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#2874 - Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz   

The Nondual Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights  

One: Essential Writings on Nonduality: http://nonduality.com/one.htm    


In this issue is a review of a new book, The Myth of Self-Enquiry: Questions and Answers about the Philosophy of Oneness, by Jan Kersschot. Included are excerpts from the book.    


     

Amazon.com site: http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Self-Enquiry-Jan-Kersschot/dp/0955399963/ref=sr_1_1/102-5936403-4980917?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1184708390&sr=1-1   Nonduality Press site: http://www.non-dualitybooks.com/Kersschot_myth.htm  


 

The Myth of Self-Enquiry:
Questions and Answers about the Philosophy of Oneness.

Jan Kersschot

Foreword by Tony Parsons

Review written by Jerry Katz

About the author: "Jan Kersschot graduated in medicine from Antwerp University, Belgium. His lifelong quest for the ultimate truth was characterised by his interest in a wisdom which does not exclude anything or anyone." Jan is also the author of Coming Home, Nobody Home, and This Is It, all well-received books on the teaching of nonduality or Oneness.

The first thing I liked about this book is the compact size. It only has about 97 pages and is narrow enough to fit into my back pocket, so I took it with me on a walk and sat in the park and read it.

The theme is that liberation is a myth as there is only awareness, oneness, God, or Beingness. The theme is developed through as series of brief, pointed conversations on a number of topics: the body, the soul, the shadow side, intelligent design v. Darwinism, blasphemy, life after understanding, belief, religion, ego, control, hope, and more.

Prior to the conversations is Kersschot's introduction to the book. It is important because it easily enables the reader new to nonduality and Advaita to comprehend the prison walls of the mind and to see that they are made of thin air.

Something else I like about this book is that Jan is addressing questions that might be posed by any beginning investigator of Advaita or of Beingness. Such questions as, "If I am not my body, then I am a soul that has chosen this body to live in?" "What I eat, how much I pray, it's not essential? Is that what you're saying?" "Is there nothing we can do to change the world for the better?"

The responses are brief and lead to conversations consisting of further concise responses back and forth.

There is a freshness to this book that is illustrated in how Jan describes his offerings. The questioner asks, "Are you like the Zen masters, who say that the finger pointing to the moon is not the moon?" Jan responds, "I would rather say I try to point to the sun instead of the moon. And the sun stands here for the one and only source of light of everything. Of all beings."

This book of conversations is a concise and fresh guide to Advaita that considers a variety of worldly topics. This book will be extremely useful to people first investigating Advaita and to anyone who still has questions or doubts.

 


 

Excerpts

Foreword

 

The Sanskrit word Advaita points to that which cannot be spoken of and exposes the fallacy of the idea that there is something separate from something else called Oneness. The simplicity of this message is directly threatening to the apparent seeker. It is rejected by the guru mind which searches for states to lay claim to … Stillness, silence, bliss or awareness arise within the hypnotic dream of separation and then drop away again like sand through the fingers.

But Being is the one and only constant that never comes and never goes away. Because it is nothing and everything it cannot be gained or lost, given or received, approached or avoided.

The seeing of these words, the hearing of sounds, sensations in the body, feelings, thoughts … the very stuff of boundless aliveness, is the essence of Being … indefinable, unknowable, beyond description and yet filling every part of existence.

This clear and simple message speaks of a revolutionary perception where all traditional ideas, and even contemporary teachings of becoming something better or different, collapse. Its illumination is in the energetic, vibrant aliveness that is implicit in the wonder and liberation of simply Being.

Jan Kersschot has a clear understanding of this perception and demonstrates his ideas very well in his new book, The Myth of Self-Enquiry.

All the time the seeker continues to search for the unfindable through process and path this kind of exposure can be a reminder of another possibility.

Tony Parsons, April 2007

 


Chapter 5
Blasphemy

 

---Questioner: I accept there is only one God. One God who created everything. You said that this one single God knows no borders, and must be infinite. I accept that as well. So this God is the same as your sense of beingness.

Jan Kersschot: Well, it’s not a sense of beingness I refer to, it is Beingness with a capital I refer to. It’s That in which everything appears. It is everything.

---So God is the same as Beingness.

Right. But I prefer the word Beingness because it sounds more neutral than Brahman or God.

---But then I also have to accept that I am that single infinite God, because you said that Oneness equals Beingness and in your books I’ve discovered that I am this very Beingness.

