Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day

#2711 - Friday, January 25, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz


Nondual Highlights | Past Issues and Search Engine:






From Here To Here: Turning Toward Enlightenment, by Gary Crowley 


You may read the Table of Contents and the first few pages of this book at the Amazon page at Of course you may buy the book there as well!


In this issue I want to say a few words about this book and give some excerpts.


This is a short book of under a hundred pages. The book is concise and packed with illustrations, stories, and exercises to help get the points across. Breezy and usable, it is one of the best introductory books in mainstream nonduality. This book is a very accessible remedy to the gnawing intuition that there is something other than, something beyond an existence in which people struggle and suffer and chalk it up to life.


The subtitle, "Turning Toward Enlightenment," expresses the idea of the book. We can turn. We can see things in a new way. This new way will help us develop the intuition that there is "something" more, more real than the life most people call "reality."


So how does Crowley go about getting the reader to turn toward enlightenment? He starts with neurology and shows that there is no conscious will and therefore no suffering. In other words, he shows that you are not. That's the first half of the book. In the second half he takes what's left, which is "what is," and shows how to live in the this-here-now.


But you have to read his words to see how beautifully he talks about this stuff. Here's an excerpt:


Jolly Charlie's Amusment Park ... had a great ride when I was a little boy. It consisted of a series of little boats attached to a track that ran beneath the water. Although the path of the boats was predetermined, we were all completely fixated on steering our boats. We madly turned the steering wheel to avoid crashing into the stationary buoys that appeared in our path and were so pleased with ourselves as we barely escaped disaster. We had a fantastic time waving to the parents each time we would pass. What could be more fun at that age than captaining a boat?


Of course, for the adults, the boat ride was a completely different experience. The adults understood that the steering of the boats was all an illusion. They could not step back into the dream of a small child. Seeing through the dream forever changes the dream. Yet, the adults did not go out of their way to ruin the illusion for their children. There came a time in life in the natural course of events when the child had enough life experience to understand the illusion. With understanding, the child became an adult.


Similarly, the "ride" of a body with conscious will is nothing more than an illusion, a childlike fantasy. Once this understanding occurs, everything is different. Yet, everything also remains the same. The body is still on this ride of life, but with no ability to consciously steer the boat, we are left as the awareness of the ride. We are left totally free to be the experiencing of each moment.


Conscious will is nothing but a false rumor. The false rumor, this nonexistent phantom, has been causing all your suffering. The illusion of conscious will is the culprit that holds back your spiritual awakening, but like all illusions, it is only supported by a lack of investigation and a desire to believe what is false. Believing in conscious will is like a child who imagines there is a monster in the closet. The child is genuinely frightened, but a simple investigation quickly resolves the problem. Adults just open the closet door and look.


As a spiritual seeker, it is your nature to be curious about _what is_. This is not the case with everyone. Most human beings are fully immersed in the illusion and do not yearn to understand it. Your curiosity has brought you to a precipice. There is now only one question: Is there a desire to look over the edge?


"Come to the edge," he said.

"But Master, there is much we still do not know."

"Come to the edge," he said.

"But Master, we require more practice."

"Come to the edge," he said as he pointed, "And just look."

They looked... They understood... They flew.


By investigating the illusion of conscious will, the following becomes clear:


-No conscious will was involved in choosing the body's inherited neurology. No conscious will was involved in how that inherited neurology fired and wired itself together as it encountered life situations.


-Interpretations and perceptions of life occur due to the pre-conscious funneling, filtering, and tunneling of neurological input over which there is not conscious control.


-Based on the limited options determined by our pre-conscious neurological mechanisms, certain thoughts, feelings, and reactions are selected to be consciously experienced. The conscious mind then takes ownership for the experiences it subsequently becomes conscious of, yet which are not consciously chosen.


-Whatever the consequences of these pre-conscious interpretations and reactions to a situation may be, these new effects further condition your neurology (outside of your conscious control), and the game continues.


When viewed from this perspective, can one honestly believe any actions taken are based on conscious will? In the end, conscious will never was -- it was all an illusion. It's now time for you to discover how this illusion causes suffering and to experience the freedom found in _what is_.


~ ~ ~


This is a good book. It reads very clearly like that, with many stories and examples and 8 or so graphics showing optical illusions.


From Here To Here: Turning Toward Enlightenment, by Gary Crowley 


Read more and order this book at the Amazon page:

Also visit Gary's home page: You can access a sample chapter of the book there. 



photo: Gary Crowley


top of page