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Direct Truth: Uncompromising, non-prescriptive Truths to the enduring questions of life

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Prescriptions, how-to’s, self-help, guru’s, mental hacks, psychology, motivation, and the like, are things that are fundamentally unserious. They are things that move humans away from Truth. For they approach all matters from the standpoint of a “fix." The Truth is a path away from all fixes. And away from all chases. It is for the one who is Serious. It is for the one who is Sincere. This book is for but a handful of individuals in the world. Those with a rarest form of DNA. The DNA to arrive at the Direct Truth in all things. So that they may put an end to all chases. So that they may walk life’s Final Mile. And come to possess the things that they have called by various other names.

91 pages, Kindle Edition

Published July 24, 2018

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Kapil Gupta

37 books172 followers

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5 stars
440 (59%)
4 stars
206 (27%)
3 stars
73 (9%)
2 stars
17 (2%)
1 star
8 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 81 reviews
Profile Image for Krati.
1 review1 follower
May 12, 2020
Don't expect magic, expect better.

A person always want to know what the secret sauce is. The answer is, there is none. By reading this book, you get a framework to think about truth rather than a mantra to success. It changed my worldview for better. Without getting emotional about how it has transformed my life, I would say, read it and see if you can get something useful. Cheers!
Profile Image for Shri.
64 reviews7 followers
February 24, 2021
Q: Is this a book or a compilation of tweet threads?
A: Whatever you want it to be

Q: Is this a good read?
A:There is no good or bad

Q:Please tell. I'm very curious
A:I don't answer for curiosity

Jokes apart, "Direct Truth" is a really really brief read comprising of short conversations on different topics or aspects of truth in a way. This reads like the outcome of 'Jiddu Krishnamurthy' being forced to live in Twitter age with the constraint of 140 characters per tweet, instead of his usual long-winded monologues. These 'truths' are more of mixture of axioms & aphorisms honestly. But they build a framework that works (my personal opinion).

I do not wish this review to be a discourse on the contents. Keeping the focus on the literary medium chosen, the book itself, I find the length wanting to do justice to the topics chosen. And when it is such a short read, some of the errors that seemed to have missed proofreading makes it look like a sloppy job. Unless the reader is already in some stage of self-awareness journey, the book will not be able to impart much. If one is on the journey already, this book serves as a nice recap of what has passed & what is yet to be experienced.
Profile Image for Suhrob.
409 reviews51 followers
January 5, 2020
So there is Poe's law which says that you can't distinguish a good parody from a genuine peace.

Direct Truth is an example of inverse-Poe's law - I think it is genuine (and genuinely useful) but written in such a self-serious, relentless guru tone that it could pass for a parody of guru self-help genre.

Why 3 stars? It is brief, and I found some things intriguing. But there is also a constant repetitive smugness about several points, which likely you get immediately, yet he repeats them in almost every dialogue. (you get it cognitively immediately, maybe not experientially but the smugness won't help that).

I also think he confuses Csikszentmihalyi-type flow with Atman. While they are some parallels, and one is conductive to another (and vice versa), they are not quite the same thing.

Worth the short read, and after some time maybe a re-read. But I won't be rushing to his next book either...
Profile Image for Chanh Nguyen.
130 reviews17 followers
December 26, 2021
Perhaps it did nothing for you because you are curious for answers, rather than hungry for realizations.

What I learned in my 30s—the game of life,

1-I accept this
2-I know this is temporary
3-I take responsibility
4-I have the power
1-4 are essential for conventional success thats devoid of inner & outer conflict. This is the first level of the game

5-I have much to learn
is the portal to higher levels

6-I am not my thoughts
7-I love myself
8-I am present
6-8 are essential for inner peace & outer joy. This is the most fun level of the game

9-I am insignificant
10-I am perishable by design
9-10 reveal the true nature of the game
Profile Image for Sai Teja Pratap.
37 reviews5 followers
January 26, 2020
I've been following Kapil on twitter for about 6mo. His thoughts are novel. Unlike many spiritual, self-help gurus Kapil does not believe in prescriptions. This book is in a Q/A format - conversation between him(A) and people that meet him(Q). He never gives a direct answer to most questions. The typical conversation looks like this.

Q: I want to do X. But I dont know how
A: Why do you want X
Q: blah blah
A: You shall never succeed in X because you dont really want it.

