The Authentic Lover
This thoughtful book, The Authentic Lover, is the result of the author’s decades of reflecting on what is needed for a deeply spiritual love and what keeps us from finding it. The book posits that there are four major obstacles to love. Relying heavily on Buddhist tradition, but drawing on many other spiritual cultures as well as current research and solid science, the author discusses each obstacle in turn, then presents the corresponding virtue that needs to be fostered instead. Beautifully and sensitively, he offers a way through and beyond these roadblocks, opening an enlightened path to a transcendent relationship.
This book is filled with gems to guide you in your relationships. The first hindrance, violence, is probably the most obvious deterrent to love. Violence includes all forms of coercion, meanness, lack of consideration, and deceit, as well as emotional and physical abuse of all kinds. The cure for this is to cultivate gentleness. The next deterrent is pettiness, overcome through grace. Vanity, says the author, is the hardest to avoid, because it is so endemic in our consumer culture; in its place we need charm, or an understanding of the inherent value in ourselves and others. Lastly, we need to shed any type of agenda for our lover or relationship, and replace that with mystery, or the conception that love after all is much grander and unknowable than we can possibly comprehend.
The author’s writing is profound, full of quietude that inspires you to ponder your relationships and see where they can improve, guided by the author’s gentle commentary. The author encourages readers, but carefully and without judgment, presenting a comprehensive and equanimous view of other relationship models but explaining where settling for those will hold you back from true spiritual and enlightened unity. The author provides concrete, practical exercises the reader can use to apply the provided theory; each section concludes with a set of ‘contemplations’ – questions to help you engage with the offered virtue. Numerous quotations, lovingly gathered from philosophers and sages, merge the wisdom of ages with the author’s own insightful musings. Readers will gain a deeper understanding of their own divinity, the sacredness of their interpersonal connections, and the depth of the human soul as they begin to catch a vision of how to transcend the ordinary – the violence, pettiness, vanity, and agendas that limit us – to reach toward the ineffable and glorious. This is a truly wise and beautiful book, a gentle, mindful, essential read for anyone seeking closer, deeper, more meaningful relationships.
This is a Kickstarter project. The campaign runs until 11/15/2016. For information, please go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wiselovebooks/the-authentic-lover-reclaiming-loves-beauty-and-po
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