A Death on Diamond Mountain

A Death on Diamond Mountain

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An investigative reporter explores an infamous case where an obsessive and unorthodox search for enlightenment went terribly wrong. When thirty-eight-year-old Ian Thorson died from dehydration and dysentery on a remote Arizona mountaintop in 2012, The New York Times reported the story under the headline: qMysterious Buddhist Retreat in the Desert Ends in a Grisly Death.q Scott Carney, a journalist and anthropologist who lived in India for six years, was struck by how Thorsona€™s death echoed other incidents that reflected the little-talked-about connection between intensive meditation and mental instability. Using these tragedies as a springboard, Carney explores how those who go to extremes to achieve divine revelationsa€”and undertake it in illusory waysa€”can tangle with madness. He also delves into the unorthodox interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism that attracted Thorson and the bizarre teachings of its chief evangelists: Thorsona€™s wife, Lama Christie McNally, and her previous husband, Geshe Michael Roach, the supreme spiritual leader of Diamond Mountain University, where Thorson died. Carney unravels how the cultlike practices of McNally and Roach and the questionable circumstances surrounding Thorsona€™s death illuminate a uniquely American tendency to mix and match eastern religious traditions like LEGO pieces in a quest to reach an enlightened, perfected state, no matter the cost. Aided by Thorsona€™s private papers, along with cutting-edge neurological research that reveals the profound impact of intensive meditation on the brain and stories of miracles and black magic, sexualized rituals, and tantric rites from former Diamond Mountain acolytes, A Death on Diamond Mountain is a gripping work of investigative journalism that reveals how the path to enlightenment can be riddled with danger.Roach built his version of Tibetan Buddhism on Platoa#39;s conception of reality and then took it one step further. ... The fleshsack filter touches everything, and on a profound level, who is to say that the mind itself isna#39;t simply inventing the idea of a body in the first place? Everything that we think we knowa€”from the smallest atom and subquark to the planets and solar systems that make up the heavens, andanbsp;...

Title:A Death on Diamond Mountain
Author:Scott Carney
Publisher:Penguin - 2015-03-17


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