BOOKS FOR ADVANCED SEEKERS


FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)

Excerpts:


A NOTE TO THE READERS

Realization only came when one particular path was followed in one particular order. A vision came during a meditative session when the theta state of consciousness was reached. It laid out an exact, direct path from the false "I" to Realization; however, the vision made no sense to me at the time. Then, I began reading the transcripts of Advaita talks and they made clear the message of my vision. Talks on varied topics in varied orders eventually provided the understanding of each of the stages seen in the vision. The only thing remaining for an "Aha" moment to happen was to take his assortment of sharings and use them to understand the exact order to follow along the path. This book will offer to you the seven-step path to take and the order in which it has to be traveled.

After realization, a shift occurred in the way communication happened. In fact, instances of communication became fewer and farther between, and when the silence came, many noticed a shift. Some inquired as to the source and some came to hear more and some brought friends with them. A variety of questions were raised and the understanding was offered. Finally, it became clear that the Teaching should be presented in a more organized fashion, so a schedule of sessions was set up in which the seven steps would be offered in order. When one participant asked if her friend could tape the first session since she would have to miss that one, it was done. After that, all the exchanges were taped because a sense came that the 2001-2002 session might be the last. (A few of the exchanges that are included took place via e-mails or telephone conferences as well.)

Shortly after the last session, a retreat began that continues to this day. Days now pass mostly in the silence on the lake. Occasionally the Teachings are shared when contacted by e-mail or telephone, and on a website as well, but mainly the silence prevails. After realization, there was no path, no journey, no concepts...only the freedom of the Void and AS IF living afterwards. May you travel the path to freedom as well.

Finally, please note that a "Glossary of Terms" appears in the back of this book. The explanations and definitions are not those that will be found in Advaita lists that include the Far Eastern terms used by many gurus and teachers; instead, the terms are explained in ways that are relevant to this work in particular which tries to use everyday language when possible to provide as simple an explanation as possible while discussing what can be complicated subject matter.

Defining Advaita Vedanta

In its simplest form, "Advaita" is merely a system or an approach that can lead to Realization. Realization is what occurs when one becomes aware of all that he is not and eventually "Realizes" What He Really Is. The goal of the process is to allow people to eliminate all illusions and delusional thinking that result in dependence, in co-dependencies, in beliefs in superstitions, and in the mental and emotional dependence that results when we accept all the lies programmed into us through the culture's conditioning.

Mental and emotional restrictions occur when we adopt the ideas and beliefs of others without ever having truly investigated those attitudes. The Advaita approach allows us to become truly free. Being "truly free" refers to being free of the ideas, free of the emotional intoxication, and free of the beliefs that have been used to control us, to create fears in us, and to drive us to be influenced by illusions and lies. In its broadest use, "Vedanta" is simply that message that is beyond any written texts that are said to be "holy" or that claim to contain "truth." My own experience has shown that the truth is already within each individual and can be Realized when one experiences the Advaitic approach with a "guide" who has undergone that process, seen the false, and then comes to understand That-That Which Is Real.

The Seven Degrees of Separation from Reality

Some Westerners will likely think that certain of the entries on this site have a "too philosophical" bent. No apology for that shall be offered since one must either find a working philosophy or be doomed to adopt their ideology instead, and my experience shows that nothing is more destructive than buying into their ideology. For the most part, however, the version of the Advaita Vedanta (Non-Duality) message that I offer has been characterized by one protege as being "Applied Advaita."

I will present the concepts of Non-Duality, yes, but eventually they are to be applied in everyday situations and used to bring peace and acceptance around the issues of the day. Ultimately, the concepts can be tossed, your everyday situations will be discarded, you will have no mind capable of being disturbed, and you will have no issues-du-jour. My teacher Sri Nisardagatta Maharaj was as direct and straight-forward as he could be while working in an Indian culture that tended to focus on its glossary of phrases and terms and words associated with Eastern philosophy. (That study, too, was a part of my "journey.")

Yet we must remember that the ultimate goal is for you to come to know You. You are invited to study the dilemma expressed in that "I don't even know who I am" complaint (which contains an ironic duality in itself, yes?) and come to Know the answer to the age-old question implied in that statement. Ultimately, your culture has created a seven-fold barrier that is separating you from Knowing THAT Which You Are. We'll discuss all seven eventually. The first of the Seven Degrees of Separation from the Knowledge of THAT Which You Are appears in the form of a manifested body. Offered as a meditation for today, therefore, I invite you to consider how the belief that you are a BODY might prevent your seeing the greater truth of Who or What You Truly Are. Are You your body?

PLEASE NOTE: The terms "wet charcoal" "dry charcoal," and "gunpowder" will be mentioned. You will read pointers that are offered at times in the discussions that will seemingly contradict what you might read in other books or on the Advaita website referenced earlier on the copyright page. Beginners (the wet group) will be given one piece of advice, those farther along the path (the dry group) will be given other pointers, and those who need only a few additional points for the truth to explode into consciousness (the gunpowder group) will be offered something different.

