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Collision with the Infinite: A Life Beyond the Personal Self

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  20 reviews
She thought she had gone mad, but she was enlightened and didn't know it Some people spend years in caves trying to experience what suddenly happened to Suzanne Segal. This is the incredible story of a young woman who irrevocably lost all sense of personal self, or an "I".It is the story of her mind's desperate attempts to come to grips with -- or deny -- her spiritual ...more
Paperback, 177 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Blue Dove Press
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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  133 ratings  ·  20 reviews


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Iona  Stewart
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a unique account of the experience of a young woman who suddenly one day while getting on a bus lost her feeling of personal identity.

When learning the details of her life, however, we see that this did not really happen out of the blue. Suzanne experienced the “emptiness” when meditating on her name at the age of seven or eight, and she later studied Transcendental Meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He taught that enlightenment came in three stages – Cosmic Consciousness, the stage
...more
Lena
Jul 26, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Suzanne Segal was living a secular life in France when she experienced an abrupt shift out of ordinary consciousness and into a state of no-self. Though six years prior to this event she had studied extensively with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, she did not understand what had happened to her until she found her experience described in a Buddhist text well over a decade later.

Segal’s book is fascinating both as an intimate description of what it feels like to live without identification with a sense of
...more
Peter
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think this is one of the most interesting stories I have read of a non dual experience/awakening. Which in Suzanne's case was very protracted and distressing (- for a long time she thought she had a psychological disorder) but ultimately blissful. Reading the book creates some experience of shifting into that space.
John Alt
Apr 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Waiting at a Paris bus stop, four months pregnant, Suzanne Segal was about to take a step that would change her life forever. It occurred as she boarded the number 37 line.

"I lifted my right foot to step up into the bus and collided head-on with an invisible force that entered my awareness like a silently exploding stick of dynamite, blowing the door of my usual consciousness open and off its hinges . . . All the body's signals seemed to take a long time to be picked up in this non-localized
...more
Stacy K B
Mar 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book time and time again, and the story never fails to inspire me to go beyond my limits of love, acceptance, transcendence and ego.

How can one not be inspired by the readings of someone how studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi? Susan Segal started the forms of meditation at the young age of seven, by inwardly repeating her name over and over; clearly developed spiritually beyond her years. Her spirituality developed on an up and down spiral for many years, until she was able to
...more
Giorgi Bazerashvili
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating autobiography of a woman who experienced the disappearance of a personal identity while getting on a bus. Only after a decade, she discovered what had really happened.

She tells us her story, full of struggle and confusion, that had lasted for more than a decade, a period that was full of terror, misunderstanding, and searching for the answers everywhere she could. But apparently, no one was able to give her the proper context of what was happening to her, until nearly a
...more
Ísabel
Jul 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
I'm a bit torn with this book - I liked the last part, where she talks about her life in the infinite, a little too much psycho therapy fail stories before that, too my taste. She comes across as having acted as a depressed, but also angsty and whiny person, and in fact really more like her condition is a fixed idea, not a transforming experience (I think one doctor diagnosed her thus too) -- I hope this is only my impression.
In the last part there is much what I expected, but then also a bit
...more
Lauretta
Feb 10, 2013 rated it liked it
very readable and an interesting account of her inner experience. Fortunately, there was an afterword that fleshed out what might have accounted for her depersonalization and would help the reader to better contextualize the author's experience
David
Oct 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing! Suzanne Segal is no longer alive, but her book is and it is incredible the way she is able to describe her process around her own spiritual awakening. I found this to be very eye opening.
Anna
This book is terrifying.
Sarah Koz
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
YES.
דינה נחמה
Nov 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Suzanne claimed the vastness (the substance of which we're all composed) wants to know itself, so it creates humans and then experiences pleasure by knowing itself through human circuitry. We are nothing but the vastness. Nothing exists except the vastness. In reading the book and searching online, I couldn't find any mention of anyone asking her hard questions about this theory. She claims in the book that the universe is completely benevolent and trustworthy - there is nothing to fear. ...more
Valerie Gangas
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the finest books I have ever read in my life. I am blow away by Suzanne Segal and her unbelievable spiritual experiences. Wow. Wow. Wow.
Paul Colver
Mar 12, 2017 added it
Shelves: spiritual
I read this some years ago and it came up in a class I was teaching last month. I mentioned it during a talk on Samadhi and I couldn't help noticing that everyone hurriedly wrote the title in their notes. It must have sounds good and it is.
The author describes Samadhi well (she had not just a blip but 24/7 and for 11 (yes 11) searched around to find out what it was.
Interesting too that she witnessed being anxious for all those 11 years - yes 24/7. Some karma, considering that the anxiety could
...more
Natira
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sachbuch-gelesen
2,5
Die Darstellung ihres Erlebnisses und die Suche nach Antworten danach fand ich interessant, die Schlussfolgerungen und Ableitungen der Autorin - ob nun die Erläuterungen zum "Verstand" (er scheint mir eigene Motivation zu entwickeln") oder die eigene psychologische Praxis(keine Aufarbeitung von Traumata?) - finde ich jedoch einiger Fragen und Überlegungen wert.
James
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirit
Last chapter is worth the wait. Through her fear and frustration for over a decade trying to make sense of the sudden radical realignment that spontaneously occurred. Interesting backdrop of her experience inside early Transcendental Meditation. The result is spiritual life unvarnished by the everpresent practice baggage and thought projection. Solid and unflinching.
Alan Macdonald
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This has become one of my main sources for metaphysical art making. I refer to it constantly. Contains beautiful descriptions of experiencing no local self. A wonderful resource for anyone interested on Consciousness and enlightenment. Highly recommended.
Lynne
Jun 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book resonated with me on a very personal level. Suzanne's life is so complex and her mind so flexible and her experiences of her short time so profound -- I felt changed after reading her story. It also provided a much needed frame of references for some of my own experiences.
Joy
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Really a powerful and amazing description of one's undoing.
Narda Martine
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
this is such a beautiful book, interesting to see how the spontaneous enlightenment of a disassociated mind creates a very fractured awakening
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