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The Point of Existence
by A. H. Almaas
ISBN 0936713097 / 9780936713090 / 0-936713-09-7
Publisher Shambhala Pubns
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The third and final book in Almaas's Diamond Mind series, this 602-page tome reformulates the traditionally accepted definition of narcissism, positing it as the major barrier to self-realization--we are staring at reflections of ourselves thinking we are looking at the real self until we fall through the surface of the pond. Dissecting the nature of self to expose ego's mimicry, Almaas illuminates the relationship between the different approaches of various psychological and religious traditions, leaving no stone unturned in his search for "essence." Since the process involves transformation of the experience of identity, it exerts pressure on all levels of self-image, bringing up classically narcissistic issues. While the work appears therapeutic and, in fact, may have therapeutic value, its primary purpose is opening to deeper levels of self knowledge, which eventually becomes a participation in the dynamic unfolding of being human. A pivotal distinction expounded upon in The Point is that Almaas is not directing the reader toward some realization of immaterial spirit or psychological state but is engendering the emergence of a material soul, a palpable essence of being. --Randall Cohan [via]