Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Book Review: The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are

I read anything I can written by Alan Watts; I recommend that you do the same. The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are is a good place to start. He has also written very good books about Zen and the Tao. "The Book" is an excellent introduction to the issues we face as recovering materialists.

The first chapter of the book reads like a mission statement: if there was a book for young people containing what they needed to know to lead fulfilling lives, what would be in the book? The answer relates to our first step: it is that our perception of the world is incorrect. We are not just separate personalities; we are also connected at a very deep level.

Let's talk about personality. The word comes from the Latin word "persona," meaning "mask." Our personalities are like masks that we wear when we interact with others. They are not us, except on a superficial level. The third chapter of the book, entitled "How to be a Genuine Fake," deals with this issue, and the paradox of being a "real person," which implies that one can make something real out of what is essentially an act!

This book would be a good start for all recovering materialists, especially those who have chosen the mystic path.

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