Part 1 The phenomenon: holy madness, the moderate spiritual eccentrics in different religious traditions - the upside down world of tricksters and clowns, the fools for Christ's sake, the Sufi path of blame; crazy wisdom and radical spiritual eccentrics in different religious traditions - the Avadhutas, Masts and Bauls, the crazy adets of Tibet, the Zen master of China and Japan; the feats and foibles of contemporary crazy-wisdom adepts from rascal gurus to spiritual clowns - Gurdjieff, Aleister Crowley, Bhagwan Rajneesh (Osho), Chogyam Trungpa, Lee Lozowick; the many faces of Da Love-Ananda - the early years, crazy wisdom and the futility of experience, crazy-wise and the community of devotees. Part 2 The context: spiritual practice and th path beyond all paths - the long search, the snare of pop spirituality, the paradox of discipline, the "heat" of spiritual discipline; the guru a license to kill - false images of the guru, the guru function, Jesus and divinization, true gurus, false gurus and crazy gurus; discipleship - the time-honoured tradition of spiritual disciplineship, individuals and obedience, levels of conversion, cultism, guru-worship and freedom; God, enlightenment and ego-death - the loss of God and faith, enlightenment and the transcendence of attention, a new life through ego-death. Part 3 The significance: holy madness and the smoke screen of conscensus reality - a test case, conventional religion as counterfeit spirituality, the mystical ego, the humanistic way of self-actualization, the ego "illusion", the cult of scientism, religious provincialism, cultural veils over authentic spirituality; understanding holy madness - holy madness revisited, of holiness, wisdom and ignorance, holy madness, spontaneity and the chaos of existence, the playfulness and humor of enlightenment and crazy wisdom; holiness, madness and morality - madness and holy madness, the personality of adepts, holy folly and the transcendence of good and evil.
Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D.is professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology at the University of California at Irvine. He has published over a hundred articles and twelve books on science, philosophy, religion, and ecological issues, and his work has received over a dozen national and international awards.