STEP ONE

THE FIRST DEGREE OF SEPARATION FROM REALITY:

Body Identification

THE FIRST DEGREE OF SEPARATION FROM REALITY: Body Identification, Part One

"The Arms-Legs-Organs" Consideration can help people become free of the limiting, false belief that they are the body. Of the various self-concepts that block most humans from Realizing Who We Truly Are, body identification is the most basic and least sophisticated identity. Belief that one is the body preempts engagement in Self-Inquiry and-unless transcended-will prevent one from ever coming to know THAT Which We Absolutely Are. I offer the consideration now to you: If you were to lose your right arm, would You still be You?

You would still be You, right, even without that arm? If you were to lose your left arm, would You still be You? You would still be You, even without that arm...correct? If you were to lose your left leg, would You still be You? You would still be You, right, even without that leg? If you lose your other leg, wouldn't You still be You? You would still be You, right, even without that leg? Would You still be You if you have a heart transplant? You would still be You, yes? If you have a lung transplant, are You still You? You would still be You, right, even without your original lung or your original heart?

And if you looked into your own eyes in a mirror, wouldn't You still know that You are You, even though your physical body is only a shadow of what it once was? Then...Who Are You? Who or What You Truly Are must be something beyond the physical body.

If more than half of what most consider to be "you" were to be lost, Who Is That You that remains? Moreover, Who is that You that is sensing that You would still be You, and would still be complete, even after the loss of four body appendages and the replacement of two original organs? Please enter the silence of contemplation.

THE FIRST DEGREE OF SEPARATION FROM REALITY: Body Identification, Part Two

With those first beginning a journey of Self-Inquiry, my teacher always addressed the illusion of body identification, so I too begin with that beginning. What's the problem with thinking you are your body? That misconception leads to chaotic behavior, insane conduct, and problems in relationship...especially with yourself. Regarding problems with others, occasional chances for a respite occur, but the problems with yourself are 24/7; worse, they not only create occasional misery and grief but often result in self-destructive behaviors as well.

Body identification can be chaotic and even fatal. Here's how. I once had a dog that, when it saw its reflection in a mirror, would go ballistic. He fought with that false self, biting at the mirror and trying to destroy himself/his own reflection. (In humans identified with their bodies, the deep-seated need to destroy the ego and false roles and to be true to Self is a subconscious, driving force that leads to self-destructive behavior or even suicidal assaults against the physical body. If I am my body and I am having overwhelming problems, then the way to be rid of those is to be rid of the body, so the unconscious, fallacious reasoning goes.

In fact, one need not be free of the body to be content, merely free of body identification and other false identifications as well. The goal of Advaita Vedanta is to use preemptive strikes to eliminate the notion that the illusion is real, for illusions incite all insane, destructive behavior.) Of course when my dog looked at an image and became fear-based and angry, he was never seeing anything but a reflection; however, once he took the reflection to be real and separate and threatening-thinking the reflection to be an "other"-he fought the foolish fight. (Humans do the same. They fight the foolish fight when they see reflections or illusions that they take to be the real.) Despite my greatest efforts to help the dog realize that what he thought he was seeing was not the real, he reacted as do most humans: If I can see something right before my very eyes, you are the one who must be insane to suggest it's not real.

How does believing in an illusion complicate one's life? The dog illustrates the point perfectly. When he took the image to be real, the dog tried to make himself appear even tougher. He adopted a phony persona and behaved more violently. He tried to appear to be even more intimidating than the image that he thought real; thus, he became even more aggressive. The more the illusion seemed to be attacking him, the greater his counterattack. The greater his counterattack, the more real and threatening the illusion appeared to be. He was trapped in a vicious cycle of war, all based in image.

Persons are at war with themselves-with their false selves and false identities. Persons are at war with others, and those wars are based in illusion as well. By trying to appear to be tougher and to be something he was not, the dog reinforced the imaginary self in the mirror and became even more frightened, more confused, and more miserable. And the more frightened and confused and miserable he became, the more chaotic his life became and the more those around him were impacted by his chaos.

(Consider the result if persons in leadership positions were enlightened...not frightened by their faulty perceptions, not thinking that their illusions are real, and not utterly confused but completely logical instead. Imagine the effect if the Don Quixotes of the world Realized that the windmills are just windmills and that they are not threatening opponents. The leaders could then stop their jousting and those around them would no longer be impacted by the war and the chaos that the unenlightened create. That is what "Applied Advaita" would look like.)

But what about you? You now see the irony with my dog, correct? There never was any duality. All his madness was based in misconception and illusion. There was the "real thing" and a perceived image. Such is the case with persons. To believe that one is the body is to believe that "others" are separate and threatening and that the illusions and images reflected before one's eyes are real. As with the dog, just because a person can see a body does not mean that it is real, and just because a person can see the body does not mean that it defines Who or What He or She Really Is.

Is it seen that all duality is false, based as duality is in supposing that one or more real parts can co-exist with one or more other parts that are illusions? No "parts" exist and no illusion can "exist." It really is just illusion. Only the One Is Real, and by removing the Seven Degrees of Separation that prevent most from ever finding what The One Is, you will ultimately find the Real You...your True Self. Your body is not It. Are you seeing the lie of duality and the truth of Non-Duality more clearly?

THE FIRST DEGREE OF SEPARATION FROM REALITY: Body Identification, Part Three

[The discussion of the illusion of body identification will continue via transcriptions of exchanges during workshops conducted during 2001-2002]:

Questioner: The "Arms-Legs-Arms Consideration" has shown me something, but I'm not sure what."

F: "Ha. OK. Hopefully, the consideration first reveals that you are not the body and then, secondly, inspires you to ask, 'Well, if I'm not my body, Who or What am I?' The body is momentary. That which is fleeting cannot be the Real. Consider the similarity with a melted ice cube that seems to have 'gone' or 'disappeared' when placed in a glass of hot water. In fact, that which 'the cube' truly Is did not 'go' or 'disappear': all of the pairs of hydrogen atoms that had grouped with various oxygen atoms still remain. Only the appearance of the form that those atoms had manifested in for a time led to the misconception that the cube was destroyed. As with the cube, when the body 'dies' and 'dissolves' away, the appearance of the form alters but all the elements from which the body was composed still remain. What 'disappeared' was an image wrongly perceived. In the 'Arms-Legs-Organs exercise,' the arms, legs, and some original organs of your manifested form seem to disappear, but just as the hydrogen and oxygen atoms of the cube remain, so remains That Which You Truly Are. You sensed that truth during the exercise. You did sense that You would still be You, right?"

Q.: "Yes."

F.: "Then what is That which you sense is remaining-even after arms, legs, and organs are gone?"

Q.: "I sense that I still exist."

F.: "Yes. You sense that You still Are. Specifically, You sense the 'I Am' or Your 'I Amness,' which we'll discuss later. Another way of understanding the results of the exercise would be to say that 'You experienced Your presence.' You experienced the truth of the fact that 'something' would be present even after most of the physical parts of 'you'-of your body-disappear. During the experiment, you are not sensing your complete body-for much of it is gone-but you are sensing a complete presence. That is what you are aware of when, even without those appendages and organs, you know that You Are still You."

Q.: "OK."

F.: "If you understood that pointer totally, no more would need to be heard, but too much remains to block that full understanding. So, we continue. Next, since we have seen that there is no duality, that there is no subject-object duality, Who (or What) can you now conclude knows that consciousness?"

Q.: (Questioning look)

F.: "Let me put it to you another way. What remains after the body parts are gone that is sensing that presence? What is conscious of that presence?"

Q.: "I don't know."

F.: "That's close! Ha. That which knows the presence or the consciousness of Self, since there is no duality, has to be...CONSCIOUSNESS! It's simple! It is that unprogrammed, unconditioned, prior consciousness that senses Itself in the manifest form which you call your physical body. Wordsworth wrote his 'Ode on Intimations of Immortality' after he had sensed his 'infinite Self.' The arms-legs-organs exercise affords you that same opportunity: to become intimate with Your Immortal or Infinite Self. (Later, we'll even amend that concept.) That Is What I Truly Am, and always have Been, and always will Be-hang the body. In the process of Self-Inquiry, we see the false, we see the mirages, we see the images, we see the "not real," and we thereby come to know what we are not. The exercise in intended to help you see first what you are not and then sense that You Are something beyond the body. You actually sensed Your own presence remaining, even after much of the body was discarded during the exercise. If you got even that much from the exercise, then you have received the basic benefit: you have been prepared to ask the next logical question. And what would that be?"

Q.: "Well, as you said earlier: if I'm not the body, then What Am I?"

F: "Exactly."

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CONSCIOUSNESS / AWARENESS



An excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

The Audience

This book is for those who have understood completely the teachings offered in FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE and for those who have completed all seven steps along the path to Realization. If Self-Realization has not yet happened, and if an understanding of the Absolute is not complete, then you might want to read FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE first. If you have Realized, then you are ready to begin a consideration of the pointers in this book.

This book is not for the novice, not for those at the wet charcoal stage, not for those at the dry charcoal stage, and not even for those at the gunpowder stage. It is for those who have already experienced that explosion which reveals all lies to be lies and that blows away the belief in any and all concepts. It is for those who are ready for the Final Understanding.

Before beginning the book, the reader is invited to take into contemplation and consideration the following pointers on Consciousness and on Awareness that were offered by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (with some commentaries added). The contemplation can provide stimuli for considering far more about Consciousness and Awareness than most will ever consider:

ON CONSCIOUSNESS

Understand then, that it is this conscious presence that you are, so long as the body is there. Once your body is gone, along with the vital breath, consciousness also will leave. Only that which was prior to the appearance of this body-cum-consciousness, the Absolute, the ever-present, is your true identity. That is what we all really are. That is reality. It is here and now. Where is the question of anyone reaching for it?

Maharaj made clear that, if the Understanding comes, no person will remain who could try to meddle in the play of consciousness. He also affirmed that there is no omniscient creator that is meddling in the play. All is merely happening spontaneously. How did he define spirituality then? Spirituality is merely understanding that (1) a spontaneous play is happening, (2) recognizing the play is a fraud, and then (3) finding the basis of the play.

Maharaj was asked, Where does consciousness come from? He answered, It never comes or goes; it just appears to have come.

He was also asked, Where is the seat of consciousness. He replied, In every particle of the juice of the body.

ON AWARENESS

I told the consciousness, It is you who is suffering, not I.

Awareness is not aware of its awareness.

Maharaj explained that That Which He Truly Is was prior to consciousness. He made clear that there is no he to experience anything or do anything and that what persons take to be an experience is actually just the consciousness experiencing itself.

