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Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil (2004)

by Stephen Batchelor

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279470,711 (3.87)1
Stephen Batchelor's seminal work on humanity's struggle between good and evil In the national bestseller Living with the Devil, Batchelor traces the trajectory from the words of the Buddha and Christ, through the writings of Shantideva, Milton, and Pascal, to the poetry of Baudelaire, the fiction of Kafka, and the findings of modern physics and evolutionary biology to examine who we really are, and to rest in the uncertainty that we may never know. Like his previous bestseller, Buddhism without Beliefs, Living with the Devil is also an introduction to Buddhism that encourages readers to nourish their "buddha nature" and make peace with the devils that haunt human life. He tells a poetic and provocative tale about living with life's contradictions that will challenge you to live your life as an existence imbued with purpose, freedom, and compassion--rather than habitual self-interest and fear.… (more)

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Batchelor - is the master of secular Buddhist analysis and the teachings of Buddha. In this book he explores the capacity to encounter and work with the Shadow. Highly recommend. ( )
  johnverdon | Jul 9, 2018 |
Begins with thoughts on Mara, the satanic figure found in the early Buddhist texts, and moves on to explore more topics than it's easy to summarise. As ever, Stephen is original and inspiring and writes the most stylish prose of any living Buddhist.
  JamesBlake | May 23, 2010 |
Another great book from one of our most important, critical buddhist thinkers. ( )
  FrankJudeBoccio | Mar 22, 2008 |
See my other Batchelor review for a reference. I haven't finished this book, I got bored and switch to Stiff (which was much more fun and a quick read). The book is filled with insight but just so laboriously presented. ( )
  hoopajoop | Dec 7, 2007 |
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I do not know who put me in the world, nor what the world is, nor what I am myself. I am in terrible ignorance about everything. I do not know what my body is, or my senses or my soul, or even that part of me which thinks what I am saying, which reflects on itself and everything but knows itself no better than anything else. I see the terrifying spaces of the universe enclosing me, and I find myself attached to one corner of this expanse without knowing why I have been placed here rather than there, or why the life allotted me should be assigned to this moment [rather] than to another in all the eternity that preceded and will follow me. I see only infinity on every side, enclosing me like an atom or a shadow that vanishes in an instant. Blaise Pascal
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This is a book for those like myself who find themselves living in the gaps between different and sometimes conflicting mythologies-epic narratives that help us make sense of this brief life on earth.
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Stephen Batchelor's seminal work on humanity's struggle between good and evil In the national bestseller Living with the Devil, Batchelor traces the trajectory from the words of the Buddha and Christ, through the writings of Shantideva, Milton, and Pascal, to the poetry of Baudelaire, the fiction of Kafka, and the findings of modern physics and evolutionary biology to examine who we really are, and to rest in the uncertainty that we may never know. Like his previous bestseller, Buddhism without Beliefs, Living with the Devil is also an introduction to Buddhism that encourages readers to nourish their "buddha nature" and make peace with the devils that haunt human life. He tells a poetic and provocative tale about living with life's contradictions that will challenge you to live your life as an existence imbued with purpose, freedom, and compassion--rather than habitual self-interest and fear.

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