The Lotus and the Robot

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First US edition (publ. Macmillan)

The Lotus and the Robot is a 1960 book by Arthur Koestler exploring eastern mysticism. Although now dated by Westerners' greater exposure to Oriental practices, it concentrates mainly on Indian and Japanese traditions,[1] which form the two parts - the "lotus" and the "robot" respectively.

Some of Koestler's comments read controversially now, perhaps even racist, but the book is also interesting for presenting a non-bowdlerised version of the traditions, particularly yoga, which as he points out, is quite different in its traditional form to that practised in the west, particularly in its control of internal bodily functions such as peristalsis.


  1. ^ Shoji Yamada (29 November 2011). Shots in the Dark: Japan, Zen, and the West. University of Chicago Press. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-226-94765-5. Retrieved 11 August 2013.