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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At 28,251 toes, the world's second-tallest mountain, K2 thrusts skyward out of the Karakoram variety of northern Pakistan. Climbers regard it because the final success in mountain climbing, with strong cause. 4 instances as lethal as Everest, K2 has claimed the lives of seventy-seven climbers considering the fact that 1954. In August 2008 11 climbers died in one thirty-six-hour interval on K2–the worst single-event tragedy within the mountain's heritage and the second-worst within the lengthy chronicle of mountain climbing within the Himalaya and Karakoram levels. but summiting K2 continues to be a adored objective for climbers from all around the globe. earlier than he confronted the problem of K2 himself, Ed Viesturs, one of many world's leading high-altitude mountaineers, considered it as "the holy grail of hiking. "
In K2: existence and demise at the World's most threatening Mountain, Viesturs explores the notable heritage of the mountain and of these who've tried to beat it. even as he probes K2's such a lot memorable sagas in an try and illustrate the teachings discovered via confronting the elemental questions raised by means of mountaineering–questions of danger, ambition, loyalty to one's teammates, self-sacrifice, and the cost of glory. Viesturs understands the mountain firsthand. He and popular alpinist Scott Fischer climbed it in 1992 and have been approximately killed in an avalanche that despatched them sliding to nearly yes demise. thankfully, Ed controlled to get right into a self-arrest place together with his ice ax and prevent either his fall and Scott' s.
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Additional resources for A Death on Diamond Mountain: A True Story of Obsession, Madness, and the Path to Enlightenment
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.