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Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil (Paperback)
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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.
About the Author
Stephen Batchelor is a former monk in the Tibetan and Zen traditions and the author of the national bestseller Buddhism Without Beliefs. He lectures and conducts meditation retreats worldwide, and is a contributing editor for Tricycle.
“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