epub pdf The Book of Not Knowing Author Peter Ralston – Replica-watches.co

epub pdf The Book of Not Knowing Author Peter Ralston – Replica-watches.co


  • ebook
  • 600 pages
  • The Book of Not Knowing
  • Peter Ralston
  • English
  • 10 July 2019
  • 9781583942970

10 thoughts on “The Book of Not Knowing

  1. says:

    The Book of Not Knowing is one of the most important books that I own In fact, if I were stranded on a desert island and could only have 3 books this would be the one I most definitely would not want to be without No one interested in understanding the nature of who they really are, should be without this practical text I have come to view this book as having my own personal Zen Master on call The Book of Not Knowing has been described by some reviewers as the bible of consciousness and that may be than just marketing hyperbole Ralston s work is culled from his years as a martial arts practioner and student of Zen Buddhism and it is as profound as the koan itself, but a hell of a lot accessible.As a student of things spiritual I have become dismayed to learn that what I think of as being spiritual is really just another layer of affectation that I have added to my sense of self This book is providing me valuable guidance and insight into why I do this and helps me to explore a way of stripping these layers away to get at what is really, real This is after all, the point of metaphysics to begin with Who am I really behind this phenomenon that I experience as me Ralston identifies my problem rather succinctly early on When we know something intellectually, but fail to experience what s right in front of us, we are only fractionally engaged with the world around us One of my favorite philosophers from my freshman year in college, Arthur Schopenhauer rather flatly advised that this myopia redolent among armchair intellectuals, such as me, is due to our tendency to think the limits of our knowledge to be the limits of the world I have taken great solace in being a self educated expert I have lost my beginner s mind to paraphrase another great Zen Roshi.Peter Ralston writes in a plain and interesting style But, his subject is deceptively simple I have found myself, after several pages behind me, realizing that my assumptions and attitudes have tripped me up Thus this book is one to be studied and used as a guide for meditation as well as life beyond the cushion Unlike a lot of new age and post modern offerings in spirituality available today, The Book of Not Knowing is not one that you read from cover to cover moving on to the next month s selection in the Metaphysical Book of the Month Club In no small way this is life s curriculum It is to be struggled with much in the same way the aspirant does with the koan.Zen can be summed up quite nicely in pithy little statements that many of us have read.Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.After ecstasy, the laundry.When I am hungry, I eat When I am tired, I sleep.Knowledge or pride in possessing knowledge seems to be the barrier to my enlightenment whatever the hell that is It sure isn t turning out to be what I thought it was going to be If I really can say that I know anything at all it is that I have made a mess out of finding enlightenment I love to complicate things Yet enlightenment is found not in the extraordinary, but the ordinary not in possession of special knowledge, but in the day to day activities of living Enlightenment is turning out to be quite unexpectedly ordinary.The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates is reported to have visited the Oracle at Delphi The mouth piece for the god Apollo supposedly prophesied that of all Athenians, Socrates alone was truly wise In the impish, self deprecating matter that Plato has depicted his beloved teacher, Socrates suggested that if he was the only one who was truly wise it was because he alone understood that he knew nothing.Socrates identifies for me the first step to what Ralston and Zen masters refer to as not knowing In order to get to this rather incomprehensible and seemingly nonsensical place I must find a way to get past the beliefs and assumptions that I rely on to navigate the world as I currently understand it.A Christian may quote the proverb that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom I see this as a theistic observation of the same principle at work The problem is that this not knowing sounds a lot like willful ignorance to most of us Many Christians even get accused of committing intellectual suicide and some do , but what the sages are trying to cure us of is our assumptions.I have always preferred to operate from the belief that knowledge is power Sometimes it is Knowing how to cook keeps me from starving to death Knowledge can be useful for survival but my tenacity in equating it with the truth Ralston prevents me from being open to the possibility of discovery Ralston It is the state of not knowing that allows us the openness which leads to the true authenticity that I play out, the genuine experience of the moment which allows for the intuitive leaps in creativity and clarity of vision that makes up enlightenment Ralston.


  2. says:

    This is the book that everyone should read And I mean it literally, EVERYONE This is the most no bullshit guide to reaching highest states of consciousness that I ve ever read.You will have to read it multiple times to wrap your mind around the concepts that are being spoken in this book But just reading the book won t be enough You ll know why after reading it.Read this book and you ll know what you should do in order to understand things that are beyond your mind, beyond survival, and beyond your self.


