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 said the tale below the headline: "Mysterious Buddhist Retreat within the wasteland results in a Grisly Death." Scott Carney, a journalist and anthropologist who lived in India for 6 years, used to be struck by way of how Thorson’s dying 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 weird teachings of its leader evangelists: Thorson’s spouse, Lama Christie McNally, and her past husband, Geshe Michael Roach, the ideal religious chief of Diamond Mountain college, the place Thorson died.
Carney unravels how the cultlike practices of McNally and Roach and the questionable situations surrounding Thorson’s demise light up a uniquely American tendency to mix'n'match jap spiritual traditions like LEGO items in a quest to arrive an enlightened, perfected nation, irrespective of the cost.
Aided through Thorson’s inner most papers, besides state-of-the-art neurological examine that finds the profound influence of extensive meditation at the mind and tales of miracles and black magic, sexualized rituals, and tantric rites from former Diamond Mountain acolytes, A demise on Diamond Mountain is a gripping paintings of investigative journalism that finds how the trail to enlightenment might be riddled with risk.
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Extra info for A Death on Diamond Mountain: A True Story of Obsession, Madness, and the Path to Enlightenment
She pointed at a very small mark in the glass on the bottom of the bowl. I nodded. ” She smiled. It was the first time I had seen her truly smile since the doctors first found the melanoma. When the lamp took its place on the mantle, next to its mate, she cried. After my brother and I were both in bed, she went back downstairs. I knew she went to light the lamps and sit in their glow until she could sleep. She’d done it before. I fell asleep knowing that I’d made her feel better—even if only for one night.
One day, the back fell from the butterfly as I rushed to pin it to my lapel. I dropped the butterfly into the box in my drawer as I hurried to my appointment. I’ll have it repaired later, I thought. Life was filled with family, school and work. The butterfly rested, forgotten, in the bottom of the box for more than ten years. This day, the full force of the painful loss pressed into my chest. Eighteen months earlier, as I cradled my husband in my arms, I felt half of me slip away as he died. Now, the rest of my heart had been ripped from my chest as my 22-year-old son died while I held his hand—helpless again to keep cancer from taking one I loved.
Though I saw it happen and heard the doctor’s words, the reality seeped slowly into my consciousness. Though I knew I must one day face the pain of my own grief, I did what I could to help prepare for the funeral and to surround her husband, Joe, with the support he needed. I offered my insight into her most treasured Bible verses and other passages and songs to include in her memorial service. I browsed her closet for potential burial clothes, remembering with others Louisa’s favorite colors, patterns, and textures.