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Nihilism without tears,
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This review is from: Back to the Truth: 5000 Years of Advaita (Paperback)
Back to the Truth: 5000 years of Advaita is an all you wanted to know book about Advaita but where too afraid to ask. This beautifully produced book reminds me of one of those airport brochures they used to hand out at airports, but 500 pages long.
This isn't a put down. The book is a masterpiece but, like those airport brochures, there is no criticism. This is a pure brochure then. It's like 2500 years of European philosophy, and science, never happened. Plato was never born and so all of his footnotes have vanished, like in the film, Back to the Future, and we are now in a parallel universe where Adi Shankara led to the Internet.
This isn't a problem because what is in these pages is a pointer to the truth.
You can tell that Dennis Waite has put his heart into this book and it has paid off. Here we have an escape from a meaningless merry-go-round of seeking. So those who doubt the existence of something other than shopping and death, better take a look at this book. Dennis Waite is the real deal.
Let the masses can have shopping and death. They will never understand. They need personal immortality, hence Islam and Christianity. The masters pay no heed to the grim reaper.
According to Dennis Waite, the real deal is Advaita and this is more than masturbation of the intellect. It is a pointer to the truth.
Indeed, truth before the big bang and truth before particles deserves to be pointed and so Back to the Truth: 5000 Years of Advaita is a breathtakingly bold undertaking. All people on the path will benefit from this fathomless gift to the seeker.
What impresses me about this book is the generosity of Mr Waite. All the people involved in the subject are in here. Dennis Waite quotes handsomely from the work of these people, to get the point across, and the way he references other books makes this book an Internet in the palm of your hand. Flipping through the book is a real treat. The pages are real quality and Waite uses a bold typeface for the names of people in the book. So this is a book that is meant to be read. So why 3 stars then?
Ok. We live in the supermarket of ideas age and people have books to sell. So here is my problem with long list of a who's who of jnani's running around inside the book.
The thing that puts me off about this otherwise magnificent package is the inflation problem. Saul of Tarsus has an experience and he changes the world. True. Now if every bloody Jew went around seeing Jesus, it would not have packed the punch it did and Jehovah would not had replaced Jupiter as the big man on Campus Martius.
Indeed, there is something to the idea of the lone man in Bombay becoming the Neo of India. But if every bloody Indian is running around parroting scripture, and claiming to be awake, and today, all those white guys are in on the act, then the punch isn't there. Franklin Merrel-Wolff was one such lonely guy, but that was 100 years ago when all this was new in the West. Now they are all waking up!
Dennis Waite has a long list of white middle class people who have awakened. These people appear on the excellent Buddha at the Gas Pump podcast and they all have books on Amazon and they all have their followers writing reviews. Their books are excellent by the way, but would you be able to hold a pen if you lost your ego? Think about it.
I wouldn't mind if all these awakened Ones just said that they were interested in the subject and they are teaching. You can teach without claiming to be there already. You can teach physics without claiming to be a Noble level thinker. It's just that all these people reckon they have cracked death, like the lone man in Bombay. If an electrician came to your house to fix your fridge and said he can fathom electricity for you, as he knows about the wireing and he can give life to your fridge life, you would be rigtly suspicious. But he admits that he isn't Nik Tesla, as they all do (I have never met a crazy electrician). You can then thank him and start using the fridge.
So because all these people don't just claim to be interested in the subject and because they all claim enlightenment like a business man anoints himself an entrepreneur, then I am annoyed.
Indeed, the word enlightenment and the word entrepreneur are over used, don't you think? In fact, saying that you are an entrepreneur ignores randomness, dumb luck and other variables that helped you along the way. Real entrepreneurs are very rare beings, you see. The same goes for Buddha's and Jnani's. A rich lady from the posh part of England sleeps safely in her bed because rough men are ready to do violence in her favour. She doesn't realise that her life, her very essence of her character, her capabilities and audacities, are only the expression of her belief in the safety of his surroundings.
Throw the lady in the slums and video tape her. Then we will see how There she really is.
So in the book, Dennis Waite quotes these pseudo gurus along with the immortals. This spoils the punch for me. Imagine reading chunks of William Shakespeare and, inserted here and there, are some chunks of the works of English professors. This is what this book is like.
(How can this priceless gift have such a terrible cover? Probably so it doesn't get lumped in the cliché corner.)
One other criticism (I realize than I am criticising a masterpiece here and I don't mean to be so rude) is the emphasis on the original Sanskrit words. I understand that English is an inferior medium and that Sanskrit has over 40 words for consciousness alone, but start worshipping the Sanskrit language, which is a lifetime achievement, and you don't even know if you are there because there probably isn't anyone alive today who can judge. Better stick to your own language or maybe German.
Anyway, I'm babbling. This book is really a treasure trove and a gift and I can't recommend it enough!
Oh, on the subject of German, here is what the Max Muller (who knew German, English and Sanskrit) said about Kant, "The bridge of thoughts and sighs that spans the whole history of the Aryan world has its first arch in the Veda, its last in Kant's Critique. ... While in the Veda we may study the childhood, we may study in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason the perfect manhood of the Aryan mind. ... The materials are now accessible, and the English-speaking race, the race of the future, will have in Kant's Critique another Aryan heirloom, as precious as the Veda--a work that may be criticized, but can never be ignored". Kant showed that space, time and causality are not part of the world, `out there', but rather, space, time and causality are part of our `seeing'. Kant has been even been compared to Adi Shankara. Download Paul Deussen's books on PDF.
The book that goes into this is Kantian thing is Brian Magee's The Philosophy of Schopenhauer. Dennis Waite should had included that in his impressive list of book and thinkers at the back of this amazing book.
People make the mistake of thinking that Arthur Schopenhauer was influenced by the East. This is wrong. Schopenhauer admits that it is Kant who came to the same conclusion as the Upanishads.
Right ill stop babbling now.
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Initial post: 4 Apr 2014 12:41:05 BDT
There are jewels in your babble (I'm thinking of the rich lady, not the New Age rambling!)
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