  3. says:

    The book of returning to the simple state of nothingness This is a direct guide to your true nature of existing, from nothing, to the whole essence of just being The term not knowing is a start to understanding the world we live in by simply and effortlessly just living Ralston explains step by step the profundity of how our community, thinking, reasoning and everything we know externally, determines our reality Returning to a state of complete joy and fulfillment is what every human being is in search for, and here Ralston tells us that this state we are in search of is located deep within our conscious mind, we just need to learn how to let go of all our perceptions and begin to contemplate how not knowing is the beginning of it all Knowing can be useful, but learning not to know creates a powerful openness that is inconceivable until it is experienced.


  4. says:

    Ralston, P 2010 The Book of Not Knowing Exploring the True Nature of Self, Mind, and Consciousness Berkeley, CA North Atlantic Books Paperback, 581 pp., 24.95 ISBN 978 1 55643 857 8.Reviewed by Nicholas E Brink, Ph.D., Clinical PsychologistWho am I What is the self What is consciousness Peter Ralston explores these questions and other related questions, but he recognized that he cannot provide answers to these questions because the real answers can only come from a person s personal experiences Thus this book does not attempt to provide answers but expands upon these questions and provides a contemplative avenue for readers to experience their own answers A person s conceptual self or self concept likely includes misconceptions inherent in the teachings of our cultural institutions of family, schools and religion, teachings of beliefs and concepts that have not been validated through personal experience thus they limit our reality The true self is that part of the self that has found the answers to who am I or What is the self through personal experiences With this clear distinction between our self concept of the beliefs that have not been validated through experience and the experienced true self, chapters six through twenty examines in considerable detail how we have learned these self concepts These self concepts though often false are deeply defended layer upon layer in a snow balling manner in order to protect our self concept or self image This protection of the self is a life long pursuit based on the drive to survive When you are asked who you are you most likely offer a list of these learned concepts that you have come to believe even though you have not personally experienced their truth so do not know of their truth Not Knowing in the book s title arises in several different domains Any honest learning experience begins from the state of not knowing the answer In our journey towards the truth, when we are told by our cultural institutions what we are supposed to believe, these beliefs have not been experienced so do not begin with not knowing Also in Ralston s journey to find the truth through the experiences gained in the process of contemplation, what is experienced or perceived is only a flash in the moment that is surrounded by not knowing The honest or truthful contemplative experience that comes from this flash in the moment can provide us with enlightened insights, insight that comes without interpretation, interpretation that would come from our pre conceived and likely limiting and false self beliefs Before Ralston begins to describe the process and outcome of contemplation, he describes the nature of the conceptions that we have carried with us in our made belief world, many of which are false and limit us as we move into our new ways of being and of experiencing the world If we could clarify and put into a big pile all that is our self concept, self image, and self identity, what would be left over We certainly insist that we are than these concepts But can we clearly distinguish what is our self, independent of any of these conceptual components pg 174 , components that have not been personally experienced Ralston presents a number of dynamics in this process of learning the concepts held by a person that define the self One dynamic is the use of imagination, of imagining something that isn t present but gives direction in one s life such as imagining that you are going to do poorly on a test or some other life event Negative beliefs produce negative experiences which reinforce the negative beliefs, a growing circle of layers of negativity In a parallel manner, positive believes produce positive experiences that are again self reinforcing We also invent ideas or ways of thinking that reinforce a belief We can blame ourselves or blame others when things do not work out, blame that reinforces our beliefs and patterns of thinking Also our interpretations of what we perceive are derived from our beliefs, interpretations that can reinforce our misconceptions Again these misconceptions are created layer upon layer with and misconceptions One basic misconception in our culture is our aversion to not knowing, a misconception because not knowing is an important beginning and motivator in searching for and experiencing true beliefs Though we do not know the outcome of some event, in our aversion to not knowing we create from what we think we know the outcome of the event thus reinforcing our believed misconception Ralston identifies three levels of these beliefs pp 356 357 , first those that are consciously adopted