Keeping an open mind-heart to reality's incomprehensible complexity, ambiguity, liminality, paradox, constant change, including the inevitable aging, sickness and death of ourselves & everyone we love, is hugely challenging.
But because of our impressive repertoire of subconscious avoidance maneuvers, we're minimally conscious of how powerfully this impacts our daily life. We're usually unaware of the severity of our existential dread & anxiety.
Nor do most of us have an intelligent, mature, conscious relationship with any wisdom tradition - the inner sciences that arose specifically to navigate these most challenging aspects of life.
Instead, most of us take one of two extreme, fear-based positions: drift in cynical nihilism - OR - lock into a dogmatic belief system (or go back & forth between these two).
But there are intelligent, mature approaches to the various wisdom traditions that CAN help intelligent, educated people evolve in consciousness / spirituality. I'm only familiar with Buddhist, Advaita & Christian paths.
There are other wisdom paths (Aboriginal, Hindu, Kabbalah, Sufi, etc) & other superb authors. Even outspoken atheists, like Sam Harris (below), recognize the vital role of wisdom traditions.
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Freeman L. “Jesus the teacher within.” Medio Media / Continuum, 2000.
Goldstein J. "Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening." Sounds True, 2013.
Helen Hamilton. “Reality Check. A Simple Guide to Final Enlightenment.” Balboa, 2021.
Helen Hamilton. “Dissolving the Ego.” Balboa Press, 2021.
Harris S. "Waking Up. A Guide to Spirituality without Religion." Simon & Schuster, 2014.
Hollis J. "What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life." Gotham, 2009.
Hollis J. “Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life.” Gotham Books, 2005.
Isira. "Buddha on the Dance Floor."
Living Awareness, 2014.
Keating T. “Invitation to Love. The Way of Christian Contemplation.” Continuum, 1998.
Kornfield J. "Awakening is Real. A Guide to the Deeper Dimensions of the Inner Journey." Sounds True (audio) www.soundstrue.com
May G. "Addiction and Grace. Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions." HarperCollins, 1988.
May G. “Simply sane. The spirituality of mental health.” Crossroad, 1994.
Palmer PJ. “A hidden wholeness: The journey toward an undivided life.” John Wiley & Sons, 2004.
Parks SD. “Big questions, worthy dreams. Mentoring young adults in their search for meaning, purpose, and faith.” John Wiley & Sons, 2000.
Sawyer D. “Huston Smith: Wisdomkeeper. Living the World’s Religions. The Authorized Biography of a 21st Century Spiritual Giant.” Fons Vitae, 2014.
Smith R. “Awakening. A Paradigm Shift of the Heart.” Shambhala, 2014.
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Welwood J. ed. “Ordinary magic. Everyday life as spiritual path.” Shambhala, 1992.