Almaas is a teacher of inner work. This audio book is a series of interviews. I read some of his books before and found them to be very good. This interview was excellent. He explains in some detail the different aspects of what he teaches. This is not the kind of audio you would get much out of while performing another activity. It requires full attention, and it would not be interesting to anyone who is looking for some way of succeeding better in their external life. It's all about the inner world; external reality often seems to bring up the inner reactions that we work to dis-identify from. Eventually, it may be revealed to us that the distinctions if inner and outer life don't really exist. It's possible to see, if even just for a few moments, that everything that "exists" springs from non-existence. I listened to this interview over several days. After it ended I really seemed to have the sense of what the inquiry was about. It's not difficult in the sense of understanding what it is. But it is difficult in terms of developing the skill of it.
It may be important to note that while I appreciate the interviews, lectures, and writings of Almaas, I have not been impressed by his followers. (Though I have only met a handful of them.)
Peter Schiff is a really interesting guy who is passionate about economics. This book attempts to teach what has happened in the US up to this point and and what will happen in the short term future. My problem with the book is two fold. Firstly, he starts with a metaphor about three people on an island. Unfortunately, the metaphor is extended too far and, so some extent, it seemed to make things more complicated. The second issue with the book is that I thought this was an explanation of the mechanics of economics generally, not a metaphor for the case study of the US. There were some good gems such as, "Inflation is the transfer of wealth from those who have savings in that currency to those who hold debt in that currency." But I would have like more gems like that. I guess it does do the job of simplifying some concepts, but I would have preferred him to stop the metaphor at a point and talk more about reality. Which he did to some extent, but more reality and less fishflation would have been more appealing to me. If you like Peter Schiff, or Austrian Economics, you might as well get the book. If you are new to economics, get Henry Hazlitt's book.
Couldn't stop listening. Based on good science. He offers dozens of cases and studies about premonitions and like phenomenon. In a few I was able to entertain alternative possible explanations. In most however, the events are nearly impossible to explain. It's opened my eyes to the premonitions I've ignored in my life. This book has definitely changed the quality of my waking awareness. Staying open to being informed via intuitive channels. My adulthood has been a shift towards intellectualism, now I feel more intellectually justified in listening to my "gut."
This was a very good listen. This narrator is by far the best I've heard. He nails so many different accents, I was truly impressed. The story is nicely layed out and I really felt like I spent a fair amount of time in India after the book was over. I even started drinking Chai Tea!
The only aspect of the book I take issue with was the author's compulsive philophizing. Let me differentiate this from having a character state a philosophical point of view. One of the characters discusses his views at length and that was fine. It was just that there were all sorts of "meaning of life" statements that became annoying because of their frequency and that they didn't help the story in any way. Most of his philosphical statements didn't even make sense to me. For example, he wrote something like: "Weightlifting is zen for the violent man." Having experience myself with zen, wightlifting, and violence I can say that his statement doesn't fit. I mention this because there were MANY such instances of these kinds of statements to the point where I started to turn the volume off for a few seconds once I heard the phrase: "in the end all we have is...."
That being said, I still recommend the book highly based on the story content, the rich characters, the way it all unfolds, and the marvelous narration.
If you are a fan of the "Tales of the Otori" trilogy I would highly recommend this book. I loved the Otori books, and found this work to be in the same kind of genre. The difference being that this story takes place sometime around when it was written: 1979. To tell you truth, I actually enjoyed this book more than any other listen to date.
One of the reasons I liked it so much was because about half way through the book a character is introduced who will make you wet your pants from laughing so hard. In spite of that the book keeps it's seriousness/suspense till the end.
If you are interested in Japan, martial arts, stories about assassins, and/or espionage themes, then do yourself a favor and drop your credits on this masterpiece.
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