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Living Nonduality: Enlightenment Teachings of Self-realization [Kindle Edition]

Robert Wolfe
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This is a newly improved Kindle formatting of Living Nonduality: A collection of 238 concise, illuminating discussions covering 444 pages investigating what it means to live without division. Robert Wolfe (also the author of The Gospel of Thomas: Enlightenment Teachings of Jesus, and One Essence: The Nondual Clarity of an Ancient Zen Poem) discusses modern and ancient nondual teachers and explores the enlightenment teachings of Jesus, Buddha, Krishnamurti, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta and others. Other chapters explore the relation between modern scientific understanding and spiritual insight. It is not only a personal reflection on the nondual experience, but a useful and challenging spiritual "travelogue" to the history and contemporary field of enlightenment teachings.

Here is a selection from the preface, Self-realization is not a Religion:

"There is probably no person alive who has not pondered that which some intellects have termed “ultimate reality” -- the source of animation and activation that expresses the phenomenon that we call life. Because this noumenon is immaterial, to the senses, it is sometimes described as “spirit”.

"An interest in the spiritual need not have any inherent relationship with what is defined as religion. It can be free of: required beliefs; worship of forms (or even the absence of form); dictates of regulated behavior; or ideas of right versus wrong. It can be free of all doctrine or dogma, allowing you to discern and verify for yourself what is true.

"In the latter category, is an area of interest in ultimate reality (or the “spiritual”) which is referred to as self-realization. This is a direct, unmediated confirmation of the nature of truth concerning the root questions of worldly existence: what can be said about this life?
There is a motivation for exploring this area, this personal investigation into our intrinsic essence. Each person, universally, possesses a sense of immediate and unique presence. This specialized sense of personification results in an experiential image or form which is characterized as our ego.

"This ego plays a pivotal and crucial role in our relationships with other life forms. Resolving the questions about the nature of ultimate reality can have a profound effect on the isolation or alienation that we countenance from within the perspective of our encapsulating, or self-limiting, ego. It is this ego which is the progenitor of the bulk of the conflict which we daily experience, for the duration of a lifetime.

"The consequence of the internal inquiry, into what you are that is in transcendence of the individual ego, is the revelatory awareness that is known as self-realization. This can be independent of any and all of the behaviors and attitudes that are associated with religion. This is not an inquiry into the supposed existence (or non-existence) of a god or gods, but an investigation into the relationship (if any) between the self, that you are conscious of, and the ultimate reality in which you are conscious of it. And this is a discovery which can be immediate and direct, without reliance on any religious propositions."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 690 KB
  • Print Length: 468 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Karina Library Press; 2nd edition (2 Aug. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003Z9JOCS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #155,477 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional 2 Feb. 2013
Exceptional book on non-duality. As straight-forward as is possible for this subject. Can help one avoid the pitfalls along the 'path', and recognise that which is sought.
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3.0 out of 5 stars no time to do more 19 April 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
difficult to describe
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Living Nonduality' 21 Oct. 2009
By NotClyde - Published on
I met with Robert Wolfe on two different occasions. We discussed non-duality both times, in what I would characterize as intense conversations. The second time we met, he asked me--as soon as I sat down--`why did you come back?' His implicit, unspoken questions: `what, exactly, are you looking for?' And `why haven't you found it?' It is his way--direct, unvarnished. He focuses on the essential. Nothing else matters.

Wolfe's writing is similarly uncompromising. There is nothing soft about it. At page 80 of Living Nonduality: `Our first responsibility to our self is to arrive at a state of spiritual clarity--permanent, self-evident and unequivocally beyond doubt.' Spiritual clarity is his point--his only point.

Towards that end, Wolfe covers some of the same ground covered by other non-duality teachers. But he does it with unique insight, in the language of our time and culture. For example, at page 19:

`In short, what the teachers are saying is that any object in the universe is--despite our giving it some separative name--a manifestation of the Absolute (or Source). They are also saying that the subject is not an exception to this truth: that everything in the universe is a manifestation of the same singular Source. So, at the level of the most basic reality, the subject--I--and the object--tree--are the same thing: an aspect (although different in appearance) of the Absolute. Thus, if we look beyond the separative names, there is only one universal thing, the Absolute.'

As you can see, Wolfe's core message is classical Advaita--i.e., `not two.' But his context is right now.

At page 133, a questioner states, `My life feels meaningless, repetitious and full of conflict, even after all the years of spiritual search.' Wolfe's response? `Perhaps it's because of all the years of spiritual search.' His are not the words of a man in the `guru business.' He is definitely not encouraging a search for `more.' In fact, the contrary is true.

What does Wolfe want from you? Nothing. What does he want for you? That you should be absolutely, unconditionally free.

If you feel compelled to search, Wolfe's book is an excellent place to start--or finish.

