The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment

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The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment
Guide Cover by Even Lazier Publishing Ltd copy.jpg
first and second edition covers (1971, 1972)
AuthorThaddeus Golas
Cover artistKlaus Rothe
SubjectSpirituality, enlightenment, New Thought
PublisherSeed Center
Bantam Books
Gibbs Smith,
Seed Center Books, Even Lazier Publishing
Publication date
1980 (mass market paperback)
1995 (hardcover)
2010 (paperback revised edition)

The Lazy Man’s Guide To Enlightenment is a 1971 philosophical essay by American author Thaddeus Golas. Originally started as a letter for friends, the book itself began as a mimeographed pamphlet which Golas handed out on the streets of San Francisco in 1971. It was first published as a book in 1971 by Joe E. Casey, but was then taken over by the Palo Alto, California based Seed Center in 1972. The book was an underground bestseller, and in 1979, was published by Bantam Books. In 1995, Gibbs Smith, Publisher, of Utah, issued a hardcover edition, which included photographs and an introduction by Golas. In 2010, Seed Center Books issued an audio recording of the text read by the author, and an international edition of the book returning it to its original look and format, with three new chapters and revisions, penned by the author late in life.[1]


Thaddeus Golas, inspired by the popularity of subatomic physics and his passion for Eastern Mysticism, began formulating his personal metaphysical paradigm in the mid-1950s.[2] While living in San Francisco in 1969, he decided to publish his first short-run pamphlet "Pleasure and Pain", that would put him in touch with others who shared his interest in enlightenment.[3] The immediate result was that Golas was invited by an enthusiastic Stephen Gaskin to join his famous "Monday Night Class" meetings. Thaddeus Golas had gathered his ideas in the form of dense manuscripts, over a twenty-year period, but by 1970, he resolved to use his background as a copy editor for women's magazines to pitch his language on a level that casual readers could easily understand. The writing of his final manuscript of The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment was swift, and took place over a few chaotic and sleepless weeks during which he experienced great pain in his right arm. He would write tirelessly in bursts of prose which included the first sentence of the published text, "I am a lazy man". Golas later indicated that he never considered another title for this book, besides The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment.[4] He quickly distributed photocopies of his text hoping to receive feedback, and offering for others to "do with it what they will," but his decision to self-publish resulted from the advice and encouragements of such authors as Alan Watts and Ram Dass.[5] The book was originally intended as a "trip-guide" for LSD enthusiasts; it could be used to guide them psychologically and steer them away from "bummers". Thaddeus Golas later said he was stunned to see that "a general audience got off on it." While waiting for delivery of the first edition, Thaddeus Golas created a list of two hundred bookstores, including stores he had visited as a book salesman for Harper and Row in the early 1960s; he wrote every store manager, informing them that the book would be available from the distributor Bookpeople. He also visited bookstores in San Francisco, leaving them with consignment copies. These copies would eventually sell-out in a matter of days. The second printing, at 10,000 copies, sold out in two months. The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment became a rare publishing sensation in the Bay Area. [6]

Chapter headings[edit]

(Includes the three additional chapter added to the final, revised edition.)

  • Foreword
  1. "Who Are We?"
  2. "Look, Ma, I'm Enlightened"
  3. "How To Feel Good"
  4. "Lifesavers"
  5. "How We Got Here"
  6. "Self-Improvement"
  7. "Time And Vibrations"
  8. "Going Through Changes"
  9. "What Is Real?"
  10. "Free will"
  11. "Expand!"
  12. "Who's On First?"
  13. "How You Get There"
  14. "A Fable"
  15. "Even Lazier" (brief selections from the main text)
  • "A Young Person's Guide to Enlightenment (Addendum)

Publication history[edit]


  1. ^ The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment, A Young Person's Guide Edition, Revised and Updated
  2. ^ The Lazy Man's Life, autobiography of Thaddeus Golas
  3. ^ Seed Center Books, publisher of the book
  4. ^ The Lazy Man's Life, autobiography of Thaddeus Golas
  5. ^ The Lazy Man's Life, autobiography of Thaddeus Golas
  6. ^ The Lazy Man's Life, autobiography of Thaddeus Golas
  7. ^ The Lazy Man's Life, autobiography of Thaddeus Golas, Thaddeus Golas. Copyright page.
  8. ^ The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment, Audio CD, Thaddeus Golas. Copyright page.
  9. ^ The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment, A Young Person's Guide Edition, Revised and Updated, Thaddeus Golas. Copyright page.

External links[edit]