• Stepping Out of Self-Deception

  • The Buddha's Liberating Teaching of No-Self
  • By: Rodney Smith
  • Narrated by: Tom Pile
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (297 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Anatta is the Buddhist teaching on the nonexistence of a permanent, independent self. It's a notoriously puzzling and elusive concept, usually leading to such questions as, "If I don't have a self, who's reading this sentence?" It's not that there's no self there, says Rodney Smith. It's just that the self that is reading this sentence is a configuration of elements that at one time did not exist and that at some point in the future will disperse. Even in its present existence, it's more a temporary arrangement of components rather than something solid.

Anatta is a truth the Buddha considered to be absolutely essential to his teaching. Smith shows that understanding this truth can change the way you relate to the world and that the perspective of selflessness is critically important for anyone involved in spiritual practice. Seeing it can be the key to getting past the idea that spirituality has something to do with self-improvement and to accessing the joy of deep insight into reality.

©2010 Rodney Smith (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Stepping Out of Self-Deception

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Brilliant

Most important book I've ever "read". Smith's words can seem confusing - I recommend multiple listenings.

8 people found this helpful

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A whole lot of hmm without the ah-ha.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

There were three chapters that offered practical advice, the rest were mainly philosophical/theoretical.

What could Rodney Smith have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Way too wordy. Each chapter's foundation for the topic was good but way too long for what little if any advice was provided. If the book was meant to talk about things that make the reader say, "hmm" instead of "ahh-ha", Smith nailed it.

Was Stepping Out of Self-Deception worth the listening time?

The book could have been half the size and still conveyed the message.

5 people found this helpful

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A lot of questions answered!

I've always had a lot of questions that I couldn't find answers to, about notion of self in Buddhism, etc. This book addresses a lot of my doubts!
I would add though, that some of the concepts can be unusual for a unprepared reader. But I'm sure that anybody would find this book useful!
I wish only that the author himself narrated this book. For me the narrator sounded a little tired...
Otherwise a very profound book for anybody who is seeking spiritual growth.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent

I have probably 100 'Buddhism/mediation' books both audible and print and this book is currently in the top five. The narrator is fine so take those comments with a grain of salt. However, I will say the content is dense, and should be read after some real experience with mediation. I've had a practice for 2 years now and the concepts described make a lot of sense at this point. His coverage of integrating your practice into your life is very welcome. He also does a great job of explaining the very difficult 'no self' concept that those of us in the West have such trouble understanding. Anyway, listening to this every 8-12 weeks for those with a daily practice will be very rewarding.

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Need Miracle Ear to Hear

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I'd advise getting a hard copy. The narrator, perhaps in an attempt to sound "spiritual," speaks as if he is whispering to you at a funeral. Not only is that frustrating and difficult to listen to, but it's a bit embarrassing to be interested in a genre of books that makes the "hushed tones" nonsense acceptable.

What did you like best about this story?

I know from personal experience that the message of "no self" is an important one. I just couldn't get through the narration.

How could the performance have been better?

Hire a publisher who hires a narrator who receives the explanation that there is no inherent difference in whether you speak as softly as the wind or you narrate with a booming, authoritative voice. If you have to act spiritual then you don't get the message the book contains.

Do you think Stepping Out of Self-Deception needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. This subject is not new, except perhaps in Western Buddhist circles. For a more experiential (as experiential as you can get from a book) discovery of some of what this book points to, I recommend the Book of est, by Luke Rhinehart.

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Requires Full Attention | Has Profound Moments

I liked the focus on the examination of wording and how our language limits our understanding. This small awakening itself is a huge breakthrough if you can 'get it'. I disliked some of the redundant concepts that were repeated over and over in different ways, but I understand the reasoning for it. Sometimes it's the last version of the concept that gets the point through. This audible is for someone who can devote the attention. I did this audible injustice by listening to it while driving. I wish I was able to take notes on some profound truths, but learning to live in the moment is really the key. To paraphrase a sentence in the book, 'You can't focus on the drive while looking in the rear view mirror. You have to learn to be present in the here and now.'

3 people found this helpful

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Presence of God

This book clearly explains the ultimate state in Buddhism. This state is the same as that described in A Course in Miracles and Brother Lawrence’s The Presence if God.

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wow

all one would want to know on the subject in complete logical and practical view

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Wow!! Incredible

Author does an amazing job delivering the core teachings of Buddhism. Stays focused on the fundamental aspects of no-self through out the book. And breakdown how to embody the teachings in laypersons circumstances.

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Metaphors of unknowing

If you can start with the idea that we don't have an inherent separate self, but what we really are is everything, we can begin the process of creating a state of being free from suffering. This can be very hard to do. Understanding this concept is only the beginning of the journey. Books that help us in the beginning to head in the right direction are invaluable. Rodney Smith has written such a book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • G. Pretorius
  • 08-03-21

Great book overall!

I listened to this book more than a year ago for the first time and it didn't make much of an impact. I also didn't like the voice of the reader much.

I came out of a longer retreat recently that focussed on some of the themes covered in this book and somehow I started to re-read it. Now, it seems to make so much more sense. Now it's probably one of my favourite books. I have to say that the voice of the reader still doesn't do much for me, but I read the kindle version alongside and got much more out of the written text.

Overall, and excellent book!

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  • A Customer
  • 10-25-19

Great book, poor narration

This is a great book, I read it some time ago. It's well written and clearly explained - not an easy subject either. I was looking forward to hearing it read to consolidate my understanding but the narrator made that difficult. I've come across Tom Pile before, with the same outcome, and will steer clear in future. Disappointed.

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  • Terry McCoy
  • 02-17-16

Read learn, re-read learn some more etc etc...

one of the most thought provoking books I've ever read. lost count of the times I've listened to this . I liked it so much I bought the book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Beatleclaire
  • 06-10-22

Excellent

I have listened to many many books on the same topic but this one is definately in the top three. It is very good if you are in a place where you are able to understand it. If not, try some other books first, but come back to this one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daniela Craciun
  • 05-11-22

I very much appreciate this book

Through all the books I ve read/listened to in the past months, this appears to be one of my favourites. He speaks essential things and explores important factors.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-23-21

Really enjoyed

Delighted with this….it was included in membership and I wondered if I would get much out of it but it had loads of helpful insights. I have listened a lot to Eckhart Tolle , Course of Miracles, Abraham Hicks and that has been a brilliant basis to allow understanding of most of the things covered in this book. Without that
I think it would be difficult to access. Will definitely listen again. I liked the narrators voice!

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  • Tina
  • 07-24-22

Must read for all Dhamma practitioners

I've been practising Buddhism for many years, but this book has given my practice a whole different level of understanding and depth. I am so grateful for Rodney for sharing in such a deep and clear way, with practical examples and beauty in his words. I'll be buying the book and will be reading this many more times to support my practice. Thank you Rodney!