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Dennis W Sadberry

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Sophomoric, derivative, and predicatable

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-13-19

To paraphrase David Spade, I liked "Supermarket" better when it was called "Fight Club". I came across this book when searching for heart pounding thrillers I could listen to on the plane. This is not a heart pounding thriller. If I wanted to be charitable, I would call it a slow burn. But my bigger issue was that it just seemed derivative of mental disorder books like Fight Club, Shutter Island, The Shining. etc. As a result, the "twists" are very predictable. Also, other than the adult language, it read more like a teen novel to me, And finally, the self-indulgent mental health PSA at the end was eye-roll inducing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The devil speaks with a British accent

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-10-17

Any additional comments?

One of Watts' major themes in these lectures is his repeated attempts to convince us that we cannot transcend our ego. His argument is that the more you attempt to transcend your ego, the more your ego is stoked because you pat yourself on the back at how enlightened you are. Therefore, he insists, it's pointless to even try because the more you try, the worse you become. He uses terms like "We cannot raise ourselves up by our bootstraps" to describe this concept. This is a straw man and half-truth argument. And It's the wrong question (it doesn't work in a mystical discussion anyway, because of, you know… gravity). No, the better question is, "can we be raised up?". He uses essentially the same argument when he mocks the Judeo-Christion commandment that you must love God. What he rejects is the power of the mystical experience itself, that the mystical experience transcends language and intellect (it is the intellect that stokes the ego, after all). C.S. Lewis, in "Mere Christianity" answers this dilemma, and answers it much more eloquently and in a way that Zen Buddhists and Christians are more likely to agree. He does mention Grace as a type of mystical experience, but he attempts to dismiss the very notion using his circular logic again. This jumping in and out of the mystical experience illustrates the types of deceptions woven throughout the fabric of the series of lectures.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful