A review shouldn’t be strictly a summary. A review should give a good idea of what a work is about in order to entice the reader to buy the work.
That’s what I’m going to focus on, getting the reader to buy the DVD. I may include summarization of essential points, however.
First thing I’ve done is to delete lots of the material from the raw notes which are published in Part 1 of this series. I didn’t actually delete them. I cut them and pasted them in a separate place because I may need those notes when finishing off the review.
I think what I’m going focus on are the quotes by Nisargadatta and I’ll state that Wolinsky does an excellent job of making Nisargadatta clear. I’ll give one or two examples of how Wolinsky elaborates on a Nisargadatta quote. Hopefully that will get the reader to want more. I don’t want to make Wolinsky the focus of this review, but Nisargadatta’s teaching. I think that respects both Stephen and Maurizio, the director and producer.
I like to identify themes and purpose when I write a review. I’m not going to state the purpose, as it is clearly to present the advanced teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. I will jot down the themes and elaborate on two or three of them.
Here are most of the themes: Buddhism, impermanence, meditation, the I Am, consciousness, spiritual trappings, prior to consciousness, death, desire, the Heart Sutra, the mind, the Absolute, bhakti, jnana. Nisargadatta himself is the meta-theme, so no need to mention it.
By writing down the themes I can view them all and pick the ones I want to talk about. They have to simple. The theme of Buddhism is too long and involved. The themes of I Am, consciousness, mind, prior to consciousness are all related; you can’t talk about one without talking about them all.
The themes that come across to me as tight nuggets of information are death, spiritual trappings, and meditation. I can get my points about them across simply and quickly. I’ll state that Wolinsky explains with equal care and clarity the more complex and involved themes, which he does.
Something else I’m thinking about is balance. This is an amazing video, mainly for its clarity and depth. But there should be a little tension in order to give a review reality. I don’t know exactly what form that’s going to take or whether I’ll be able to introduce it. It could be the question of whether Wolinsky stands in any way between the viewer and Nisargadatta himself. In other words, is this video primarily Stephen’s or Nisargadatta’s teaching? Is there any difference between the two? What are alternative ways of accessing the teaching of Nisargadatta? What are the pros and cons of receiving Nisargadatta’s teaching through another teacher?
I’m beginning to see the entirety of this review, though it hasn’t fully developed.
In this next part of this series I’ll show a first draft of the review. Already I’ve gone beyond the projected three parts of this topic! There will be at least four.