Category Archives: Book Reviews

#5290 – Paul R. Boudreau

Paul Boudreau is co-author along with Professor Lloyd M. Dickie, of the new book Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer, published by Inner Traditions. Ordering options are available at http://www.awhico.com/.

A transcript of this interview may be read at http://www.awhico.com/blog/2015/7/10/transcript-of-katz-interview-on-line

00:00 – 04:33 Music by Prosad: www.prosadmusic.com. Introduction to Paul Boudreau. The nature of the book as an exploration of who we are, through a study of myths. The Genesis myth.

04:33 – 09:54 Friendship with co-author Lloyd Dickie and how it included a study of myths. The discovery of higher meanings in myths. Meaning of higher consciousness discussed. Levels of consciousness are experienced, which are given language and imagery in myths.

09:54 – 12:06 How does academia regard the personal higher consciousness aspect of the study of ?myths. Access to the scholarly literature is readily available for personal study. These two websites are mentioned: http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/ and http://www.pyramidtextsonline.com/

12:06 – 15:27 Other texts based on accessing myths in order to support the investigation of higher consciousness. The book Hamlet’s Mill. The value of being an ecologist and seeing relationships and levels of organization. The mythological significance of the nursery rhyme and game Ring Around the Rosy.

15:27 – 20:08 Little Red Riding Hood as an example. Participating in the reading of a myth is critical to further insight. The urge to follow an impulse to pursue some objective.

20:08 – 25:18 Paul expands upon what he said in another interview: “To be in the middle of a pyramid is such a calm and reassuring yet earth shattering place to be in the world. Lloyd and I have done it a couple of times.” Advanced nature of Egyptian culture.

25:18 – 28:28 Are there ancient aliens involved? The archeological site Gobikli Tepe discussed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe. There’s a lot to learn about our ancient history and roots. The Greeks learned from the ancient Egyptians.

28:28 – 32:45 Comparing the Eurocentric and ancient Egyptian view of addressing the dualities in life, the either/or and both/and views compared. Creation and the Void. Enantiodromia as the reconciliation of opposites.

32:45 – 36:02 The myth of Gilgamesh discussed as reconciliation of opposites and how Paul makes it personal.

36:02 – 40:31 Mythology seen in movies. Myths can be an escape or a personal journey, or both. Discussion on approaching dualities from a both/and perspective rather than either/or can lead to higher consciousness. Ecology as full of the both/and perspectives. Finding the way of letting opposites co-exist is critical.

40:31 – Heka and Maat discussed as two principles of creation, the gods of magic and order, respectively. What is magic? Paul talks about his first memory that “I was.” Myths reinforce the value of those moments. Concluding statements.

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Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer, published by Inner Traditions. Ordering options are available at http://www.awhico.com/

Review of book:
The blending of scholarship, ancient myths from Sumer and Egypt, and the pursuit of diunital (“reconciliation of opposites”) and nondual (recognition that our true nature is not separate from the void, the “limitless, undifferentiated waters”) consciousness inspire a force for personal and cultural transformation. This blending is fused by the commitment of the authors to performing the magic of transformation. A powerful book for anyone, regardless of their apparent state of spiritual consciousness, who wants to become further aware of the vastness of the experience of being alive.
-Jerry Katz

#5221 – bill darryl mandee chuck rafael anamika colin. whew.

Editor: My name Jerry Katz

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Bill Dana is a renowned and even legendary comedic writer and performer whose work spans the 1950’s to the present day. He is best known for his character Jose Jiminez. I’ll do my best to remember one of his visual sketches. It features Dana dressed as a surgeon with a female surgical nurse alongside him. Dana and the nurse are seen gazing down upon what is apparently a patient lying upon a table, however you cannot see the table or the patient. Throughout this entire sketch you only see the upper bodies of the “surgeon” and the “nurse.” Continue reading

Review of What Am I? A Study in Non-Volitional Living, by Galen Sharp

whatami_sharp

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Review of What Am I? A Study in Non-Volitional Living, by Galen Sharp

Review by Jerry Katz

Galen Sharp blends Zen, quantum theory, the teachings of Douglas Harding and Wei Wu Wei (Terence Gray), but never does any one of those teachings dominate his landscape. It’s always the exercises, the Reality Meditations, that are up front, making the reader the real subject of the book. The question, What am I?, is for the reader to investigate. It’s always that question that’s in the forefront of this book, not the author or his sources.

This book is a workout for your process of attention. It’s an attention gymnasium. There’s lots of exercise equipment in the form of the Reality Meditations. There are also ubiquitous reminders of why you are at this gym: to find out what you are.

