This book on what spirituality is, what it isn’t, and why it matters had to be written. For the author himself, nothing other than spiritual practices — not psychotherapy, radical politics, or a distinguished academic career — met the agony and ache that visited him and his wife: the death of their son and the severe developmental challenges of their daughter. For others, the search for transcendences and meaning-making grows out of a restlessness born of many sources. They seek a world within to match the world without and the world aspired to because most all the standard offerings of “the good life” are spiritually vacuous and fleeting, while the diseases of affluence — stress, addiction, rootlessness, anxiety, fatigue, frazzled nerves, and depression — pound on the door. Moreover, modernity finds millions alienated from the religious truth and authority of their ancestors’ traditions at...

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