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HOW TO BE

A GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT

A successful and concise guide to overcoming suffering.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

A spiritual development manual uses Eastern philosophy and personal experiences to present ideas about how to live a life of consciousness and fulfillment.

In brief essays on topics ranging from death, needs, intentions, and happiness to laziness, ambitions, forgiveness, and meaninglessness, Sarv (Learn to Say Good-Bye, 2016) explores a plethora of concepts related to life and communication. The purpose of the book is to redirect readers’ thoughts so that they can escape suffering and inconvenience. The author begins by describing consciousness: “We cannot define ourselves, our mind or our consciousness,” he asserts. “Your consciousness is not you. Consciousness is an environment in which the mind can appear.” From the beginning, Sarv’s theory of consciousness and the self is described in simple, direct language. The volume explores the many roots and causes of suffering, taking them apart and questioning whether individuals really need to experience life in the stressful, anxiety-ridden way that many do. The author strongly advises readers to closely observe their moods and the way they may continually revolve around particularly unhelpful ideas. This technique, Sarv suggests, can release unnecessary worries that have become a habit. Readers may have trouble with the blunt nature of the guide. The author himself warns readers that the manual may offend them by suggesting that individuals cause their own suffering. He explains that it is the perceived self—the image of the self—that actually suffers by believing that it has been mistreated, harmed, wronged, or disrespected. But those looking for a straightforward and practical perspective on suffering should appreciate the book’s sometimes-undiplomatic but often insightful passages dealing with self-identity, the false nature of the ego, and the misconception that individuals are separate from their surroundings. Overall, the volume is a refreshingly honest and unsentimental approach to spiritual development through practicing detachment and calming the mind.

A successful and concise guide to overcoming suffering.

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-985144-78-1

Page Count: 174

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2018

Categories:

NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

Categories:

TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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