Most Advaitins are familiar with the "Snake in the Rope" analogy, but have you heard about the "Rope in the Snake" analogy and what it can reveal?
The Snake in the Rope" analogy is used to help illustrate the notions of “perceiving wrongly” and of “images taken to be real” or of “seeing a thing as being other than what it truly is” or of how “enlightenment” works. Imagine persons walking into a dimly-lit area and seeing a rope coiled up in a corner. Imagine those persons believing with all their heart that what they are seeing is truly a snake. Imagine the fear, the over-reacting to a mistaken image, and the emotional intoxication that seeing wrongly can inspire. So it is with concepts, with not seeing the truth but believing in something false. Now imagine the effect if a teacher takes them back into the room and turns on the light ("enlightenment") and shows them that what they believed wholeheartedly and unquestioningly to be the truth was actually completely false. Upon seeing that the belief was false—that there was no threatening snake but only a coiled rope—imagine how quickly all of their fear, their over-reacting, their belief in images, and their emotional intoxication will disappear. Realization springs forth that quickly when the light is cast on all false beliefs. Peace happens that quickly. When light is cast upon the false—making way for the truth to be seen—then all deception ends, reality is seen, and happiness begins.
The "Rope in the Snake" analogy is used here as another antidote to a miserable life in the relative existence when persons do not see clearly. As marred by misery as life is when imagining that every coiled rope is a snake, a relative existence can be equally miserable if one sees a rope in a snake. To deal with persons absorbed in their ego-states without seeing that they are projecting an image is to ignore a snake by thinking it’s just a rope. The Realized do not take ropes for snakes or snakes for ropes and thus live an AS IF existence, free of the slings and arrows of living an outrageous life that happens when persons do not see the false, when they develop dependencies on persons who are asleep, and when they also fail to see the truth.
The invitation is to enter the silence of contemplation and consider both possibilities.
SHIFTING THE FOCUS FROM THAT WHICH DOES NOT WORK TO THAT WHICH DOES, Part One
A "movement" or "shift" happened here that added another parallel to the many parallels in terms of the phenomenal "experiences" and the noumenal revelations that "Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj" and "Floyd" share in common. (Many visitors over the years have said that they also shared the same parallels with "Maharaj" and "Floyd" as well.)
In the case of "Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj" and "Floyd" ...
** both grew up in very poor families
** both moved to populated areas to seek employment opportunities
** both exhibited business skills that led to their opening and operating many businesses and to their having a large number of employees working for them
** both succeeded financially
** both became attached to accumulating
** both married and had a family
** both were initially religious
** both moved away from organized religion and became interested in "spiritual" matters, finding and following the teachings of a big name teacher (or, in "Floyd's" case, many big name teachers)
** both had highly religious wives who were quite displeased with the shift away from religion and toward "spirituality"
** both began to feel empty in spite of all of their "spiritual seeking" and in spite of all of their accumulated "spiritual knowledge"
** both began to de-accumulate after both saw that they could survive quite well on a fraction of the income they had been making
** both had wives who were unhappy when the de-accumulation stage was entered and both had wives who became unhappy about their husbands' focus on non-duality and who blamed their unhappiness on no longer having a religious husband
(The facts be known, in both cases the unhappiness involved the fact that their husbands were no longer interested in - or willing - to work 80+ hours per week and that their husbands were no longer interested in accumulating wealth and possessions and providing the rich lifestyle to which their wives had grown accustomed)
** both eventually came to see that the religious and spiritual states were also ego-states, and both saw that there are far more steps on the "path" to complete after reaching the religious and spiritual steps and after playing those roles which are the third of seven steps on the entire "path"
** both "lost" their wives (one via "death," the other through divorce)
** both accelerated their seeking
** both entered into the "forest dweller stage"
** both Realized
** both began to de-accumulate even more
** both began sharing the teachings
** for years, both answered questions in whatever order those questions were received, though both said that the movement from identification with the false "I" / "I's" involved an exact, step-wise manner of moving along a "path" that involved "going back" in the same (but reverse order) of the way they "came in" - that is, the way that the manifestation happened and the way that the consciousness was blocked through seven stages that resulted in their becoming identified solely with their false personas, with the content of the "mind," and eventually, with the body.
But the most significant awareness that finally came to both after years of offering satsang and after having answered thousands and thousands of questions was this:
After years of "Maharaj" offering satsang in his loft, and after years of "Floyd" offering satsang in meeting halls and in his home and via what one site visitor called "Floyd's electronic loft," this fact became obvious to both:
"Maharaj" came to see in the 1970's and into 1980 and 1981 that his approach was not working
"Floyd" finally came to see the same.
** Both saw that many who heard the teachings are not going to understand (Maharaj reporting that "only 1 in 100,000 are going to 'get' this" understanding)
** both soon saw that even more than expected of those who heard the teachings were not going to understand (Maharaj modifying his "guesstimate" and reporting that "only 1 in 1,000,000 are going to 'get' this" understanding)
** eventually both saw that even far more than expected of those who heard the teachings were not going to understand (Maharaj eventually concluding that "only 1 in 10,000,000 are going to 'get' this" understanding). And the failings were not the fault of seekers.
A "one -in-ten-million" estimate is proof that satsang was not working for most seekers, and the evidence here lately is proof of the same.
Both "Maharaj" and "Floyd" invited seekers to focus on the exact, step-wise "path." Yes, during satsang, "Maharaj" sometimes alluded to the steps while discussing them in no particular order - but he never once laid out the steps in the exact order in which they had to be completed. That was not his teachings style or approach.
Therefore, another movement or shift is happening here spontaneously after reflecting on the more than two decades since the teachings were first offered here and looking at the results of Maharaj sharing pointers in his loft and looking at the results of "Floyd" sharing pointers in this electronic loft:
Looking objectively at his results, Maharaj's satsang method of sharing - in the end and by his own admission (only "one out of 10,000,000") - did not produce the intended outcome.
Looking objectively at the results here when using an "electronic loft" satsang method of sharing has not produced the intended outcome nearly as often as any of the three "face-to-face" methods used with seekers by which they have been led through the seven steps in order.
Here, the body is growing older, of course. Mahasamadhi could be taken today, or it could be taken in twenty years. Obviously, that cannot be known. But the decision here has been made that whatever amount of the relative existence remains shall be spent in sharing the teachings in the ways that have been seen over the last 20+ years to be the most effective methods.
Looking back over the list of those that have truly received the understanding, it is seen that Robert R. read all of the books, then took the online Advaita course and then completed some face-to-face Skype sessions to receive the final clarifications required.
It was seen that Mac read all of the books, completed the online course, and then attended a retreat where he was guided through the seven steps. Mac said that the online course work inspired him to attend the retreat in order to be able to receive the final "pieces."
It was seen that Andy Gugar, Jr. read all of the books, then came here for a retreat and was taken through the seven steps in order, and then returned once more for the final clarifications required. After reviewing the shifts that happened with him after attending two retreats, he reaffirmed this past week his commitment to helping spread the non-duality, nisarga understanding as presented here.
As a result of seeing what has "worked" during the last 20+ years of sharing the non-duality understanding - and seeing what had not "worked" as well - changes will be made.
In "Part One," the examples below were given of seekers that were led to Realization not by satsang but by following the various protocols outlined farther down this page which provide the understanding in the step-wise, orderly, required fashion which moves seekers along a "path" that is as prescribed by Maharaj ... going back in the reverse order by which the consciousness manifested and became blocked:
Robert R. read all of the books, then took the online Advaita course and then completed several "face-to-face" Skype sessions to receive the final clarifications required.
Mac read all of the books, completed the online course, and then attended a retreat where he was guided through the seven steps. Mac said that the online course work inspired him to attend the retreat in order to be able to receive the final "pieces."
It was seen that Andy Gugar, Jr. read all of the books, then came here for a retreat and was taken through the seven steps in order, and then returned once more for the final clarifications required. After reviewing the shifts that happened with him after attending two retreats, he reaffirmed his commitment to helping spread the non-duality, nisarga understanding as presented here.
As a result of seeing what has "worked" during the last 20+ years of sharing the non-duality understanding - and seeing what has "not worked" as well - changes are being made.
There are seven specific steps that happen when awareness-energy is "pulled" into a cycle of manifestation. When that energy manifests as conscious-energy, that formerly pure and unadulterated energy becomes "corrupted" (or "blocked" from seeing clearly) via programming, conditioning, domestication, acculturation, and brainwashing. Soon, there is a belief in the not-Real as a result of seven degrees of separation from an understanding of the Real.
Using the method that was also employed by his contemporaries - a method which focused on offering non-duality pointers via satsang - Maharaj addressed questions in the order in which they were received. He might receive a question from a seeker at the third step and his reply would include what amounted to an invitation to move to the fourth step. The next question might come from a seeker at the first step, and the reply would include an invitation to move to the second step.
The information offered to the second seeker would seemingly contradict what was offered to the first seeker, so visitors who have come here for decades have asked questions which showed how confused they were by the fact that Maharaj's statements to each visitor in his loft were "level-appropriate" yet were provided in no precise order, resulting in what seemed to be an inconsistent message.
So the process overall was confusing in that
** seekers were told to follow the "path back" in the same way that they "came in," except in reverse order,
** pointers were not given in a specific, step-wise order at all.
Maharaj did recognize the seven steps that are taught here, but by offering the teachings in an order that was dictated by the order in which questions were received from seekers who were at different steps on the "path," the result was this:
a pointer about moving beyond the fourth step might be followed by a pointer about moving beyond the first step, and that pointer might be followed by a pointer about how to move beyond the sixth step.
The same was done on this site for seven years. The result is a collection of 1,600 or so essays discussing almost every non-duality topic that can be discussed, and the search button on the top right side of this page will now allow seekers with a question about a specific topic to find an explanation. That method, however, will never provide the manner in which the seven steps on the "path" must be transmitted and received in order to Realize Fully.
An objective study of the history here of more than twenty years of offering non-duality pointers reveals this: seekers that were given pointers in the exact order in which they needed to receive them were the ones that Realized. They read the books, then they completed the online course and / or completed seven Skype or telephone sessions or came here for a retreat (or watched the downloadable DVD version of an actual retreat, available below). Via all of those venues, the steps are taught in their proper order.
The essays available on this site will remain for those interested in searching for a discussion of a particular non-duality topic without charge, but the focus here until mahasamadhi is taken is going to be on offering the teachings in the step-wise fashion that has been seen to "work."
The twenty downloadable books that are available right now at that website and the thirty-five books available below (which you can purchase for now by using the "PICK FIVE" special) can be read
1. with any of the free PDF / eReader apps for iPhone and iPad,
2. with the free Adobe App (or other apps for reading PDF books) on your Android,
3. on your computer or laptop with the free Adobe program or any similar PDF readers,
4. according to one site, can even be loaded from your computer onto your Kindle.
FOR THOSE SEEKING FURTHER EXPLANATION OF THE NON-DUALITY UNDERSTANDING, AS NOTED ABOVE, SOME SEEKERS HAVE REALIZED BY USING THE METHODS BELOW, OR A COMBINATION OF THE METHODS:
WAYS THAT SEEKERS HAVE REALIZED:
BY WATCHING the 4-Disk, Seven-Hour Video (DVD) Set of an advaita retreat, or the downloadable file version. To find out more or to purchase the DVD or downloadable computer file version of the retreat,
DVD or Downloadable computer file versions of the Four-Day Advaita Retreat
International buyers: note the separate option for those outside the continental U.S.
BY READING the explanations offered in the collection of non-duality books that are available on this site and at www.floydhenderson.com.
BY ENROLLING in the Online Advaita Classes
For information, visit Information on the Advaita Classes on the Internet
To enroll visit Enroll in the Advaita Internet Course
BY ATTENDING an Advaitin retreat with floyd and being guided through all seven steps. For details of the retreats offered, please visit the retreat information site.
BY ARRANGING a one-hour session via Skype or telephone with Floyd. (Skype is a free service.) Click the button to pay and you will be contacted to arrange a date and time for the call.
ALL OF THE BOOKS BELOW ARE ALSO AVAILABLE NOW:
In addition to the books available at
the books below are now available on this site.
Want to begin the readings now?
The following "PICK FIVE" special is being offered to visitors to this site:
Choose any five of the books below and pay $15.00 total by clicking this button:
Then, use the "Submit Questions or Comments" link to the right and identify which five books you want. [Telephone numbers are used to eliminate spam. You will not be called. Your number will not be kept on file.] Then, the book files will be sent to you as PDF attachments. Please include the email address you want us to use to send the book files.
You may order as many "PICK FIVES" as you like, but - depending on volume - you may receive all of the books that you order over a period of several days.
(The Sources of the Ultimate Sickness & the non-Duality Treatment)
Similarly, persons are imprisoned in "the mind," and each bar of that prison is one of the nonsensical ideas or bogus concepts or false beliefs mentioned earlier.
The book offers a discussion of the three factors involved in understanding that which is at the root of all relative existence problems, namely, the formation of a "mind":
1. consciousness, rooted in the Absolute;
2. the brain, rooted in the elements; and
3. the "mind," rooted in wrong programming and faulty conditioning and debilitating domestication and duality-supporting acculturation, all of which fill the resulting mind with a belief in lies and bogus concepts and distorted ideas and superstitions and all sorts of falsehoods.
What did Maharaj and to offer what he shared on this subject and to allow the final pointers to come via that speck of consciousness which eventually came to abide as Pure Awareness:
The "mind" problem according to Maharaj:
"As to my mind, there is no such thing. There is consciousness in which everything happens."
" ... Your confusion is ... in your mind ...."
"Whatever is conceived by the mind must be false, for it is bound to be relative and limited."
"I am double dead. Not only am I dead to my body, but to my mind too."
" Distrust your mind, and go beyond."
"All illness begins in the mind."
" There is no chaos in the world except the chaos which your mind creates."
"There is no such thing as peace of mind. Mind means disturbance; restlessness itself is mind."
NOTE: You may see the book, "There's No Such Thing As 'Peace of Mind' (There Is Only Peace If You're Out of Your Mind)" for the complete discussion of that point.
" ... the mind obscures and distorts."
" ... it is the mind that creates illusion."
"Stop making use of your mind and see what happens."
And he made the point that the mind is a symptom of ignorance.
Maharaj's solutions regarding the "mind" problem:
"Don't rely on your mind for liberation. It is the mind that brought you into bondage. Go beyond it altogether."
"Beyond the mind there is no suffering."
"Learn to separate yourself from the image and the mirror. Keep on remembering: I am neither the mind nor its ideas."
"There is no such thing as mind. There are ideas .... " and "Abandon the wrong ideas, for they are false and obstruct your vision of yourself."
"The death of the mind is the birth of wisdom."
"To know that you are a prisoner of your mind, that you live in an imaginary world of your own creation, is the dawn of wisdom."
"I find I have lost the mind irretrievably."
The author offers this for the readers' consideration: to be free is to be free of that which imprisons you. What imprisons the masses? The "mind"; thus, to be free is to be free of the content of the "mind," all of which is rooted in programming and conditioning and domestication and acculturation.
To be free of the "mind" is to be free of the "madding crowd," for the "mind" is that crowd of people who programmed you, conditioned you, domesticated you, and acculturated you and who continue to speak to you. (The only difference is that now they "speak" from within rather than from without.)
Many of them you may not have seen for years, but they are as close as your brain and as dominating as ever (if you have not followed this "path" that can free you of their influence and free you of the subconscious ideas and concepts and beliefs that will otherwise drive you and control you and take away any ability to make independent choices at all).
Best regards on that "journey," should you undertake it.
In what was the spring of 2011 in the U.S., the fall of 2011 in South Africa's southern hemisphere local, the author was invited to visit Cape Town the environs.
Daytime hours spent discussing Advaita and the enneagram also allowed time to visit what was seen to be some of the most beautiful locales on the planet along the southern coast roads; some of the most poignant locales, such as the prison on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent years breaking up large stones into small stones alongside his fellow prisons;
and locations that could be used as a Medicine Place for those seeking healing in the solitude. Furthermore, there was at every turn something that was witnessed which in itself presented one after another pointers that are relevant for Advaitins.
This book offers some of those pointers that came during travels in South Africa. As an added feature, the book also offers some enlightening but seldom-heard pointers from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and quotations from Floyd Henderson on:
the body; on the false "I"; on role-playing; on personas; on ego-states; on personality; on false identities' on illusions; on "self"-delusion; on "The Drama of the Lie"; on "the mind";
on religious and / or spiritual ego-states; on the child ignorance stage; on Subject-Object Witnessing; on Pure Witnessing / True Self; on the Absolute; on moving back to the Absolute;
on Beingness and / or Non-Beingness; on No Desires and No Fears; on The Unicity; on Love; on Nisarga Yoga; on Natural Living; On creation and creators; on Meditation; and on the Nothingness.
Some claim that Advaita (or Vedanta or Advaita Vedanta) is a religion; some claim it is a philosophy; some claim it is a compilation of precepts and principles by which people should live. Here, the most that is said is that
a. Advaita / Non-Duality as offered here is a set of suggestions and considerations that point the way to the Truth that can be known but that cannot be stated; and
b. it is a set of guideposts along a "path" (set up by one that has traveled that "path") which lead - in a step-wise, clear-cut manner - to an understanding that allows the remainder of the relative existence to unfold in a sound and sane and logical and steady manner.
As for the Nisarga Yoga, that also offers a series of suggestions and considerations that allow for the remainder of the manifestation to happen spontaneously in
c. a natural manner, as opposed to
d. an unnatural manner, or as opposed to
e. a supposedly "supernatural" manner (that is, in a manner that requires magical thinking, that encourages the acceptance of myths and superstitions as fact, and that requires that the cause of naturally-occurring events must be misconstrued as being caused by some other-world entity or "Power").
There is no effort in this book to try to satisfy the wide range of views among those who are dedicated to whatever non-dual method or yoga they might be endorsing. Why? Because from the non-dual, Nisargan standpoint, there is no difference between the Realized and the Non-Realized except perspective. That said, the considerations offered in this book are, most assuredly, not for everyone.
For those who prefer the Traditional, the Neo-Vedanta, or the Neo-Advaita Teaching Methods (or even prefer) Pseudo-Advaita, they will not likely care for the content of this book; for those who prefer guru-bhakti, or bhakti, or jnana yoga, they, too, will probably not care for the pointers offered here.
For those dedicated to dogma or to a spiritual identity and to spiritual exercises, they will not likely care for the content of this book. This book is for those that are willing to consider certain perspectives that will differ from any not based in abiding naturally (vs. abiding unnaturally or supernaturally or super-religiously or super-spiritually).
Those types will likely consider certain of these perspectives to be "too radical" or "too far out of the mainstream." Of course, that was also the attitude toward Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj as well, once he shifted beyond the spiritual message in "I AM THAT" and began eschewing spirituality and recommending that seekers abide instead in an effortless, zero-concept, no-exercises, non-dual, no-dogma, non-spiritual, all-natural manner.
No matter, peace, love and light are extended to all, no matter whether they would find the content of this book to be enlightening or offensive. All are wished best regards on their "journey" and for the remainder of the relative existence.
However, for others that might be interested, there are 278 perspectives identified and / or discussed in this book. They are perspectives that are completely different from those held by the non-Realized and different from perspectives held by many claiming to be Realized.
These perspectives have prevented the author from assuming the role of "The Truly Religious One," "The Spiritual Giant," "The Non-Duality Expert," "The One at One with Brahman," "A Godly One," or even "God."
These perspectives, to the contrary, have allowed for the abidance to unfold in an all-natural fashion; have allowed for the Reality to be overlaid on the relative; and have allowed for a life to happen as spontaneously and as freely and as independently and as happily and as naturally as that led by a deer or a bird or a fish.
Only those who would live that freely might find an interest in the awarenesses and understandings revealed in these 278 most different perspectives.
What the Advaita Teachings Can (and Cannot) Address
Most of the problems of this planet are centered in the mind. The planet-wide instability and insanity of persons' thoughts and words and actions are evidence of the fact that The Ultimate Sickness of duality and its effects (which is calling out for The Ultimate Medicine) is in many ways a mental problem.
The Advaitin called "Jesus Christ" purportedly said that "A dual-minded person is unstable in all ways." In some cases, instability and low-level personality disorders and even mild cases of insanity have been addressed by the non-duality teachings if the result was Full Realization.
The following are often observable among those who are trapped in the Ultimate Sickness of a dualistic mind (and, thus, mental illness) and who are swept back and forth by the tides of emotional intoxication:
changeable, unpredictable, unsteady, inconstant, unsettled, irrational, erratic, inconsistent, unreliable, untrustworthy and vacillating.
The content of this book distinguishes between (1) the causes of instability and insanity that the Advaita teachings can address and (2) the causes that require far more than the teachings if they are to be effectively addressed.
Included are discussions of:
instability and / or insanity induced by duality-based splitting; instability and / or insanity induced by psychological splitting; instability and / or insanity induced by cultural influences:
instability and / or insanity induced by personality disorders; instability and / or insanity induced by a failure to psychically integrate and instead the tendency to psychically disintegrate
instability and / or insanity induced by adults who model constant mood swings and instability and being temperamental and inconsistent so that they are always unpredictable; instability and / or insanity induced by fixating in "the parent" role or "the child" role rather than interacting from the stance of the mature adult;
instability and / or insanity induced by emotional intoxication; instability and / or insanity induced by religious / spiritual intoxication; instability and / or insanity induced by inner causes; instability and / or insanity induced by depression and mania
instability and / or insanity induced by a need for full realization; instability and / or insanity induced by chemical imbalances, physiological factors, and biological factors
instability and / or insanity induced by a need for full realization; and instability and / or insanity induced by seeking someone or something to cause you to be happy.
For those who have studied any of the various types of yoga and who have studied either Traditional Advaita Vedanta, Neo-Advaita, Neo-Vedanta, or Pseudo Advaita: the author of this book is a disciple of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj so he uses the Direct Path Method of teaching along with the Nisarga (Natural) Yoga, all shared in simple, everyday English.
Satsang (Satsanga) is defined thusly in Sanskrit: "sat = true and "sanga" = company). In Indian philosophy, the reference is to (1) "the company of the highest truth" or (2) "the company of a guru," or to being (3) "in company with an assembly of persons who listen to, talk about, and assimilate the truth."
Literally, therefore, satsang means "the company of truth" and refers to discourses about "the Knowledge." To tell someone about Knowledge in a gathering is called "giving Satsang."
Now the fact is that Truth can be known but not stated, but the point is made. Originally, in pre-electronic-technology days, seekers had to travel in order to be in the presence of a guru / teacher. Now, satsangs happen via Skype conferencing, via teleconferencing, and via electronic forums that allow for the free flow of statements or questions with a teacher offering replies. The content of this book contains the record of satsang exchanges that took place via one such forum.
In the loft of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, twenty seekers might have been present but some days, only a few entered into direct dialogue with Maharaj. Why allow more into the room than can participate?
It is known that pointers must be heard (or read), but they need not be spoken directly to a seeker for their meaning to "take hold." It matters not if the teacher is speaking directly to an "individual" because in Reality it is the consciousness that is speaking to the consciousness.
One speck of consciousness might be addressing another, but all specks that are present can receive the pointers to Truth that are being offered.
It will be seen in this book which will share the results of a series of satsangs that only a few entered into direct exchange with the teacher / author called "floyd," but many more specks of consciousness were "looking over the shoulder of the seekers" and receiving the message via the exchange; in fact, seekers in over eighty different cities around the globe were participants.
A series of books by the author offer the following:
1. An opportunity for seekers to be guided through the seven-step "journey" from identification with the false "I" (via the content of the book FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE) and to move beyond The Seven Degrees of Separation from Reality";
2. An opportunity to understand the nature of Reality Beyond Self-Realization (with the content of the book CONSCIOUSNESS / AWARENESS); and
3. An opportunity to understand that which was prior to the Absolute, namely, The Void, the Nothingness.
To reach all three of those levels of understanding is to allow the seeker to grasp Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's pointer that "wisdom is knowing that I am nothing."
For most seekers, the "journey" ends when they reach the third of seven steps as they move along the first-stage "path," specifically, the point at which they adopt a new persona ("The Spiritual One") and then never move any further.
There, Maharaj said, they engage in what he called "kindergarten-level spirituality" and they "mistake the dawn for the noonday sun." Only a few will truly understand the distinction between the consciousness and the awareness, and fewer still will be willing to abandon the notion that now they are Really Something and to consider the ultimate freedom of The Nothingness.
The book THE FINAL UNDERSTANDING is only for the few that are willing to consider that there is far more to grasp after having reached the third, spiritual step (which will only move them into the dim light of dawn"; for the few that have the slightest awareness that the brighter light of the full noonday sun awaits; and for the few that have some sense that the freedom and peace which come with abandonment of the notion that they are Really Something will allow for the full shift into the no-concept, no-identity, non-dual Reality.