He explained that the Realized understand that the world, indeed the entire universe, exists in Consciousness alone. Neither the world nor the universe is real, and both only seem to appear in Consciousness. Knowing that, he was able to take his stand in the Absolute. In the Absolute, no Consciousness of the I-Amness or the Beingness or the Is-ness happens. In the Absolute, there are neither thoughts nor words nor deeds. The Absolute is prior to all of that…is prior to Consciousness.

Among the non-Realized, the consciousness has become identified with the space or form. A few move beyond body identification. Fewer still reach an understanding of what lies beyond the body-mind-personality identities. Even fewer will come to know the source that is beyond all acculturation, programming, and conditioning of the consciousness.

I am really not manifested. Can you live like that, as the non-manifest?

Now transcendence of the consciousness has also occurred. With the appearance of consciousness, the Absolute knows it is, I Am.

Even this primary concept, I-am-ness, is dishonest, just because it is still only a concept. Finally, one has to transcend that also and be in the nirvikalpa state, which means the concept-free state. Then you have no concept at all, not even of "I am." In that state one does not know that one is.

Full Realization, contrary to Self-Realization, is the same as Total Enlightenment, that is, understanding that You Are the Light. Not only does abidance then happen beyond the I am but it also happens beyond the I.

CHAPTER TWO

An Overview of Consciousness / Awareness

All is matter or energy. Neither was created. Neither can be destroyed. Thus, Consciousness was not created by anyone, nor was it created by any Supreme One.

Just as a mirage is a phenomenal manifestation that can be witnessed by the naked eye, that which it appears to be can vary from one witness to the next. The identification of what a mirage is remains open to interpretation, depending upon the imaginings of the observer of the image. In the end, though, it really is just an image. The same happens when consciousness is perceived by the naked eye and is imagined to be something that it is not, such as I am this body.

Does the body/space/form play a role in the manifestation process? Of course, but with no more significance than the space or form known as a plant plays a role in the manifestation process. Thus Maharaj’s point that the seat of consciousness is in every particle of the juice of the body. The body can be perceived, just as a mirage can be seen, but that does not mean that either is what it is perceived to be. Both are frauds, images only.

Thus, while seekers at one level can be told that Consciousness is all there is, at this highest level, another understanding is presented: that which is perceived is not That Which is Real, and even That Which is perceiving is not the Real, either. Maharaj explained that the Realized understand that the world, indeed the entire universe, exists in Consciousness alone; but since that which persons take to be this world or the universe is not the reality that it is taken to be via consciousness, then consciousness is the perpetrator of myths as well. If the world that the I Am takes to be its place of existence is a lie, then the I am is also a lie.

Since neither the world nor the universe is real, both only seem to appear in Consciousness. Knowing that, the Realized take their stand in the Absolute. In the Absolute, no Consciousness of the I-Amness or the Beingness or the Is-ness happens. In the Absolute, there are neither thoughts nor words nor deeds. The Absolute is prior to all of that - is prior to Consciousness.

Recall that Maharaj said, Understand then, that it is this conscious presence that you are, so long as the body is there. Once your body is gone, along with the vital breath, consciousness also will leave. Only that which was prior to the appearance of this body-cum-consciousness, the Absolute, the ever-present, is your true identity. That is what we all really are. That is reality. It is here and now. Where is the question of anyone reaching for it?

He said, Awareness is not aware of its awareness. How dissociated was he from body identification., While that space was in the throes of the physical pain of debilitating cancer, he said, "I told the consciousness, It is you who is suffering, not I."

Once consciousness manifests, the Absolute knows it is, knows I Am, but among the Fully Realized, transcendence of the consciousness has occurred. Only when abidance happens as the Absolute can peace happen every day.

This book will explain how Consciousness and Awareness relate to I Am THAT; I AM and will define the exact Nature of Reality, will offer explanations that will allow Full Realization to happen, will allow for an understanding of the Functioning of the Totality, and will assist all earnest seekers to find the way to fixate in a state of peace from NOW until the Consciousness Unmanifests.

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FROM THE ABSOLUTE TO THE NOTHINGNESS


An excerpt:

Consideration

Regarding one character in a Michael Connelly novel: "He was long past believing in God-the horrors he had seen documented had little by little sapped his stores of faith.... And in those seemingly final days, as his own heart withered and tapped out its final cadences, he did not grasp desperately for his lost faith as a shield or a means of easing the fear of the unknown. Instead, he was accepting of the end, of his own nothingness. He was ready. It was easy to do."

CHAPTER ONE

The Audience

This book is for those who have understood completely the teachings offered in FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE and in CONSCIOUSNESS/AWARENESS.

As with those two works, this book is not for the novice, not for those at the "wet charcoal" stage, not for those at the "dry charcoal" stage, and not even for those at the "gunpowder stage." It is for those who have already experienced that "explosion" which reveals all lies to be lies and that blows away the belief in any and all concepts. It is for those who are ready for Understanding "The Nothingness."

Dennis Waite wrote, "As ever, in the philosophy of Advaita, the teaching is graded to suit the level of understanding of the student - and it is no use trying to 'jump levels' if we have not yet grasped the lower level principles."

