"Enlightenment Blues" by Andre van der Braak

You want to read this book.

Admit it, you slow down just like everyone else to view the spectacle of an
automobile accident alongside the road. It's natural to be curious about these
sorts of things, plus we're happy that it's not us tangled up in that mass of twisted
metal and shattered glass.

Well, OK, maybe it’s just me, but that’s pretty much how I felt as I burned
through this book in less than a day. It’s more than a memoir, or a spiritual diary,
or a cautionary tale; it’s a horror story about a massive, ongoing spiritual car wreck
that I couldn’t look away from. The point is, none of us should look away.
“Enlightenment Blues” should be required reading for anyone currently or formerly
involved in a spiritual community; and most especially anyone who’s considering
getting involved in a spiritual community.

Andre van der Braak was a senior disciple of the meditation teacher Andrew Cohen,
who is regarded by some as an enlightened master. He lived in Cohen’s
community for 11 years, and was one of the original editors of “What is
Enlightenment?” magazine.

“Enlightenment Blues” is van der Braak’s account of what happened when a group
of people became convinced that their egos were their own worst enemy, and
found a teacher who was willing to help them kill that enemy at all costs. His book
is a chilling document of the nature of that battle and its cost in human suffering.

Andrew Cohen’s mother, Luna Tarlo, who was formerly her own son’s disciple is
the author of a related book called “The Mother of God.” She says: “Enlightenment
Blues is an astounding and fascinating account of one human
being’s attempt, in the name of enlightenment, to compel another human being
into a state of abject submission. The author reveals his own slow disintegration in
the face of his master’s ever growing paranoia and will to control.”

There’s a lot I want to say about this book and about the general topic of
“enlightenment” but rather than going off on one of my rants here, I’d like to start
a thread called “Enlightenment Blues.”

In order to start the thread, let’s try this:

I strongly encourage list members to read this book and post their comments.
“Enlightenment Blues” is available thru the publisher’s website:

Any list members who have been, or are currently living in a spiritual community,
please let us know how you and your ego are doing. What is your view of
“enlightenment,” and do you feel any closer to it than when you started on your

The editor and publisher of the book, Paul Cohen (no relation to Andrew) is on the
list. I’d love to hear from him. Paul has said he will also try to get Andre to

I’m also going to attempt to get Andrew Cohen (or a representative) to post some

If you though the “sexual ethics” thread was hot, wait until you see this one.

Happy Holiday reading!