Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil

Living with the Devil A Meditation on Good and Evil Book by Stephen Batchelor

  • Title: Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil
  • Author: Stephen Batchelor
  • ISBN: 9781573222761
  • Page: 491
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Book by Stephen Batchelor

    • Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil By Stephen Batchelor
      491 Stephen Batchelor
    • thumbnail Title: Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil By Stephen Batchelor
      Posted by:Stephen Batchelor
      Published :2019-03-24T02:37:09+00:00

    About " Stephen Batchelor "

  • Stephen Batchelor

    Stephen Batchelor Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil book, this is one of the most wanted Stephen Batchelor author readers around the world.

  • 691 Comments

  • Have you ever wondered about the randomness inherent in even the most trivial events? For example, how often have you been about to lock the front door of your residence and go out to your car, when you suddenly remember that you left your phone on the kitchen counter? Or your wallet on your dresser? Or your notes for that important meeting later today on your desk?In those few seconds that it takes you to re-enter your home, retrieve the forgotten item, and then finally lock the door and walk t [...]


  • I don't know any writer that updates and synthesizes Buddhism with the western tradition better. You could say that Sangharakshita created a movement along with his awesome corpus of books, and that's true, but in a certain way, even though he read deeply, maybe more than anyone I know, he was sort of a victorian. Batchelor has more modern assimilations of western literature, more philosophical than poetry, compared to Sangharakshita. They are both from England, and they are both self taught, an [...]


  • "Each time something contingent and impermanent is raised to the status of something necessary and permanent, a devil is created. Whether it be an ego, a nation-state, or a religious belief, the result is the same. This distortion severs such things from their embeddedness in the complexities, fluidities, and ambiguities of the world and makes them appear as simple, fixed, and unambiguous entities with the power to condemn or save us." "In completely surrendering himself with love to the potent [...]



  • My experience reading this was precisely like what the title suggests. It's a very difficult book to read if your presumptions stand in your way, and once you recognize your presumptions the book becomes very easy to get throughWell, that's not entirely true. If you've read Alone With Others or are familiar with Batchelor's thing. then you may find some of the first chapters redundant (but then again, it's the kind of info that some people might need a refresher on). And much of the info in the [...]


  • This is probably the best of Stephen Batchelor's books. While some of them can be hard going, with dense language and convoluted concepts, this one is clear, accessible and compelling. For those of us interested in the core concepts of Buddhist philosophy, but who are put off by the religious trappings they have been buried under over the years, Stephen's rigour in digging into the original texts and unearthing Buddha's core understanding of how human nature works is rewarded by laying out excit [...]



  • I enjoyed this book when I first read it ten years ago, and just this month, re-reading it with my sangha's book club, I found some chapters so good I could have underlined almost every line. The general thrust of Batchelor's argument in this book, is that rather than falling into the twin poles of externalizing and projecting "the demonic" onto others or suppressing it with denial, we need to learn how to live with it by recognizing and understanding those patterns of thinking and behavior that [...]


  • When we begin the journey along the Path that is opened to us by the Buddha's teaching, it seems that for many there is a period of heady realization and a sense of having found the Way. While that may be a fact, the predisposition of most is that the "self" moves in and takes it over and turns it into "my way". A trap for young players! Tthen seems to follow a period when "I" set about getting it perfectly right. In that there develops a struggle, however, with time and patience and simply comi [...]


  • This is a notable work of comparative religion and spirituality, which draws predominantly on Buddhist philosophy to examine the question of evil (through the metaphor of Mara/"the devil") in human life. I thought the book would follow the well-trod path of trying to explain how there can be bad in a world of good - à la Christian apologetics - but it actually approaches the problem by examining the evil in our own selves, recognizing that this is the more honest and accurate approach. Evil isn [...]


  • The subtitle of the book is 'a meditation on good and evil', and it feels like a meditation to read, rather than a systematic presentation - very refreshing and life-affirming, and timely for me, after wading through Mo Yan's meaty tome!I really like reading Stephen Batchelor's work. I appreciate his multiple perspectives and his ability to weave useful insights out of the spaces between traditions. I was particularly taken this time with the image of a path as an empty space, rather than a plac [...]


  • After having read many buddhist books over the past three years this was one of the most significant. It is written by a former monk now living in France and he intertwines poetry and scripture(buddhist and other) throughout the book as wonderful asides and inspirations in themselves. Maybe because it was written by a contemporary author was the reason that it had so much impact on me. One thing that I didn't count on was when he cited christian scripture and wove it into the text I was not as p [...]