A few quotations from the book give you a further sense of what to expect:

“Moving into reality has nothing to do with strict disciplines, or religion, or New Age pseudoscience. It is not learning something new and mystical, but looking openly at what is here-and-now and discovering it for yourself. It is something you can do as you go about your normal daily round. You don’t have to change anything about yourself or our life.”

“True liberation requires no effort and no willpower, no special principles you have to remember to apply. It causes no guilt and requires no faith. It requires nothing but watching — simply your attention. That is precisely why nothing else has really worked for you. Everything happens by itself.”

“It all boils down to where your thoughts come from and where your actions come from. Is any of it really from you or your ‘doing?’ How could it be? Can you see how the ‘loss’ of ownership of these things is actually liberation?”

“We will soon be forced to move from the dualistic Newtonian world model to the true nondual reality.”

“This New Reality must be personally witnessed, personally explored and observed deeply and thoroughly in your own experience to manifest in actuality.”

Galen Sharp is a teacher who stands his own ground, well-seasoned within a world of nonduality that barely knows him. But I’ve known about Galen Sharp through his writings since almost the day I went online in 1997 and began looking up stuff on nonduality. At the time there was one website which stood as a model for my own vision of an internet nonduality. It was Peter’s (I never knew his last name) now defunct sentient.org. (Use the Wayback Machine to enjoy past versions of the site.) Galen Sharp was one of a handful of featured authors/self-realized beings. In that way he was, and remains, legendary.

Galen Sharp offers a view of nonduality no other current teacher can offer. This is a seasoned view from someone who has seen it all and been a part of it all. Galen has been immersed in the teachings on nonduality for over thirty years. He studied personally with the legendary Wei Wu Wei, was friends with Peter, knew Douglas Harding, and even met Paul Reps. To use a generational analogy, if Galen Sharp were part of the Beat Generation he would have been best friends with Kerouac and Ginsburg. I highly recommend getting to know Galen Sharp, but mainly yourself, through this book that I know you’ll love.

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Book Review: Now Consciousness: Exploring the World Beyond Thought by Albert Blackburn

Now Consciousness: Exploring the World Beyond Thought
by Albert Blackburn

Review by Jerry Katz (I will be speaking about Now Consciousness at the Science and Nonduality Conference, Friday, October 21, 2011.)

Albert Blackburn was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1910 and died in 1987. He had a career in aviation as a pilot and owner of a flight school. He trained World War II pilots. Blackburn’s real interest, however, was exploring consciousness.

Blackburn was a member of the Theosophical Society from 1934 to 1944 and immersed himself in the study of auras, spiritual evolution, reincarnation, karma, kundalini. However, a conversation with Jiddhu Krishnamurti led to the falling apart of Blackburn’s psychological world and his entrance into the world of nonduality or Now-Consciousness. The conversation is recounted early in the book, the turning point being Krishnamurti’s questioning of whether Blackburn’s beliefs were true.

The rest of the book develops the teaching of Now-Consciousness, about which Blackburn writes, “[Now-Consciousness] is a nondualistic state in which the idea of the I and not-I does not exist.” He says it is the process of the mind coming to know itself.

The book consists of five essays written between 1944 and 1982. Each essay addresses Now-Consciousness from its own angle: from initiation into Now-Consciousness, from the psychology of Now-Consciousness, from a practical approach involving attention to thoughts, and through bold confessions.

Besides Now-Consciousness, here are the other major themes, each treated in different ways throughout the book:

Intelligence. Also known as awareness, consciousness, the Tao, or truth. Blackburn says, “Because intelligence is real, it can only be found through the negative approach. In discovering what is not, truth is perceived.”

Not-knowing. He writes, “Be in the moment of questioning, so awake, so aware that you realize you don’t know.”

Time. “This idea of time gives rise to the false ideas of postponement, spiritual growth, progress, a Savior, Gurus, the Path, and reincarnation as the ultimate postponement. These are given as excuses for our own inadequacy, in not being able to follow one thing directly to the end.”

The I-process. The I is the ego, the world we’ve created about ourselves that causes us suffering. It’s that way we are that we know isn’t our true self. Blackburn identifies several steps in this process of generating and sustaining the false self and shows how we cut ourselves off from intelligence or truth.

The Cycle of Perception. In watching the I-process we find that there is a magic moment before associating a perception with habits, memories, and conditioning. The ability to access this magic moment is now-consciousness and it unfolds in stages that Blackburn calls the Cycle of Perception.

Blackburn says, “The first thing is to become aware of what the mind is occupied with, its patterned thoughts, habits, and reactions. … Slowly you come into the cycle of perception or Now-Consciousness. And the oftener this state is experienced, the more you realize it is true life.”

