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Living with the devil: A meditation on good and evil (Anglais) Broché – 7 juin 2005

4.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client

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Revue de presse

“A moving and timely study of the problem of evil from a Buddhist perspective. [Batchelor] draws deeply on traditional Buddhist insights as well as stories from the legends surrounding the Buddha’s life to suggest that our need to divide experience into good and evil is itself the problem… Rejecting this violence and its dualities, Batchelor suggests, will leave us free for true awareness… highly illuminating.” –Library Journal

“It’s fantastic. Magnificent even. What an achievement! This is an astonishing work, one that I will recommend over and over again. It is a rare treat to be offered such thoughtful, engaging, lucid, and clarifying prose.” –Mark Epstein, M.D., author of Thoughts Without a Thinker

“The author of Buddhism Without Beliefs and a former monk in the Tibetan and Zen traditions, Batchelor… demonstrates how the anguish associated with the transient nature of life has preoccupied humans for centuries… that mankind has always relied on the temptations of the devil to still anxiety and create an aura of permanence. Although he explores a number of philosophies, Batchelor’s focus is on the path to nirvana (a cessation of desires)… [His] genuine concern and desire for a better world come through clearly.” –Publishers Weekly

“Opens doors of understanding we might not even have known were closed… an illuminating read.” –Joseph Goldstein author of Our Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism

“A revolutionary text, a classic, and a must-read.” –Joan Halifax, author of Shamanic Voices

Présentation de l'éditeur

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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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is a fairly important book, more literary than theological, and this characteristic can be seen from the very first pages. Stephen Batchelor constructs his demonstrations with an enormous amount of quotations and quoted authors, something like fifty. These quotations, what’s more, come from all kinds of traditions. The various Buddhist traditions are justified, though they bare not differentiated and thus are treated as all equivalent, the canonical books of course, the Tibetan tradition, the Chinese and Zen tradition and a little bit of the Korean and Japanese traditions.

What’s more surprising is the vast corpus of authors from the Christian and western field. We can note quotations from Milton, Blake and most of the English romantic poets. But he heavily uses Baudelaire and some French authors like Roland Barthes, Blaise Pascal, Michel de Montaigne and Emmanuel Levinas. And then he quotes the Bible, both Testaments, quite often and constructs a parallel between Buddha and Jesus, between Job and Buddha. He vaguely speaks of the Zoroastrians of Zarathustra as a source of Vedic literature clearly implied as being behind the Buddha’s principles, but he does not push the Zoroastrian thought to the west as one essential source of the three Semitic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the last one being mentioned only marginally.

Quoting is not proving. This patchwork of quotations from various horizons does not make the Buddhist vision explicit. Stephen Batchelor does not develop an anthropological argument about the universality of some Buddhist concepts. But that is a side remark that we have to keep in the margin of the critique.

The first idea is that the Buddhist vision is entirely based on the dichotomy of good and evil, Buddha and Mara.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8bc73bdc) étoiles sur 5 18 commentaires
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8bc9b63c) étoiles sur 5 Incomplete 9 février 2013
Par bmbower - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The devil Mara stalks us as we walk the streets and forest paths of spiritual life. Batchelor's meditation insists that we embrace the devil's presence, using it to combat the distractions and obsessions that block us from enlightenment.

Drawing heavily on Tibetan imagery, Batchelor also cherry picks from sources as diverse as Romantic poets, the Talmud, scientists, and the Bible to display how one might incorporate a Buddhist worldview into daily living. The book is also an illustration of how formidable a symbolic approach to religion can be and how symbols can point to existential and spiritual truths unavailable to more straightforward language.

There are contradictions. For instance, Batchelor claims a path is both sustained and corrupted through use. This raises questions about the viability of time-tested traditions or whether religious institutions actually have a purpose, something never thoroughly addressed. And learning to let things go or just let things happen doesn't speak to one's role in combating the world's larger (and largest) evils, preparing for and preventing disasters, or how one might find spiritual development in good works or skillful means. (Seems fighting human trafficking, becoming carbon-neutral, and volunteering in soup kitchens could all be proactive steps on the road to spiritual development.)

But then this is billed as a meditation, not a set of answers; as such, it is an solid keyhole into the mind (or "no mind") of one of the West's preeminent Buddhists.
24 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Juan M. Molina III - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Coming from a very religious family and having been educated in Catholic Schools and following the Christian faith most of my life, I already thought I knew what the war between good and evil was, especially with studying history and philosophy in college.