Therefore, it will also be of no use for any seeker to try to 'jump levels' and understand the pointers in this book if he has not read and understood the pointers in the two books mentioned above that lay the foundation on which these principles rest.

Dennis continued, "All levels of identification must be transcended and this should be done in a controlled and stepwise manner that has been validated through millennia of teaching. Attractive though it might seem, it is not possible to jump straight to the end."

Rightly put. All levels of identification must be transcended, and this book will discuss the means by which such transcendence can happen.

Waite also explained that "in reality, there is no karma, no saMskAra, no puruShArtha because there is no person who could have them. They are all teaching devices used to bring the student to a realization of the truth by means of carefully gauged, progressive levels of understanding."

This book offers pointers on the final level of such understanding.

Finally, Dennis wrote, "It is the perennial problem of the teacher to be able to judge where the student currently is in his or her understanding and lead them onwards from there. This is why a living 'guru' is really needed, so that questions may be asked and answered face to face."

Two opportunities exist for such tutelage:

http://advaitaclasses.blogspot.com/

and

http://advaitavedantaretreats.blogspot.com/

Also, at the end of this book is an Overview which provides the suggested order in which the various Advaita-related books can be read.

CHAPTER TWO

Introductory Considerations

According to the earliest Native Teachings, that which is "true" is only the space between exhalation and inhalation. Advaita teachers agree that truth cannot be spoken. Because inhaling and exhaling is a meaningless occurrence involving a temporary combination of earth elements, it is in the silence between those actions that "truth" can be understood in the moment of non-action. Quiet meditation, therefore, was intended not to still the "mind" but to focus on the nothingness during that breathless span of freedom from body and "mind" activity, wherein truth can be realized during that empty moment.]

CHAPTER THREE

IDENTIFICATION:

Something, or No Thing?

The content of this book is for those who have the same belief system as one seeker who reacted to a pointer regarding the fact that no true "identity" really exists:

No identity at all? Everybody is SOMETHING, and whatever that SOMETHING is, is our identity.

He was told, "First, the way in which you use the word 'identity' would need to be clarified, and there are likely some additional subconscious usages that you are not even aware of. Do you mean 'the distinct personality of an individual regarded as a persisting entity'? Realized Advaitins understand that there is no personality and that no entity persists.

"Or do you mean, 'the individual characteristics by which a thing or person is recognized or known'? Realized Advaitins know that 'the individual' is a bogus concept, that 'characteristics' are fiction since they deal with personality, and that persons/personas are nothing more than assumptions generated via corrupted consciousness.

"Or do you mean, 'That which describes objects in a manner that distinguishes them from other objects'? Realized Advaitins understand that 'one as opposed to others' is dualistic and thus false.

"You likely are not referring to 'the individual sense of importance in a social context,' but might you be referring to 'self-knowledge about one's characteristics or personality,' that is, to 'a sense of self'? Surely not.

"So consider: if you are referring to 'True Self-knowledge' or to 'a sense of True Self,' then you are still dealing with a false identity. How could that possibly be false? Because the terms 'True Self' or 'Real Self' are frequently misused (even by many Advaitins or would-be Advaitins). Many now use the terms to point to the noumenon or to the Absolute in an effort to support the existence of a Self-cum-continuity, even while agreeing that no self can have continuity.

"Likely, your stance is that, while the phenomenal is that which is physically manifested and observable by one or more of the five senses, some other sense is employed to recognize that an identifiable Self exists beyond physical manifestation. At the elementary level, when a protege is taking the first steps on the 'path' to Realization, that idea is often allowed by teachers.

At the more advanced level, though, it is understood that the True Self is merely the second of two witnessing modes, the pure

or re-purified consciousness that knows ItSelf and knows the Oneness (as opposed to subject-object witnessing). That Pure Witnessing Consciousness sees no 'others' and is incapable of any dualistic misperception, yet it's entire functioning is still dependent upon its manifestation. Thus, even that 'True Self' is limited and is not an 'eternal identity.'

"Further, that 'True Self' is not 'God,' though many who have morphed this philosophy into a religion will defend that Self-God concept as well. Instead, the True Self is merely that pure consciousness which can look to the phenomenon and know that it is not as perceived, which can know that no self is real, and which can understand that no noumenal 'Self with identity' exists either.

"The pure consciousness understands that when the pronoun 'I' is employed as the pure consciousness speaks, it refers to that which is beyond beingness and beyond non-beingness; therefore, it is beyond 'I-ness' and identity as well. Krishna was very direct in stating that any who do not understand that are 'fools.' That which is beyond beingness and non-beingless must also be beyond self, Self, self-ness, Self-ness, no-self-ness, and even no-Self-ness.

"Of course, that pointer about 'fools' is misunderstood by most, understood by few, and hated by many. For those still trapped in the egotism that is generated by accepting and defending an identity (whether that might be an identity 'now' or an identity 'later'), let it be said that they have at least been fooled and continue to function from within that condition. The primary consideration must be, 'How can the state of zero concepts be reached if the concept of 'identity' is still being clung to'?"

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THE FINAL UNDERSTANDING

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.

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THE ADVANCED SEEKERS' SERIES


This anthology of four books by Floyd Henderson contains the volumes that make up what has been called "The Advanced Seekers' Series" for those seeking Realization via the Advaita teachings:

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.

