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As It Is: The Open Secret of Spiritual Awakening Paperback – 1 Sep 2000

3.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 138 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Directions Publishing; American Ed edition (1 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1878019104
  • ISBN-13: 978-1878019103
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 839,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

This is a profound and radical work that points to the fundamental freedom that is independent of path, process, effort, or belief. In these pages, the reader is taken on a journey - one that clearly reveals that there is nothing to become, nor any specific goal to attain. Rather, what is shown is how a deep-rooted misperception of our true identity has caused us to live in 'apparent' pain and fear. Tony Parsons is an esteemed teacher who regularly shares this 'open secret' of spiritual awakening with people throughout the world. His straightforward and highly effective message of awakening to life "as it is", is delivered with an impersonal authority that emanates from absolute clarity. Through the direct perception of "what is, as it is", Tony Parsons offers the reader a very practical and accessible approach to authentic spiritual realisation. His invitation is to live life from a wholly different perspective - one centred in the infinite awareness of one's true Self.


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3.2 out of 5 stars
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I recently purchased Eckhart Tolles book 'The Power of Now' and thought it's message topped most other books I have read. Then I read 'As It Is' and was lifted into a new dimension altogether. The book is a bit like a Zen koan - it is almost incomprehensible yet it stirs the truth deep within. Before I read this book I thought the spiritual journey was endless. That was the carrot on the end of the stick. This book showed me another way. The dreamer can just wake up. If you buy this book you'll have to read between the lines.
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Tony Parsons has written a very interesting book but it is not a useful book. It is not `useful' because according to his own argument there is nothing to be done. Enlightenment cannot be achieved by doing. One must simply realise that all is `as it is' and this is how it should be. It is our desire to `achieve' enlightenment which prevents it unfolding naturally of it's own accord. This is not a new argument. Rinzai says " Don't have a single thought in your mind about seeking for Buddhahood. If you desire deliberately to seek the Buddha ( become enlightened) your buddha is just samsara."
The difficult of realising this total abandonment of seeking is that the very idea " I must do something to become enlightened" is so deeply ingrained that even giving up or "not doing" is approached in the spirit of something to be done. One is likely then to fall into infinite regression when one tries not to try ad infinitum.
You may remember the wise words of Alan Watts many years ago
" Self surrender is not then a voluntary act but something which happens when man finds himself in an ultimate quandary, at a crossroads where every road offered is the wrong road and every choice made, even making no choice, is a mistake......the function of such Buddhist disciplines such as meditation is to precipitate this quandary.."

This is the weakness of Tony's book in that it describes the end of a long journey, the destination if you will, but it is not possible to arrive at the place described without walking a long road (choosing and using a method). Tony does not seem to realise that his own experience which he describes in his book confirms this fact.
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By A Customer on 9 May 2003
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Shockingly worrying just how good this book is!! I now face loosing everything I thought I was or had. If you want to know the truth you probably won't. You don't exist and never have! The person you think you are is just happening and you have no control or choice over this life you thought was yours! There is no becoming! no achievement, no control or choice, at any level! After reading this book (probably more than once!) the concept there in, may start to take hold, the story that you've been so attached to all this time, stats to crumble!! It acctually feels quite sad! If you're ready to stop searching for different ways to be, achieving and trying to become, then you may start to realise that you already are.
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Format: Paperback
Although it appears that Mr Parsons has certainly reached his enlightenment, I found the wording used to explain the simplicity of it all unnecessarily over complicated. However, if he had used plain language the book wouldn't exist because the explanation (if there need be one ;0] ) would all fit on the back of a postage stamp.
I do agree with an earlier reviewer who said Mr Parsons does not actually appreciate his own path or, dare I say it, process, required to arrive at where he is. Those who have come to a similar stand point have usually done so by choosing something to help them along the way, whether it be gardening, yoga, a life crisis of some sort or working with eastern gurus - as he has! It is very easy to say how simple clarity is when you've put it all the work!
However, despite the above I did find the book very enjoyable - I had fun reducing some of his more complicated paragraphs into as few simple words as possible.
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Format: Paperback
This is a short text and that's quite a refreshing change from many spiritual books that seem to be very wordy.

The idea of no (ego) self is from Buddhism. Also, the idea of separation as an illusion is also Buddhist. Plus the idea of awakening and immediate radical insight that is effortless in the here and now is typical of Zen Buddhism.

This book weaves these three ideas together in a very engaging and succinct way, but it is not really particularly original. However the author writes is a insightful way and clearly understands these truths deeply.

Also, there are contradictions and confusions which the author does not resolve, - e.g. do nothing to attain anything spiritual at one point and at another, to let go of projections, motivations and expectations, the separate self and make a leap in perception at the fundamental level. Quite a lot of doing nothing!

However, the author does add the idea that there is no one AT ALL, yet speaks of I this or I that most of the time. In fact there is a whole page on I Am this and that. On that page he expands on Buddha's central proverb, I Am, You are, It is, though no mention is given to Buddha here. The author should have explored "self as everything", the I Am that I Am, which would resolve the contradition in this book and other books of similar approach.

The author says no self means no choice / no free will and so you can add no personal responsbility too. This is a departure from most others approaches and the biggest concern of all.
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