I found this book very easy to read, most noteably the parts between Buddha and Mara, the Buddhist's counterpart of Christ and the Devil. Other areas in the book I found difficult to follow, especially since I haven't studied Buddhism indepth as I did Christianity. But what the book tells its readers is how evil is everywhere, how easy it is to fall into a cycle that is acting as an agent of evil, how to break from it, etc etc. If you have ever seen Star Wars, more specifically The Empire Strikes Back, you can see parallels between Yoda and Buddhism, especially where when it gets into a meditation on how to be at peace with oneself within a world filled with obligations, stress, problems and chaos. This is an easy book to read and would recommend it to those who are interested in meditation, becoming at peace with theirselves, and finding out who they are and where they are going.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8bc9bac8) étoiles sur 5 Deeper Understanding 6 février 2009
Par Anomalous - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Living With the Devil was so deeply affecting I had to slow down to read and absorb it. I didn't want it to end and, because I'd borrowed the book, knew I had to have it as part of my permanent library so ordered it. I raved about it so much a friend gave me a copy so now I have one to keep and one to lend. I'm reading it for the second time which is very unusual for me and am marking the passages which resonate so I can come back, on the fly, and find them quickly. Never have I had a clearer understanding of Mara or the obstacles in life. Ones we create and ones we encounter on our journey. Batchelor has an uncanny way of articulating complexities and ambiguities in a highly accessible manner.
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8bc9be94) étoiles sur 5 Simply Brilliant 11 novembre 2007
Par Craig Mooneyham - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Stephen Batchelor nails this topic with beautiful articulation. He uses many references, most especially from his own teaching of Buddha Dharma, to capture the reality of this concept of the devil in our daily lives. The devil is in the details of our lives, weaved into the fibers of our existence, and the author reveals the workings of satan, or Mara, as the very product of our ego-driven selves. Stephen pulls from Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other Eastern mystic traditions, psychology, science, and art to drive home the point of the intricacies of the dichotomy of humankind. This book is a fascinating, eye-opening read that even non-Buddhists can enjoy.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8bc9bf78) étoiles sur 5 Living with the Devil 24 mai 2010
Par Aimee Brant - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Stephen Batchelor has written a superb analysis of the shadow part of human psychology as conceptulised in Indian Buddhism by the idea of the demon Mara. Compared to our "western" notion of the "devil" as a personified daimonic entity, Mara in Batchelor's Buddhism is less of a persona and more of a psychological force that eclipses our better selves, makes end-runs around our good intentions(with which hell is often paved),and messes us up in ways that we ourselves mess up in our getting along in the world because of our ignorance, greed and aversion (what Buddhists call the three poisons.

Batchelor does not hold with dualistic notions of Mara and the Buddha. As he says, the Buddha and Mara are one. Why does he go that far? He says this because he views the Buddha as human like the rest of us, not as a superhuman being with magical powers. Buddha is not a god.
He demonstrates from a close study of many of the canonic Pali texts times when the Buddha was afflicted--by doubt, by enemies, by annoyance, by negative emotions. (In one famous episode he calls his competitive, manipulative monk cousin, Devadatta, a lickspittle.)

The negative shadow side of each and every personality is forever in some kind of play because it stems from our prehistoric ancestors' needs to be on guard, ready for fight or flight at any time. But this reactiveness of our personalities--although probably it can never be eliminated--can be limited by the steady work of Buddhist practice, especially the practice of insight meditation. The goal is not some state of transcendance, but rather the incremental growth of insight into the work/action of ourselves in the world and with other humans, to the point that we are able to develop more caring and more compassion in our ability to identify with others, and less hatred, lust, and delusion (the daily paranoia).

So Batchelor's idea of Mara is not that of an occult demon to be controlled by rituals and magic. Mara is our shadow, or negative aspects that need to become apparent in our awareness, and dealt with. It's about living the freedom of not suppressing our demonic capabilities or projecting them onto others, but by learning to recognise the destructiveness that often rules our actions and thoughts. As Batchelor says: "Buddha and Mara are figurative ways of portraying a fundamental opposition within human nature. While 'Buddha' stands for a capacity for awareness, openness, and freedom, 'Mara' represents our capacity for confusion, closure, and restriction."

A great book--highly recommended for anyone not bogged down by dogmatic views on Buddhism or human psychology.
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