In THE FINAL UNDERSTANDING, the author discusses:
A. The myths of a "Prior Me" and a "Post-Manifestation Me";
B. The myths of "You-ness," "Me-ness," and "Them-ness";
C. Krishna's pointers about that which is beyond the beingness and the non-beingness;
D. Abandonment of "the personal" and "The Personal" and an understanding of Presence instead;
E. The composite unity (elements, breath, conscious-energy);
F. The sixteen shifts in awareness which must happen in a step-wise fashion for misunderstandings to be abandoned and for the final understanding to manifest;
G. The pointers about religion and spirituality that were offered by Maharaj which allow seekers (who are trapped at the third step while playing their "new and improved persona or personas") to move along the entire "path" and then reach the final understanding;
H. A distinction between supernatural, unnatural, and nisarga (natural) living;
and much more.
Edward Thomas wrote: “And heavy is the tread of the living, but the dead returning lightly dance.”
Dancing is defined thusly: "To move one's feet or body, or both, rhythmically in a pattern of steps" or "to leap and skip, as from excitement; to move nimbly or quickly; to dance with joy" or "to move merrily; to express pleasure by motion."
Dancing to "another tune" means "to forfeit one's behavior, attitudes, beliefs." The relevance of all of that is clear to most that have studied Advaita and what Realization has to offer.
As for dancing, the author write: "Dancing can involve a fluid, even, natural motion which, at its core, exudes joy and pleasure and lightness. It can also involve no movement at all when the dance takes place within and provides a sense of fullness and unchecked joy. Either way, there is never a "roller-coaster" type of jerkiness. There is smoothness and gracefulness and agility. Moving through the relative existence post-Realization is like moving smoothly across a dance floor (not in some helter-skelter fashion and not in some roller coaster fashion with excessive up's and down's but in a slow, deliberate, even, level, steady, flexible, and effortless manner.)"
He suggests that "the 'end game' with Advaita is not to be able to eat, drink, breathe, talk, dissect, and analyze Advaita; nor is the 'end game' to spend all of one's waking hours pontificating about Advaita. The 'end game' is to reach an understanding that results in a love of silence and solitude; that allows Reality to be overlaid upon the relative so that a nisarga (natural) manner of abidance happens; that allows all to happen spontaneously while, ironically, also happening deliberately"; and that allows whatever happens - or whatever does not happen - to be enjoyed fully. With the sense of limitlessness that manifests post-Realization, then all can be relished: the working required to assure independence, the walking, the eating, the looking at what nature has to offer, the sitting, the sharing, and, yes, the dancing."
[It is explained this way in the book FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality):
“Realization is marked by the abandoning of all concepts. On this seven-step ‘journey,’ we’ve used many concepts to remove concepts, not unlike the proverbial thorn used to remove a thorn. If you have something within you like a thorn, and you use a thorn to get rid of that which was within, that which was causing your misery, what effort need remain after the removal?
The work is done; the tools required for the task—the thorns needed to remove the thorn—are no longer required. What further exercises could be indicated? Realized, You will not know any concern about any thorns from ‘the past.’ You will not long for any thorn to return. You will not save spare thorns just in case they might be needed in ‘the future.’ You will not work to maintain Your 'state of non-thorn-ness.' It’s all gone, all dissolved. It just happened automatically when the last concept dis-appeared.”]
This book describes what the post-Realization relative existence should be like and why The Light must precede the lightness. May you enjoy not just dancing but actually dancing lightly.
The reader is invited to consider:
George Bernard Shaw was once asked if he thought there might be life on other planets. His reply was that he was certain that there had to be life on other planets because people there are obviously using earth as their insane asylum. Mark Twain observed that "the way it is now, the asylums can hold the sane people, but if we tried to shut up the insane, we should run out of building materials" and "Really, what we want now is not laws against crime, but a law against insanity. That is where the true evil lies" and "Once, I talked to the inmates of an insane asylum in Hartford. I have talked to idiots a thousand times, but only once to the insane."
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj said, "This is our stupidity, verging on insanity." This book looks at when "Going Crazy" actually begins and then studies the ways that what Advaitins call "The Ultimate Sickness" continues, in most cases, throughout the entire manifestation of consciousness. In some few cases, treatment for the effects of personality disorders is sought; is some cases, hospitalization provides an opportunity for clinically-diagnosable insanity to be treated; and in some cases, the Advaitic, non-dual teachings provide a new understanding that ends distortion and delusions and belief in illusions and untruths, lead to clear perspectives, and allow the restoration of sanity to happen.
The book in its six parts includes the following: PART ONE: Introduction; PART TWO: Originally Sane; PART THREE: Going Crazy; PART FOUR: Going ... Going ... ; PART FIVE: Gone!
& PART SIX: Going Sane.
Call it "insanity." Call it "madness." Call it the end result of a personality disorder where a person has disintegrated from psychic health to a state of only average psychic heath to a state of complete psychic unhealthiness and total mental and emotional degeneration and collapse." Call it "being so removed from Reality that one has lost the ability to know Who or What You Truly Are." Call it "being out of touch with both reality and Reality." Call it a "state of living unnaturally or trying to live supernaturally / religiously / spiritually rather than merely abiding naturally in the peace and quiet."
Call it "being so mental and emotional fragmented that one feels as if she / he is going to shatter into a millions pieces ... not feeling whole or 'at one' but feeling splintered and split and broken and shattered and divided and falling apart." Call it "a state marked by anxiety, resentment, anger, despair, depression, misery, pain, suffering, desolation, gloom, dejection, and anguish.: Call it "The Ultimate Sickness". Call it "Going Crazy." But no matter what you call it, it is a global epidemic and all will contract it at some point or another.
Of that, Maharaj said, "Insanity is universal. Sanity is rare. Yet there is hope, because the moment we perceive our insanity, we are on the way to sanity. This is the function of the Guru -- to make us see the madness of our daily living. Life makes you conscious, but the teacher makes you aware." This book traces the roots of insanity and its various degrees and manifestations and then makes clear that, as far as those interested in non-duality are concerned, "Job 1" for the guru or the Realized Advaitin or the Realized Nisargan is to bring the light and an awareness of the way back that must be traveled before the way out can ever be shown.
The author is certified to teach Psychology (Level 100) College Courses and Psychology (Level 200) College Courses all 50 states. He has also done personality testing and typing for individuals as well as worked for corporations, testing and typing and analyzing personality as a means of providing staff development programs that make employees aware of the assets and liabilities that can help assure success in the workplace and proving for businesses a higher level of quality assurance in terms of the potential effective of personnel as well as training and managing current employees.
Robert Powell said that Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj provided "powerful antidotes to unawarenesses," that is, to the sickness that marks and mars the relative existence.
The Ultimate Sickness, like most sickness, is passed on when persons interact; it is contracted when a previously-well person is exposed to another person or persons who have the sickness, and the exposure always begins at an early age.
The sickness is passed on via the "germ" of programming and the "virus" of conditioning and the "contaminate" of acculturation and the "bacteria" of domestication.
Discussed in this book will be the Four Stages from illness to wellness that have been taught in the Far East as well as the Six Stages that Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj moved through on "his journey," and the Four Stages that are taught to seekers by the author.
The Ultimate Sickness is primarily a mental and emotional sickness that is contracted during Stage I when exposed to the ignorance and insanity that has already spread throughout every culture on the planet. Exposure to the carriers also results in personality disorders that can only be addressed by the casting aside of all personality in order to continue to move along the four-stage, seven-step "path" to wellness.
Treatment for the Ultimate Sickness is complicated by the fact that most persons who contract the illness actually normalize the condition and its symptoms and, therefore, (a) seldom have a clue that they are as sick as they truly are and thus (b) seldom seek the Ultimate Medicine that can address the sickness and its symptoms.
How, then, is one to know if he or she has contracted the Ultimate Sickness? One must cross the path of a "healer" who suffered the illness, of one who found someone to administer the treatment in the proper stages and steps, of one that was eventually freed of the sickness and its symptoms, and of one that is now willing to administer the Ultimate Medicine to seekers who are now suffering the same symptoms and effects and who are wanting relief.
Therefore, consider some of the symptoms of the Ultimate Sickness which include an inability to distinguish true from false and, therefore, the propensity to believe lies; to distort perceptions; to believe that images are real; to have no clue who you are; to talk in one's sleep; to work and drive and walk while asleep;
to accept as true, without questioning to even the slightest degree, the concepts and beliefs that are taught by authority figures and to believe the most unbelievable tales that those figures dream up; to accumulate the various forms of the sickness and then to pass them along to family members and friends and associates with pride in having done so; to accept with faith beliefs that have no basis in fact and that cannot possibly be proved; to be so delusional that one is believed to be two;
to believe that learned ignorance is wisdom; to suffer willingly and repeatedly the consequences of what Maharaj called "learned ignorance"; to lose all ability to detect nonsense when it is heard;
to allow subconscious motivators (a.k.a., personality / personalities) to determine every thought and word and action while believing that one is consciously choosing to think what is thought, to say what is said, and to do what is done; to be asleep but to believe that one is awake;
to be self-destructive; to exhibit impaired judgment; to be unreasonable and illogical; to display unstable and inappropriate emotions (that is, being emotionally-intoxicated); to be religiously or spiritually intoxicated; to have hallucinations (such as believing that you can hear a supernatural being from another world and to believe that such a being is actually talking to you);
to believe that the not-special is special; to believe that absolutes can be applied to things relative; to be disorganized and confused while thinking that you are organized and thinking clearly; to develop extreme dependencies on people and groups and leaders and on powers that are supposedly living in unseen worlds; to be unable to cope; to be in a state of unwarranted fear; to constantly desire more and more of what is already making one sick;
to feel guilt and self-blame that have no basis in fact; to behave like a six-year old child for an entire manifestation, even during "the adult years"; to be preoccupied with "self" (with the false selves or false identities that are assumed and thought to be real); to play a role on a stage and believe the character is real;
to believe that a physical, plant food body can disintegrate, re-integrate, and last for eternity and can feel pain or ecstasy for eternity; and to suffer and then still believe that suffering is good; ad infinitum.
Imagine if persons knew of an Ultimate Medicine that could cure all of the above; they would call that a "miracle drug." Know that not only does such a medicine exist, and not only does it address all of the symptoms of the Ultimate Sickness that are catalogued above, but it is available at a fraction of the cost that any sane and sound person would estimate its true value to be.
Yet few will ever know it even exists because few will ever know that they are suffering from the symptoms of the Ultimate Sickness and because few will ever understand they need to be cured from the sickness contracted during the first of the four stages being discussed in this series, namely, the Accumulation Stage.
Of the thousands of pointers offered by Maharaj that proved to be germane to seekers, one ranks among the most pertinent and unequivocal and illuminating that he ever shared:
"...You are afraid of freedom!"
-Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
In the early stage of beginning some "work" with a guide, he asked a qualifying question: "How free do you want to be?"
The reply: "Why, totally."
His response: "We shall see."
And soon, he did indeed see. What was seen by both that guide and this seeker was that there was no more of a desire to be TOTALLY free than there is a desire among the non-Realized for the manifestation of the consciousness to end instantly.
It would be years before Full Realization happened, and it would not be until Full Realization happened that TOTAL freedom not only manifested but was gladly welcomed.
Why do persons (the non-Realized) really not find total freedom appealing at all, truth be known? What is it about most cultures that nurture and even reward dependence? What is it about personality and personas that automatically require dependence and co-dependency rather than independence?
The 6.7 billion polled worldwide who said that they are affiliated with an organized religion are taught early on to be dependent on one god or another (or even many). The millions in step groups are taught to be dependent on an external, otherworldly power.
Too, every ego-state adopted as an identity must have a co-dependent counterpart and will be dependent on another person to sustain the false identity assumed. (For example, a spouse must have a spouse to supposedly "exist"; an employee must have an employer to supposedly "exist"; a teacher must have students to supposedly "exist"; etc.)
Add to that the fact that fifty-percent of the people on the planet are Personality Types Sixes who are embroiled in fear and are thus dependent types; add to that a large percentage who are Personality Type Twos and Threes and Nines who have a strong sense of entitlement and are therefore dependent types.
In fact, most cultures on the planet inspire dependence rather than independence, so it is little wonder that so few will Realize Fully and actually become totally free. Yet freedom is the prerequisite for peace, so it is also little wonder that so few will Realize Fully and be at peace.
So the questions for every seeker and reader are,
"How free do you really want to be?"
"Is it possible that Maharaj's pointer - 'You are afraid of freedom' - might be based at least to some degree in fact?"
"If so, might you be interested in certain considerations that might assist in overcoming that fear of total freedom?"
