Physics Encounters Consciousness
Authors: Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner
Even though you may not be a physicist or have advanced degrees in one thing or another, this book is one of the best attempts to open the astounding discoveries of quantum mechanics and allow enough understanding to cause you to wonder about what you've always assumed to be reality.
The authors explore the mysterious implications resulting from quantum mechanics. Observation creates reality. Everything is connected, entangled in a web of conscious mystery. I smell jamine; a star is born.
Nuts and bolts scientists are stumped and amazed, while making use of their disbelief with startling new inventions.
"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement.
But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth."
-- Niels Bohr
My Extraordinary Summer with "Sailor" Bob Adamson
Author: James Braha
Publisher: Hermetician Press
Like many who think of themselves as "seekers", the author tells us the story of seeking's end. Full stop.
James Braha invited "Sailor" Bob Adamson and his wife, Barbara, to travel from their home in Australia to visit him, his wife, and some close friends in Florida. During Sailor Bob's 5-week stay, James recorded their conversations which have been edited and published in this fascinating and easily read narrative that is one of the most effective conversational style books of this type, probably due to the same individuals being gathered together over an extended period. This enables their discussions to cover many aspects of a one-pointed subject in a very readable, entertaining, and, dare-I-say, "enlightening" way.
Sailor Bob is an unpretentious and "normal" individual who exhibits non-duality and uses clear, simple descriptions to pass along his understanding. (See his two books listed below.)
Here's an excellent video interview with James Braha about his experiences that are detailed in the book, Living Reality --
What's Wrong With Right Now Unless You Think About It?
Author: "Sailor" Bob Adamson
Publisher: Non-Duality Press
These two books are composed of conversations, primarily in a question/answer format, between Bob Adamson and those attending his meetings.
Bob is an Australian who spent years of searching only to discover that what he sought was closer than his next breath.
Bob is one of those rare persons who can speak as simply and clearly as anyone can about the most profound topics. For example, "You are the timeless. Thought is time appearing on the timeless."
"You are being lived. You are that livingness itself."
These are relatively short books (each is less than 150 pages), and you may find yourself returning to re-read them, not because they're difficult but because of their clarity.
Painting the Sidewalk with Water
Author: Joan Tollifson
Publisher: Non-Duality Press
This is Joan Tollifson's latest book (her two previous books are listed below) and continues the author's incisive comments about life. Her humor and natural spontaneity sparkle all the way through the book.
The author is not afraid to expose the soft underbelly of what might be called the teacher-student game we often play: you, the wise and all-knowing Teacher; me, the dumbass student. This game is played under many guises that go by all sorts of religious perspectives and varying dualisms, equally (and perhaps surprisingly) apparent among non-dualists where you might think it would be otherwise.
Joan exposes Joan: the finger-biting, handicapped, Lesbian, alcoholic, while she and those around her reveal what's under, around, beneath, above, inside and out, everything and nothing. They paint the sidewalk with water together, then watch as it gradually dries up and simply becomes the Sidewalk.
The chapter entitled, "Conversation with a Friend", is worth the price of the book. One of the best descriptions of the difference between "enlightenment" and "delusion" I've ever read.
To read what others have said about the book and a snopsis, check out the Joan Tollifson "Writings" page.
Bare-Bones Meditation: Waking Up from the Story of My Life
Author: Joan Tollifson
Publisher: Bell Tower
This is the story of a woman with lots of stuff to deal with -- born with only one hand, discovering that she's a Lesbian, becoming alcoholic and drug addicted. Eventually, she finds Zen and then realizes it fits like a tight shoe. It was then that she opted for a "bare-bones" approach. This witty, insightful book is a narrative of that discovery.
The author tells her messy but inspiring story right from the heart, openly, honestly. The circumstances of one's life -- regardless of what they are -- set off the alarm clock that awakens.
It isn't necessary to belong to any formal spiritual tradition to wake up. You just have to open your eyes.
Awake in the Heartland: The Ecstasy of What Is
Author: Joan Tollifson
This book describes the continuing discoveries begun in Bare-Bones Meditation (above).
If you are chasing enlightenment like some night phantom, hoping and even expecting to "find it" or "experience it" sometime when you are "worthy" or have "practiced more" or find the right teacher or join the true movement, then perhaps the author's experience will shed a little light on your poor unenlightened self.
Click on the links below to read excerpts from Awake in the Heartland.
Standing as Awareness
The Direct Path
Author: Greg Goode
Publisher: Non-Duality Press
The awareness in which everything arises isn't yourself, it's your Self, or as the author puts it, "You are not a person, but the awareness in which the person arises."
Using the admittedly inadequate vehicle of language, the author effectively describes non-duality, avoiding the common jargon and using less technical terminology, pointing out where to begin and how to follow through based on "Direct Path" teachings and freeing the discovery from the constant search for experiences.
"Enlightenment is when the difference between enlightenment and unenlightenment drops away."
Check out the video below:
Philosophers Without Gods
Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life
Editor: Louise M. Antony
Breath is the root of the English word, "spirit", and this book of atheist meditations breathes spiritual sensitivity. One need not be a theist to be spiritual.
The first half of the book carries the heading, "Journeys", and tells the personal stories of what led ten individuals along the path to atheism. In most cases, the pointers along the way were the inconsistencies and failures of reason and even common sense. Each story is well-told, with individuals from various religious traditions represented.