  • A helpful book. I recommend it.This is the fourth of Stephen Batchelor's books that I have read. Having gone from a fundamentalist version of Christianity to Buddhism, only to find myself a marginal Buddhist, his other books helped me with my agnosticism. But I remained a religious man who rejected religion. This book helped me with that.Having long thought of the myths of religion as metaphor, but often puzzled as to what the message is, this book offered clarity. I have been wandering the gaps [...]


  • "The devil is a way of talking about that which blocks one's path in life, frustrates one's aspirations, makes one feel stuck, hemmed in, obstructed." And what blocks our path in life is the habit of setting limits, attempting to create certainties, the "tyranny of opinions" as a way to deny that our lives are impermanent and contingent. "Compulsions obstruct the path by monopolizing consciousness. The hypnotic fascination they exert prevents us from attending to anything else. . . . To escape t [...]


  • And by "devil," he means the metaphorical devils within each of us that lead us to desire things that we know are unhealthy, unsatisfying, or hurtful to others. While writing primarily from a Buddhist perspective, Batchelor draws on a number of other belief systems and cultural myths--from Christianity and Islam to Shakespeare and Baudelaire--to enrich his meditations on how humans come to grips with the essential tension of the human condition: our desire to be good, and the continual temptatio [...]


  • This is a very interesting book that I didn't expect to enjoy.The key concept he explores is this notion of the Mythic character Mara who was Buddha's metaphysical foe, always tempting him to deviate from his path, giving in to desires and their associated passions, fearing death, etc. The book can be viewed as an explanation of how we can deal with "temptation" and the various psychological traps we can fall into that bring us unnecessary suffering and emotional pain.


  • I bought this book by accident. It looked interesting and only cost a dollar. Ah, the lure of the used book store. To my surprise when I finally got around to it, it is an illuminating text on good and evil, and has given me a deeper understanding of Buddhism as well as human nature. That's a lot to ask for. It is a book I will read more than once as it is filled with insightful philosophy which needs to be re-read and re-experienced.


  • Accomplishes so much in a small amount of space. The exploration of "good and evil" begins with Buddhist interpretation of mental fixation in the face of the impermanence of everything. As it moves from an acknowledgment of suffering, it opens up into a discussion of what seems to be everything else under the wide sky. The language is artful and erudite yet at the same time clear and direct.


  • This is a wonderfully revealing book about the human that became who we all know as the Buddha, and puts his teachings and struggles into context that any normal human can understand (for that is who he was). This is indeed a great meditation on good and evil, buddha and devil, light and dark, and the search for self.


  • i adore this book. it's buddhism for bookish anti-socialites. it's a constant reminder of where we're all at in a ridiculous universe. it's beauty, truth & now all at once. i reread it constantly. (in the interest of full disclosure i also constantly reread harry potter, madeleine l'engle & the bridge to terabithia)


  • A study of good and evil, and the distractions that syreen (my word for those siren songs that distract us) off the path. My friend calls it esoteric, I'm reading it a second time through and find it fascinating. Final analysis comes in the form of a quote, my paraphrase: The only truly apt metaphor for the devil is the human being. Caused me to chuckle


  • This is a very interesting discussion of Buddha and Mara as intertwined and inseperable strands - Buddha representing the limitless nature of mind, Mara as the tendency to close down and fix experience. Mara of course isn't the devil, but I guess he wanted a title people in the west would understand!


  • I most enjoyed the author's point that good can not live without evil. While we do not have to do evil things, it must exist in order for good to exist. I also appreciated his use of non Buddhist texts and ideas to support the text, specifically Buber's I and Thou, which has been on my mind recently.


  • Some ideas of secularized Buddhist thought. The inevitability of pain, disease, "there is no safe place," etc. Depicts battles between the Buddha and his nemesis Mara, who supplies desire, fear, etc. Makes some good points, but a little disjointed.


  • Excellent insight into the different perspectives on evil from Buddhism and Christianity. While certainly a Buddhist centered work, there are enough examples from both the new and old testaments to see the similarities and differences of Mara and Satan.


  • This book was a little hard to read. Seemed very poetic instead of philisophical, which makes it hard to get the point across in my opinion. There were some good analogies and comparisons that I appreciated.






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