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#2978 - Tuesday, November 6, 2007 - Editor: Jerry Katz

Nondual Highlights -    

In this issue a review of Beyond the "I": Notes on Waking Up to Oneness, by Dhyan Dewyea.  

What I like about this book, besides the precise writing, is that the author talks about her past experiences. That way, people currently involved with different schools and teachings might get a very good perspective of what they're involved in.  

In these days, whenever an autobiography is offered by a nondualist, it is typically accompanied by an apologetic disclaimer. They apologize for crystallizing a "story" that's nothing more than etchings in the nervous system, memories.   

When it comes to revealing autobiography, suddenly the power and directness of the self-realized one goes out the window and they apologize for it, rather than just say it. If the autobiography is spoken fully, as Dhyan Dewyea's is, there's no need for apology.  



Review of Beyond the "I": Notes on Waking Up to Oneness, by Dhyan Dewyea. link:  

"Beyond the I" is a story of a life in which spiritual strategies were implemented and none worked. The author's life fell apart.

Perhaps you realize that your spiritual strategies brighten and improve a false self, leaving you feeling incomplete. Maybe you sense, intuit, feel, something deeper, vaster, the "indescribable dimension of reality." Or maybe you don't intuit any of that and you simply feel imprisoned. Either way, if these statements fit you, then let this book guide you beyond yourself.

The tone in these current days of nonduality literature is to eschew autobiographical details. Dhyan Dewyea stands on her own in providing autobiographical details. They make this book interesting and useful and are given substance by remarkable confessions. About her experience with "life coaching," Dhyan says, "Seeking to improve one's life conditions may be an appropriate endeavor under certain circumstances, but I had a dim sense that the implicit world view of coaching institutionalized a running into dead ends at great speed and with blind excitement."

Dewyea takes the reader through an assortment of spiritual people and investigations: Gestalt psychology, bioenergetics, Primal Scream, Irina Tweedie, J. Krishnamurti, Osho's dynamic meditation, H. A. Almaas, the Quadrinity Process, quite a bit about meditation, and more.

There are razor sharp writings on enlightenment, awakening, and searching; on language, models of reality, and the spirituality marketplace: "The very identification with the limited "I" is what causes the perceived lack and consequent desire for something bigger, and the biggest prize of all is to be universal, eternal, divine. If the former is dropped, the gambit of the prize disappears with it, then there is only one whole."

There is no sense of nostalgia or self-indulgence in these writings. As I said in the beginning, the author's life fell apart. She writes about the disintegration of her world: "As my doubts surmounted, life took turns that were strange and upsetting, as well as devastating and disheartening. Instead of nicely building on a solid professional base and seeing the fruition of all this inner work in spiritual and other fulfilment, 'my' world seemed to be disintegrating slowly and painfully. This lasted for years."

The author ultimately claims self-realization: "The outlook on how the world is perceived and how one perceives oneself shifts because for the first time it is possible to clearly see what the mind really is. For lack of a better expression, I call it a shift in perspective, but the word change or even transformation is not the right one in this context."

This is an independent work in the field nondual spirituality because it spends so much time on a number of spiritual strategies and models that polish the limited "I," rather than find out what it is. That's useful revelation for someone grappling with methods, techniques, and attainment of spiritual states. Knowing the limits of effort is intelligent, even if a step is never taken beyond the I.  

--Jerry Katz, review writer


Beyond the "I": Notes on Waking Up to Oneness, by Dhyan Dewyea. link:

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