While spiritual delusions lure us into thinking that enlightenment brings the elimination of all suffering, spiritual realism helps us love the world as it is. Steve Posner links his personal experiences with spiritual wisdom from all over the world in order to reveal a reliable path toward a more realistic spirituality. Charting a course that can be followed by anyone of any faith—or even of no particular faith— this book is a guide for imperfect people who seek enlightenment in an imperfect world.
Steve Posner has been a spiritual teacher for more than thirty years. He has an Ed.M. from Harvard, and his writings have appeared in the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune, and numerous other publications. He lives in San Diego, California, and Shanghai, China. Visit his Web site at www.steveposner.com.
Posner has a great intention: reconcile the loftiness of enlightenment with the day-to-day realities of minor pettiness and major suffering. The same question has prompted, and anguished, spiritual seekers at least as far back as Job, and produced countless books on the subjects of good and evil, of active spiritual response to life's challenges. Unfortunately the author, who cites many spiritual teachers, is better at questions than answers, in both the figurative and literal sense. The rhetorical question is so frequent a device of his ("Isn't all of reality worth grasping? Is our consciousness so fragile that it can't withstand the whole truth of human existence?", two of 36 such questions in a single chapter) that it becomes annoying. A fair portion dwells on the need to respond to terrorismfrequently characterized as Islamica good question that isn't answered by much reflection beyond personal anecdotes about travel in Israel and China. Experience is authentic, but also limited. A macho spirituality ("This is not misguided patriotism or crude flag-waving fanaticism. It is a realistic spirituality...") may have its fans, but many better books on this perennial subject are available (After the Ecstasy, the Laundry by Jack Kornfield; anything by Thich Nhat Hanh). (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.