Eight Principles for Happiness - Serge Augier - review

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Eight Principles for Happiness - Serge Augier - review

Postby RobB on Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:17 pm

Eight Principles for Happiness is the most recent in the ‘Written Transmissions of Da Xuan Daoism’ penned by Serge Augier and published by Line of Intent, Alex Kozma’s imprint. It promises to set us on the path to happiness!

Of the four books published so far, this one is the most clearly structured, with eight core chapters each containing eight exercises. The subjects will be familiar territory to many readers here: Alignment, Non-Resistance, Balance, and Natural Cycles being the first four. The content is where the particular flavour of Serge’s tradition emerges. Every lesson is couched in the language and environment of the everyday. Everything can be done by anyone - right now, tomorrow, or next week. The exercises, which range from the purely intellectual through to the directly physical, ask you to reconsider how you stand, how you see, and how you think. They offer practical challenges to the obstacles which we may believe lie between us and a more satisfying, happier, life.

Conversational rather than a highly-structured esoteric exposition, the voice is recognisable to anyone who has heard Serge teach but, if you haven’t, it’s worth reading as a listener. In a recent episode of Alex’s Flying Monk video series, Serge noted that, coming from an oral tradition, he didn’t much enjoy writing books! An upshot of this is that this book, like the previous volumes in the series, benefits from multiple readings to allow the layers and links in the material to emerge.

The Daxuan way seems to be to lead the student to the profound via the ordinary. You’ll finish the book both with practical ways of ‘kicking your tyres’ to see where your own personal situation could be improved and an understanding as to how these methods arise from Daoist principles. The final section ‘Dialogue with the Master’ is in Q&A format with Serge answering questions on Daoist standards including Life, Death, the Bagua and the Eight Immortals and more…
Finally, you can tell that the publisher loves books! This is no print-on-demand conveyor-belt book and the materials used clearly reflect the publisher’s care over the content.

Will it make you happier? Who knows – if you read it, and practise – it might!


Disclaimer: I have known Alex for several years and he’s asked me to post reviews from time to time and I’ve always failed to get it together. This time he didn’t ask me and here we are – maximum yin turning into yang perhaps :) I’m also in my first year as a distance student of Serge’s Daxuan tradition so think of that what you will. This book is chock-full of good stuff and Line of Intent books don’t hang around forever.
Last edited by RobB on Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eight Principles for Happiness - Serge Augier - review

Postby Trick on Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:08 am

Muhammad Yunus Said -
Making money is a happiness. And that's a great incentive. Making other people happy is a super-happiness.
Happy New Year :)
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Re: Eight Principles for Happiness - Serge Augier - review

Postby Snork on Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:47 am

I'm not Serge's student but I do like his books. I don't have Eight Principles yet, but Line of Intent have a sale on at the moment so I'll pick it up soon.

Serge's books are quite deceptive, because of the conversational style they flow quite quickly, but I find myself coming back to them for the nuggets of information; for example, I'm re-reading Daoist Boxing (https://lineofintent.com/product/daoist-boxing/) for the sections on training the Yi, Zhi, Po and Hun and the dream-work. Da Xuan seems to be like a fractal, you look at one part and everything else is there with it.
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