02 November 2009

I took down my Tolle rant because I don't know what I am talking about. I have not read him or any of the other neo-Advaitins, and therefore don't know what I am talking about. Robert was wiser than I and never talked about other teachers.

My point though was you hardly ever make any progress by reading or thinking. Both engage the discursive mind leading to endless internal and external dialogues. 

Isn't it true we read because we lack confidence in our own ability to find and explicate truth? Is it not true we mostly read to confirm what we already think we know? Isn't true that when we read and think, we cannot see ourselves because the focus of awareness is on concepts?

A large part of our spiritual education is to develop self-confidence in our own ability to find our own truth by looking within, and not reading books to tell us what we should be finding there. You have to develop a boldness where you set off on your own to find the truth of your being.

Michael Langford, for all the faults of his book, correctly points out the need to slow the mind down and focus on a very few books to read, and to read them slowly and repetitively. He is absolutely correct. Better would be not to read at all, but to introspect, observe your consciousness, observe awareness and keep quiet.

In a Zen monastery, there is absolutely no talking during training periods. Ramana was silent for many years. Being with Robert was like being with silence all the time. Reading a book or attending a lecture, or writing poetry is anti-silence.

Develop your ability to abide in your own thoughtless awareness. Gradually you will develop an ability to remain with yourself and be confident of what your self-investigations are revealing. Gradually you will become comfortable not even articulating the new understandings that arise in you because you will recognize those understandings are illusory, tentative, passing, concepts only, and you can't capture the absolute in concepts. You can only rest peacefully in yourself.

Limit your reading to the resources I mention on the itisnotreal.com website. You might even want to limit your reading to two or three books, such as the Path of Sri Ramana, Part I, the Nisargadatta Gita, possibly Prior to Consciousness to blow your mind, or Langford's book.

You need to go deep into yourself, not marvel at the clear expositions of others that merely reinforce your present concepts which means there is no "progress." You are just rearranging deck chairs.

Please, don't waste your life entertaining spiritual concepts or visiting many teachers. Go deep within yourself; observe yourself; observe the I Am if you can isolate that sense of presence that is I Am. Be comfortable with the void-like emptiness. Become friends with the inner light of consciousness. Become aware of the emptiness that contains all. Become aware of the witnessing process. Soon you will see that reading and thinking take you away from your inner peace.


  1. Thanks for this blog, Ed! Your advice makes so much sense.

  2. I feel like a flea on a hot skillet. Thank you Ed.