Review: The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life

The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life
The Diamond Cutter: The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life by Michael Roach

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this book, and eventually, after much effort, I did. It was hard work. I started reading it, some years ago. I read about a quarter of it and lost interest. But I don’t give up on books. It needed to be finished. So I carried it around a lot intending to carry on with it, put it on my coffee table ready to pick up when I had nothing better to do, and flew back and forth from Cairo to London with it several times thinking it could be finished during the flight. I rarely opened it, and then often to read no more than a few pages. Today, I finally finished it!

I really wanted to believe all the principles that are outlined in this book. They sort of make sense on one level. But something… something deep down wasn’t resonating. I’d read all those ‘power of positive thought’ books many years ago. Napoleon Hill, Wayne Dyer, Dale Carnegie ad infinitum. I’d read them all, so some of what The Diamond Cutter had to say, dovetailed in with all of that. But like many of those books, something… something just wasn’t gelling for me.

So I did a little research on The Diamond Cutter. Hacking through the forest of links to The Diamond Cutter Institute and other sites inspired by the book, I finally found what I was looking for. Commentary by those who understand the Buddhist philosophies on which the book is based, and they didn’t have anything good to say about it.

It had already struck me as a little odd, that The Diamond Cutter Institute were running all of these motivational, inspiring, business-success orientated seminars, and yet there didn’t seem to be any taking place in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand… Why? Because the philosophy that the book is founded on is simplistic and naive. An educated audience, living in a culture where Buddhism is well understood, well practiced and has many adherents, is going to see right through the naivety of the teachings in The Diamond Cutter.

If you want more evidence of the vacuity of this book, it would be worth checking out this site: https://michaelroachfiles.wordpress.c…

As Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche says in the quote in the sidebar of the Michael Roach files blog, “Buddha does not teach that there are linear causal relationships, where a single cause can bring about a single effect. Buddha teaches that there are many causes and many conditions… We are presented with a very complex picture of how things work. Just because a certain thing seems to have caused something to happen does not mean the particular cause we identified was solely responsible.”

Worldly success just isn’t as simplistic as The Diamond Cutter would lead us to believe. Having finished the book all these years after first buying it, I now understand why I took so long to read it, and why in the end I had to force myself through the last pages: something deep inside knew the truth of this book: the method doesn’t work.

View all my reviews

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About Steve Gooch

Steve Gooch was born in March 1962 in Rugby, Warwickshire in England and grew up there with his two brothers and sister. He moved to Corsham in Wiltshire and attended Bath Academy of Art, where he studied sculpture and printmaking, before going on to work on projects for the artists Joe Tilson and Nick Pope. He also helped with the publication of a limited edition folio of Paul Eluard’s poetry. Steve moved to London to study for a postgraduate teaching certificate and then worked as a teacher of art in the UK. He gained his MA in Education with the Open University and also studied the discipline of Reiki with his Reiki teachers in Newcastle upon Tyne. His daughter Marianne was born in 1994. For a period of time, Steve devoted himself to teaching Reiki in his hometown of Rugby, before moving to Egypt, where he resumed his career as an art teacher, becoming the Head of Art in a prestigious British International School in Cairo. He continued to teach Reiki, introducing the discipline for the first time to Egypt. He also wrote extensively on the subject for various Egyptian English-language magazines. Returning to the UK, Steve’s son Sam was born in 2004. Not wanting to go back into the teaching profession, Steve took a job as a chef in a vegetarian restaurant and wrote his first book ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do: The Way of Compassion & Wisdom’. It was the world’s first book on that particular tradition of Reiki and is still considered to be the standard reference work on the subject. Steve them moved to Sudan, where he was again Head of Art at the prestigious Unity High School, and built an online living history for the school, called 'The Unity High School Archive'. It was in the process of building this archive that Steve uncovered a major scandal involving senior members of the Anglican Church, local dignitaries, and members of the faith communities. As a consequence, he got to know the head of the Secret Police in Khartoum quite well and then promptly left the country. Steve moved back to Egypt and took up a post as Head of Art in a school in Alexandria. Very much involved in the Reiki community in the UK, however, he founded the national organisation ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’ and became the editor of ‘Focus: The Journal of Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’, and then set up the global ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do International’. He also set up the global video-arts project '12seconds for Peace'. The concept grabbed the attention of a number of big names in the peace movement, including Nobel Peace Prize nominees, and threatened to go viral. Circumstances (revolutions and social unrest) put it on the back-burner. Likewise, a major peace initiative called the 'Global Concert for Peace', scheduled for the summer of 2013, which would have been the world's biggest musical event, also went on the back-burner. Steve moved to Saudi Arabia for a little over a year in 2014, before returning to Egypt to take up a senior management position in another British International School in Cairo. Finally, after a year of professional purgatory in which he realised that there is no such thing as a good British International School in Egypt, he decided ‘enough is enough’ and quit the teaching profession for good to focus on his writing, art and Reiki classes. He is currently living in Cairo and writing ‘The Temple of the Djinn’, which is loosely based on the events that he uncovered during his time in Sudan. He is also teaching Reiki and working freelance for a variety of Egyptian magazines. He misses the UK and is looking forward to spending more time in his home country with his children. He'd also like to find time to paint and make sculpture.
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