Judul/Title: Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil
Penulis/Author: Stephen Batchelor
Penerbit/Publisher: Riverhead Books
Edisi/Edition: 2004
Halaman/Pages: 224
Dimensi/Dimension: 22cm
Bahasa/Language: English
Call No.: 294.3/Bat/l
Status: Ada/Available

Living with the Devil is Stephen Batchelor's seminal work on humankind's greatest struggle- to become good. 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 ant the fiction of Kafka- that keep us from doing what's in our own and other's best interests. He shows us the Myriad forms those obstacles take: a wandering farmer, a caring friend, a devout religious believer, a powerful king, even a frustrated old man who doodles in the sand when he cannot snare the Buddha. The devil need not appear with horns and a forked tail: he stands for everything that paralyzes our innate wisdom, freedom, and empathy, thus blocking our paths in life. Ia a world of black and white, batchelor paints in shades of gray, illustrating what it means to live in an ambiguous and precarious environment that continually tempts ud from what we hold to be good.

Drawing on classic religious text from East and West, as well as the findings of modern physics and evolutionary biology, Batchelor asks us to examine who we really are, and to rest in the uncertainty that we may never know. For the alternative to this creative unknowing is to freeze ourselves inside rigid definitions of self- the very work of Mara, the demonic figure that appeared to the Buddha-and blindly follow the feeling that we are, as expressed by Milton, "self begot," independent and permanent. To free ourselves from such diabolic constriction entails
creating a path that imbues our lives with purpose, freedom and compassion. This is a hopeful book about living with life's contradictions. Batchelor argues that freedom from the demonic is achieved not by supressing it or projecting it onto others, but by calmly and clearly recognizing and understanding those inhibiting and destructive powers as they wll up from within us and assail us from without. Such an approach not only releases the grip in which the devil hold us, but opens up the world as an astonishing play of endless flux contingency. This leads to a perspective of vigilant care from which we can respond to the cries of the world rather tan react to then out of habitual self-interest and fear.

Living with the Devil tells a poetic and provocativ tale that weaves its way among philosophy, religion, and science, and psychology, history, and myth. This is a bookl that will challenge your attitudes, your beliefs, the very way you live your life.



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