so can be faced to provide new truthful insights and personal change because they are conscious Second, there are those beliefs that are programmed within us, many subconscious and learned at a young age through repetition, intimidation, and experience, beliefs that are taken for granted in the act of growing up and living life Third are the assumptions that are unconscious and function as simple fact The first level are those beliefs that we have consciously adopted, include the conceptions we list when describing ourselves, the beliefs that have come to us from our cultural institutions of family, schools and religion To give a personal example I d like to relate one of my powerful personal insights that uncovered a limiting or false belief Early in my life when in elementary school I was labeled as dyslexic, a continued problem especially in my spelling and writing with may letter reversals and the other typical mistakes of someone who is dyslexic This problem snowballed layer upon layer leading me to believe that I was less intelligent than others and giving me a sense diminishing self confidence The school s definition of dyslexia was believed as true and a limiting problem but with some then unrecognized positive side effects But when in school I also had an unusual drive to succeed as evident in my reaction to when I first heard of the three levels of a college education, i.e a bachelor s degree, followed by a master s degree and then a PhD or doctor s degree When my 10th grade English teacher described these college degrees I immediately set my goal upon getting a PhD even though I had the self image of having a learning disability and found my limited success in school a real struggle I felt I had to work much harder than others to pass but something inside of me said I had to prove I could do it Only many years after I graduated with a PhD in psychology after thirteen years in college did I discover from a comment made by a friend that a person who is left handed and dyslexic looks at the world in a different way, outside the box, and is likely right brained and creative, a newer and positive side of dyslexia I found new freedom with this flash of insight when I recognized that I was quite creative in my thinking With this insight I have found a new love and enjoyment in writing and reading, especially with the publication of my first journal article and the many that have followed This experience brought about an explosion in my life of writing that greatly changed my image of who I am and my personal beliefs If I would have had this attitude when in school I feel I would have enjoyed learning rather than experiencing it as such a struggle My dyslexia now is much less of a problem especially while writing using a computer word processor with its spelling and grammar checks My seventh book is in press and soon to be released This insight provided a major change in my life, but with my continued interest and openness in life and a continued search for deeper understanding of myself I have had many other insights and changes Another major one brought to an end my identity as a Christian with a new identity of valuing and venerating the Earth and its way of sustaining life through the interdependency of all that is of the Earth, of Gaia This insight came about from my ecstatic or shamanic trance experiences, a deep form of the altered state of contemplation I now find it impossible to feel superior to or above the spirits that have become my guides through the experiences of ecstatic trance, the bear, the eagle, the coyote, a snake, squirrel, mouse, honey bee, and even a mountain path, to name a few Each spirit guide that I have come to value has taught me through my ecstatic experiences something in how to live in oneness with the Earth Other insights have come from facing the subconscious beliefs that were learned through programming, and the deeper unconscious beliefs that became part of me as the basic assumptions of life Again drawing from the personal experience of overcoming my dyslexia I was programmed to highly value education My struggle to get my PhD came from the semi conscious value of the importance of an education, a value that rose above my belief that I was less intelligent than others, thus I pushed ahead in my struggle at UCLA This programmed value to succeed came out of a basic assumption for survival Ralston considers this drive to survive as a basic assumption that underlies most all of our beliefs and conceptions This is an example of the layering of beliefs and concepts of the conceptual self, beginning with the drive to survive that led to my valuing of an education that led to my struggle to get my PhD, a series of insights that came to me over several years around 30 years ago when I was in my 50s The consequences of our false beliefs or misconceptions are recognized in a sense of emptiness, self doubt, feeling trapped, suffering and struggle Identifying, facing and contemplating these benchmarks of our false beliefs can open the door to understanding the nature of our conceptual self to bring about insight Ralston also adds to his list of benchmarks several other specific emotions, the emotions of fear, anger, desire and pain Our job is to uncover everything that dominates our personal experience and awareness and to transform it piece by piece to what is real and true, pg 554 While holding these concepts and emotions in a state of contemplation with the intent to find the