As far as there being any documented evidence or historical proof that William Shakespeare studied the Advaita teachings, none exists; however, there is proof in his writings that he was well along the "path" to Realization; moreover, many of his pointers provide excellent opportunities for seekers to consider some of his teachings that paralleled those of the "ancient masters."
Some of the quotations discussed in the book include the following which are all rooted in non-duality:
“All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players”
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so”
“O what a goodly outside falsehood hath”
“All that glitters is not gold”
“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”
“Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”
“Much ado about nothing”
"I say there is no darkness but ignorance"
“To thine own Self be true and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man”
“Nature is made better by no means”
“Out, out, brief candle”
“All that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity”
“There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy”
“Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon a stage”
“Our revels now are ended. These our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into the air, into thin air"
“The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre observe degree, priority, and place. Insisture, course, proportion, season, form, office, and custom, in all line of order.”
The quotes provide a starting point for a deeper discussion of the type pointers that Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj shared in his ultimate talks at the end of his "teaching career" rather than the type of pointers offered earlier on.
("Jesus the Christ")
The contents of this book are not for those who are seeking reinforcement of their religious beliefs about the one called "Jesus." Why? Because the contents of this book focus on the "later" message that he offered ... a message rooted in the ancient teachings of the Far East rather than the Middle Eastern message that is generally focused upon by his followers.
Next, the contents of this book are not for those who believe that the non-duality messages is about "uniting all people." Non-duality addresses the Oneness, the - unicity; therefore, to speak of an "A" being united with a "B" or to conclude that non-duality's message of Oneness is about "bringing people together" is the antithesis of non-duality and is actually a statement of two-ness.
Next, to invite one to look objectively at political, societal, religious or spiritual beliefs is not an attack on any of those institutions. The Realized can no more feel hostile toward persons attached to a political party, a society, a religion or a spiritual movement than they can feel hostile toward a mirage. Why? Neither those institutions nor a mirage have anything to do with the Real, with the Authentic Self.
Too, this work is not a work that aspires to become a part of academia. It is impossible to footnote that which is understood via "the inner resource" or "the inner guru."
This book is for those who have wondered what he was talking about when he said things that many have deemed "Too far out there" or dismissed as "maybe misstatements" or "probably misquotes" or "things that Christians need not concern themselves with trying to understand," such as: "When you speak of Me, speak of Me as I AM"; "Before Abraham was, I AM"; "No one shall ever see the kingdom of heaven - it is within";
"Heaven and earth shall fade away"; "If they say to you, 'from where have you originated?' say to them 'We have come from the light, where the light originated through itself'"; "If they ask you, 'what is the sign of your father in you?' say to them, 'it is a movement and a rest'";
"Whoever drinks from my mouth shall become as I AM and I myself
Will become he, and the hidden things shall be revealed to him"; "When you make the two one, and when you make the inner as the outer and the outer as the inner, and the above as the below, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male will not be male and the female not be female, then shall you enter the kingdom";
"I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword." "I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law"; and "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple."
The book also includes information that clarifies not only the shift in the message presented "Jesus" but also background information on advaita; a discussion of how the original "Bible" was lost forever; and on Pope John Paul II's clarifications regarding the understanding of "the geography of gehanna" and what "heaven" and "hell" really are. Best regards to all, including those with many beliefs and those who have been freed of all beliefs.
NON-DUALITY, ADVAITA, NISARGA YOGA
A bound volume of this ebook would contain over 250 pages of quotations, pointers and other information dealing with the message of non-duality and advaita. The book contains quotations and pointers not only from scores of non-duality books and talks but also offers non-duality pointers that have appeared in works of non-fiction, fiction, literature, and movies.
The nine parts of this book include the following:
quotations that other seekers / readers have indicated that they found to be significant;
non-duality quotations and pointers arranged by category and subject matter. The rationale for that? When offering non-duality quotations, some collections provide key pointers that are offered in no particular order, but here the approach is to group pointers according to subject matter so that a seeker dealing with "body identification issues" can find quotations dealing with body identity and a seeker dealing with "being free of influence of the mind" can find quotations and pointers that offer information on that topic. Other subjects include personality, the child ignorance or no-knowing stage, the two types of witnessing, the Absolute, the Void or the Nothingness, and many, many more.
non-duality quotations and pointers by category and subject matter but from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj exclusively;
quotations and pointers from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj that discuss nisarga yoga and nisarga living;
miscellaneous non-duality quotations and pointers which are relevant to Advaitins and that have been offered by philosophers and sages and seers of truth from various periods, including Plato, St. Francis of Assisi, Desiderius Erasmus, Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, Richard E. Lingenfelter, Robert Burton, Daniel H. Boorstin, Gary Zukav, E. Bayda, Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Brad Thor, Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Immanuel Kant, Bruce Lipton, Clive Cussler, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, Lewis Thomas, Max Planck, Heinrich Hertz, and others;
certain non-duality pointers that have appeared in the non-fiction writings of Ralph Klein, Barbara McClintock, Erwin Schrodinger, Fritjof Capra, Niels Bohr, David Bohm, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Marvin Kaye, S.H. Sharp, Paul Krassner, Ken Kesey, Russell Brand, G.I. Gurdjieff, a variety of examples of the non-duality message contained in the body of Native America wisdom, and non-duality pointers from "ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS" (a.k.a., "the A.A. Big Book");
examples of the non-duality message that have appeared in the fictional works of Jack Kerouac, Michael Connelly, Mary Shelley, Victor Hugo, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Robert Lewis Stevenson, Abraham "Bram" Stoker and others;
the non-duality message as offered in film with a list of over thirty movies that are based in non-duality, including The Matrix (Part One), The 13th Floor, Inception, The Truman Show, Dark City, Existenz, Avatar, and many more.
A visitor said: A friend recommended I read an article you wrote on death and the Mumbai attacks. I started reading that and wondered why he told me about it but when I got further into it I understood. I had started feeling suicidal at Thanksgiving and with Christmas coming up - the first since my wife left me. Since my friend introduced me to your work, I've read more of your writings on personas and I am seeing that you are right - the end / “death” of my relationship with my wife seems more painful than the actual deaths of people I’ve loved. I haven’t cared about anybody else since she left except me. It’s all been about me. What you write about is pretty foreign to me but somehow I am getting out of myself at least a little bit - but I need more help. Anyway thank you for your writings - it seems like maybe they have helped even if they have not been the total solution yet.
The reply: First, if it is heard that suicidal thoughts are happening, the suggestion is always to "go immediately to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. Follow up by finding a counselor who specializes in grief recovery and trauma treatment."
(In some cases, an EMDR element in a treatment plan can be effective. Call some counselors and inquire about their level of training and expertise.) Then later, this understanding might be relevant, but it is not the first line of defense against self-harm.
For those dealing with the “death” of roles and who are finding that some "special season” seems to be providing some impetus for an aggravation of misery and suffering around a sense of loss (but who have not concluded that suicide might be the only answer), some pointers might provide clarity and release from attachment:
First, the key pointers are these:
(1) the blocked consciousness allows a "mind" to believe in the false concepts of "separation" and "different from" and "better than": "one season is different from and better than other seasons," or "this season is worse than other times of the year because I am not with person 'A' or person 'B' "; and
(2) both pain—which is registered via the body—and misery and suffering—which register via the “mind”—can only register
(a) if Consciousness is manifest and if
(b) physical consciousness is present; however, if
(c) the Consciousness is blocked from seeing Reality and a person is operating under the auspices of a "mind," which is nothing more than a storehouse of fiction, then fluctuations between happiness and suffering are guaranteed.
(Meaning? If the physical consciousness is suspended via the administering of anesthesia, a doctor can remove the heart in a body and replace it with another one and no pain will register during the procedure. If the Consciousness is not manifest, then misery and suffering cannot register.
If the Pure Consciousness is blocked, then truth cannot be seen and misery and suffering will also be registered in that case. In such cases, the Pure Consciousness—the Pure Witness, the True Self—does not know ItSelf; therefore, it will accept all sorts of false roles as identities.
False roles generate co-dependency—which prevents independence / freedom—so misery and suffering will follow. Persons will be miserable and will suffer if they are not independent / free.)
Next, nothing provides as clear an understanding of the reason that Advaitin teachers advise against accepting roles as identities as the events generated by accepting such roles as “spouse,” “lover,” “partner,” etc. as identities.
Actually, misery and suffering are always rooted in duality and in the dualistic ideas that persons (the non-Realized) believe about “personal relationships.” The very term is dualistic, suggesting that something “personal” can be real and suggesting that two of anything can “relate.”
There is no “A” that can relate to “B.” There is only the “not two.” The concept of “personal” is a lie and the concept of one thing being able to relate to another is a lie.
No wonder the labels mentioned above—if accepted as identities—will generate misery: anything thought to be a “relationship” is a lie, so all “relationships” are based in a lie from the start and in the additional lies that come about as “relationships” unfold.
That which does not change is Real; that which changes is false, and all “relationships” will change. This has been shared before but is relevant here:
What persons call “love” is the most magnificent experience of all; it is also the most horrendous experience of all. With such duality, how can that possibly be taken for the Real? As for feeling or emotion, if love happens as a feeling, take the ride and watch the feelings rise and fall; if love happens as an emotion—that is, if it is being “experienced” by a person in an ego-state—prepare for war.”
Whatever is false but believed to be true might lead to occasional pleasure but will eventually lead to belief-and-concept-based ignorance and therefore to the misery and suffering that are always subsequent to ignorance.
Any role is a mirage, dreamed up by persons and accepted by followers in their cultures. Mirages do not begin or end—they are simply appearances without substance. Just as teaching might happen or not even as no role of “The Teacher” is adopted, so too can “husbanding” and “wifing” happen without all of the misery and suffering associated with role acceptance and role-“loss.”
As long as roles are accepted as identities, the fluctuations and chaos of duality will manifest. Period of happiness will be replaced with periods of fighting or disagreeing or having to forgive or holding grudges or suffering misery.
And all of that flows from notions about being “in relationships,” including …
… being in relationship with another person, and
… being in an eternal relationship with “self”—believing that the body-mind-personality triad can last forever, and
… being in relationship with a god or gods, etc.
All of those "relationships" will be guaranteed to fluctuate ("I'm close to my spouse," "I'm not close to my spouse," "I'm close to my god," "I don't feel close to my god right now," ad infinitum).
Of the eight traits of the untreated Addictive Personality Disorder, the number one manifestation of that condition is said to be “having problems in personal relationships.” With 99% of all persons being addicted to something, is it any wonder that such chaos manifests throughout the relative when trying to deal with "personal relationships," including a "personal relationship with someone," a "personal relationship with God," a "personal relationship with self," etc.?
It will be shown that all of the happenings that occur during the relative can happen even if Realized, but what will not happen is any attachment to that which is not Real. Consider: what if a delusional person saw for the first time ever a mirage in the desert. What if that person became fascinated with the mirage—even enamored by the mirage—and went to the desert every day to be with the mirage.
On days when the conditions were the same as on the day of that first sighting, that person would be happy, spending some time once again with the mirage. On rainy days or cloudy days, however, that person would be miserable, feeling separated from the mirage that he / she has come to “love.”
Such instability and such fluctuations in mood are typical of those persons who are playing roles and believing that the mirages appearing during their relative existence are real. Such misperceiving will always lead eventually to the misery described earlier by the miserable man.
All of the pointers above will be doubted by persons being exposed to them for the first time. Doubt these pointers if you will, but why not as readily doubt what you have been told all your life by "others"?
If a person has moved through this relative existence for any period of time, then the unblocked consciousness has the potential to see objectively that the current belief systems that are being held in such awe are not producing the desired effects.
If you can see with the least bit of objectivity, then why not at least reconsider the validity of your beliefs and concepts and ideas? The “path” to freedom is a seven-step journey to Realization. The “path” to misery and suffering is the path of duality.
Now some find the Direct Path no-concept, non-dual Reality teachings to be “harsh,” suggesting “Why don’t you build up the man whose wife left? He’s hurting.” Why would anyone stand before a mirage and try to build it up? Further, there is no one standing before a mirage and trying to tear it down. All that is happening is that a mirage is being shown to be a mirage along with the pointer that it is foolish to allow a mirage to have any effect on thought, word, or deed ... especially when thoughts and words might lead to the deed of suicide.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj said that many are seeking some "higher level," but he made clear that "There is no question of elevating to a higher level. Here it is only a question of understanding."
As a result of not understanding, many seek - or claim to have found - some "lofty" or "superior" or "noble" state, but Maharaj affirmed that no state with such lofty attributes exists.
