Dzogchen: The Self-Perfected State

Written on August 13, 2017. Written by .

This book had more mystical and religious content than other books on this topic that I’ve read. Aside from a few good points which can be found elsewhere, this book wasn’t very helpful. ★★★★★

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Roaring Silence: Discovering the Mind of Dzogchen

Written on June 14, 2017. Written by .

I heard about Dzogchen from Sam Harris’ book Waking Up in which he said that it was the best form of Buddhism that he came across because it was the most direct and had the least religious distraction. Roaring Silence seems mostly consistent with that. The biggest thing I learned from this book was the […]

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The Ego Tunnel

Written on September 8, 2016. Written by .

This is a pretty deep book about the nature of consciousness. I sometimes found it hard to tell if what I was hearing was profound or obvious. I still don’t understand the central analogy with a tunnel: what specific properties of a tunnel map to specific properties of consciousness? I may have missed it, but […]

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Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

Written on September 20, 2015. Written by .

What I found interesting about this book is that it seemed to make an honest effort to explain non-dual experience to the reader. Most books that discuss non-duality shroud the concept in mystery so it’s hard to even believe that they are talking about something really important. This was the first book that really convinced […]

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Dataclysm

Written on March 8, 2015. Written by .

Although this book wasn’t particularly entertaining, it did have quite a few impressive data-backed observations of human psychology that I’ve never seen before. It had a lot more content than the couple of blog posts I saw from the author, so it was worth the read. ★★★★★

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The Willpower Instinct

Written on September 9, 2013. Written by .

This book discusses a variety of findings in psychology relevant to willpower. One of the main points was that mindfulness is very helpful. For example, instead of trying to suppress your urges, you should “surf your emotions”, feeling them without necessarily giving in to them. It also discusses a lot of pitfalls like how being […]

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The Mindbody Prescription

Written on September 9, 2013. Written by .

Even though this book is not that fun or exciting, I still think it is a very important book to read because the main idea is so potentially important. The book argues that many chronic pain problems are “psychogenic” i.e. they are caused by mental processes. I decided to read this book after hearing about […]

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Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Written on December 27, 2011. Written by .

The author of this book uses psychology to understand happiness and how to live an enjoyable life. The theory of flow says that people enjoy experience the most when they are “living in flow.” This state is obtained when a person is being challenged, but has the required skills to meet the challenge, and also […]

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Sex at Dawn

Written on August 13, 2011. Written by .

Sex at Dawn explains what life as a hunter-gather may have been like prior to the agricultural revolution with an emphasis on sexuality and pair-bonding. One of the central themes of the book is that humans may not be as monogamous as is often thought. The so called “standard narrative” suggests that couples form pair-bonds […]

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Civilization and its Discontents

Written on July 9, 2011. Written by .

I had been wanting to read something by Freud for a while, but I was always skeptical that he would have discovered anything interesting. I was initially turned off by the seemingly crackpot theories of anal-retentiveness and the Oedipus complex, among others. I decided to give this book a try because it was short and […]

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