James Swartz, How to Attain Enlightenment – Video & Text Review

Would you like to learn how to attain enlightenment?  Well regardless of the semantics of whether enlightenment is something to be attained, welcome to the enlightenmentdudes.com review of “How to attain enlightenment” by James Swartz.

This really is a handbook of enlightenment.  He covers what enlightenment is not, such as not an experiential state, and then gets into what enlightenment is.  He talks about qualifications, or a background of spiritual maturity the seeker needs to have.  And he explains what self inquiry really is.

(Click on video below to watch or to just keep reading scroll down)

Swartz also spends time debunking enlightenment myths and exposing the inaccuracy of the teachings of neo-advaita (primarily western) instant enlightenment spiritual teachers.

The book reminded me of how it is to enter a relationship.  It started off well, but then you reach a point where you ask yourself whether you want to go on.  There was a period where I was wondering what kind of point he was trying to make and if it was actually going anywhere.  Like weathering a relationship through the tough times, I went on, and I’m glad it did.

Swartz is very funny in parts of the book, and it was refreshing to see a guy write in a fashion that uses descriptive terms that don’t have you reading the words consciousness, awareness or pure being in every paragraph.  There are too many spiritual books full of that crap, and Swartz is a very pleasant departure from that.

The writer has a very keen understanding of self inquiry and other methods on the spiritual path, and he discusses the benefits of each.  Swartz spent considerable time in India learning self-inquiry and has a chapter dedicated to questions about Ramana Maharshi.  Swartz’s teacher was not a Ramana follower so there are areas where he differentiates from Ramana.  He also discusses how one’s lifestyle has a major impact on enlightenment and he differentiates terms awakening and enlightenment as being two different things.

Overall, if you can get through the slow parts, this is an excellent and comprehensive book.  You’ll realize when you get through it that slow parts actually were part of a plan and have importance.  Enlightenmentdudes.com highly recommends this book, and gives it an 8 on our infinity scale.

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