FROM THE AUTHOR

This anthology contains four books that many seekers have used along their "path" as they moved to Full Realization.

The four-book series offers 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);

3. An opportunity to understand that which was prior to the Absolute, namely, The Void, the Nothingness; and then

4. An opportunity to reach the Ultimate and Final Understanding.

To master all four of those levels of understanding is to enable 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 Religious One" or "The Spiritual Giant") 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.

A synopsis of the four books follows:

BOOK ONE

FROM THE I TO THE ABSOLUTE (A Seven-Step Journey to Reality)

Most of the so-called "Spiritual Masters" addressed at one time or another all of the steps that must be taken to shift from identifying with the false "I" to abiding as the Absolute, yet they did not present or explain the steps in the exact order in which they must be taken if Realization is to happen.

While all of the steps (or "stages" to use Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's term) have been discussed for centuries, this is the first time that the steps have been offered and explained in simple language in the exact order in which the seven steps must be taken in order to move from "the lie of the I" to Full Realization.

Most of the content of this book contains the complete set of transcripts from audio tapings of a series of satsang sessions that guided the participants from step one to Realization. Some have said that by reading the questions from seekers and the immediate responses by floyd (all offered in their original, easy, conversational format), they have felt as if they were present in the room, actively engaged in the satsang along with fellow seekers.

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.

Regards on your "journey" to Full Realization.

BOOK TWO

CONSCIOUSNESS/AWARENESS: The Nature of Reality Beyond Self-Realization

(Peace Every Day When Abiding as the Absolute)

One of the "final frontiers" of the Advaita Teachings is transitioned when the Nature of Reality is understood and when the Advaita Teachings are "applied" on a daily basis even in the absence of any "Applier."

The Final Understanding happens post-Self-Realization, but the nature of Reality cannot be understood until the nature of Consciousness / Awareness is understood. Understanding the Nature of Consciousness allows for abidance in the I AM, but what of THAT Which Is beyond, and that which is beyond the beyond?

Only abidance as the Absolute (and later, the Nothingness) allows for the remainder of the manifestation of Consciousness to happen in Perfect Peace.

BOOK THREE

FROM THE ABSOLUTE TO THE NOTHINGNESS

An understanding of the pointers offered in this book can allow the advanced seeker to shift even beyond SELF-Realization, even beyond an understanding of Consciousness and Awareness, and to an understanding of that which preceded the Absolute.

The content of this book can, in fact, allow the advanced seeker to truly comprehend the Reality of "no concept," of "no duality," of "no something," and even of "no nothing."

The Advaita Teachings offer an invitation to be free of all concepts, all beliefs, and all ideas in order to be totally free. Yet how many reach that "state," and how many who reach that "state" are able to fixate in that understanding and truly be free and thereby at peace?

This book will offer details of the way that can happen.

Consideration

Regarding one character in a Michael Connelly novel: "He was long past believing in God - the horrors he had seen documented had, little by little, sapped his stores of faith. In those seemingly final days, as his own heart withered and tapped out its final cadences, he did not grasp desperately for his lost faith as a shield or a means of easing the fear of the unknown. Instead, he was accepting of the end, of his own nothingness. He was ready. It was easy to do."

BOOK FOUR

The book THE FINAL UNDERSTANDING is

(a) 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 seekers as far as "the dim light of dawn");

(b) for the few that have even the slightest awareness that the brighter light of the full noonday sun awaits; and

(c) 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 truth of the composite unity (elements, breath, conscious-energy) as opposed to the falsehood of the triad of body-mind-personality;

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.

WHO IS FLOYD HENDERSON? (by Louise Sterling, Cape Town, South Africa)

The literary tradition is to preface a book with a biographical snapshot of the author as a person. What can be said then, about the Advaitin Teacher, who has moved beyond personal biography?

To describe the person or the personal (the date of birth, the nationality, the job, the interests, the home, the child, the books read, the path followed) is to describe the attributes that actually take us further away from uncovering the teacher's identity.

The reality is that this "Who Is ..." question itself brings us to deeper and more authentic questions. What is this understanding in which the teacher resides? The state of Realization is not different from teacher to teacher. That Self-Knowledge is unchanging. In this way, there is no difference between a Nisargadatta Maharaj, a Floyd Henderson, or any other Realized teacher.

The Realisation of SELF means the shattering of the shell of separation so that the non-dual nature of Reality is directly known. How can this be different from person to person? Only in the ABSENCE of the person is this nature revealed. In this way, Floyd Henderson invites us to strip away all that is personal, all that is dualistic, all that separates us from this understanding of Oneness – from our True Selves.

The summative statement "I AM THAT; I AM" describes that understanding of SELF in absolute terms as well as its expression in the relative. Floyd Henderson is THAT – just like all human beings; however, Floyd is fixed unshakably in this understanding, so all functioning, relatively speaking, flows directly from this SELF-Knowledge.

In this way, the biographical details (such as, "born" in Louisiana; moved to Texas; worked as a teacher and business owner over several decades before taking early retirement to write; father of a daughter named Ashley; current resident in the community of Walden on Lake Conroe in Texas; years of seeking followed by twenty-five months in the forest dweller stage and experiencing a vision that resulted in the dramatic peripetia or flash of Realization; functioning as a Direct Path, Nisargan teacher; and author of over forty Advaita books) are the attributes or flavourings which coloured the pure consciousness in the particular shape and form at the relative level.