The second half of the book, headed "Reflections", presents ten essays on a variety of relevant topics, such as the relationship of reason to religion, the presence of evil, fanaticism, and experiencing transcendence.
The unique thing about this book is that all the contributors are professional philosophers at a wide variety of colleges and universities. Their writing is not strident but clear, well-reasoned, understandable, and personally engaging.
You don't have to be interested in Zen or Buddhism of any flavor to be drawn in by this book. Brad's earlier two books: Hardcore Zen and Sit Down and Shut Up are on-base hits, but this -- his latest -- hits a home run in many ways.
So often we tend to think that some high and mighty Poo-bah has all the spiritual answers. If only I could become like that guru or master or priest or pastor or mullah, then I'd be saved, or enlightened, or delivered, or have some sort of mystical experience that would rid me of myself and all my problems. Bullshit! And that's basically the idea behind this book, odd as that may sound.
This is definitely a rubber-meets-the-read kind of book that, if you're anything like me, will keep you turning pages even if you're trying to watch CSI on TV, as I was when I first picked it up the first time. Hey, I actually turned off the TV because the book was that good.
OK, Brad is not your typical Zen teacher. In fact, I'm not really sure that he's comfortable with the idea of being a teacher. Yet, his story itself teaches a lot more than most of the sutras, koans, and sermons I've heard.
So, if you're ready to face, as they say, the unvarnished truth about the spiritual life, or whatever you prefer to call it (or not call it), then read this book.
Maybe enlightenment really is through that pile of crap you've been stumbling through all your life.
You aren't just conscious, but, in fact, you are Consciousness, with a Big C.
The author keeps looking at Consciousness from many different angles, helping the reader become aware by using words to sort of paint a picture, where words by themselves fail otherwise.
Here, in his own words, is Peter Dziuban's description of his book. To read his full description, click the "Read more" link below.
Consciousness Is All is a book on Absolute Reality, also called Infinite Reality.
This is not a book about human experience, or how to attain a higher consciousness in order to improve a human experience. It is a book that is concerned with the Allness, the “only-ness” or the Absoluteness of One Self, the Divine, Pure Consciousness, or what some call “God.” It shows why there never has been a lesser or secondary Self or Life—and that the only Life there is, is 100 percent divine. It is a book of what Consciousness is to Pure Consciousness—not how Consciousness can be related to a human mind or experience. Read more...
If you want to read a little of the actual book to get a better idea, you can do so by clicking on the Amazon link above, then "Look Inside".
Author: Toby Johnson
Publisher: White Crane Books
Toby Johnson, PhD., was a Catholic monk and scholar of comparative religion. He is now a psychotherapist and author of several books, as well as editor of White Crane Journal. In addition, he happens to be gay. He is at the forefront of the Gay spirituality movement.
Many gay men and Lesbians turn away from all religion due to the widespread oppression and condemnation they suffer at the hands of religious people. This book points out that spiritual experience is not limited to formal, organized religion, which also happens to be the primary purpose of Lotus and Rose.
This book is descriptive but also suggestive, in the sense that it describes the current situation and suggests practical alternatives for living spiritually as a gay person.
Doubt: a History
Author: Jennifer Michael Hecht
Although an historical account, this book has no resemblance to the stereotypically dry tomes labeled as "history". The author approaches the subject with wit and a refreshing warmth that brings the story of history's thoughtful doubters to life!
She begins the story in ancient Greece and traces the story of those who questioned authority down to the present day.
Living as we do in an age of fundamentalist resurgence, it behooves us to revisit the time-honored folk who have been unwilling to accept the easy answers of those who back up their opinions with quotations from so-called inspired texts or all-knowing teachers.
Can real truth stand up to serious questioning? If not, perhaps we would be better off with far less of it.
Spirituality in the lives of queer people -- the term the author uses to group Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people -- is in general, more likely to be open and faith-filled but less likely to be faithful. He means this to their credit, in the sense that they are not bound completely by the strictures of a particular organized religious outlook.
The author describes the reasons for this, as well as its features, benefits and implications, not only for gay people but for all people. Perhaps gay people have discovered something extremely valuable in the spiritual adventure of living by virtue of their experiences -- discovered something that could benefit everyone.
After laying the foundation, the author expands in detail three main categories of queer spirituality: (1) outside any formalized framework; (2) within traditions that permit or encourage practitioners to retain a substantial amount of freedom and authority; (3) the more orthodox categories of religion where the individual is more likely to face conflict.
This book offers strong encouragement to anyone seeking within or outside the usual spiritual traditions. Standing outside, by choice or otherwise, offers unique viewpoints.
There's an article by Peter Sweasey on the Dewdrops page: Queer Spirit: On Sexual Identity as Help and Hindrance.
Here's a guy who makes no bones about being a punk rocker infatuated with Godzilla and, oh yeah, a Zen teacher. Well, I suppose we all have similar stories of various combinations of things that we define as who we are.
This was one book I could hardly put down once I opened it. The author has a disarming way of presenting some profound thoughts in plain wrappers, often using autobiographical details to illustrate.
If you ever were a kid, and I'd be scared to admit I wasn't, and if you ever more or less grew up, and most of us have, more or less, and if you ever wondered about who you really might be under all the monster make-up, then I think Brad Warner's story will interest you, too.
There's an article by Brad Warner on the Dewdrops page: Zen is Boring. There are also links to his Web site and related items there.