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#1963 - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - Editor: Jerry

This Highlights is brief as I had to type most of it out. It includes a few words about, and an excerpt from a new book, This Is It: The Nature of Oneness, by Jan Kersschot. I like the author's plain language and the ease of flow of the interviews, and the absence of dressing-up -- maybe even the dressing down -- of modern day nonduality.

This Is It: The Nature of Oneness, by Jan Kersschot. Interviews with teachers of non-duality. In simple and clear language, Jan Kersschot explains how to go beyond the need for concepts and belief systems. Everything you need to know, you know already. Your true nature is what you are already, and so it cannot be found.

Words and experiences are useful signposts, but your true spiritual mirror is “beingness”, the simple fact of being what you are. Although we are all capable of seeing our beingness at any moment, most of us overlook this ability most of the time. Right now, as you are, is “it”. Everything is exactly how it is supposed to be.

Jan’s book invites you to recognize this simple message. The directness of this vision became increasingly clear in the conversations Jan had with the spiritual teachers he met (including Eckhart Tolle – author of the bestselling Power of Now). When you recognize the core of this vision while reading these dialogues, it becomes obvious that you do not have to look elsewhere; that all your trying to reach enlightenment only affirms your sense of separation. Forget about your spiritual ambitions and simply see what is. The preceding text is from the publisher's website. The following is written or transcribed by Jerry Katz.

The book can be purchased from Amazon at

This Is It consists of one-third the author's explanation and discussion of Advaita, enlightenment, and nonduality. Two-thirds of the book consists of Jan's interviews with several "nondual people," including (in the order they appear in the book) Tony Parsons, Douglas Harding, Mira Pagal, Nathan Gill, Chuck Hillig, Wayne Liquorman, Francis Lucille, Vijai Shankar, Mark McCloskey, Eckhart Tolle, U.G. Krishnamurti, and author Jan Kersschot. Having had lunch with a couple of these guys, I can say that the interviews are like that; like sitting down with these people and being with them while they talk about "truth," or whatever you want to call it: "It." "This." "Being." I'll submit fragments of interviews in upcoming Highlights. This is a very readable book for anyone interested in plain talk about nonduality.

Here is a portion of This Is It which was written by Kersschot.

Teachers of Nondualism

The teacher you are attracted to is just a reflection of what you are looking for. If you had a major transcendental experience while being with a particular guru, you are likely to get hooked on that teacher, or hooked on such an experience. And if that teacher is not satisfying anymore, you may go and look for a stronger or more resonating leader. As long as you are looking for something, be it bliss, resonance or peace, you will encounter teachers or masters who will claim that they can give it to you. As long as this process is going on, it is ok to follow them. It is also ok to have spiritual experiences, and to look for more of those until there is the recognition that the 'final it' is not attained yet -- and never will be. Until it is recognized that blissful experiences are appearing in It but are not It, it seems that all this seeking and all these special experiences can bring you closer, but not close enough.

Other teachers may look more ordinary, and focus on the intellectual approach of the spiritual search. They can challenge some of your belief systems. Finally, one can encounter someone who leaves you with nothing whatsoever. No prescriptive measure is given since it is made clear that there is no such thing as a spiritual path. There are only a few around who don't compromise in this matter, who continue to say that there is nothing to chase because there is no spiritual seeker in the first place. Here the seeker's mind may be disappointed because there is no more hope, no more future. Even special experiences are not considered important any more. Even your most extraordinary spiritual achievements are not encouraged nor labelled as higher or more profound than your most ordinary sense of everyday life. Even comparing yourself with the teacher falls away. This is the teacher who gives no basis for a maintenance of your personality. Then all that is left is presence. It becomes clear that searching for something special or trying to be peaceful and openhearted doesn't bring you closer to the very natural state you are always in, no matter how you feel or behave. Beingness is not something you can acquire as a result of your personal effort. The actor on the movie screen isn't able to walk up to the lamp in the back of the theatre. Nobody can bring you closer to the Light and nothing can take you away from It because Light is what you are. Beingness is what you are. And this Being is completely beyond any sense of values.

When all beliefs and expectations are abandoned, all the usual efforts to improve your life or to achieve a higher level of consciousness evaporate. When the spiritual search is no longer important, there may be a resting in the immediacy of what is. Seeking the extraordinary, you overlook the splendour of the ordinary in everyday life. You overlook the simplicity of the open secret, which is available right here and right now. Enlightenment is not something you can reach and that will you special, something that will make you stand out in the crowd. It is just the opposite: you become nobody and everybody at the same time.

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