saying: Don't believe everything you think and she proposes four questions to lead one away from falsehood into the truth about one's thinking.

I usually avoid popular psychological and self-help books like the plague and only purchased this one because of the glowing recommendation of Bernie Glassman, Roshi.

While this was, in many ways, a brilliant book, I would neither purchase nor read any more of Katie's books. When she is "on" she is spot on in this book which echos some basic Buddhist principals. But where she is off, she is way out in left field by herself. Worst of all, she is too often cold and arrogant and there is a pretense about her that is annoying. One simply knows she is not as self-advanced as she projects.

This is worth a read for the gems but perhaps only if one is a gemologist and can tell diamonds from quartz.

(Originally posted to Multiply November 24, 2008)

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