A Death on Diamond Mountain: A True Story of Obsession, by Scott Carney

By Scott Carney

Whilst thirty-eight-year-old Ian Thorson died from dehydration and dysentery on a distant Arizona mountaintop in 2012, the hot York occasions pronounced the tale lower than the headline: "Mysterious Buddhist Retreat within the desolate tract leads to a Grisly Death." Scott Carney, a journalist and anthropologist who lived in India for 6 years, was once struck through how Thorson’s demise echoed different incidents that mirrored the little-talked-about connection among extensive meditation and psychological instability.

Using those tragedies as a springboard, Carney explores how those that visit extremes to accomplish divine revelations—and adopt it in illusory ways—can tangle with insanity. He additionally delves into the unorthodox interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism that attracted Thorson and the unusual teachings of its leader evangelists: Thorson’s spouse, Lama Christie McNally, and her past husband, Geshe Michael Roach, the excellent religious chief of Diamond Mountain college, the place Thorson died.

Carney unravels how the cultlike practices of McNally and Roach and the questionable conditions surrounding Thorson’s loss of life light up a uniquely American tendency to mix 'n match japanese spiritual traditions like LEGO items in a quest to arrive an enlightened, perfected country, irrespective of the cost.

Aided by means of Thorson’s inner most papers, besides state-of-the-art neurological study that unearths the profound impression of in depth meditation at the mind and tales of miracles and black magic, sexualized rituals, and tantric rites from former Diamond Mountain acolytes, A loss of life on Diamond Mountain is a gripping paintings of investigative journalism that finds how the trail to enlightenment will be riddled with threat.

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Additional resources for A Death on Diamond Mountain: A True Story of Obsession, Madness, and the Path to Enlightenment

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José and Ramon have a lot in common. They are both persons – both, in spite of their injuries, still self-conscious thinking beings. And they are both able at times to get some small pleasures out of life – their lives are not unremitting agony from one day to the next. But they both believe their lives are, on balance, no longer worth living, and they want them to be over. The difference is that while José is able by himself to end his life, Ramon cannot do this, and needs, if he is to get what he wants, the help of others.

Certainly we think it bad when it ends a good life, but we don’t, in fact, think it’s good when it ends a bad life. It still seems, to most of us, to be a bad thing either way. Can this be right? It might seem that it can, but it isn’t easy, I think, to spell it out. Death may be better than a life of agony, but it’s not better than a good life. And we might think there’s nothing absolutely inevitable about the life of agony. Clarrie might not have been ill. A child born with severe handicaps might, instead, have been perfectly healthy.

So it’s reasonable to think about next week’s shopping, to get the leaky roof fixed before winter, maybe even to continue with the pension plan. These things are reasonable, assuming you’ll go on living. But, second, there are very likely reasons now to want to go on living. You really want to finish your second symphony, see how the garden matures, climb all the Scottish Munros. Desires like these give you reason now to stay alive, to exercise, to eat tolerably well, to keep out of the way of buses.

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