belief that caused them we can find greater understanding and insight into our problems A special state of deep contemplation is necessary to bring to consciousness those beliefs that we hold that are semiconscious and unconscious, beliefs that we learned through programming or as basic assumptions Ralston describes contemplation as a deep and focused questioning Before entering a state of contemplation we need to prepare ourselves with a sense of presence, clarity and possibility When in the state of contemplation we need to hold our experienced emotion with intention, openness, focus and questioning or wondering Ralston also mentions, The connection between the assumption and its influence on our lives needs to be clearly seen But, like being in a maze, it may be easily seen by backing up far enough to see it as part of a whole pattern, pg 387 Over the last 50 plus years as a psychologist I have used clinical hypnosis and analytic hypnotherapy, and for the last ten years ecstatic or shamanic trance, each for this same purpose of uncovering our false beliefs and misconceptions Ralston s description of contemplation quite accurately describes the process of trance induction for both hypnosis and ecstatic trance along with using hypnotic age regression for backing up to see it as part of the whole pattern Ecstatic trance is induced by rapid stimulation to the nervous system through drumming or rattling which distracts a person from conscious thinking and aids in bringing about the state of not knowing I recognize that soul retrieval, one technique of ecstatic trance, is again an alternative way to describe backing up to uncovering of those early programmed beliefs and assumptions that are semi conscious or unconscious With regard to not knowing, while contemplating with openness and wondering, what comes to the person comes from not knowing what to expect While in a state of hypnotic or ecstatic trance, what comes to the person is generally metaphoric or dreamlike, experiences the meaning of which are initially not understood or not known Only while holding the metaphoric experiences in mind over time while not knowing their meanings does a person open him or herself to the meanings and insights of these experiences These metaphoric experiences have many levels of meaning and they need to be held in continued openness and not knowing to discover their many layers of meaning As an example of not knowing in the context of a metaphoric experience while using ecstatic trance, I had three recent experiences with my spirit guide, the coyote Previously the coyote, the trickster, has always laughed at me and challenged me in some way But in these three experiences he was unexpectedly supportive and at my side which led me to wonder what he was trying to tell me Then in the next experience he beckoned me to follow him to the water s edge and we dove in I found myself as a fish able to breathe underwater, but as I swam near the surface I could see the light coming from a ball of light above the surface of the water, the sun, but I knew nothing of the sun or the world above the water As a human I really knew nothing of or experienced what life is like under water and as a fish nothing of what life is like above the water An initial interpretation of this metaphoric experience is that I am missing something in my limited knowledge of the truth in my life above the water that I might find in my experience under water, but I am wondering specifically of what the coyote is telling me about this limited knowledge I expect that this experience and or my following experiences with ecstatic trance I will find new insight into some misconception that comes from my conceptual self The metaphors of ecstatic trance leave me wondering in not knowing The use and understanding of using hypnosis and ecstatic trance in this way is the topic of my soon to be released book, Applying the Constructivist Approach to Cognitive Therapy Resolving the Unconscious Past, Brink, in press Peter Ralston s transpersonal approach to contemplation for understanding the true nature of the self and uncovering the many limiting misconceptions that each of us hold is a valuable avenue to follow to find enlightenment Coming from a Zen meditation perspective, his way of describing the purpose of and what to expect from contemplation greatly added to my understanding of why I failed over the years to find enlightenment in my limited practice of Zen meditation My introductory experience with Zen meditation was to focusing on my breathing in order to remain and experience what comes to me in the moment From Ralston I now recognize that what would have come to me would have come from not knowing, not knowing what to expect while in the moment Though in preparation for Zen meditation very little is said or explained, Ralston s explanation makes much sense of what to expect from Zen meditation Also Ralston s description of the conceptual self provides an important and useful roadmap for uncovering and overcoming the cultural limitations and misconceptions that we have learned from a young age Rather than a book that was written to impart conceptual knowledge and information, I think the word roadmap well describes the intent of The Book of Not Knowing, a roadmap for self discovery and understanding the meaning of the true self REFERENCEBrink, N E in press Applying the Constructivist Approach to Cognitive Therapy Resolving the Unconscious Past New York, NY Routledge.