A glimpse of what's in this book.
- If you truly desire something, you will find a way to do it. But the question is do you truly desire it? E.g - You might think you want to be rich. But is that what you really want? Or is it that you think being rich is how you gain respect from peers. So what you are looking for is maybe good human relations.
- Not focussing on self will help you have a good life. Devote yourself something that is not you - it can be science, sports, religion. You should be able to lose yourself into it
- Brings up an interesting point about responsibily. It fits into his world view that right/wrong is an artificial social construct and hence enough motivation to do great things.
Responsibility is a societal creation. No one is truly responsible for another. You do not owe your children anything. They do not owe you anything. If you wish to do, then do. If they wish to do, they may also do. That which comes from the heart is natural and satisfying. That which comes from the idea of responsibility is forced, artificial, and often produces resentment and the expectation for reciprocation.

- His take an issues like anger/guilt is interesting
It is a weapon that you enjoy using in order to protect your ego and to bolster it

The guilt is protective. It serves as a buffer between you and your feelings of superiority. If you do not allow yourself to feel guilty about being wealthy, your mind tells you that you are insensitive.
Profile Image for Tanmay Sethi.
31 reviews1 follower
September 4, 2020
The book is mostly direct and precise which at times looks to get repetitive but the message it conveys a complex meaning for a normal brain. Helped me to reinstate the fact there is nothing right and wrong and there is no 'should' that you must be doing. Great read.
Profile Image for Paul Sochiera.
69 reviews4 followers
January 30, 2022
I personally could take a little less out of this book than Kapil Gupta's Master's Whispers.

The style is the very same - short dialogs about topics concerning life, emotion and finding one's way. It is a very quick read and might contain just the stimulation your mind needs, so I sort of recommend it - but read his other book first! :)
Profile Image for Berker Koccaz.
120 reviews2 followers
August 25, 2020
Reminds me the quote "What you seek you shall never find." You may get closer to what you seek..
November 20, 2020
It will take good amount of time to really understand what it means. It is a small book. As the title suggest it is Direct to the point.
Profile Image for Prateek.
2 reviews5 followers
May 26, 2020
I got the recommendation of this book through Naval Ravikant (Indian American entrepreneur). I was curious about it as I look up to Naval & his philosophy on life matches mine.

It's a fairly quick read, that I was able to finish it in a couple of hours. It's laid out in a Q&A format, supposedly with the people the author mentors as he has a coaching business for entrepreneurs, celebrities, etc. It was an okay read, with some insights sprinkled here and there, devoid of fluff & cutting through to the topic being addressed. It's smart, pragmatic & no-nonsense.

The author could have used a less serious tone & been a little more playful with some of his mental constructs. I see him as someone who has done his share of study, meditation, etc. to come to his insights & turned it into a new age business. I would recommend another, more informative, descriptive & authentic book called "I am That" (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...), laid out in a Q&A format which probably was the inspiration for the author.
Profile Image for Somyanshu.
14 reviews4 followers
December 22, 2021
I had heard about Kapil Gupta for the first time on a Naval Ravikant podcast. This concise, to the point and easy to read book does what itw name suggests, speaks truth (at least as per Kapil).
Built in a Q&A format, this 76 page book has nuggets of wisdom spread all across it? Like:
"Q: Why do I get angry when I am insulted?
A: Because you entertain the verity of the insult."
The book speaks about being devoted to the ultimate truth, of seeing religiousness (and not relogion) in a positive light and of practising meditativeness but not meditation. As someone who keeps dangling into self help books every now and then, this was a read different from all others.
In short, really enjoyed reading this one and it makes me excited to read Kapil's other writings.
Profile Image for Akhil Jain.
609 reviews32 followers
February 23, 2021
My fav quotes (not a review):
-Page 5 |
"Perhaps it did nothing for you because you are curious for answers, rather than hungry for realizations."

-Page 7 |
"Which is to say that if I become angry at being called stupid, I believe myself to be stupid."

-Page 11 |
"Why might someone choose to become a success? A: Because he enjoys it. Because he is skillful at it. Because he feels alive in pursuing his craft at the highest level."

-Page 11 |
"Q: How do you view life? A: I view life as something to be devoted. Q: Would you please explain? A: If a human life is devoted to something, one tends to lose oneself in it. As one loses oneself in it, the more blissful one becomes."

-Page 13 |
"The problem that you are experiencing is not that you do not know how to be unattached. The problem is that you do not realize the consequences of attachment."

-Page 16 |
"A part of you relishes getting angry. For when you do, you are able to exercise your right to become angry. You enjoy this right. For you feel that you have been wronged, and thus your anger is justified. You do not wish to pass up on exercising this right. But another part of you feels remorse for having been angry. And this remorse is to some degree, disingenuous. The remorse makes you feel better and morally correct. For if you had felt good about getting angry, you would have a difficult time accepting yourself."

