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  • Published: 1 October 1992
  • ISBN: 9780140193701
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $35.99

Holy Madness

The Shock Tactics and Radical Teachings of Crazy-Wise Adepts, Holy Fools, and Rascal Gurus



“A fascinating look at spiritual leaders, both past and present.”—Booklist Crazy-wise adepts, cult leaders, and gurus challenge our common sense views of reality and norms of conduct. In their attempts to teach spiritual truths, they shock cognitive boundaries and jolt moral sensibilities with radical eccentricity, trickery, and excess. Now for the first time, Holy Madness explores this universal dimension of spirituality in a readable and brilliant blend of history, philosophy, theology, and first-person accounts. Here are Fools for Christ, sitting naked on garbage heaps; eccentric Zen masters baffling their students with beatings and belly laughs; and enigmatic rascal gurus and spiritual clowns like Da-Ananda, Chögyam Trungpa, G. I. Gurdjieff, and Aleister Crowley. How can you tell if the antics of a Holy Fool are legitimate teaching tools or simply the acts of a self-indulgent lunatic? This fascinating study tackles this question and many others, providing an unbiased exploration of the mechanics of spiritual life. “It makes good, stiff reading for folks who hanker for travel of the mind and heart.”—Boston Globe “A totally absorbing and fascinating piece of work by an author of considerable intellectual caliber . . . a superb study in the further reaches of human nature.”—Colin Wilson, author of The Outsider

  • Published: 1 October 1992
  • ISBN: 9780140193701
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $35.99

About the author

Georg Feuerstein

Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D. holds degrees in Indology and the history of religion. In addition to being director of the Yoga Research Center and editor of Yoga World newsletter, he is a contributing editor of Yoga Journal, Inner Directions, and Intuition. He is the author of more than twenty books.

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