(4.5 out of 5 stars)
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars extraordinary work 23 July 2010
By S. Schechter - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Robert Wolfe's Living Nonduality is an extraordinary book from any number of standpoints. In addition to its staggering clarity and insight, there is a virtuosity of thought and expression that is extremely rare. I have been reading, and valuing, "spiritual" books for nearly 40 years, and I can't think of another of its kind that so skillfully and eloquently points the way. I have heard the word "majestic" used to describe Nisargadatta's I Am That, a book I have read five times. Having this familiarity, I would say the same word--majestic--surely applies to Mr. Wolfe's Living Nonduality.

I don't want to give the wrong impression, however. For all its grandeur, this book is incredibly accessible. There is an exquisite heart in this work, and a fierce benevolence, that is communicated simply and straightforwardly. Though Mr. Wolfe is unwavering in his presentation, he comes at it so creatively I had a great sense of adventure in approaching each new short section, or "monograph." This adventure was wonderfully unexpected, and inspiring in its own right.

Mr. Wolfe is clearly a grounded being, something I especially appreciated in reading his book. He has a breadth and depth of "worldly" knowledge and experience, and draws on both in his reflections and his replies to inquirers. He is also deeply attentive to and appreciative of nature (see, for example, Where I am Not, p. 20, and Yea, Listen to the Mockingbird, p. 443), and I found these reflections to be some of Mr. Wolfe's loveliest and most inspiring.

There is so much beauty, wisdom and inspiration in Living Nonduality! For anyone drawn to nonduality teachings, this book, and Mr. Wolfe himself, are incredible blessings.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Light From Every Angle 23 Aug. 2010
By Dan L. McCann - Published on
What makes Robert Wolfe's book, Living Nonduality, stand out is that he approaches the subject from so many angles. Sometimes he is Thoreau-esque, touching on the natural world and the place of the individual within it. Many of the monographs cover ordinary matters which can so often consume us. Other times his approach is scientific, or philosophical and, often, he is like a logician, carefully revealing the consequences of his proposition. But from the heart of the nondual message he never wavers.

The book is constructed in such a way that it has no real beginning or end. One can flip it open to any page among the 400+ pages over which it travels and begin reading. It simply doesn't matter. Each monograph has at its heart the same message of nonduality that has been spoken of for centuries. The monograph entitled "Ungrasping" is alone worth the twenty bucks. It is often stated that the absolute is inexplicable, but this monograph gets as about as close as you one can.

In the end, though, what makes this book so special is that Mr. Wolfe is as wonderful with the craft of writing as he is at revealing the true nature of ourselves and the world. He is as clear and clean with both aspects as you will find in a nondual writer. Accessible, profound, and inspiring, I highly recommend it.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living Nonduality From A-Z 19 May 2010
By Howard A. Ward - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book offers the reader an opportunity to look at a comprehensive collection of life issues from a genuine non-dual perspective. It's an invitation to step inside the head of a human being that is the true embodiment of living nonduality.

I met Robert many years ago in the middle of an intensive spiritual search, and as much as I am skeptical about such things, Robert seems to be one of these people who show up when a person is actually ready to let go of all of the stories that are obstructing a direct experience of nonduality.

Having had the extreme good fortune of spending many an evening in dialogue with Robert exploring many of the issues beautifully articulated in this book, I was extremely pleased to discover that someone had put together this wonderful collection of Robert's writings so that a wider audience could also experience the gift which he unconditionally offers.

If there's a genuine passion for clarity inside you, and you've been reading the likes of J. Krishnamurti for many years and still feel confused, then try this book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece of nonduality 16 Jan. 2012
By S. A. Saribay - Published on
A lot of books on nonduality have a simple approach that repeats the same message in a limited number of ways. This makes sense as the message is just a pointer that if you follow will lead you to a direct experience. The message is NOT the experience itself. If the message got more complicated, then one would worry that the pointing is no longer direct enough. Thus, elegance and depth are sacrificed for directness and simplicity. It was difficult for me to imagine any other way. In Living Nonduality, Robert Wolfe does the unimaginable of keeping the pointers simple, clear, and direct, but somehow adding elegance to the picture by managing to talk about nonduality in so many beautiful and interesting ways. He brings a wider range of concepts, people, and ideas into focus. He talks about Jesus, quantum physics, romantic relationships, political activism, and whatnot, in a series of short essays and dialogues. He does an amazing service to anybody who wants to communicate nonduality through his clear and meticulous explanations of the absolute vs. the relative (you will have to do the reading yourself to figure out what these are). This is not only a book for the spiritual seeker, it is a book for the spiritual teacher. I consider Robert Wolfe, simply on the basis of this fascinating work, one of the greatest living Western masters of nonduality. May we all be lucky enough to show, or at least to identify, the clarity, courage, and wisdom he reflects in this masterpiece.
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