  5. says:

    I am loving this book It s easy to read and yet sort of exhausting mindfulness requires so much energy, somehow This book brings me peace and I like its format, laid out like scripture chapters and verses a nice replacement for those of us who have left organised religion.


  6. says:

    It s not difficult to think of a child s imaginative play as a conceptual activity, but we don t usually consider that everything we perceive as adults is subject to a similar if sophisticated system of conceptualization In fact, one difference between adult and child is that the child is likely to recognize that he s the author of his fantasies He might get annoyed when his world of make believe is interrupted, not wanting to admit that he isn t really Superman, or that his magical energy beams may indeed not be all powerful, but when called to dinner he knows it s time to return to the real world As adults we are far less likely to do so By the time we reach adulthood, much of what we know actually falls into the category of make believe but we don t recognize it as such Having thought this way for as long as we can remember, we take it for granted that our beliefs are real We often think of a concept as a general idea, or a vaguely organized mental image I ve never been to a barn raising, but I get the concept But anything that is fabricated in the mind is conceptual A concept is unreal in the objective sense, meaning nothing substantial exists Some people might call it a conceptual object since it appears to us as some thing, but a concept has no mass, no location, occupies no space it exists solely within our mental perceptions or imagination This does not make it any less powerful, simply less objective What we need to grasp at this juncture is that concept is not something that exists of its own accord, but is the summation of a mental process It refers to something it is never the thing itself Can you see how much the experience of yourself lives within your internal dialogue Now imagine an experience of being without any language at all without any speaking, not even to yourself Since thinking is very much tied up in language, what can you experience as you without confusing yourself with your thoughts Concept is a tool and an abstraction, and is always erected temporarily, so consider experiencing being without any concept at all Identifying everything about yourself that exists as a concept an idea, image, belief, or any other mental activity is necessary in order to distinguish your real self from what is not you But why would anyone confuse attributes, ideas, and behavior patterns with themselves if these aren t really themselves It s true that in our culture we are rarely accepted for who we actually are as a being Instead, we are appreciated, valued, and loved primarily for what we do, how we look and act, and what we say in other words, from the impressions made on others and how people feel about those impressions Clearly, in order to secure a sense of being valued, we are moved to adopt a persona to develop and display an assumed social image or personality We may or may not be successful at getting what we want through these means, but our motive is clear we want to be accepted, be approved of, and be a part of our particular community Yet this is not the only motive that drives our behavior, thinking, and feelings If we study ourselves carefully, it becomes increasingly clear that most of our habitual behavior and character traits, as well as our ever shifting and purposely crafted expressions, exist solely to fulfill needs they are conceptually produced reactions to external stimuli that come to be known as aspects of ourselves All together these comprise most of what we know as our selves Yet in some sense this is a false self It is false or unreal in the sense that it is secondary It is founded on external programming and created to serve external goals It is not based on what simply exists as the being that we are as is Doing something is not the same as being something By making a distinction between being and self, we realize that most of what we identify as our selves is conceptual This distinction and realization then enable us to work with our conceptual selves consciously Concepts can change Therefore it is possible to change anything that is conceptual about ourselves Yet if we don t understand the forces that motivated us to adopt these abstractions to begin with, we will be unable to free ourselves from their return even if we are successful for a time Here I m asserting not that our experience of self is conceptual, but that self itself is a concept For most of us this is rather hard to grasp, and even harder to accept After all, we appear as a body full of movement and animation, and a body obviously isn t a concept Yet a body is not a self it s a body.We don t call the chair a self It is simply an object that we identify as a chair The body isn t a self until it is identified as oneself Without such recognition within your perception it would not be yourself, it would simply be an object among objects We may identify one body as me or mine, and others as not me or not mine, but what we re identifying here is simply self being attributed to an object Just as a tree only exists as an interpretation applied to an object, we perceive bodies as having elves or being selves you, as you know your self, are a concept And as we ve seen, the possibilities and consequences of this fact are different from the possibilities and consequences of something that exists objectively The distinction of self is made within what is perceived to be In this way, self is created, and yet perceived as if it exists on its own Without the creation of self, there is no self to be perceived Once self is created and identified, however, it becomes the central aspect of our awareness, and we fail to notice that it is in fact not an experience of being You are eight years old It is Sunday evening You have been granted an extra hour before bed The family is playing Monopoly You have been told that you are big enough to join them You lose You are losing continuously Your stomach cramps with fear Nearly all your possessions are gone The money pile in front of you is almost gone Your brothers are snatching all the houses from your streets The last street is being sold You have to give in You have lost And suddenly you know it is only a game You jump up with joy and you knock the big lamp over It falls on the floor and drags the teapot with it The others are angry with you, but you laugh when you go upstairs You know you are nothing and know you have nothing And you know that not to be and not to have give an immeasurable freedom Janwillem van de Wetering We can see that a simple, apparently noble identification and expression of laudable values can turn into an attachment to much than a simple commitment It becomes an identification with a particular lifestyle and various forms of self image, all of which are unnecessary, and can even be a means of suffering, and none of which are actually the person who adopts them As a matter of fact, most of it has little to do with the simple and original commitment to