This new book by James Swartz follows his very popular How to Attain Enlightenment, which has introduced many readers to the ancient science of consciousness known as Vedanta. In The Essence of Enlightenment, Swartz more thoroughly develops teachings he presented in his earlier book. He discusses values and the enlightened person, examines dharma and the essence of enlightenment in considerable detail, and thoroughly explains the relationship between consciousness, the individual and the total.
Swartz begins by asking us what we want from our life, takes a good look at how we generally try to achieve happiness, and investigates its true source. He analyzes many of the popular spiritual paths, with an eye towards their efficacy and limitations. Then he goes about a detailed explanation of all the ways the time-tested principles of Vedanta can assist us in reaching the goal of liberation.
Swartz refutes many of the erroneous concepts Westerners have picked up in their quest to understand enlightenment and offers readers a bracing dose of truth and clarity.
Like its predecessor, this book sufficiently demystifies the topic of enlightenment. Although it is inspirational, it is not just another vague inspirational read. Swartz writes in a simple style that makes the science of self-inquiry accessible to seekers and finders everywhere.
Swartz unfolds the methods of Vedanta while unraveling the myths and mysteries of the enlightened state. But this book does not simply present more spiritual techniques; it offers a body of knowledge.
Why Lazarus Laughed explicates the doctrine shared by Zen Buddhism, Advaita, and Tantra. The author is not interested in these traditions as religions but only as they “reflect the moon” for us.