Thus, when Maharaj said “…You should go back, reverse, to the source” and advised seekers to “follow the same path by which you came, ” what was he suggesting that they should "go back" to or "reverse to?" If the source, as he understood it, was not a "lofty" or "superior" or "noble" source - what was that source and what was it like, per the understanding he shared?
There are some clues when seekers review the long list of synonyms that he used to point to that "one place" or that "one source" which was not "lofty" or "superior" or "noble" but was quite common and normal and natural instead.
To refer to "Your Original Nature" or "Your Original State," he used the following terms and others for the sake of discussion of that "Nature" or "state": Your Natural State, The Original State, The True State, The Natural Condition, The Normal State, The Formless State, The Ultimate State, The Supreme State, The Noumenon, and others.
If it is known that he was discussing a condition that is merely "normal" and "natural" and not "lofty" or "special" or "superior" - and if the actual nature of that Original Nature is understood - then the search that seekers engage in will take a totally different (and far more modest and unpretentious and simple and normal and natural) direction.
Maharaj's invitation was to "merge into the Original State."
He said, "Our True Nature is perpetually free, peaceful awareness" and that "Once it is known what is temporary and what one's Original State is, no further knowledge is needed."
He taught, "That 'I Am' is a concept is to be understood while the concept is there. Once it merges in the Original State, who is there who wants to know? The illusory entity has disappeared."
The author's offers an explanation of what the Original Nature is like and what the present manifestation can be like if Reality is overlaid on the relative, if the Original nature is overlaid upon the relative existence, now.
The invitation in this book is also to understand that, to abide as that Original State, requires abandonment of all ideas and concepts and beliefs.
Maharaj said, "The Original State is beyond concepts" and "In the Original State there is no sense of consciousness, no awareness of being, but as soon as the 'I Amness' comes, the entire manifestation is seen at once. This is the expression of the consciousness."
If Fully Realized, this is understood:
Maharaj: "I was, I am, I shall be in that Original State before the 'I Amness' came" and "So long as the body is there you are this consciousness, but once the body and the consciousness go You are that Original State upon which all this has come as a temporary state. Your Original State is changeless and permanent."
The author addresses this question: "Why else find that Original State and abide as That?" Early on, when that Original State manifested as its Original Essence, then there was also the manifestation of the "primordial cooperation" - now totally absent among the non-Realized masses.
Abiding as One's Original Nature, all humans were childlike, as Maharaj said, rendering them conscious and happy and quiet. Abiding as such also allows for abiding as in a "Loving community" wherein "primordial cooperation" is natural and is the rule, not the exception.
Is it not that Original State that is subconsciously being longed for? Then know that it can be returned to even as the manifestation continues, but it can come only with Truth, not with false concepts and ideas and beliefs.
The author shares words and terms that offer insight into what abidance as that Original Nature was like and what the relative existence can be like if, post-Realization, the I AM THAT and the I AM truly "merge," and if One's Original Nature is overlaid on the present manifestation, thus allowing the remainder of the relative existence to happen in a natural manner - rather than in an unnatural or in a supposedly "supernatural" manner.
The manner of abidance which awaits is one which exhibits all of the peaceful and quiet and stress-free and fear-free attributes that mark One's Original Nature.
(Including You and Including God)
This book begins by discussing certain terms relevant to the subject matter of this book:
"Personal" means "concerning or affecting a particular person or her / his personality."
"Person" is defined as "a human being."
"Personality" refers to "the complex of all of the attributes - behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental - that characterize a unique individual."
In the Advaita teachings, the "journey" to Realization begins with a casting aside of all false identities, including identification with the body-mind-personality triad.
To cast aside belief in personas / personalities is to move farther along the "path" to understanding the composite unity ... an understanding that can facilitate the casting aside of belief in anything being "personal" or in anyone or any One being "personal."
That is to say that the "journey" begins not with finding out who you are (or Who / What You Are) but with finding out all that you are not. The identity triad of body-mind-personality must be discarded during the early steps along the "path," well before any final clarity comes about a non-phenomenal identity (or even no identity).
Thus, in the interim along the way, answering the question about "the identity of the Am-ness" can lead to an early level of freedom if the body-mind-personality triad is replaced with the triad of elements-air-energy (a.k.a., "the composite unity").
This book invites the reader to consider this:
What is a tree but a collection of elements that have formed a space in which the consciousness has manifested temporarily and that circulate oxygen? As always, the pointer here is that there is no difference in any "things" on the planet except for the rate at which the energy vibrates.
Thus, a "human" is also a collection of elements with a temporary manifestation of a quantity of conscious-energy and with oxygen circulating into and out of the space. Is there any difference in what is called "a tree" and "a human" at the most basic level? No. Consider also:
A plant / tree uses carbon dioxide and water to make sugar. Oxygen is left over after that process. The plant or tree will use part of the supply of oxygen itself for respiration, but there is more than enough left over which is unwanted and unneeded by the plant.
The surplus, therefore, is released into the atmosphere and provides oxygen for humans and other forms as well. So the tree, as is the case with humans, is composed of a combination of elements; the tree, as is the case with humans, circulates oxygen; and the tree, as is the case with humans, provides a space in which conscious-energy can temporarily manifest.
Yet how many persons are totally free of the influence of ego-state assumption and its accompanying egotism and therefore able to admit that they are no more "special" or "different" or "unique" than the ugliest, most deformed tree on the planet?
How many persons on the planet can never be offended, as is the case with the one that can ask, "WHO - what part of this temporarily manifested unity - can be offended? The oxygen part? Of course not. The energy part? Of course not. The element part? Of course not. Among those three, there is no WHO. There is no part of those three that can be offended, so there is no part of the triad that can be robbed of total freedom and total peace."
The process of casting aside belief in the body and mind and personality as actual identities is a three-step procedure, followed in the teachings here by the other four steps that make up the entire seven-step "path" from identifying with false "I's" to Full Realization and abidance as the Absolute (or that which is beyond).
[The seven steps are not the subject of this book. The full explanation of all of the steps on the "path" can be found in the book "From the I to the Absolute."]
Few will ever seek Realization. Of those who do, most will consider the path to be a four-step process:
1. Discard identification with the body
2. Discard identifying with the content of the mind
3. Discard identifying with all former personas / identities, most especially those that deal with "the worldly"
4. Then, assume the identity of "A Religious Person," or "A Spiritual Person," or "A Spiritual Creature Having a Human Experience," or "One Now At One With God or Brahman or Whatever" or any of the other roles or identities that supposedly identity the "new person" that one has become as a result of all his / her spiritual or religious work and exercises and supposed enlightenment or realization.
Those who believe that the "journey" to Realization is a four-step process will fixate at the point where they assume a religious and / or spiritual identity (a.k.a, non-worldly or noumenal or supreme or Supreme identity).
Yet in that process, they have assumed another identity instead of being free of any and all false identities.
In adopting those new identities, any supposed "improvements" most assuredly "concern or affect a particular person or his / her personality" and they most assuredly refer to a newly-found "complex" with "new attributes" that characterize "a unique individual" who has "changed for the better" and is "different from the way he / she was in the past."
In the process of assuming the identity of "A Religious Person," or "A Spiritual Person," or "A Spiritual Creature Having a Human Experience," or "One Now At One With God or Brahman or Whatever," one has not - by definition - eliminated all personality, personas, and personal identification(s) but has ...
substituted a new identity or identities for one or more former identities
upgraded a former identity:
"I was a bad man, a bad person, but now I am a good man, a good person"
"I was a non-spiritual woman, but now I am a spiritual woman"
"I was some kind of being occupied with worldly, phenomenal things, but now I have transcended beyond this world and am occupied with noumenal things."
All roles are merely ego-states (that is, false identities, stage characters, personas, personalities, etc.) No matter what role is assumed - be it supposedly phenomenal or be it supposedly noumenal - that role is nothing more than an ego-state, a "personal identity" even as the claim is that the identity is a "non-personal identity."
Furthermore, persons who have assumed a spiritual identity will also assume that there are spiritual powers beyond this realm that also have personal traits. Human being(s) here; Supreme Being(s) there.
in addition to
the Advaita Teachings?
This is a five-part book. In Part One, the methods of teaching non-duality are discussed. Part Two offers an introduction to Nisarga Yoga. Part Three explains why (for seekers of Full Realization) a little un-learning can be a dangerous thing. Part Four explains what can happen when one uses a non-duality teaching method in isolation without the Nisarga Yoga. And Part Five explains why the "journey" to Full Realization is a three- leg "journey," not a one-leg or two-leg "journey" as many suggest.
As was the case with Andy Gugar (editor of "The Advanced Seekers' Series" and "The Blissful Abidance Series") the longing here that led to decades of seeking and searching was triggered very early. As was also the case with Andy, the road that was traveled here was a long and grueling road. The "journey" had been quite arduous.
Happening upon certain words and names such as "advaita" and "non-duality" and "Maharaj" aroused some hope but after years of searching in vain, the hope was of a cautious and guarded nature ... hope having been dashed along the way before, time and again.
The restraint was warranted. Along with the words of Maharaj in I AM THAT, the words and writings of more than fifty non-duality teachers were read, and while each of them may have been able to guide other seekers somewhere, not a one of them presented the teachings in a way that led either Andy or this author to the "Aha! Moment";
in the cases of both Andy and the author, not a one provided the final, search-ending flash of the peripetia; in the cases of both, no one ignited the gunpowder that finally blew away all of the blockages that had been built up via programming, conditioning, acculturation and domestication; and with both, no one offered the Ultimate Medicine required to end the misery that the Ultimate Sickness had generated for decades.
No one made clear how, post-Realization, one can abide naturally and normally and steadily and Lovingly and simply and sanely and enjoyably throughout the remainder of the AM-ness could both happen.
The missing element in all the talk about "the path" and "the journey" was the fact that there is not one passage that is to be completed but that there are actually three in total.
Finally understanding what the entire three-leg "journey" involves showed how the masses only complete one leg; how an entire three-part "journey" must happen if one would Realize Fully; and how the remainder of the relative existence can happen in a not-insane, non-stupid, not-ignorant, non-fluctuating, non-chaotic, not-unstable, but totally steady and logical AS IF manner instead.
That manner is marked by freedom and joy and peace as well as an ability to merely witness whatever events that the relative existence might toss one's way.
In this book, this pointer is shared and discussed: The reason that I am at peace around this issue called “death” and you are not is because abidance as the no-concept, non-dual Reality eliminates any possibility that “death” (or any other concepts) can be taken seriously. I am also at peace while you are not because you have taken an illusion, namely—“your world” or “this world”—and upgraded it with supernatural beliefs. Your magical thinking drives you to accept man-made concepts like “birth” and “life” and “death” and “timelines” on faith rather than questioning all that you have been taught.
While this space roams about on the planet, I—the conscious presence—see your fictional world for what it is, but you do not. You deal with a supposedly “real life” (which is not real at all). More often, though, you are absorbed in your “secret life,” seldom available to “others” and never available to Your Self. And that is the scenario that is playing out across the globe. The imaginary “world” and its nonsense combine in your “mind” with the desires and fears generated by the “secret life.” The result is fleeting happiness along with chronic dis-ease.
Also in the book, the distortions of the individualized views about “personal death” are exposed as certain relative events are discussed. In the end, the point is that what persons consider to be the "self" is actually just a "composite unity" of earth (plant food) elements, circulating air, and the temporarily manifested conscious-energy.
Eventually, the consciousness will unmanifest and return to the universal pool of energy, the elements will then return to the universal pool of elements, and the air will return to the universal pool of air. To understand that the "you" or "self" which the masses take themselves to be is merely that temporarily-combined triad is to be able to ask:
"What is this talk of 'birth' and 'death'? Nothing was 'born' or 'created' because existing elements are merely cycling. Nothing was 'born' or 'created' because all is energy-matter and neither energy not matter can be created or destroyed.
if nothing was created, and if nothing is going to be destroyed,wherefore 'death'?
As for "death," therefore, can elements die? Can air die? Can energy die? Absolutely not.
Find the understanding and then be free of that which the masses fear the most.
FINAL FIFTEEN TOPICS
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
This book can be read as a "Stand-Alone eBook" or as a "Companion Piece" or "Follow-Up" to be read after "When Only Three Hours of Manifestation Remain."
The focus here is on the content of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's final talks before taking mahasamadhi. Included at the end of the book are the thirty-four quotations from Maharaj that are the most ignored (or that are the most irritating to some "seekers").
