Book Review: The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers

New Book Explores the Virtues—and Dangers—of Spiritual Teachers

A spiritual teacher isn’t an ordinary member of the clergy. They are a perceptive, caring, trustworthy human being who provides one-to-one, in-depth spiritual direction.

Celebrities such as Madonna and Russell Brand, and writers such as Elizabeth Gilbert and Deepak Chopra, have all worked with spiritual teachers. So have millions of people from almost every major religious tradition—as well as millions of others who are spiritual but not religious.

A new book, The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers, provides invaluable guidance for anyone who is curious about spiritual teachers—or who wants to work with one but doesn’t know how or where to begin.

This user-friendly book also offers practical wisdom for anyone who already has a spiritual teacher, and wants to make the most of that relationship.

Still more important, The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers helps readers spot and avoid the predators, narcissists, charlatans, and cult leaders who call themselves spiritual teachers—and who have ruined many people’s lives.

The book’s author, Scott Edelstein, has studied happily and productively with spiritual teachers for the past four decades. He has also served as editor and literary agent for several spiritual teachers. A longtime practitioner of both Judaism and Buddhism, he is a committed proponent of serious spirituality in all forms and traditions.

The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers was published on March 21 by Wisdom Publications. Wisdom also published Edelstein’s previous book, Sex and the Spiritual Teacher, which examines the all-too-common problem of sexual misconduct among spiritual teachers.

Edelstein’s website on spiritual teachers, http://www.thespiritualteachersite.com, provides more information on the subject, as well as book excerpts, related articles, and links to media interviews with Edelstein.

The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers
By Scott Edelstein
Publisher: Wisdom Publications, Somerville, MA
ISBN-10: 0861716108
ISBN-13: 978-0861716104

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Publishers Weekly: “In this short handbook, Edelstein guides readers through choosing and working with spiritual teachers. Drawing on his four decades of experience working with spiritual teachers as an editor and agent as well as a student, Edelstein addresses a surprisingly wide range of topics to help readers make the most of their relationships with spiritual teachers.”

Kathleen Dowling Singh, author of The Grace in Living: “A small book with a big message.”

David Rynick, author of The Truth Never Fails: “A wonderful resource. This guide is down-to-earth and offers a broader perspective about what to expect and not expect from spiritual teachers.”

Tim Burkett, author of Nothing Holy About It: “Finally, a well thought-out, easy-to-read guide to help folks assess whether a given teacher may be prone to abuse his power over them or is genuinely interested in empowering them.”

James Ishmael Ford, author of If You’re Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: “Scott Edelstein’s guide is simple, practical, and useful. It cuts through most of the confusion in seeking a spiritual guide with the clarity of someone who has been through it all. I recommend it to anyone embarking on the spiritual path, or thinking maybe they should be looking for a spiritual guide.”

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Book Review: Technology vs. Humanity: The coming clash between man and machine (FutureScapes) by Gerd Leonhard

In his latest book Technology vs. Humanity, futurist Gerd Leonhard asks, “How can society stay in control as machines enter deeper into our lives, our bodies, and eventually our brains?”

Technology vs. Humanity:
The coming clash between man and machine
(FutureScapes)
by Gerd Leonhard

Futurist Gerd Leonhard breaks new ground again by bringing together mankind’s urge to upgrade and automate everything—down to human biology itself—with our timeless quest for freedom and happiness.

Before it’s too late, we must stop and ask the big questions: How do we embrace technology without becoming it? When it happens—gradually, then suddenly—the machine era will create the greatest watershed in human life on Earth. Technology vs. Humanity is one of the last moral maps we’ll get as humanity enters the Jurassic Park of Big Tech.

Artificial intelligence. Cognitive computing. The Singularity. Digital obesity. Printed food. The Internet of Things. The death of privacy. The end of work-as-we-know-it, and radical longevity: The imminent clash between technology and humanity is already rushing towards us. What moral values are you prepared to stand up for—before being human alters its meaning forever?

Gerd Leonhard is a new kind of futurist schooled in the humanities as much as in technology. In his most provocative book to date, he explores the exponential changes swamping our societies, providing rich insights and deep wisdom for business leaders, professionals and anyone with decisions to make in this new era.

If you take being human for granted, press Reset now with this passionately argued call to create a genuinely braver new world.

About the Author

As humanity rushes headlong into a world first served and soon dominated by technology, futurism has become a burning issue for everyone, not just visionaries and geeks. Gerd Leonhard blends humanism wth futurism to create manifestos and creative non-fiction that dramatically widens the franchise and audience for near-future exploration. His upcoming new book – Technology vs Humanity – is a breakthrough work of provocation that alerts the world to the imminent ethical and moral choices we will all have to confront much sooner than expected. A musician and creative by background, Leonhard has spent fifteen years living in the future, applying his insights and practical wisdoms to present-day dilemmas from the erosion of work life to the epidemic of digtal obesity that threatens to destroy a generation. Founder of The Futures Agency, Gerd Leonhard travels the world delivering customized advice to enterprise and public organizations of all kinds – helping them to both understand their future choices and discover their ‘true future’. Gerd’s books and essays are supported by an increasing array of multi-media features, including films and webisodes from his own boutique film studios. Together with the Futures Agency advisory and speaking tours, these media properties constitute a unique quarry of groundbreaking insights for individuals and organizations in transformation. Gerd’s other books include The Future of Content, Friction is Fiction and the bestselling The Future of Music. He also contributes a key chapter to The Future of Busines, edited by Rohit Talwar. A member of the Royal Society for the Arts (London) as well as the World Future Society, his client list includes Consumers International, YouTube, Nokia, The Guardian, Google, Sony-BMG, Telkom Indonesia, Siemens, RTL, ITV, the BBC, France Telecom, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, MTN, The Financial Times, DDB / TribalDDB, Ogilvy, Omnicom, the European Commission along with many other notable organizations.
Amazon Customer Review
5 stars Essential perspectives on how humanity, ethics, values and people can remain centre stage in a future of technology dominance  reviewed by Jens U. Hansen

Gerd Leonhard is very successfully bringing humanity into the centre of the exponential technology development that we are right in the middle of. He brilliantly discuss some of the polarities and dilemmas that are right in front of us as citizens, politicians, entrepreneurs, business leaders, parents. Everyone that is concerned with how we bring humanity forward in the age of robotics, automation, internet of things, big data, etc. can benefit from the deep insights that Gerd Leonhard so richly is sharing in his 2016 book Technology vs. Humanity. Closely connected to the sound development and transformation of global business leadership myself I give Technology vs. Humanity my warmest recommendations.