Yet, these attributes are false ingredients. They cannot provide a true answer to the question "Who is Floyd Henderson?" because he recognizes no who-ness at all ... believes in no "who" that is living "here" at all. He once explained it this way when asked if he was ever bothered by people:

"... How could persons possibly bother Me? They do not have even the slightest clue about where I truly live. Only a few on the entire planet called "earth" have a clue. Some might enter what is called 'floyd's house' or 'floyd's home,' but that is not where I live; in fact, 'where' I live has nothing to do with a 'where' at all.

In this regard, there is actually only the 'how.' 'How' I abide is as the awareness, as the Original Nature, as the natural state which has no boundaries, which has no defining traits, and which does not change. 'How' I abide is without conditions or conditioning, without qualifications, and without limitations.

I can seem to be 'here' one second and 'there' the next, but that is about 'how-ness,' not any actual 'here-ness' or 'there-ness.' I am not confined to a space or form; furthermore, I can enter other spaces and forms, and do so regularly (as might happen the instant You read these words).

Abiding beyond consciousness and beyond beingness and beyond non-beingness, I can span the globe ... I can span the universe ... I have spanned all universes. Yet such 'while manifested' spannings seldom happen anymore, requiring far more energy than is worth the effort, and it most assuredly need not happen with You.

As for Me, abidance will continue to happen in a whole and unadulterated and unambiguous manner until the consciousness unmanifests. Until that happens, then abidance will happen as Reality is overlaid on the relative without exception. When the consciousness unmanifests, then the drop shall enter the ocean of energy from which it came and will span the Absolute;

Awareness shall be, but aware of-ness shall not. Later, other universes might be spanned as well, or might not. Yet all of that is stated, so it, too, cannot be the Truth which You know but do not yet know that You know. Tap into the source and know Truth, but even then, do not suppose that You will be able to express Truth in words."

Thus, Floyd describes the AM-ness regarding "floyd" as a "composite unity" of an elemental plant food body that is circulating air and that is temporarily housing the manifested consciousness.

The THAT-ness he sees as a field of energy from which the conscious-energy manifests and to which it will return.

As for identification with any WHO-ness, he discarded that when identification with the Nothingness came, followed eventually by not even identifying with Nothing - or anything else.

BOOK INFORMATION

"The Advanced Seekers' Series" is an anthology of four books that share Advaita-based, non-duality pointers that can guide seekers to abide as their Original Nature.

Literally, "Advaita" means "not two." If one studies the front cover of this anthology, light can be seen in two areas of the picture. One is the actual source of light; the other is merely reflected light. One is real; the other merely appears to be real.

In actuality, there are "not two" light sources. There is only one, but "the world" encourages persons to see two, to see dualities, to see multiplicities. The result is that few will ever understand the Truth of the Oneness that is beyond such misperceptions.

Most might glimpse the Real and also see "the not real," but they will take both to be authentic. The Realized see that one light is real, that the other is merely a reflection, and that any belief in duality is erroneous.

The non-Realized - those separated from authenticity - will misperceive and take both the real and appearances to be as they seem. To clarify the distinction, the author once shared what he saw from his balcony one evening as a storm approached:

Walkways cross the green terrace that leads down to the lake, and all along those paths, round lights mounted on posts illuminate the way. As the storm clouds brought darkness, the bulbs lit up automatically.

As rain puddled in the walkways, the lights began to cast diagonal reflections of themselves. The Realized understand that the reflections are not the real light and they see the actual light source in the background. Yet they also understand that there is something even beyond that which is housing the light, namely, a form of energy.

The author invites all to see that which is beyond the reflections in consciousness and to know What Is Real vs. what only appears to be so, for it is misperceiving and delusions that set the stage for ignorance (rather than wisdom) to drive the thoughts and words and deeds of the non-Realized masses.

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR (Andrew Gugar, Jr.)

Before I found the Advaita teachings, both my seeking and my life were totally disorganized. I had read over two hundred books during my search which began around the age of eleven or twelve. All of the content of those books was very confusing. Why?

While some presented teachings that seemed in the beginning to be of value, in the end they proved useless because none of the pointers were organized in a way to offer in a step-by-step manner the route that had to be followed to move away from identification with the false "I" and return to My Original Nature.

It became clear that - in my case - I required a teacher that could offer such an explanation and that could be available to answer my many questions along the way.

Though my reading left me a supposed "expert" is subjects dealing with the brain and the mind and psychology and psychiatry, there was no understanding at all of the functioning of the totality.

So my searching continued for many more years, moving from one book to the next and from one religion to the next and from one spiritual movement to the next and from one philosophy to the next. I studied Taoism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism - you name it - I studied it.

It is suspected that many may have traveled as arduous a road as the one I traveled, but few likely traveled a more arduous route than the one I traveled during my years of seeking.

The searching in one venue after another continued until an acquaintance shared certain profound pointers that seemed to resonance deeply within me.

I asked what he was talking about ... asked if the pointers he was sharing were associated with any particular philosophy or religion that I could further investigate. He answered, "What I'm sharing is what is called 'a non-dual perspective'."