Maharaj's talks during the last thirteen months of the manifestation were few in number and brief in delivery. Whereas he usually conducted often-lengthy sessions two times per day for decades prior to the illness that came at the end, fewer than eighty talks were documented during the period of the final three-hundred-and-ninety-five days during which he accepted visitors only intermittently and, obviously, infrequently.
His last seventy days were spent primarily in silence. Both of those facts were a result of the excruciating pain being generated by the cancer that was taking its agonizing toll on the plant-food, elemental body.
During those final talks, he discussed the origins of relative problems; the maya; the nature of Consciousness / Awareness; the falsity of things "personal"; what the relative should look like post-Realization; the uselessness of knowledge (a.k.a., "learned ignorance";
how to stabilizing in Reality and understand Truth; the Ultimate Sickness and its treatment; transcending identification; ending bondage; the nothingness; freedom and being unconcerned; and abiding with dignity and taking mahasamadhi with dignity.
What is true for the book "When Only Three Hours of Manifestation Remain" is also true for this book:
"THE FINAL FIFTEEN TOPICS DISCUSSED BY SRI NISARGADATTA MAHARAJ" is not necessarily for all readers even if they are interested in non-duality or Nisarga Yoga. Its contents are especially not for those who are seeking a means by which they can reinforce or enhance a religious role or a spiritual role that has been assumed because the final talks offered by Maharaj suggested that both of those roles should be transitioned.
This book is not for those who believe that Truth is found in special or holy or religious or spiritual texts, any more than Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's later talks were for persons interested in religious or spiritual concepts.
During his last years, he said of the book "I AM THAT": "That book and whatever was expounded at that time was only relevant for that period. I am speaking differently today." He said, now I am "emphasizing different aspects."
Similarly, the talks in this book can also be considered among Maharaj's "later talks," so they are not for everyone.
Seekers cannot begin with the "end pointers" in this volume any more than they can begin with the pointers in the companion book. Seekers must find information that is "level-appropriate," custom-fit for them at the exact place wherever they might be on "the path."
At the end of the book, the reader will find "the thirty-six quotations from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj which many choose to ignore." Those, too, are only for those seekers that have advanced far along "the path."
The pointers in Maharaj's final talks which are presented in this book are for those that are open to that which is beyond any of the religious or spiritual pointers that he offered early and are only for those seeking the "final understanding" that he offered in the days prior to his taking mahasamadhi.
This book has been written for several reasons:
1. To address some of the confusion about pointers offered by Maharaj which seemed to be contradictory but were not;
2. To explain why Maharaj's (a) "early" message and practices differed from (b) some of the teachings offered during the middle years and from (c) some of the messages offered in the last years that he conducted satsang;
3. To show why those who only read the transcripts of some of his talks will only receive a part of the total message he offered;
4. To address why criticisms of some of his protégés are based in the critics' misunderstanding;
5. As a means by which those who are considering a visit to this author can be pre-qualified so that they will know in advance which "version" of Maharaj's varied teachings they will be hearing.
First, it should be made clear how
(a) that speck of consciousness called "Maharaj" and
(b) the varied teachings he offered over the years were just like ...
... the elephant in the story of "The Blind Men and an Elephant."
In that story, several blind men are touching an elephant in order to learn what an elephant is like. Because each man touches a different part, and because each man only touches one part rather than all of the parts, then the conclusions that they draw about what an elephant is like are all in error. They learn when they share their finding that they are in complete disagreement, and their disagreements actually generated conflict and even violence.
The misunderstandings about his methods and the evolution of his focus have also generated conflict and criticism of both Maharaj and some of his disciples, even as others hold him in such high esteem that they seem to worship him and his words. (All of that he would call nonsense.)
The book will share some of the criticisms and preferences in regards to "which version of Maharaj's teaching are the right ones or the best ones" and will address all of the claims or charges.
The fact is, though, that some of the critics have touched only the tusk of the "Elephant called 'Maharaj'." Some only touched the trunk. Some touched a leg only while others have felt nothing but the tail.
To touch only one part of Maharaj's message is to draw false conclusions, to fail to see the big picture and the total picture, to fail to understand his pointers completely in some cases, to be driven to levy baseless charges, and, in some cases, to simply misrepresent what he did and did not say and what he meant by what he said.
It is true that the focus of the message changed or evolved, as did the type of yoga that was emphasized. The progression id identified and discussed in the book as well.
Ultimately, though, the message did not become more "complicated" as one person claims but actually became far simpler, far more direct and concise. As far as the charge that Marahaj's teaching "declined" after the talks in I AM THAT, that charge more likely comes from an ego-state.
It might even be rooted in a the false identity such as "The Spiritual Giant" who found that the "more religious and spiritual" words in "I AM THAT" supported his false identity while certain other pointers have guided some seekers away from their religious and / or spiritual pre-occupations and obsessions threatened that spiritual ego-state.
This book is most certainly not for everyone. It is for those that are willing to consider the entirety of Maharaj's teachings - including those talks that point to realities that lie beyond religion and spirituality and Selfness - and not just to those discussions included in what has been called a "modern spiritual classic."
(vs. "This Is Who I Think I Am")
At some point along "the path," those that are receiving the understanding become aware of what "THAT" refers to. The masses, the billions of non-Realized persons on the planet, have no clue what "THAT" refers to. They believe that they are who they think they are and / or they want others to believe that they really are who they think they are or who they want others to believe they are.
Identifying with a false ego-state will trigger the use of ego-defense mechanisms, including egotism; thus, ego-states are always upgraded so people not only believe they really are who they think they are but also think that they are far more than most, far greater than most, and far different from most. Consider an example wherein that scenario played out:
Thirty years ago, “floyd’s” bills were paid by selling insurance. The owner-manager of the agency entered the office one morning and tossed a death benefit check on the desk. He asked, “You’ve never delivered a check before, have you?”
The answer was “No.” He continued, “That check is as good as passing on a hot prospect to you. Let me train you in the way this goes. You take that check to the widow—it’s for $25,000.00. Tell her how sorry you are for her loss and ask her if the check will help?
“She’ll say yes ... that she’s grateful her husband planned ahead and left her the funds to cover the costs of his funeral and to help her get by until she can make arrangements.
“Then, ask her if there is someone she’d like to help the same way someday. If she doesn’t come up with any names, ask about children, nieces, nephews, helping out grandchildren with college costs. Tell her that she can use all or part of the proceeds to buy a paid-in-full policy and she’ll never have to pay a single premium. Some of the guys come back with an app (an application) and the whole check. That would give you a nice commission for the week.”
The check was tossed back to him with the comment, “If you want something that sleazy done, do it yourself.” (Yes, it had already been determined that selling insurance was not going to be “a life-long occupation” and was not “the dream job” as it had originally been billed.) His response was, “Do you know who you’re talking to!?”
The reply was, “What you really mean is, ‘Do you know who I think I am?’ You think you’re something that you most assuredly are not ... "The Great, Ethical Boss," “The Super Achiever,” “The Rich, Successful Businessman,” “The Wonderful Community Leader” … but the image people have of you is nowhere close to the way you really are.” His diatribe that followed included words and phrases that referred to “insubordination” and to “cleaning out a desk” and to being “fired.” (Today, there would have been a quiet walking out of the office without comment, but it didn't happen that way in "the old days.")
But two of the questions above strike at the heart of the Advaita teachings:
1. Because the assumption of ego-states triggers the use of ego-defense mechanisms which include - among others - egotism, the stage was set for that boss to ask egotistically, “Do you know who you’re talking to!?”
2. The clarification “Do you know who I think I am?” points to the fact that non-Realized persons do not have a clue about Who / What They Truly Are; as a result, they assume scores and scores of false identities throughout the length of any given relative existence.
Maharaj said, “When I met my Guru, he told me: ‘You are not what you take yourself to be. Find out what You Are. Watch the sense 'I am', find your Real Self.’ I obeyed him, because I trusted him. I did as he told me. All my spare time I would spend looking at myself in silence. And what a difference it made…!”
The content of this book discusses the subject in detail and can assist with bringing to an end the assumption of false identities and the failure to truly know who (what) one actually is.
(Attaining Freedom from Personality Via Realization)
"Liberation" refers to being freed from the bindings of personality. Visit
for details on this book.
When Only Three Hours of Manifestation Remain
(The "Final" Talks of Floyd Henderson)
This book is not necessarily for all readers even if they are in interested in non-duality or Nisarga Yoga. Its contents are especially not for those who are seeking a means by which they can reinforce or enhance a religious or spiritual role that has been assumed. It is likely not for "Neo-Advaitins," "Neo-Vedantins," "Pseudo-Advaitins," or "Traditional Advaita Vedantins," either.
It is not for those who believe that Truth is found in special or holy or religious or spiritual texts, any more than Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's later talks were for persons interested in religious or spiritual concepts. He made clear that what he shared later on was quite different from what he taught early on - such as in the book "I AM THAT."
During his last years, he said of the book "I AM THAT":
"That book and whatever was expounded at that time was only relevant for that period. I am speaking differently today." He said, now I am "emphasizing different aspects."
Similarly, the talks in this book can also be considered among "the later talks," so they are not for everyone. Many of the other books available from the author should be read before this one, in particular the four books that are included in "The Advanced Seekers' Series."
Seekers cannot begin with the "end pointers" in this volume any more than they can begin with the pointers in Maharaj's later talks. Seekers must find information that is "level-appropriate," custom-fit for them at the exact place wherever they might be on "the path" (and many are not nearly as far along as they might think).
Over the years, Maharaj discussed and explained thousands of topics, all relevant to seekers at one point or another along the path but not aimed at other seekers that were at different points along 'the path'."
Here, writings have included over 2000 discussions of various topics, responses to a variety of questions, etc. Some seekers have asked, "Which are the most important discussions that I should read?" The reply has always been:
"As with Maharaj, that depends entirely on you and where you are on 'the path.' If a step-four-of-seven pointer is offered to one stuck at the third religious or spiritual step, then that talk would be the most important if it moves the seekers along the way. It is also the most important for every seeker that reads the explanation or hears the discussion if those seekers are stuck at the third step. Yet it would mean nothing to one at the first or second step on 'the seven-step path'."
At the end, Maharaj discussed fifteen key topics in his final talks (though they were not numbered as such). Herein are the fifteen key pointers that would be offered if that speck of consciousness called "floyd" were offering "his 'final' talks."
WHAT SOME OF THE READERS AMONG THE MOST ADVANCED SEEKERS ARE SAYING:
From Robert R.: "The Final Words" has been packing a power and succinctness, pointing to the nisarga "being / being thereof" as opposed to the tendency to make just another cognitive exercise / understanding of Advaita Vedanta and pointing to the importance of not allowing the Advaitin (Nisarga) message to become just another philosophy but to be lived, resulting in the deconstruction(7 step path) of any and all identification with body, mind, personality, etc.
I just wanted to thank you. "When Only Three Hours Of Manifestation Remain" is without question the most powerful, concise, catalytic piece of Your work that I have absorbed (and I have absorbed all that has been written). Just as Maharaj's teaching was refined in the latter part of his life, Your teaching has powerfully shifted (no small feat given its already existing purity / essence ). Peace, Light and Love (literally and figuratively), Bob
From Jo H.: My heart grows with your existence. Thank you. Love, Jo
From Ginny: Your writings are a source of comfort. Thank You for continuing to chronicle. You have important work in the relative. Know that what You have exposed has changed my life, allowed Real Life. Words are not coming out right, but please feel the Loving intent.
This is one of Your strongest pieces and allows folk to read, again and again if needed, that energy (which is Us) is Love. Real Love. So, the membrane of separation thins, till there is none.
LOOK INSIDE THE BOOK:
Consider: Advaitins speak of “the drop dissolving into the ocean.” Govinda, however, (influenced by Buddhists, the Gelug-pa sect members, Advaitins, et. al.) spoke of the next step: “the ocean slipping into the drop.”
Suppose that you typically have a cup of coffee with sugar and cream each morning. Suppose that the cream you add to the coffee one morning is curdled and instead of blending in with the coffee it actually clumps up and ruins the taste with its sourness.
Would you believe that you could extract all of the curdled cream from the cup of coffee, that you could thereby return the cup of coffee to its original state, and that you could then add some fresh cream to the newly-cleaned coffee and then enjoy its taste? Of course not. Yet that is what seekers attempt to do, usually for the entirety of their search.
Most try to take their corrupted “mind” and just add some new ideas and new thoughts and new beliefs to it, filtering out or abandoning some former concepts, thinking they then have a pure “mind,” and then believing that they can just add some new concepts to replace the old. Such efforts will always prove to be futile. The entire contents of the cup must be discarded if you would fill the cup with that which can bring you something with a taste that can be enjoyed. There is no other way than the way of emptiness first, fullness second…no other way than the way of de-accumulation, period. Why?
