This is a book thats hard to know what to make of. The story is fascinating. The writing style is engaging, and the subject matter is so far out of the realms of our common experiences that it could easily be taken as fantasy.
This book is particularly interesting because it is the first in a long list of books written by the author, and the preface goes into the origins of his knowlege on the subject... Apparently "T. Lobsang Rampa" is a "walk-in", the spirit of a Tibetan monk that assumed control of an existing body because of the pressing need to enlighten the West to the greater world of psychic and spiritual development and of the joys of a simpler existance.
If you read the book as pure fantasy your are bound to be captivated by the extraordinary details of the harsh, disciplined lifestyle required for survival in a place so inhospitable that wood and paper are considered exotic materials. If you choose to accept the author at his word, that you are reading the autobiography of an actual Lama from Tibet, then you may well resonate with some of the fascinating trials and experiences that the monk shares about his life.
The book does not offer a lot of practical information on how to develop psychically... The story glosses over most of the details about the specific exercises that I was hoping to learn about, but it does offer a few techinques. I found the authors descriptions of some of his psychic experiences particularly interesting and what little common ground it shared with my own experiences was accurate enough to lead me to believe that the author really does know what he's talking about and is coming from a place quite a bit farther along than I am..
This is the kind of book that I like to re-read every few years because I get more out of it as my own experience increases. There are definitely some gems between the covers if you look in the right places... particularly if you read between the lines!