What you really are is that Beingness, yes.

---If I tell that to my priest, he would say that I believe I am God! Isn’t that blasphemy then?

No. Blasphemy means that you as a person believe you’re God. This is just the opposite.

---How do you mean? You said in your book "This Is It" that you are Beingness. And that Beingness equals God. So I conclude that you believe yourself to be God.

You’re mixing up things. I am not talking about "me" – as the character Jan – identifying with Beingness. That would be ridiculous. It’s the "real me" that is Oneness. It’s not you as a person who will reach this. That’s exactly the core of this philosophy of Oneness.

---I don’t understand.

You have to disappear first – so to speak – before the understanding appears that you are Beingness. I know it sounds like a paradox. That’s why this "philosophy of oneness" doesn’t deserve the description "philosophy." It’s full of inconsistencies.

---Still some people will say that what you say is blasphemous.

The word blasphemy means, for example, claiming the attributes of a deity, or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God.

---You mean, it’s insulting the spiritual leaders or their gods.

Yes.

---Aren’t you doing that?

No, not at all. When it’s clear that everything is as it should be, why would I want to fight or insult the gods or the churches?

---Still, I felt attacked by your books.

What I write about in my books may take away your faith in spiritual dogmas because I invite you to have a look for yourself. But I am not trying to ridicule the religions or their leaders or their books. I say that everybody is free to believe what they want to believe in. I also say that I am not trying to change that. If that wasn’t clear, I want to say it once again.

---It’s OK. I see what you mean. I have it now.

But what I do in my books is pointing at what you can see for yourself. It’s like a scientific experiment. I invite you to have a look. Without any prejudices. One of the experiments invites you to see if there is a person living in your body.

---I remember. It’s called "nobody home."

One of the conclusions in that chapter is that there is no separate person. So how could Jan ever claim to be God, when two minutes earlier I said that this Jan is just an image on the screen?

---So it’s not blasphemy at all?

It’s not you as a person who discovers she is God. It’s you as you really are that equals Beingness. It’s what you really are which is God. And that God is not you as a person but equals the one Beingness I was referring to before. But not God as an idea, not Beingness as a concept in your mind, but Oneness without borders. The unthinkable One.

---But the belief of a higher being creating and guiding everything has always been very popular. I liked the idea, really.

Why make it an outside agency? Where is this God then? And again, where are the borders?

---I don’t know. Nobody ever asked me such questions.

Where does God come from then?

---Well, they say that…

Can you give an answer to these questions without relying on religious dogmas or holy books?

---The designer could have created himself?

Created out of what? Out of nothing? Do you really believe all that?

---That’s what they say. Out of nothingness. It’s true that it is impossible. It sounds nice but it’s silly.

Sooner or later you may discover that a lot of these beliefs are stories based on belief and hearsay. If you examine them carefully, there isn’t much left of them.

---How can people still believe all that in the 21st century? Some of them even want to die for that belief.

If you look at all the stories and rules and holy books with a critical mind, can you still continue to believe in all these stories about heaven and hell?

---Each religion has its own rules and customs, and their own infallible creator. But it’s hard to convince these people that their belief is just a mind construct.

Yes indeed.

---Even when these believers see that they have no solid proof, they still go on with their holy book in their hands. They strongly hold on to their dogmas.

It’s not a problem we have to solve. We are not better than they are. We don’t have to try and change them.

---I see.

Everybody can make his own image of a creator in his mind and give him the name he prefers.

---And some believers are very serious about that. They wouldn’t appreciate what you just said.

They can’t help it if they want to hold onto their belief systems.

---That’s how they are programmed.

And that’s OK. That’s how it is.

---That’s how they’re designed.

They can’t help it either that they appear as they appear.

---Let it be.

I am not inviting you to disrespect them.

~ ~ ~

The Myth of Self-Enquiry:
Questions and Answers about the Philosophy of Oneness.

Jan Kersschot

Foreword by Tony Parsons

7.95 / $13.95  p/b. 120 pages.
ISBN: 978-0-9553999-6-1

Website: The Natural State - http://www.kersschot.com/  

Amazon.com page: http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Self-Enquiry-Jan-Kersschot/dp/0955399963/ref=sr_1_1/102-5936403-4980917?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1184708390&sr=1-1   Non-Duality Press page: http://www.non-dualitybooks.com/Kersschot_myth.htm

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