Because all minds have been filled with curdled concepts. Ingredients have been added that formed a "mind" with contaminates which block the taste of sweetness and which guarantee that the relative experience will be marked by more and more sourness. Using denial ("I love my life") or spinning the truth ("My parents did a great job and never taught me anything that has not proven to be true") or even being blinded by dissociation will not change the facts that are observable to an objective witness. Yet so many want to hang onto their contaminated cup of coffee (and their contaminated "mind" and their contaminated existence) wanting to improve it, change it, make it the way they want it.
If you follow the path of reason, can you possibly keep the original cup of coffee and do anything to it that can make it enjoyable? No. It must tossed completely. Then, something with a taste of sweetness can come. When all learned ignorance is tossed, then everything that also accompanies ignorance will go. At that point, You will know that You Are as a drop dissolving into the ocean. You are At One with all.
You will have returned to your original nature … Your original state ... merging into that ocean of awareness without aware-of-ness. Call the effect "bliss" if you like, but that is not a state of bliss. A state of bliss is a state in which the bliss is known ... is felt. That can only happen NOW, not "later" ... only "here," not "there." At the point when You begin to abide as that original state, then nothing is needed, nothing is desired, and the nothingness is relished. You will have tasted the sweet taste of the nectar of immortality;
You will have been healed via the ultimate medicine; You will have returned to that state prior to consciousness; You will have found the source of the seeds of consciousness; and You will abide as That Which Is What Can Make Stability Possible rather than as the consciousness which guarantees fluctuations and instability, dualistic up’s and down’s, and, yes, even chaos.
Maharaj said that you cannot “imagine the taste of pure water; you can only discover it by abandoning all flavorings.” What is “flavoring” the relative existence among the non-Realized? Lies, concepts, false beliefs, attitudes, and all of the effects of programming and conditioning and learned ignorance. The flavoring also includes hatred; entrapment in the illusion of things thought to be personal; the false but unsavory sense of separation and emptiness with nothing to provide a manifestation of fullness; fears; unmet desires; anger; judgment; unmet expectations; fighting; war; arrogance; and—relatively speaking—the breaking of relationships. In short, concepts and duality.
The essence is that which is "the root, the foundation, the timeless and spaceless possibility" of what is called during the manifestation “all experience.” What seekers would taste is the sweetness of the essence, but they are trying to taste it indirectly by clinging either to body-mind-personality identification or to religious or spiritual personas or to some elevated notions about the value of consciousness.
Maharaj taught that the natural and original state as understood by the Realized “tastes of the pure, uncaused, undiluted bliss.” He pointed out that to know the sweetness, You must taste it. Its sweetness cannot be otherwise understood. Here, the circumstance is not unlike that of a tour guide taking you to a vineyard for a wine tasting. Here, You Are guided to "The Vineyard of the Absolute" where the sweetest tastings take place. Here, if you complete a seven-step "journey," the tour will end with a savoring of the only nectar that is Real. Few can complete the "trip" alone since they are blocked by the obstacles of distortion and delusions and illusions.
To that end, Maharaj spoke of the “distortions and impurities” of the mind. He did not say they need to be replaced with something else. He said they must be "removed." Just as the coffee is ruined by the impurities of the cream, so the relative existence is ruined by the impurities of the mind. In each case, the impurities block the enjoyment of the tasting. The ruined cup of coffee must be discarded in order for the cup to be filled with that which can provide the taste that would be tasted; similarly, the mind must be discarded if any sweet taste to the relative existence is to added ... if the ocean is to enter the drop.
Currently, the taste is being ruined by impurities. The cup that You Are must be emptied first if it is ever to be filled with all that provides the taste of sweetness that is possible during the manifestation. To solve either the problem with the ruined coffee or the problem with the ruined existence, all must be tossed so that the original state of emptiness can return and so that a pleasant fullness can happen. Empty, the coffee cup can be filled with that which brings joy. Empty, the person can be filled with the Realization that brings joy. Empty, the ocean can slip into the drop.
In Advaitin terms, allowing the drop to dissolve into the ocean results when (A) the sense of separation goes, when (B) the awareness of the unicity comes, and when (C) the sense of being “different from” and “more special than” goes. Then the fullness of the essence slips in, along with the perfect and unshakable understanding of the “I AM THAT; I AM.” Why?
Because at that point, the essence and the substance will have combined. The eternal and the transitory are ironically (but nevertheless surely) One. Even as the Am-ness continues, it knows it is THAT and it abides as THAT. Suddenly the senseless “world” makes sense in that its senselessness no longer triggers any surprise regarding the fact that it is senseless or regarding the fact that the adult masses really do live as if six years old.
No longer does a witnessing of the evidence prompt any shock at the degree of widespread insanity, so no longer in there entrapment in judgment when the results of ignorance are seen to manifest over and over and over again. There is witnessing and understanding. Suddenly, all of the ignorance and nonsense and immaturity and insanity make sense in light of the ignorant and nonsensical and immature and insane ways that persons are exposed to via cultures and programmers and conditioners and domesticators. Peace, therefore, manifests as beauty is seen beyond the abject darkness and the pervasive ignorance.
(Believers, Non-Believers, and "No-Belief-ers")
LOOK INSIDE THE BOOK
(The Introduction and The Rationale)
Why is it that the peace and harmony and happiness that Maharaj referenced cannot manifest if there is a "mind" (which he reported he no longer had after Realization) Consider the implication of the title of the book, "There's No Such Thing As 'Peace of Mind' (There Is Only Peace If You're Out Of Your Mind)". That is, there can only be peace and harmony and happiness if you are out from under the influence of what is taken to be "your mind" when, in fact, there is no such thing as "your mind."
What there is among the not-Fully-Realized is "their mind" ("their" referring to all persons who have taught you any belief or idea or concept that is presently stored in the section of the brain called "the mind"; thus, it is the content of "their mind" which has been passed down and transferred and is always taken in error to be "your mind." Why is it "their mind"? Because whatever is in it, you did not put there. "They" put it there. Who are "they"? The members of your family of origin, relatives, friends, teachers, religious and / or spiritual influencers, political leaders, and all who were in positions of "authority" during your childhood and who exposed you to their ideas and concepts and beliefs which you have adopted as "your own."
And the adoption of ideas and concepts and beliefs continues even now, into adulthood, for all that are not Realized. The "mind" has been filled with fiction; with beliefs that are based not at all in fact; with beliefs that have never been questioned; and with beliefs that have been accepted with no evidence at all but have been accepted on "blind faith" alone. Among the masses, the contents of the "mind" are now held in such esteem that people are willing to fight for those beliefs or - in some cases - even willing to die in a fight over those beliefs.
How has the "mind" evolved from its original purpose of storing survival-related, retrievable data to its present state of storing distorting, deluding, misleading, fooling, peace-robbing, harmony-destroying, happiness-blocking beliefs which in many cases amount to nothing but nonsense? The "mind" is a part of the brain where information can be stored and retrieved, originally used as a "constructive" tool for survival; now, it is a destructive force that drives nonsensical behaviors that are based in nonsensical thoughts generated by the "mind." What types of information are stored there? Ideas, concepts and beliefs, beliefs that were set in place by programming and conditioning and domestication and acculturation.
The "mind" is an illusion because it is an area now used for storing an entire network of belief systems that are generated from the dreamed up "-ism's" that are valued by cultures and societies but that are based in non-facts rather than facts. It is the area of the brain that accepts beliefs such as "I am this" and "I am that," and the false personas that are mistakenly believed to identify who you are will subconsciously drive thoughts and words and deeds, removing all ability to choose and resulting in the non-Realized masses being driven by agendas that are stored in the fictitious "mind."
Moreover, the persons being driven have no clue at all about what the hidden agendas are and how they block any opportunity to be awake, aware, conscious, sane, reasonable, rational, and to be in charge of what they say, what they do, and how they traverse the relative existence. And all the while, they are convinced that their beliefs give their relative existence some worth and value and purpose and meaning and direction and power and control.
To see the actual effects of one's beliefs, to be able to look back objectively and to realize that every destructive and insane act was based in one or more beliefs, is to ease the transition away from belief-based ignorance and belief-based insanity and to pave the way for being free of living under the influence of "their" ideas and concepts and beliefs that have been driving "you" in ways that have not proven to be to your benefit at all - relatively speaking.
The transcendent (re-purified) consciousness gives no credibility to concepts or ideas or attitudes (i.e., beliefs). It understands the unicity; conversely, the conceptual consciousness erroneously accepts beliefs and takes the perceived multiplicity to be real. The transcendent consciousness, being free of delusion and illusion, allows for the abidance as the Absolute. Then, even the concepts offered by Advaitins will have been transcended. Years and years of the accumulated mental and emotional and spiritual garbage of the culture can be tossed ... and tossed without concern, without dread, without any sense of loss. Later, it will be realized that it wasn’t even tossed because there is no “tosser.”
The garbage actually just faded away after its value was finally questioned and seen to be worthless as a result of its senseless content. Yet note how much the ego-defense mechanism of arrogance (which protects the illusory “I”) hates any suggestion that would devalue all of the knowledge—all of the learned ignorance—that has been accumulated throughout a relative existence and stored in what is called a “mind.”
The content of all of the books offered by the author provide pointers that - in the end - are nothing more than thorns that can be used to remove thorns, scalpels that can excise the cancerous, Ultimate Sickness within the "mind" wherein the main problem is centered. Value the conceptualized content of "your mind" and you will be attracted to the contents of "their contaminated mind" and you will then attach firmly to all of the bastardized content of "their minds."
A house cannot begin to be refreshed until one takes out ALL of the garbage, and the space which houses the consciousness cannot be refreshed - that is, restored to sanity - unless all of the garbage in the "mind" is removed. And only if all of the garbage is removed can peace and harmony and happiness manifest and fill that newly-re-purified space. Such is the sane course of action regarding garbage. Only the arrogance of ego-states, which are revealed via the talk generated by conceptualized consciousness, would inspire efforts to try to give value and meaning to the garbage of cultures and dogma and movements and "-ism's."
The consideration is that you let fade away all of the garbage—all of the concepts and beliefs and learned ignorance—and be free of the effects of the concepts-and-beliefs-laden consciousness; then You’ll merely witness the AS IF living as it happens, without attachment. Yet that AS IF living can happen only after the body and “mind” and the last of any assumed roles all fade away. Therein lies the challenge since the body and "mind" and personality are the very illusions that take the consciousness and "the mind" to be so worthwhile.
So what must a seeker be alert to as he / she listens for the re-purified consciousness to speak? Each must develop a detector that can differentiate between (a) that which emanates from the transcendent consciousness as opposed to (b) what is heard when the concept-and-belief burdened consciousness engages in "mind-speak." The sages have taught for thousands of years that what is real cannot be named, so that which is named cannot be real, and nothing is more steeped in the duality of conceptual consciousness than what one has named "my beliefs."
In the absence of blocked consciousness, there could not be any "Believer" vs. "Non-Believer" duality, and there could be no notion among "Believers" that they are better than and smarter than and holier than "Non-Believers." There could be no impressions and no misperceived memories and no “mind” and attachment to "doing things a certain way because they have always been done"; there could be no learned ignorance and there could be is no mental intoxication or emotional intoxication or spiritual intoxication. There could be nothing unnatural and there could be nothing considered “supernatural.”
There could be no assumed personas so there could be neither ego nor egotism. There would be no thinking, so there would most assuredly be no magical thinking of the type that assigns "supernatural cause" to naturally-occurring events. There could be no attachment to chaos or to trying to control.
What could be, instead, is peace and harmony and happiness and stability.
The summative statement of the Advaita teachings - "I AM THAT; I AM" - generates much confusion. Post-Realization, am I THAT only? Does everything formerly associated with the relative end? Is the relative discounted and does abidance happen in a manner that is totally dissociated from all relative happenings?
Not according to Nisargans. Here, the point is that post-Realization, Reality will be overlaid upon the relative and the understanding that I AM THAT; I AM will continue for the entire manifestation.
The summative statement most assuredly does not imply that the AM-ness must be forfeited or abandoned. What is abandoned is identifying solely with the AM-ness.
Then, there is a return to the original simplicity that marked the relative existence of humans for millions of years ... a relative existence that was a most simple existence prior to efforts by controlling men and women to overlay supernatural concepts onto the previously all-natural existence.
