Franklin Merrell-Wolff is at times dense reading. He often seems primarily concerned with reconciling divisions between philosophic schools of thought. Of course, this is a man who considered pure mathematics excellent training for the spiritual life and loved to read Kant. It takes enlightened voices of all ranges to reach the varieties of seekers, so many, I am sure, will enjoy Merrell-Wolff’s style. Continue reading “Franklin Merrell-Wolff: Words that blaze with Truth”
Bernadette Roberts passed away in her sleep on November 27, 2017. What follows is a review written before her passing.
Bernadette Roberts’ path is that of a Christian and if you have any affinity with Christian mysticism you must read her books. Her primary concern is with addressing the passage from what she calls the unitive stage to the no-self stage. While the unitive stage (or stage of being one with God) is well known in Christian literature, that there is a path beyond this stage is virtually unknown. Bernadette Roberts writes from her experience of living in the unitive stage until the self and its experience of being one with God disappeared into a new way of knowing. As she says: Continue reading “Bernadette Roberts: A Christian Mystic for Our Time”
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj reminds me of Ramana Maharshi. Like Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj is often described as a simple, humble and enlightened man. He was an uneducated shopkeeper when a friend introduced him to his guru. Simply by following his guru’s advice, Nisargadatta discovered his true nature:
My guru, before he died, told me: Believe me, you are the Supreme Reality. Don’t doubt my words, don’t disbelieve me. I am telling you the truth — act on it. Continue reading “Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj: The unreality of I Am”
Without a doubt, Richard Rose was an enlightened man. He devoted his life to giving people the tools to find their Real Self. I studied his system for several years and even spent a couple of years on his rural retreat in West Virginia. At times, Rose literally exuded profundity. I imagine it was akin to what many felt when they sat with Ramana Maharshi. Only with Rose, I wasn’t blissed out. I felt like my mind was teetering on the edge of an abyss. Drawn to this abyss and scared to death of it, I was sure that in it lay the answer to who I really was. I never made the leap, though. Perhaps I would have in time, but Rose fell victim to the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and I eventually left. Continue reading “Richard Rose: West Virginia zen”
Without a doubt, Ramana Maharshi is the greatest Indian sage of the 20th century. He lived an utterly simple existence at Arunachala mountain in South India, until his death in 1950. There are no accounts of Ramana Maharshi stealing from the ashram treasury, dressing in fine clothes, having sex with disciples, or engaging in any other ego-inflating behaviors which often seem the norm in today’s spiritual landscape. Instead, Maharshi lived and slept in a small hall where he also received visitors. People were welcomed from all over the world to ask him questions or sit in his presence. Continue reading “Ramana Maharshi: The greatest sage”