From the Self-Help Gurus Who Look Like Cult Leaders Bookshelf

Title: “Spontaneous Happiness”

Author: Andrew Weil

Rank: 75

Blurb: “Everyone wants to be happy. But what does that really mean? Increasingly, scientific evidence shows us that true satisfaction and well-being come only from within.”

Review: “This is a great book for a fan of the good Doctor and a truly fantastic book for anyone who needs real practical help finding contentment in this world without joining a cult or taking another antidepressant.”

Customers Also Bought: Twenty-five other books by Andrew Weil.

Footnote: How nice of modern science to catch up with Aristotle.

Spontaneous Happiness [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]


I don’t know anything about the author or his book, but I do recall reading many years ago that when economic disparities mount, you see more and more “self-help” books that seek to show you how to find happiness through non-material (i.e. spiritual) means. The comment was in a critique of economic inequalities, and the substance of it was that these books are simply manifestations of the ruling financial and political order, attempts to dull the anger of the economically deprived masses by redirecting their attention away from their unmet material needs in an effort to channel their desires toward more ineffable longings.

I always felt a bit uncomfortable with this analysis, because I tend to want to value “self-realization” and other non-material pursuits, but I’ve never been able to wholly shake the suspicion that it might be, at least in part, true.

@Serolf Divad: This guy has been around forever, although this getup is new to me.

His books in a nutshell: Eat more leafy greens, exercise, don’t smoke, and grow a big fluffy beard to hide the pate.

The Secret to Happiness: Look like Santa, and people will buy your shit.

Re blurb: I’ll keep the hope that the change will occur in a balls-to-the-wall second term.

I go with the words of the great Zen master, George Carlin….

Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Weil … give me 10 minutes with any one of them, and I will have them on the ledge ready to jump. I’m that good.

George has a point.

The only self-help book I’ve ever recommended anyone read is the Survivor Personality by Al Siebert. It’s not about fake spiritual shit (I see you Deepak) or bullshit buzz words. It’s just about how people deal with adversity and what prevents people from staying alive.

@IanJ: Everyone needs a Stupometron helmet.

He used to appear at every PBS pledge drive, get his books or tapes for a pledge. I can’t understand why they put on crap that looks like a late night infomercial as an incentive instead of regular program. Just run a Monty Python-a-thon and give out tote bags.

@texrednface: A man with a neatly-trimmed beard is suspect.

People want self-help books? How about we give ’em the “Cannibal Anarchy Cookbook”? Can it help but be a best seller?

Add a Comment
Please log in to post a comment