It has been asked of visitors in satsang and at retreats conducted here, "Are you using your recovery program, your religious activities, your spiritual exercises, your philosophy, or your ideology not to overlay Reality on the relative but in order to try to escape reality?"
Among Nisargans, there is but one “justification” for completion of the complete “journey” to Full Realization: to overlay Reality upon the relative existence; that is, to stop trying to live in an unnatural / supernatural fashion.
The result of Realization is that the Absolute is overlaid onto the Am-ness so that the no-consciousness, no-belief, no-concept, no-duality awareness-without- awareness-of peace of the Absolute can manifest during the manifestation; thus, "I AM THAT; I AM."
Often seekers say, "You speak of overlaying Reality upon the relative. What happens differently during the relative existence after Realization is 'overlaid upon it'?"
To abide as one’s true nature ...
1. is to understand that the Am-ness Is and that THAT Is;
2. is to reject the traits of the Am-ness as exist among the non-Realized;
3. is to overlay on the Am-ness the traits of the Absolute; and, as a result of that overlaying,
4. is to abide for the remainder of the manifestation in the peace of those Absolute traits, including …
… abidance with a sense of wholeness and complete-ness rather than a sense of being broken into many pieces (that is, abiding as the One rather than as the many roles that had been assigned or adopted);
... being contaminated no longer;
... being no longer driven by the effects of conditioning;
... being influenced no more by the effects of programming;
... being unlimited rather than limited;
... being certain and sure (but with legitimate grounds at this point);
... being unadulterated;
... being awake and aware;
... being in a state where, after having been made aware of THAT, no longer being occupied with THAT, or with searching, or with seeking, or with wanting to know;
... being free of all beliefs, including belief in any concept or idea;
... being free of identity;
... being free of thoughts;
... being absorbed into the silence;
... being fully stabilized;
... being unambiguous;
... being free;
... being light;
... being in a state where AS IF living happens, living AS IF anything in the relative matters, understanding that it does not, feeling without emoting, witnessing whatever happens in order to meet the basic needs of an organism without believing that there is some do-er involved in the process;
just … being.
Overlay Truth onto the remainder of the relative existence and You will taste the sweetness and the lightness of being that are tasted by the Realized only. The content of this book will explain the ways and the means for those seeking Reality and seeking a relative existence steeped in both "reality" and Reality.
"THE CHILD IGNORANCE STAGE"
"THE CHILD NO-KNOWING STATE")
The sages have discussed the negative impact of personality on the relative existence for ages. Is it any wonder why, after having seen the results of ego-defense mechanisms and personality defects that always accompany the assignment or assumption of personality? Thus, sages for ages have recommended to seekers that they take the steps to be free of personality.
The "goal" of non-duality pointers is always to move persons to a state of independence and stability, freed of all identification, including identification with the body and the mind and the personalities that generate chaos and fears and desire, often including the desire to control others. That freedom can never manifest as long as personality remains and is subconsciously driving all thoughts and words and actions.
How to go about that task of being free of personality? Maharaj said “…You should go back, reverse, to the source.” He advised: “Follow the same path by which you came.” Yet he also said at one point that only 1 in 100,000 would ever Realize Fully, later amended to one in 1,000,000 and eventually changed to the estimate that only one in 10,000,000 will ever Realize Fully. That was not a scientific, research-based estimate but an estimate based in observing the results after having dealt with thousands upon thousands of seekers.
If those odds are even partially accurate, then most seekers might ask, "Then why even try?" This book offers the answer. The author offers a seven-step "path" to follow in the process of "going back" and "reversing to the source" and "following the same 'path' by which you came," and what has been witnessed over the last 22 years is this:
among the 9000-10,000 or more with whom he has shared the non-duality message, those who only "traveled" as far as the fourth step (thus completing only about 60% of the complete "path" to Full Realization) nevertheless experienced significant shifts in perspective.
If seekers only reach the fourth step on the seven-step "path" that is laid out by this author, they will have reached the point where they might not know completely That Which They Are, but they will have reached the point where they do know what they are not. Of that, Maharaj said: "You need not know 'What You Are'. Enough to know what you are not."
After having seen the results of the personality disorders that follow the development of personality, and after having seen the relative effects of the assignment or assumption of personalities / personas as identities, is it not clear why the invitation has long been to at least "go back" as far as "The Child Ignorance Stage" / "The Child No-Knowing State"? If a seeker were to complete only that much of "the journey" and then abide in the resulting manner that is free of concepts and beliefs, free of a fiction-filled "mind," and free of the personalities that are at the root of all of the ignorance and chaos and mental disorders and insanity that plague the relative existence on this planet, then would it not make sense to "go back" at least that far?
So many say, "I just want to be happy." If they are honest, they will admit that the last time they were UNCONDITIONALLY happy was during that state. For those willing to return to that earlier condition that allowed for the enjoyment of unconditional happiness as long as the most basic needs of food and clothing and shelter were met, then the happiness which they seek can be found.
What BLISS Is
How many seekers are frustrated by not having attained bliss? How many seekers think that they have failed or that their teacher has failed when what they believe to be bliss does not manifest or when they think that bliss comes on occasion but does not remain?
Those are the thoughts and beliefs of seekers who are at what my teacher called “the kindergarten level of spirituality.” How many feel that their goal to become “perfectly spiritual, and thereby perfectly blissful” is being thwarted at every turn?
Maharaj said, “No ambition is spiritual. All ambitions are for the sake of the 'I am'. The ambitions of the so-called Yogis are preposterous. A man's desire for a woman is innocence itself compared to the lusting for an everlasting personal bliss. The mind is a cheat. The more pious it seems, the worse the betrayal.”
Regularly, seekers who speak of “the darkness” and of higher levels of consciousness are told that there is no darkness and that there are no levels of consciousness.
The so-called "darkness" in which the non-Realized live is not really darkness but is merely an absence of light caused by the blockages that have accumulated, and the consciousness is merely consciousness that is either blocked from seeing accurately and from seeing truth or is not.
When so many blockages accumulate, then the light cannot penetrate and all seems dark, but that absence of witnessing the light does not mean that the light is not there. It is simply not observable because of a separation from the source of the light - either because the light has been blocked or because there is nothing available to reflect the light.
The higher level of understanding in regards to this topic is that (1) not only is “no ambition spiritual,” nothing is spiritual; and (2) not only is “the mind a cheat” but the "mind" is actually as much an illusion as the darkness.
If the seeker would “find bliss,” then the seeker must know what bliss is and what it is not. If one that is in kindergarten is sent to the store to buy the materials needed to build a “what-cha-ma-call-it,” the kindergarten-age-child will not have the slightest clue about what he is seeking and neither will anyone else that he asks to help with finding everything required to build a “what-cha-ma-call-it.”
The reason most never “find bliss” is that they are as mistaken about what bliss is and what bliss is not as persons are mistaken about what “the world” is and what it is not. This book offers a clarification.
THE TWELVE STEPS AND ADVAITA / NON-DUALITY
(A 21-Day Plan for a Psychic Change)
After having guided over 8,000 people through the Twelve Steps, the focus eventually turned toward working with the few who have been seeking recovery for some time but sense that “there must be something more” or who have said, “I am still not where I want to be.” A few - even with double-digit "sobriety" - have said, “I don’t want to drink … I want to die.”
In addition to making use of all three of the outside sources referenced in the Big Book (specifically, “doctors and psychologists and practitioners of various kinds”) a higher level of peace was reached via the teachings of the Advaita philosophy that deal in detail with some topics that are alluded to in the Big Book, such as:
“The Great Reality” and the “inner resource” and “the sixth sense” and “intuition” and “casting aside ideas and emotions and attitudes.”
It became understood that the founders had no discussion meetings, that they worked the steps with newcomers in a matter of hours (according to the Big Book) in order to provide physical sobriety, and then they used professionals to guide their protégés to what Bill W. called the other levels of sobriety: mental sobriety, emotional sobriety, and, yes, even spiritual sobriety (his words).
It is explained this way in the book
"A TWELVE-STEP JOURNEY TO SELF-TRANSFORMATION: Attaining Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Sobriety,"
(co-authored with Mark Houston)
"A Note to the Readers about Bill W.’s Observations Regarding a Four-Fold Illness"
"In his later talks, Bill W. spoke not about a two-fold illness or a three-fold illness but he discussed alcoholism’s four-fold nature. He identified what he saw as the four levels of sobriety: physical sobriety, mental sobriety, spiritual sobriety and the final level of sobriety he discussed: emotional sobriety. In our book, the cover recognizes those four levels. It also illustrates the journey of the two authors from the darkness to the light. And the “greater than” symbol (>) was chosen to illustrate their experience: each time we attain another level of sobriety, we feel "greater than" we did in the prior stage(s). Thus, the cover depicts the goal of this book: to share with others the four-fold solution that the authors found on their four-part journey that moved them degree by degree from the darkness to the light as they pursued all four levels of sobriety. The authors hope that their experience might help any others who choose to seek all four levels of healing that Bill W. identified for us."
Nowadays, the silence still dominates most waking hours. The “speaking torch” has been passed. Postings to an Advaita blog happen in the early mornings, followed by walks around the lake and bike rides through the lakeside community and working with seekers via Skype sessions and retreats. Total independence and total peace has come.
ADVAITA / NON-DUALITY BOOKS
NOTE: For many, the 21-day process offered here is only the beginning of what is required for Full Realization and freedom and peace. For more information, you may check at the end of this book to find information on other Advaita / Non-Duality books that many have found helpful in their search for total truth, total freedom, and total independence.
The rest of the Advaita / Non-Duality books are only for those who have been in recovery for a time, who still see some insane behaviors manifesting, or who feel that there must be more than what they have found so far.
Some, upon finishing the 21-Day process outlined here, move on to the four books in the Advanced Seeker's Set:
FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE;
CONSCIOUSNESS / AWARENESS;
FROM THE ABSOLUTE TO THE NOTHINGNESS;
THE FINAL UNDERSTANDING.
(In the Manner Used by the Founders)
The author of this book is also the co-author of a book with Mark Houston entitled "A Twelve-Step Journey to SELF-Transformation." [Mark H. born 10-14-46, died February 19, 2010; sober 10-19-82 to 2-19-2010. Together, at the time of Mark's demise, the two had taken over 20,000 people through the Twelve Steps.]
In addition to the book with Mark, Floyd Henderson has also authored this book on recovery as well as "THE TWELVE STEPS AND ADVAITA / NON-DUALITY: A 21-Day Plan For A Psychic Change."
"A GUIDE FOR WORKING THE TWELVE STEPS (In the Manner Used by the Founders)" is first a guide that modern day alcoholics and sponsors can use for working the steps promptly, as did the earliest sponsors; it can be used by those first beginning to sponsor but who have no experience with taking someone through the steps;
it can offer insights for those dealing with emotional and mental needs and can be used with those a traditional view of God as well as those "having trouble with the God part."
If you have worked the steps according to the traditional methods and found that which you have been seeking, then this guide will not be for you, for this guide will offer a totally new experience with the steps and also heeding Bill W. point that alcoholics are "physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually intoxicated" and that they must find all four levels of sobriety if they are to live happy, healthy, productive lives.
This guide incorporates what was learned by interviewing people who worked the steps with the founders and shared with us the way that some founders guided them through the steps; it is also based on information received from people who worked with Dr. Bob and Clarence S.
That being said, we are not trying to tell anyone how to do anything. We are sharing our experience with something that has helped some who needed more help than they have found so far.
This guide is one of two that the author is aware of that guides protégés through the steps in four sessions, but the other uses the Oxford Group's more religious approach where this guide offers techniques that were used by some of the early founders and sponsors.
The Big Book reports that the founders guided protégés through the steps in "three or four hours." You may first want to use the guide yourself; then, in your twelfth-step work with others, you can use this guide one-on-one as you go through The Work.
The guide is divided into four parts which take an hour or so each, and while we had doubts, Mark and I tried it and it worked! As Mark said, “This process need not be long and arduous.”
If you are interested in a different experience with the steps, this guide might be for you. Best regards on your journey to being totally happy and joyous and free.
A Series of Essays Discussing
THE FIRST STEP
The Seven-Step Path
A Series of Essays Discussing
THE SECOND STEP
The Seven-Step Path
A Series of Essays Discussing
THE THIRD STEP
The Seven-Step Path
A Series of Essays Discussing
THE FOURTH STEP
The Seven-Step Path
A Series of Essays Discussing
THE FIFTH STEP
The Seven-Step Path
A Series of Essays Discussing
THE SIXTH STEP
The Seven-Step Path
A Series of Essays Discussing
THE SEVENTH STEP
The Seven-Step Path