There is probably no person alive who has not pondered that which some intellects have termed “ultimate reality” – the source of animation and activation that expresses the phenomenon that we call life. Because this noumenon is immaterial, to the senses, it is sometimes described as “spirit”.
An interest in the spiritual need not have any inherent relationship with what is defined as religion. It can be free of: required beliefs; worship of forms (or even the absence of form); dictates of regulated behaviour; or ideas of right versus wrong. It can be free of all doctrine or dogma, allowing you to discern and verify for yourself what is true.
This book is not an inquiry into the supposed existence (or non-existence) of a god or gods, but an investigation into the relationship (if any) between the self, that you are conscious of, and the ultimate reality in which you are conscious of it. And this is a discovery which can be immediate and direct, without reliance on any religious propositions.
These monographs are a selection concerning nondual realization. Some were written as a reply to letters from correspondents; others were written as a response to a specific inquiry, resulting from an in-person or telephone discussion, over the years since 1988.
They appear in no particular order. However, there is a (loose) arrangement in terms of complexity, with some on an earlier subject perhaps making a later subject clearer.
The teachings of nonduality have begun to come of age in the West, recognized (at last) as the central essence of Zen, Dzochen, Tao, Vedanta, Sufism, and of Christians such as Meister Eckhart. In particular, the recorded teachings of sages (such as Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj) have paved the way for a contemporary generation of illuminating speakers and writers.
Due to the informal style of these monographs, quotations are sometimes abridged, or words emphasized; and English words may be substituted for Sanskrit, etc.
Since these monographs were written for persons of varied interest in the subject, and since each was written independently of the others, there is (regrettably) some unavoidable repetition. Nevertheless, each one has something unique to say, which is why it was selected for inclusion here.
As Ramesh Balsekar has said,
“Even for those who have already understood something very clearly, a particular statement made in a particular context often brings out a subtle aspect which had earlier escaped their attention. It is therefore important not to take a repetition lightly, as a mere repetition."
Self- Realization is not Religion
There is probably no person alive who has not pondered that which some intellects have termed "ultimate reality" - the source of animation and activation that expresses the phenomenon that we call life. Because this noumenon is immaterial, to the senses, it is sometimes described as "spirit".
In the latter category, is an area of interest in ultimate reality (or the "spiritual") which is referred to as self-realization. This is a direct, unmediated confirmation of the nature of truth concerning the root questions of worldly existence: what can be said about this life?
There is a motivation for exploring this area, this personal investigation into our intrinsic essence. Each person, universally, possesses a sense of immediate and unique presence. This specialized sense of personification results in an experiential image or form which is characterized as our ego.
This ego plays a pivotal and crucial role in our relationships with other life forms. Resolving the questions about the nature of ultimate reality can have a profound effect on the isolation or alienation that we countenance from within the perspective of our encapsulating, or self- limiting, ego. It is this ego which is the progenitor of the bulk of the conflict which we daily experience, for the duration of a lifetime.
The consequence of the internal inquiry, into what you are that is in transcendence of the individual ego, is the revelatory awareness that is known as self-realization. This can be independent of any and all of the behaviour and attitudes that are associated with religion. This is not an inquiry into the supposed existence (or non-existence) of a god or gods, but an investigation into the relationship (if any) between the self, that you are conscious of, and the ultimate reality in which you are conscious of it. And this is a discovery which can be immediate and direct, without reliance on any religious propositions.
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