"What is that?" I asked.

"Basically, the simplest teaching is that everything is one."

That made little sense, but it did seem to reverberate at some spot deep inside me. Eventually, intuition was re-awakened and there was some sort of "psychic consciousness" that began to vibrate when non-duality pointers were being considered.

After being given some labels for further investigation - specifically, "non-duality" and "Advaita" - it soon became clear that I needed to find a capable Advaita teacher.

The irony was that, as I began searching for a teacher, all of the online sites promoting and ranking various teachers were actually reinforcing duality ... ranking this one as "best" and that one as "good" and that other one as "not so adept." Instead of focusing on how we could eliminate our beliefs in hierarchies and separation and judgment, they were promoting all of those.

So I left the listings and began googling "Advaita" and found a blog site where Floyd Henderson was offering daily postings of non-dual pointers.

I began investigating this guy, wondering who he thought he was to be posting pointers about Advaita. He was not even from the Far East. Worse, my investigations uncovered the fact that this guy lived in Texas.

Being yet embroiled in ego, I asked, "Who does this guy living outside of Houston, Texas think he is ... acting like he 'knows it all' about these teachings?" I concluded, "Heck, I live in Texas. I guarantee I already know as much about non-duality as any other person living in Texas. Who from Texas could offer anything about this eastern philosophy?"

Then I clicked the link for the retreats he offered and saw that, of even greater offense, he wanted to charge a fee for retreats where he teaches non-duality. (At the time, it did not register that I was not providing free meals to everyone who entered one of the restaurants in the chain I own.)

[NOTE: What Andy is not revealing here is all of the altruistic and philanthropic projects and charities which he has funded for years, offering assistance to the downtrodden and suffering.]

A year would pass, and more and more searching continued, but at least once a week, the name "Floyd Henderson" came into the forefront of consciousness.

As much as I tried to ignore the name, it would not leave me, so after a year of continued seeking even after having first found his name and websites, I finally went back to his Advaita blog site, looked at the cost of a retreat with him, and concluded, differently this time, "Well, actually it really is only a nominal fee he is charging, and he does have to pay his bills."

So it came to me, "What if this guy just might have what you've been looking for all of your life?" I determined that I might as well spend a few dollars - a small amount really in comparison to the fortune I had already spent during decades of seeking and searching ... all with no permanent results at all.

Right now, it is giving me cold chills just reflecting on that decision and what happened afterwards. I had reached a point where I felt as if I were going to pop right out of my skin from all of the suffering and misery and anxiety and stress that had characterized my existence.

For me, it had to get so bad that I became willing and ready - ready to give up all of the ideas and beliefs that had served me not at all and to seek the Truth that was obviously beyond all of the concepts I had ever taken to be the truth.

Eventually, I went to a retreat at Floyd's home and left three days later having found that I was not only willing to give up all of those concepts but had become willing to give up this fear-based "andy" that had been at the root of my problems.

Now, I look back and laugh. Before the time spent in Floyd's home, I hated to wake up in the morning. Now, I can't wait to get up and enjoy every day.

I was raised to believe that Jesus had the answers that people need. At Floyd's retreat, I found out that in many cases, he did, but the answers were not the ones I was taught in church.

I found that "the later Jesus" who returned to Jerusalem was sharing the non-dual, Advaita teachings - teachings I had heard on occasion when I was younger but that no one in the church could or would explain to me when I asked about those statements.

I went to Floyd's that first time with a considerable fear of death (rooted, I would learn, in body and mind and personality identification). He suggested that if I was so afraid of death that the best thing I could do would be to "go ahead and die now."

Of course that was an anger-invoking, shocking comment to hear, but before I left, I understood that I could not die because I was not born - that what he was saying is that my ego(s) and my egotism must "die."

I understood after that retreat that I cannot truly live until this ego - this illusion - dies. To that point, I was entering Floyd's house one morning through the door he leaves open while he is preparing breakfast for participants.

As I entered, I shouted, "Knock knock ... anybody home?" He yelled back, "No." I got it ... I knew exactly what he meant, and that understanding has remained and I have since enjoyed the freedom every day of knowing I am no body ... nobody.

I came to understood that everything merely cycles and that timelines are a fraud, and Floyd also taught me the meaning of every part of his vision, and I learned by way of the eagle the difference in Subject-Object Witnessing and Pure Witnessing.

Why am I making this anthology available for all seekers to use now and to be available long after "floyd" and "andy" have taken mahasamadhi are "gone"? First, because the books in this anthology offer the step-by-step process by which Realization can happen and, secondly, because the books helped me in that undertaking.

I want to preserve Floyd's vision and his writings for all who are seeking. I decided to support the printing of this anthology to make his teachings and methods available - to all that might be interested - because of what happened with me after sitting with Floyd and receiving the message that came by way of his step-by-step method which I realized was exactly what I had been seeking all of my life.

I am taking the action to help make these books available to interested seekers because I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if the understanding offered in these books - and Floyd's other books - could come to me, then the understanding can come to almost anyone.

May you allow the pure consciousness to see and receive the content of the works in this anthology and then also receive as a result the blissful freedom that came to me via the content of these and the other writings by Floyd Henderson.

For more information on this book, or to purchase a copy now, click: