The Handbook to Higher Consciousness, by Ken Keyes Jr
Keyes had a deep insight into basic spirituality. It’s comparable to the Buddhist view. In fact sometimes I think he’s more of a Buddhist than many contemporary Buddhists. And he acknowledges that he drew on the teachings the Buddha, Jesus, Western psychology, and many other philosophies to arrive at his system, which he calls The Living Love way.
The introduction gives a good overview, in my opinion, about the social predicament of contemporary humans. And I think it’s one of those cases where simply seeing things from this perspective is in itself a kind of solution, because seeing the big picture is often a solution in itself.
Some people may see this as New Age philosophy, but it really doesn’t deserve that label. this is very similar to the overall philosophy of the Transpersonal Psychology Association, which is made up of psychologists with Ph.Ds, obviously, who have combined Western psychology with every religion under the sun. Some are Buddhists, some are Gnostic Christians, some are Sufi Muslims, etc. But none, I repeat, none, are fundamentalists or religious fanatics. They are mainstream psychologists who are simply more enlightened than most psychologists or most religious people, in my opinion. And I’m only saying this so you won’t underestimate the value of what Keyes says. I think his perspective is valid and enlightened. His system may not be for everyone, but that’s a given.
The book is a melding of Eastern spiritual philosophy (which is actually a high form of psychology) with Western psychology. I eventually discovered what I perceived to be as a slight flaw in The Living Love Way (which is what he calls it), namely, that when following the system and putting it into action one can inadvertently start suppressing one’s emotions, which is generally counter-productive, because emotions are the best handles for the aspects of ourselves that lead to our inner depths and help us become more self-aware. But I don’t think the problem is necessarily in the method. I think it’s more a case that one can easily misunderstand that aspect of the process. But it almost doesn’t matter, because one can’t suppress emotions very long before they come back to the surface again.
The Handbook to Higher Consciousness, by Ken Keyes Jr. (PDF Version)