-Page 23 |
"What else leads to a peaceful relationship? A: The abandonment of need. Q: But if two individuals don’t need each other, what is the point of a relationship? A: Two individuals who need each other will only have conflict. They can never have a relationship. Q: The things you’re speaking are exactly the opposite of everything I’ve ever heard. A: I understand. Q: So if there’s no need, what binds them together? A: The enjoyment of each other’s company."

-Page 25 |
"If one devotes himself to a god so completely that he himself disappears, he is certain to find the Truth. The completeness of devotion matters. The object of devotion matters not."

-Page 35 |
"Practice leads to meager and incremental improvement. It is essentially repetition. It becomes work. Over time, it saps one’s inspiration. It maintains more than it transforms. One must train in order to become who one seeks to be. Q: What does Siddha training entail? A: It begins with a vision. A precise determination of who one seeks to become. Q: I understand. Please tell me more. A: I cannot tell you the method. For there is no method. Each human being is his own unique universe. But the approach and the philosophy centers around discovering the Truth about what gets one to his vision. Rather than myths such as “hard work,” “pain vs gain,” and “striving.” Q: The Truth? A: Yes. The reason that it supposedly takes “10,000 hours” and decades to become what one wishes to become is because one uses a bicycle rather than a locomotive. If you do not know the Truth, you must take the long and arduous road. But the Truth always takes a fraction of the time and provides a far greater result. For even the best coaches and institutions of society know only of becoming a “practitioner.” They have no concept of becoming a Master. It is for this reason that there is parity in all domains."

-Page 51 |
"To guide people along the true path without them feeling your hand, is true guidance. To speak to them in such a way that they do not feel instructed, is true speech. To keep them in your orbit so that you may watch over them, without them feeling the slightest loss of freedom, is true caring. To invest in them the Truths that will keep them safe and successful in their journey of life, while surrendering the need to take ownership of these ideas so that they may take ownership of them, is wisdom and dispassion. These, and other secrets like it, is what the Master devotes his life to. It is this that he lives for."
Profile Image for __init__.
3 reviews
June 14, 2023
Very hard book to understand and well written, I really enjoyed reading it.
October 12, 2019

Kapil writes and speaks in a way that I find disturbing. I want to disagree with what he says but find it impossible . I feel cut or lanced by the words but the relief is palpable. Read at your own peril it may be the death of you.
Profile Image for Raushan Kumar.
20 reviews7 followers
January 24, 2022
Absolute truth. No mellow drama. Kapil doesn't waste a single word. His 3 books are enough to occupy a person's life time to truly understand it. This book is short and very precise but to really understand it one has to be candidate for the truth. It's not for everyone.
Profile Image for Zidane.
58 reviews1 follower
April 7, 2020
A gem. Forceful, insightful, compelling and liberating. Definite reread
Profile Image for Joe Bubel.
35 reviews3 followers
May 29, 2020
Very concise. Will revisit multiple passages. I can sense the Truth in the writing, despite not fully grasping it with my mind (of course).
October 28, 2021
A contradictory reading experience.

While it contained some fresh spiritual ideas, such as the only way to raise a child without conflict is to not be attached to them (an unpopular opinion for sure), I found this to be mostly rehashed spiritual "innovations" that you have often heard, in a document that at towards the end started to sound like a pamphlet for Gupta's "executive" and "enterprise" coaching.

Some of the rehashed ideas:
the self is an illusion, that you should aim to relinquish
the only freedom can be achieved without attachment
and that nature has no concept of right or wrong.

He says that there is no right or wrong, but proceeds to give out what is in his mind: "the truth" and what is not the truth. Sound similar?

The QA format of the book was annoying at first but allowed for a quick reading experience.

My advice would be to:
1. prioritize something else on your spiritual path
2. and prepare yourself with patience for the manner in which this document is presented.

However, if you do pick it up, I don't view it as a waste of time - it doesn't even take that long to skim through.

Profile Image for Justin.
32 reviews1 follower
February 9, 2021
Long story short? This book is not for everyone. You may, as I did, find yourself feeling "a way" about some things in this book. I would not describe it as disrespectful but it's possible that you may find yourself agreeing with what is being said and that may be hard to swallow? It's also possible that you read this and not be able to finish it because it doesn't appeal and/or seems to leave "big plot holes". Not the best way to describe it as there isn't necessarily a plot in the typical sense of your standard novel. I overall enjoyed reading this book. I agree and disagree with certain points made but that ultimately doesn't matter. I am learning to accept the ideas as they are instead of feeling "challenged" as if to say "I must fight for what I believe in".

