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Enlightenment for Beginners


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publication details

  • title - enlightenment for beginners
  • author - graham r irwin
  • publisher - cityscape books
  • isbn - 9780953333158 (isbn-10: 0953333159)
  • price - £7.49
  • publication date - 10 May 2001
  • other data - paperback ~ 128pp ~ 198x129mm

Enlightenment for Beginners

EPPIE 2002 finalist

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Enlightenment for Beginners is available direct from the publisher.

The ebook version is available for the Kindle ebook reader.

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Despite the title, this is a book for everyone. Anyone who has ever thought ‘there must be more to life than this’, anyone who wants to find more peace and contentment in their life, anyone with a vague interest in what might be termed the supernatural or the esoteric, as well as those who have long been aware of their own spirituality.

It provides a clear and concise introduction to a number of spiritual principles and practices, starting from the premise that we are spiritual beings first and foremost and human beings second.

However, this is not about religious creeds and dogma, but about personal responsibility and choices.

Covering topics such as reincarnation, integrity, forgiveness, ego, love and intuition, each principle helps to build into a comprehensive image of life from a spiritual perspective.

The use of examples for each topic — mainly fictionalised but based on real life experiences — as well as exercises with which to experiment, helps to instil each concept on a different level and enables the reader to find the answers within him- or herself.

Enlightenment mind map

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At once simple and profound, useful and inspiring, comprehensive and clear, Enlightenment for Beginners is beautifully written, and deserves a sizable audience. This is a consistently illuminating book that is not just for beginners but for anyone who seeks joyfulness and truth.

Jan Hunt, Director, Natural Child Project

The struggle to find one’s spiritual path has been simplified in Graham R. Irwin’s Enlightenment for Beginners. Sharing the spiritual truths that have come to govern his own life, Irwin does not subscribe to any particular religion. Instead, he encourages readers to define their own spiritual goals and makes suggestions for reaching them. Included are such topics as reincarnation, integrity, forgiveness, ego and intuition.

This succinct introduction provides a plethora of spiritual principles and practices that seekers of enlightenment will find useful, as Irwin encourages readers to open themselves to the possibilities of the universe. By learning to set aside common fears, readers come to understand that the truths of enlightenment already lie within each of us. A remarkably thoughtful and inspirational resource, Enlightenment for Beginners comes very highly recommended.


I enjoyed reading this thought-provoking, stimulating yet challenging book. One of its features is that within its 125 pages there are 30 sections, thus no one topic is over-long. Each section includes a short discourse, an illustration and an exercise. Within a few pages the topic is introduced in a simple way, yet leaves the reader with a desire to explore the idea more.

Some of the subjects are controversial, but the author does not push them. It is as if he says, ‘This works for me, and I offer it to you, but I won’t be offended if you don’t agree with me.’

Controversial some subjects might be, but even in their controversy they are challenging. Many of the sections, such as Responsibility, Forgiveness, Consequences, and Peace, are particularly challenging, and encourage the reader to look inward to their own spirituality, and beyond self to the wider world.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is travelling the road of self-awareness. I particularly recommend it to counsellors, as many of the subjects have a direct application to clients as they work toward healing.

William Stewart, Counsellor and Author

The ... diagram gives a good picture of the scope of Christ Consciousness.

Tools for Transformation Newsletter

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about the author

Graham Irwin considers himself to be just an ‘ordinary bloke’. Born and raised in the suburbs of north London, he has had no more than his fair share of life’s little ups and downs. With a first class honours degree in computer science, he has worked in the software industry for more years than he cares to admit.

Although it has not always been clear to him, Graham has long had a strong connection to the spiritual dimension of his life, at one time applying — unsuccessfully — for ordination as an Anglican priest. In his twenties he was a Samaritans volunteer for several years, and he has enjoyed serving his fellow human in a voluntary capacity in other ways as well. For ten years he ran a small ‘hobby’ farm with his then partner, about which he wrote in his first book, A Farm Of Our Own. He considers this to have been one of the most formative periods of his life. Coming to terms with unfamiliar situations in the countryside, and with all the births, deaths and illnesses of their livestock broadened his spiritual outlook and gave him a deeper understanding of the nature of life and his place within the order of things.

Graham’s friends describe him variously as an exceptional writer; a gentle and talented leader; a wonderful man, full of love and a grand sense of humour.