In these troubled times, the search for a guru and an inquiry into the spiritual self seems to be almost de rigueur with the fashionable as well as common folk. What is the meaning of life? How do I search for happiness? How can I be at peace with myself? Is there any perfect way of balancing my corporeal and spiritual self? At long last the world seems to be rejecting the West’s jaded appetite for self-indulgence and turning to Eastern mysticism in search for its answers.
At the beginning of the book Steven Harrison says that this work is a “work of investigation into the bare actuality of our existence.” He propounds the theory that the centre of existence is the thinker, the central “me” around which everything revolves. Having tried every remedy—from pouring over spiritual tomes to traversing the Himalayas in search of enlightenment—he realises that the basic idea of self is the essential beginning of understanding. No matter what he experienced or did, it all came down to the idea of the self as the fulcrum.
This remarkable book, part psychology, part metaphysics—takes us on a journey of the mind to address our angst and feelings of alienation. It addresses the nature of thought, the study of the self, the place religion has in our consciousness and daily life, and how we can best cope with the crisis of change. Perhaps the hardest challenge of all is the challenge of living. How do we cope with the crises that assail us in our daily lives? There are problems regarding finance, relationships, politics, family and community.
Definitely a work that invites a second reading, the book exhorts its readers to relinquish the search for the spiritual self by doing nothing. Let yourself go with the flow. The book’s premise can best be summed up in the words of the ancient Chinese sage Fo-yan: If you seek, how is that different from pursuing sound and form? If you don’t seek, how are you different from earth, wood or stone? You must seek without seeking.
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