I plan on reading this author's other book with a similar setup so I'm sure that'll be interesting as well.

Thank you for reading this. Have a great day!
Profile Image for Vidyasagar Darapu.
39 reviews8 followers
June 29, 2023
This treatise on truth like the 'Gita' is very short and to the point.

If you ever noticed that the world and our perception of it is an illusion, you become a seeker of truth.

This book is an attempt by Kapil Gupta to understand and explain the truth. What kept me wondering throughout the book is how can truth be so simple and yet so difficult to understand.

The book is neatly laid out into questions we all have like, 'what is fear?', 'how to improve performance?' followed by the author's response.

Another great truth seeker, Gandhi wrote his Hind Swaraj in a similar question and answer style. This kind of a teacher-disciple interaction style of narrative is found in eastern traditions like the Gita and some of Kahlil gibran's works.

This is one of those books that must be read, used and reused.
Profile Image for Matt.
111 reviews3 followers
May 6, 2021
I was super disappointed upon starting this book.

It was something I was looking forward to for months after I discovered Kapil Gupta through influencer/philosopher/investor Naval Ravikant.

I was disappointed because the whole thing is structured in a Q&A format. This made for a very disjointed and annoying read at first.

But I got used to it after a while and, once I did, I totally got lost in this thing.

I love the way Kapil thinks. I love how he is anti-prescription, anti-hack. He's interested in Truth, not band-aids.

"I am that which remains after I have removed all the things I believe myself to be."
July 16, 2023
"Q: Then what is the solution to not having weeds?
A: Annihilate the field.
Q: And the field is the self, correct?
A: Yes.
Q: But it sounds so wrong to annihilate the field.
A: Firstly, there is no wrong or right. Secondly, the field that you will be annihilating
did not exist to begin with. What you are annihilating is a false idea.
Q: If I have no self, how will I function?
A: Perfectly.
Q: Why?
A: Because where there is no self, there is no interference. Where there is no self, there is no confusion. Where there is no self, there is no complications, upheavals, conflicts, or turmoils. There is nothing. And where there is nothing, one is available to everything."
Profile Image for Jaivarsan B.
11 reviews1 follower
September 13, 2019
I've been following Kapil Gupta on twitter for more than half a year. Never got the chance to truly understand what he actually means, they used to sound cryptic for me. Now they ring clear.

This book takes turns on like Q/A type between him and the people who come asking questions. Those questions that require you to be sincere and desperate for that answer. Then it would make sense. If not you'd just laugh and throw away the book.

The book makes you ponder on things you've never thought before.

I'll just borrow one quote from Kapil.

"Everything your brain tells you is a lie."

Want to read
December 29, 2020
The book of Naval’s thought, tweets and podcasts all in one place:
Really helped organize and structurize my thoughts on living, investing and managing stressful situations.
2nd book is ‘Direct Truth’ by Kapil Gupta. Really direct, bold and honest answers on big questions we ask ourselves. The book is short but you have to read every conversation few times, because we are programmed differently for some questions and we don’t really know the truth.
January 15, 2023
Whenever people use the word "truth" there is a high chance that they do so to spread their agenda or to manipulate people incapable of critical thinking, but this book was different, Kapil gupta brings the essence of ancient Indian and other eastern philosophies in the most direct way possible, In the beginning I had my doubts, I even perceived his as arrogant but the more I read him the more I admired him. If there is such a thing as "Objective truth", Kapil Gupta might be the the closest to it
Profile Image for Dong.
14 reviews9 followers
July 29, 2018
I’ll probably have to read it again after doing more research on the author and the ideas presented before I can truly review it. suffice to say that on the first read through, it provoked enough thoughts to get me started

Content wise, it’s a short read. my main gripe with the book is that there isn’t enough examples and references. I found the authors assertions interesting and thought provoking but need more follow up
Profile Image for Yasir Sultani.
69 reviews2 followers
June 8, 2020
Good Thing It Was Not Lengthy

Total waste of time, pseudospiritual dribble with occasional nugget of wisdom. A failed attempt at copying the grandeur and sublimity of the stoics. I especially dislike the grade 4 level writing style of this book. You would think someone who has acquired *The Ultimate* TM and *The Truth* registered would also have picked up an A+ 12th graders prose style but alas the truth doesn't work like that.
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