What People are Saying
Enlightenment Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be is a bone-deep description of the decades-long spiritual journey of Robert K. C. Forman, one of America’s most respected spiritual teachers. If ever a book was written from the heart, this is it. It is both a summation and an update of a work in progress. Enlightenment Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be describes the dazzling heights of spiritual awareness, but it also lays bare the twists, turns, and surprises of spiritual maturation, warts and all. Beware: If you need your spiritual guide to be serious, elevated, reserved, and pious, go elsewhere. But if you want eye-ball to eye-ball honesty, integrity, and humor supercharged with compassion, love, vulnerability, and deep wisdom, this is your book.
Larry Dossey, MD. Author: Healing Words and The Power of Premonitions
Enlightenment Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be is more than a memoir of a profoundly revealing spiritual journey. It is a deep invitation to be your authentic self–to fully own, embody and express every aspect of yourself. The honesty, openness and transparency of Robert’s spiritual journey instantly captivated me. I read the book in one long, joyous sitting. I literally could not put the book down. It is illuminating, entertaining and impactful. If you’re looking for guidance as to what is truly spiritual and enlightening, then read this book!
It is definitely chicken soup for the spiritual seeker's soul!
Jack Canfield, Co-creator of the New York Times #1 bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series
Robert Forman’s Enlightenment Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be is especially recommended for its honesty, openness, insight, wisdom, and significance. Points he brings up—in a thoroughly enjoyable memoir-type format—are absolutely central to the furtherance of this dialogue. Pick it up, give it a read, and ponder deeply its points—you won’t regret it!”
I loved it.
Ken Wilber, Author of Integral Spirituality
Here is the shamelessly honest and richly nuanced story of the spiritual unfolding of a single man. Yet it speaks to the whole generation of the Beatles, TM, and the colorful 70s parade of Eastern gurus who became so much a part of American culture during those years. Forman captures perfectly the hopes, disappointments and the successes of so many of us in those heady early years of spiritual exploration. One cannot help but resonate with his message.
This is an amazing work of exploration and then of finding the pearl of great price at one's very doorstep. Along the way Forman's portrait of the struggles, anxieties, depression, and bewilderment of the western spiritual seeker will give perspective, substance and courage to hundreds if not thousands of readers.
Enlightenment Ain't What It's Cracked Up To Be is beautifully written and poetic. It will serve as a mirror and a guide for all of us who have entered the long spiritual path to enlightenment. To him I say, thanks for this wonderful and deeply moving book for both our generation and for all sincere seekers.
Alan Combs, Author of: Consciousness Explained Better
What Robert Forman has learned about and accomplished in spiritual growth is inspiring. But even more than a touching personal memoir, Forman opens our thinking to new ideas of what ‘enlightenment’ or spiritual growth could actually be in the modern world. This is a vitally important issue: we have more to do in saving our world and our selves than learn to sit around in a cave feeling good and looking holy like the ancients did. Enlightenment Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be is a great book.
Dr. Charles T. Tart, Author States of Consciousness, and The End of Materialism
Enlightenment Ain't is a powerful personal story, an instructive philosophical reflection and a feast of imagery. In sensual, elegant prose Robert Forman slowly uncovers psychological and spiritual patterns in order to trace the trajectory of his life as well as shed light on that elusive thing "enlightenment." His method for uncovering is disarmingly direct: to tell the truth no matter what. With brutal honesty — and a sense of humor — Forman explores a lifetime of encounters with himself, those he loves, and cherished beliefs — seeking greater understanding every step of the way. As we accompany him, we join him in asking that most significant of human questions: What does a "good life" look like? And perhaps more pressing: What does a "good life" look like here and now? Among other things, we learn that it is a life of ethical resonance, range and flexibility. It is a life of standing up straight and being effortlessly open. That, Forman tells us, is liberation.
Dr. Mary Ellen Trahan, Author, Living Well, Living Wise
I am tremendously impressed by and appreciative of what Forman has done in Enlightenment Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up To Be. I can recommend it without hesitation as a very personal, intimate and profoundly unique glimpse into the actual experience of the author's multi-decade journey into enlightenment. The book is an extraordinary blend of personal honesty, psychological awareness, formal cross-cultural philosophical knowledge and direct spiritual experience. It is, without doubt, an important contribution. The principle teaching of the book will very likely be a controversial matter for some: Forman simultaneously strips away the romantic misconceptions about what enlightenment is (thus bringing into question the teachers who hold out such results), while also conveying the subtle and profound value that enlightenment actually does provide.
What is perhaps most distinctive about this book is the journey that Forman invites the reader to take with him through the very tone and feel of how he shares his own life story. With lilting poetic imagery and deeply revealing glimpses into the twists and turns of a thoughtfully lived life, many readers, especially those who have have spent time on their own spiritual quest, will likely walk along beside him and be encouraged to encounter and re-examine their own journey into the ultimate in a new light. As such, what he offers readers is really an extended and innovative meditation experience. Many of them will likely be enabled to more deeply understand and integrate the meaning and value of their own spiritual quest and how this relates to the psychological and interpersonal realms of their life.
This is really one hell of a book!
Full disclosure: I am a friend of the author and mentioned very kindly in the book. Nonetheless, I can tell a good book from a bad one, and this is, as I say, one hell of a book.
Doug Kruschke, President Insynergy, Corporate Facilitator
Enlightenment Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be is a powerful breath of spiritual fresh air! It is one of the most refreshingly authentic accounts of the spiritual life I’ve ever read. In its clarity, honesty and depth, this book is the real deal. From the first page you are in conversation, encouraged to encounter and re-examine your own journey into how to integrate your spirituality with the rest of your life. Forman’s extraordinary blend of personal courage, psychological awareness, formal cross-cultural philosophical training and direct spiritual experience is as unusual in the spiritual marketplace as it is helpful.
Melissa Gayle West, M.S., LMHC, Author of Exploring the
Labyrinth: A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth
Some spiritual memoirs are so authentic, honest and well-told that they stir the soul. Others offer trenchant observations and wise commentary about the modern spiritual scene. This is one of the rare books that do both. Compelling, intriguing and thought-provoking, it is a graceful exposition of one man’s journey, but it illuminates and offers guidance on the path that millions are embarked upon.
Philip Goldberg, Author of American Veda: From Emerson to the
Beatles, How Indian Spirituality Changed the West
Robert K.C. Forman offers a touching, humorous, and honest account of ordinary and extraordinary spiritual events. Relevant to anyone interested in the scientific exploration of what still remains mysterious.
Angeles Arrien, Ph.D, The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom; Cultural Anthropologist
Robert K.C. Forman does a beautiful job of linking spiritual autobiography with discussion of what it means to be on a spiritual path and engaged in personal development. Self-revealing and extremely wellwritten,it takes on the hard issues of the spiritual path and treats them with wisdom. This is definitely a book that I’d buy, for it makes the case that our conventional spiritual understanding is too simple for the complex lives we now lead. Enlightenment Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be stands head and shoulders above most other spiritual writings.
Paul Ray, Ph.D. Author, The Cultural Creatives