a value My real self is my real self, on top of which I may commit to something such as working hard This, however, doesn t make the activity of working hard the same as my self, and it certainly doesn t make all the trappings of such a commitment my self, or even reflective of my self I can easily adopt all these trappings just to gain approval, or even entirely as a pretense Either way, none of it is my self.If observable characteristics are not my self, then something made up or pretended or believed or assumed is certainly not me either These fabricated self assessments are even apt to be distorted They re likely to be further from a true representation of my original nature, since they are easily created to be whatever way is desired, having no relation to the truth or to anything observed Adopted characteristics can be any way I want them to be, but the truth can only be what s true try to grasp how much there is to a self s entire identity Bring to mind some of the other things that you identify with particular ways of dressing, the car or truck that you drive, your hairstyle, your decor, the style of sunglasses you wear, the type of friends you seek out, kinds of ornamentation your put on your body, what you read, your sexual preferences, your religion, morality, values, politics, your racial and ethnic background, the kinds of recreation or sports you like, and so on As you bring these to mind, see how much you find yourself within them or in relation to them There are many areas and relationships in which we identify ourselves as being one kind of person and not another, as having particular character traits, self concepts, and beliefs Altogether these are perceived as the reality in which we live In actuality they are the inventions in which we live The general cultural prescription for feeling better about ourselves is often in the direction of misrepresentation, distortion, or lies although it is never seen as that We attempt to appear as all sorts of things reasonable, spiritual, tough, harmless, honorable, intelligent, one of the guys, enlightened, or whatever fits our desired self image Yet even with all of our efforts we are often left feeling like we re simply acting out a movie script, or going through the motions This is because we are No amount of alterations to our appearance, mind, or behavior will change the fact that we don t know who we are When something is it merely is it is as itself in this moment When our experience of being is directed by survival, it is directed toward something that isn t something that doesn t presently exist Being requires no activity or process or purpose to be Since being already is , any activity, process, or purpose that arises is directed toward what is not The pursuit of survival is a continuously active process whose purpose is directed toward the persistence of something that appears to be, rather than toward an experience of reality in this moment Whenever a process or experience is focused on surviving, it is not turning toward what is Therefore, the target for survival must necessarily be something that can persist.Being does not persist It is es Remember, the principle of honesty isn t about being a good person, it s not what we do as a social pretense or to develop an honest person character trait, nor is it just saying what you feel like saying It goes much deeper than that Honesty is being committed to what is true Not to what you think is true, what you agree with, or how you may want things to turn out Those are all self oriented True honesty is committed to the truth, independent of any concern for the self A shift in one s governing principle to something that is free of a reflexive self orientation will change the effects that arise Strange as it may seem, the desire for transformation is not a desire for the truth Although we might think that gleaning the truth would be a transformative act, our attempts at transformation are almost always based on the particular beliefs of some system, and motivated by our desire to become better in some way Even though the belief system we adopt may seem to be a tool for getting to the truth, upon closer inspection we find that what we re really up to is trying to adopt behavior and thinking that s consistent with the dogma of that system This difference frequently slips below the radar, but it is important to keep an eye out for such confusion and to consider why we go down that road If a shared assumption in my particular subculture is that personal worth determines acceptability in the community, then I need to appear worthwhile in order to obtain the good judgments of others and the status assessed as requisite for my success, ergo survival Consistent with such an orientation, if knowledge is a valued commodity in my culture, I would then strive to appear knowledgeable A split in my self experience is now at hand, because at the core of my being I am not originally knowledgeable I ll go about trying to accumulate knowledge so that I appear to be one who knows, even though fundamentally I am not Normally we presume that ideals are a good thing, that they represent what we should strive for, and indicate admirable qualities in a human being Yet we overlook the damaging effects of ideals We fail to recognize the fact that many of the images to which we aspire, including our programs of shoulds and shouldn ts, are not so idyllic We also don t notice that binding ourselves to these mostly unattainable and unlikely self images, and fleeing from our feared self images, keeps us perpetually in motion This motion is unhealthy, shaming, and provides a lot of fuel for our sense of emptiness, since we don t exist within our ideals Ideals are never focused on what is and so are never about what we are therefore they can t lead to a genuine and honest sense of being Whenever we apply meaning to the apple, we will miss the experience of the apple just being an apple Instead we are concerned with its use or its future Meaning is a secondary application Does the apple deserve apple rights Does it deserve fulfillment, or to feel good, or to have its way Obviously it would be impossible to tell what that could possibly be, but even if we could, it would be ridiculous to assume that apples deserve anything beyond being an apple It is equally absurd to presume that we deserve anything, or require value just in the course of being Being has no meaning It just is Therefore, we have no inherent meaning we simply are.To our cultural ears this might sound like a negative, but it isn t negative at all As a matter of fact, there is some very good news in all this Meaninglessness here doesn t mean less meaning or negative meaning Meaningless means without meaning It is no meaning Therefore, we are inherently free of meaning Realizing this should immediately end our struggle for meaning Do you see how this works Although it might sound depressing to hear that you have no meaning, the good news is that you absolutely cannot be worthless Since value is a function of use, it is artificially applied to things it is secondary and not inherent in anything This indicates that it is impossible for anyone to be inherently worthless.


