The Art of Living Consciously

by Nathaniel Branden | Fireside © 1997 · 256 pages

We profiled Nathaniel Branden’s classic Six Pillars of Self-Esteem in Volume I and in this Note we explore some more Big Ideas from this brilliant mind. We’ll check out the importance of moving from defensiveness to eagerness, being present within the context of the bigger picture of past and future and why you may want to consider your ego as a friend if you have any hope of moving forward spiritually. Genius stuff.

“Whether our focus is on preserving and strengthening family ties in a world of increasingly unstable human relationships, or on gaining access to a decent job, or on growing and evolving as a person, or on guiding a company through the stormy seas of a fiercely competitive global marketplace—whether our goals are material, emotional, or spiritual—the price of success is the same: consciousness; thinking; learning. To be asleep at the wheel—to rely only on the known, the familiar, the automatized—is to invite disaster. We have entered the mind millennium. This book is a wake-up call.”

~ Nathaniel Branden from The Art of Living Consciously

As I mentioned in my Note on The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, Nathaniel Branden is one of my favorite authors/teachers and he’s *easily* one of the most fiercely intelligent individuals I’ve studied.

Unflinchingly advocating the power of personal integrity and sound reasoning, Branden writes with a force and lucidity that deeply inspires me.

I originally got this book for its final section where he challenges the New Age culture’s fetish with renouncing/transcending/dissolving the ego as I’ve always found something missing in the typical mystical perspective on the role of ego in a healthy life. I’m a huge fan of Branden’s perspective on this subject. We’ll touch on a few of his ideas in the second half of the Note. If you, too, have an allergy to how many “mystics” approach the ego, I think you’ll dig the book for that chapter alone.

And, the rest of the book is pretty awesome as well. For now, let’s kick this party off with some basic principles to living more consciously!

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About the author


Nathaniel Branden

My mission is to inspire readers to honor their life and happiness.