Blackburn fits right into the current world of nonduality. He stood alone and encouraged others to do so. Although he acknowledges his teacher Jiddhu Krishnamurti, Blackburn claimed that his teachings were his own. As his own authority in these teachings, he was straightforward and eschewed the guru role and even the teacher role. He went where he was invited and held dialogues. He didn’t give talks, as such. These travels took him and his wife through the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Blackburn is also the author of Worlds Beyond Thought: Conversations on Now-Consciousness, which is also available as a series audio cassette tapes. Though his books and audios are not widely distributed or known in the Internet era of the last 15 years, they are still in print and distributed by his wife Gabriele through IdylWildBooks.com.

The Table of Contents is spare, however the topic and themes of each section and chapter are stated clearly. There is no index which would have been very useful in a book such as this where each main theme is scattered throughout the book. A proper index would gather and make sense of all those appearances.

I highly recommend this book for anyone exploring nondual spirituality or nondual psychotherapy. It is clear, simple, and straightforward enough to enhance your understanding of how we get lost in our beliefs, memories, thoughts, our words, and conditionings. He points to the “magic moment” when, instead of getting lost in imaginings of how we think things are, we turn instead to Now-Consciousness and get directly to the point and through to the end of whatever we are considering. That is, we learn to deal directly and fully with stressful situations and move on.

Order Now Consciousness: The World Beyond Thought, by Albert Blackburn

Review of Only That: The Life and Teaching of Sailor Bob Adamson, by Kalyani Lawry

Only That
The Life and Teaching of Sailor Bob Adamson
by Kalyani Lawry

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Reviewed by Jerry Katz

Author Kalyani Lawry’s association with Bob Adamson has a long history. She first met ‘Sailor’ Bob in the 1970s when they were both devotees of Swami Muktananda. At one point Bob shifted his devotion from Muktananda to Nisargadatta Maharaj. Kalyani did not make that shift, however decades later Kalyani would find herself sitting with Bob at his home and, now, presenting us with a book of Bob’s life and a selection of his teachings.

Only That includes 16 glossy pages with 23 black and white photos of Bob from childhood through various stages of his life, including a few photos of Nisargadatta Maharaj, his teacher. The photos and the first half of the book, which is about Bob’s life, are new contributions to the printed Adamson works.

The Table of Contents for Part 2, The Teaching, is cleverly designed, with each chapter a teaching unto itself, for example, ‘The Ego is Fiction,’ ‘Can You Get Out of the Now?’ and ‘Everything is That.’ There is no index, which would be helpful for easily finding uses of the term ‘full stop’, or where Bob referred to Buddhism, for example.

Nisargadatta Maharaj was Bob’s primary teacher. To such a degree of success has Bob communicated the essence of Nisargadatta, that he is informally known as perhaps the best living representative of the Nisargadatta teaching. I make it clear that Nisargadatta never authorized Bob (or anyone else) to teach and Bob has his own style of communication.

This informality of lineage is important to point out because it informs potential students of Bob that they are not being invited into a formal lineage or a tradition. While there are benefits to aligning with a tradition, any association with Bob is that of two people getting down to what is true.

The author’s purpose is to introduce and further contribute to Adamson’s published works by presenting his teachings alongside his biography. The author has succeeded and also contributed something new, since there is no other printed work providing so many details of Bob’s past. I’m not aware of all the podcasts with Bob which may contain further biographical material. I know that Bob has discussed his past with people other than Kalyani, but I believe this is the first time Bob’s history has been published in print.

The biography is the bones of the book’s theme and thesis: a life of alcoholic suffering gives way to nondual spiritual enlightenment. The thesis is that it is possible to overcome suffering and alcoholism and to understand one’s true nature if one gets a foothold in sanity, values it deeply, and follows the path that opens up as far as possible.

While Bob Adamson’s teachings are available in other published writings, in podcasts, and in person, what I like about this book is the packaging of biography with teachings and the noting of the turning points in Bob’s life that opened up to the realization expressed in the section of the book on teachings.

The turning points were the final quitting of drinking and a question that arose out of that, a question I’d never heard, a question Bob posed about his life. I won’t say what the question was, leaving it to the reader to stumble upon.

What makes Only That relevant and significant is the biographical material in conjunction with the teaching. The phase of ‘Sailor’ Bob’s life in the Navy and his great psychological suffering and alcoholism are the most intense parts of the biography. They form the most important part of the book because they are new revelations in print regarding Adamson and they show the profound suffering, alcoholism, addiction, and despair.

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This is only half the review. Please click here to read the rest at Advaita Academy.

Only That
The Life and Teaching of Sailor Bob Adamson
by Kalyani Lawry

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