Holy Madness: The Shock Tactics and Radical Teachings of Crazy-Wise Adepts, Holy Fools, and Rascal Gurus

Georg Feuerstein, Author, Roger Walsh, Foreword by Paragon House Publishers $24.95 (296p) ISBN 978-1-55778-250-2
Russian spiritual teacher Georgei Gurdjieff force-fed vegetarians hefty meat dishes. Japanese Zen master Lin-chi thrashed his pupils. Indian guru Meher Baba remained silent for 43 years. All employed what Feuerstein, author of books on yoga and religion, calls ``holy madness'' or ``crazy wisdom,'' using eccentric behavior or shock tactics to communicate an alternative vision. A former devotee of Da Free John (aka Da Love-Ananda, ne Franklin Jones), Feuerstein presents critical cameos of holy fools (Aleister Crowley, BhagwanRajneesh, etc.) as well as guidelines for choosing a wise, enlightened guru and avoiding the exploitative. Yet his gallery of spiritual eccentrics is so diverse--ranging from Christian mystics to Hindu holy men who live on garbage heaps--that it's hard to credit the author's generalizations about the value of holy folly as an authentic path to transcendence. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Paperback - 511 pages - 978-1-890772-54-3
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-14-019370-1
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