Although i myself followed a somewhat different path, i recognize a lot of the issues Ingram addresses. He is very open and honest abouExcellent book.
Although i myself followed a somewhat different path, i recognize a lot of the issues Ingram addresses. He is very open and honest about the whole thing, which can only be applauded and encouraged. I particularly like the many warnings to not get trapped in the more sophisticated illusions that are out there. It is a very elaborate, enlightening and accessible work, but i have a few remarks.
It is a lot of text and guidance, from my perspective a little too much, giving people certain expectations of certain stages and how these feel like. Everyone of us is different, with his/her specific issues and hangups, and while it is true that every path has its pitfalls, the one and only thing you really need to remember is to stay attentive, and confide in the fact that change is continuing, whatever feelings or thoughts arise, to dive further into the emptiness and fullness of living.
After all, it is all about getting to a natural, unconfused state of being (i don't really care about the different models, realms and concentration states, frankly). This is a natural process that needs a lot of artificial intervention in the beginning, but as you move on, it becomes more natural and evident. And if you are not ready for something, don't push it. Otherwise you've got to sit through the whole ride and deal with what comes up. As the author suggests, the practice of "choiceless awareness" is a more natural approach to become aware of the subtleties of our thought structures and processes, and i personally stick to that, for the sake of simplicity. However, this may not be the best approach for other people.
As i have noted, it is a very explicit book - a whole bunch of things and processes are named and explained - which can be of good use, but it can also be a hindrance. I for myself would get lost in all the descriptions of the states and stages. There is no ideal guide of course. I suppose with all the info supplied, you're almost forced to consult a teacher to guide you through it all. If you went observing along Krishnamurti's pointers like i did, without any formal retreats or meditation practice, it can be difficult and frustrating to have no concrete help whatsoever, and you need to come up with little techniques and useful reminders to somewhat know what you are actually doing or trying to do. But on the other hand, there are less concepts and confusing explanations to get rid of. Ultimately, the authority and the questioning of that authority lies within you, and in the end there is nothing to hold onto, really. This is also mentioned in the book.
Also, i think it is much safer to stay grounded in the relative world, remaining mindful and open, to explore the meaning of things and nothingness through our relationship with the world, questioning the images we have built up over the years. That approach integrates both the content and the processes of thought, with less problems of getting lost in the absolute, as Ingram and others seem to have experienced much more extremely than myself (it is in fact big part of the Buddhist practice - delving into the absolute, usually while retreating, and then returning to "the real world"). Any path to truth has difficult phases, and these are affected immensely by how life is interpreted. Perhaps "meaning" is the word i have been missing the most while reading.
In any case, this book is of great help to bring the ancient teachings of Buddha down to their essence, and to put a lot of things in perspective, free from all the glorious expectations and delusions. It greatly contributes to the development of clearer and more efficient ways of insight practice, without all the nonsense.
Back in the day, many taoists used to make fun of Confucius. It's about time some folks do the same with Wilber, who's totally lost in way too much -iBack in the day, many taoists used to make fun of Confucius. It's about time some folks do the same with Wilber, who's totally lost in way too much -isms and other difficult words, fancy colors and hierarchies......more
Fascinating story of a remarkable man who is by all standards of the same stature as your Newtons and Einsteins. However, due to his holistic approachFascinating story of a remarkable man who is by all standards of the same stature as your Newtons and Einsteins. However, due to his holistic approach, his radical new approaches to physics, his communist sympathies and his interests in spirituality, he never got any prestigious award and hence most people have never heard of him. Which is a shame, because, he is one of the only scientists to come up with an ontological explanation of quantum physics, and a very common-sense theory of theories. This biography is a bit messy at times, but it seems to give a good overview of who Bohm really was and of the astounding theories he envisioned and/or helped to develop. It also manages to put Krishnamurti and his teachings into perspective. A tragic life, but his important legacy remains....more