In 1995, celebrated "Buddhist" writer and teacher Steve Hagen released his first book, "How the World Can Be The Way It Is." Mr. Hagen has joked about the number of readers for that book (which paled in comparison to his best-selling "Buddhism Plain and Simple"), because of its perceived "difficulty."
The book was a uncompromising look at how modern scientific phenomena, epistemology and study of mind has reached a (conceptual) impasse and how sages from the east realized these facts intuitively. Some of the material is not light or easily digestible, though the writing is straightforward and by no means "specialized." At a time when the new-age self-help movement was pregnant with spiritual materialism and eastern-tinged anti-intellectual fluff, Mr. Hagen cut through the bullshit with prose as clear as spring water.
The book has now been brought up to date with more sources, footnotes and discussion of consciousness. Mr. Hagen has also attempted to clarify some of the more difficult concepts in a more presentable way.
For anyone who is interested in life, reality, consciousness, ethics or meaning, the book is a must read. While it may not be light, it will be a guaranteed reward for the curious, patient or determined.
*Highly recommended to anyone who enjoyed Fritjof Capra's Tao of Physics.