  7. says:

    The format of this book is laid out in such an accessible way for such an unaccessible subject matter Ralston gives the reader plenty of time to come to terms with the topic and argument of understanding for each chapter and even outlines helpful meditation and contemplation exercises to drive the points home Though I found it to be often repetitive, it seems it s the author s style to repeat any argument or idea several times in several different ways to clarify to the best of his ability a subject extremely difficult to communicate I recommend it for anyone looking to deepen their understanding consciousness from a different perspective I will have to reread this book multiple times As he, of course, highly recommends in his later chapters in order to comprehend every aspect fully.


  8. says:

    The Tibetan concept of Skandah, which means groupings , is a framework that explains how a person generates his or her individuality, or ego And from a Buddhist perspective, fixation on ego is at the heart of suffering The highly abstract theory of Skandah is unintentionally made far accessible, in my opinion, by Peter Ralston s The Book of Not Knowing While Ralston never ties the ideas in his book directly to Skandah, his detailed, step by step approach in guiding the reader through the process of recognizing and addressing the complications of self greatly clarify the Tibetan Buddhist concept Don t be put off by the 581 pages of The Book of Not Knowing Ralston s writing is very conversational, and the pages fly by Highly recommended.


  9. says:

    this is one I have recently read, and will be currently reading for a long time


  10. says:

    It s life changing I mean to discover the true nature of oneself the ultimate goal that this book has taught me I learnt to contemplate and know how the mind works in mysterious ways I feel quite confident in my spiritual path I recommend it for every spiritual seeker.


Over Decades Of Martial Arts And Meditation Practice, Peter Ralston Discovered A Curious And Paradoxical Fact That True Awareness Arises From A State Of Not KnowingEven The Most Sincere Investigation Of Self And Spirit, He Says, Is Often Sabotaged By Our Tendency To Grab Too Quickly For Answers And Ideas As We Retreat To The Safety Of The Known This Hitchhiker S Guide To Awareness Provides Helpful Guideposts Along An Experiential Journey For Those Western Minds Predisposed To Wandering Off To Old Habits, Cherished Presumptions, And A Stubbornly Solid Sense Of Self With Ease And Clarity Ralston Teaches Readers How To Become Aware Of The Background Patterns That They Are Usually Too Busy, Stressed, Or Distracted To Notice The Book Of Not Knowing Points Out The Ways People Get Stuck In Their Lives And Offers Readers A Way To Make Fresh Choices About Every Aspect Of Their Lives, From A Place Of Awareness Instead Of Autopilot From The Trade Paperback Edition


About the Author: Peter Ralston

Peter Ralston works with people to authentically expand and deepen their consciousness, and to become real, honest, and effective human beings He facilitates people in understanding their own selves and minds, and in becoming increasingly conscious of the nature of perception, experience, and existence, and the nature of being He also does this through teaching people about their bodies