Neo-Advaita Demystified: a critique

…These things, when they pour down or come in, present themselves with a great force, a vivid sense of inspiration or illumination, much sensation of light and joy, an impression of widening and power. The sadhak feels himself freed from the normal limits, projected into a wonderful new world of experience, filled and enlarged and exalted;what comes associates itself, besides, with his aspirations, ambitions, notions of spiritual fulfillment and yogic siddhi; it is represented even as itself that realisation and fulfillment. Very easily he is carried away by the splendour and the rush, and thinks that he has realised more than he has truly done, something final or at least something sovereignly true. At this stage the necessary knowledge and experience are usually lacking which would tell him that this is only a very uncertain and mixed beginning; he may not realise at once that he is still in the cosmic Ignorance, not in the cosmic Truth, much less in the Transcendental Truth, and that whatever formative or dynamic idea-truths may have come down into him are partial only and yet further diminished by their presentation to him by a still mixed consciousness. He may fail to realise also that if he rushes to apply what he is realising or receiving as if it were something definitive, he may either fall into confusion and error or else get shut up in some partial formation in which there may be an element of spiritual Truth but it is likely to be outweighted by more dubious mental and vital accretions that deform it altogether.

These words by the Indian sage Sri Aurobindo, refer to what he called the Intermediate Zone, a dangerous and misleading transitional spiritual and pseudo-spiritual region between the ordinary consciousness of the outer being and True Realisation.

Although written in 1932 as cautionary words for his disciples, they are more relevant and important today than they were then.

Continue reading “Neo-Advaita Demystified: a critique”

Guidelines for Choosing a Spiritual Teacher

My ratings of teachers cover a tiny portion of the people you will choosing a spiritual teacherencounter. What is needed are some guidelines for choosing a spiritual teacher to facilitate your own evaluations. Some people argue that you are in no position to judge someone with a superior perspective, or that in matters of the spirit, all turns out for the best. However, there are teachers and groups whose only lesson is seemingly for sharpening your judgment.

Chance will be your introduction, and reason and intuition must be your guides.


Here are some issues to consider before choosing a spiritual teacher or system: Continue reading “Guidelines for Choosing a Spiritual Teacher”

What is Enlightenment?

“What is enlightenment, no, I mean really, like what is it?”
by Steven Norquist, the author of
Haunted Universe: The True Knowledge of Enlightenment

Many friends and family have been after me for some time to write about my experience and understanding of this topic. I have hesitated to write about it not because enlightenment itself is so hard to describe, but because enlightenment tends to make one quite lazy. Before my change I was a busy beaver, reading and writing and playing music and sports and really actively getting out there. But after “the change” as I call it, there was a clear vision of how silly all this activity was and how much incredible effort is required to perform it. Continue reading “What is Enlightenment?”