This is about the upcoming book.
The working title is iRealization, or How to Realize the I.
The format of the book is that each chapter has a prose section, and then followed by a set of questions and answers. This allows the material to be introduced, and then common misunderstandings are addressed.
The current working table of contents are:
Read the work in progress here.
It all began with an admission, and a question: I am certain I know what sleep is, I am certain I know what dreaming is.
I know, for example, in dreams, I feel awake.
This present waking however, it also feels like dreaming, and one can’t really say for sure what exactly the difference between this and dreams is.
So what is all this?
1. The Question of Reality
The beginning of the questioning, and the non-dismissal of which leads to earnest investigation.
We often have dinner conversations over long bottles of wine: what is man? Who am I? What is the point of life? What is this experience at all? Then, we usually go to bed, and the next morning there are so many things to do!
But what happens if one does not forget this question?
2. The Situation
Clearly understanding the current situation from a different point of view.
Similar to the visible Sun that moves across the sky every day, we see many things upon waking. We now know, that despite what it appears to be, it is in fact the Earth that revolves around the sun.
What if our daily experince is not what it appears to be?
3. The Test of the Real
On knowing how to recognize the object one is looking for.
When one says one wants the Truth, what does it mean? Who’s version? Do we even want some authoritative “truth”, or do we want our own? Or do we, in fact, want the Absolute Truth, something that transcends individual interpretation, and is something Universal, and Eternal? What else are the characteristics of Truth?
4. Belief vs Reality
When everyone knew that the Sun revolved around the Earth (and that God wanted humans to be at the center of the Universe), people were excommunicated and killed for saying blasphemous things that disagreed with the Church’s view.
This was acceptable to society then, as everyone knew that in fact the Earth was stationary, for it was experienced every day: so this belief in their own interpretation of their experience led to their knowing of reality with extreme certainty, to the point of these senseless deaths.
In this situation, one must investigate: what is belief, and what is actually real?
5. On Knowing and Perception
What is perception? And how does one know one has perceived something? If the knowing of the perception is the only clue, then is there any actuality behind the perception? Or is imagination, for instance, equally knowing?
And if that is true, then is it really “perception” of what is “out there”, or is it the projection of a reality that wasn’t even there before you “perceived” it?
6. Concepts vs Actuality
A person who has studied for decades on the nature of the mango, and has a PhD in the workings of the mango tree and how the best fruits are grown etc, but has not eaten one, can never compare his knowledge to someone who has actually eaten a mango.
In this situation, one has to understand what is knowledge, or conceptual understanding of an experience, versus the actual experience itself. What is this cognitive barrier we are talking about?
7. Mind, and The Primary Concept
Once conceptulization has begun, where does that leave us? What does our mind’s ability to understand things tell us about our understanding of the world out there?
And how does the mind understand itself? Is the mind aware of only other things, or is it also aware of itself? What is mind, exactly?
And what is the first concept?
8. Duality vs Non-Duality
What does it mean to exist? To understand existence, one must necessarily grasp also non-existence. It is only the combination of the two that makes Existence possible, and this sets of opposites constitute duality.
However, can Reality, which is the very basis of everything else, can that itself be dual? Or is it, by necessity, beyond duality and non-duality? And what is such a state?
Can a mind built on duality reach this state?
9. Dreaming, Waking, Sleeping
One must see clearly: what is called dream is called that only in the waking state. What is called the “waking state” does not exist during the dream state, for in progress, dreaming is waking only.
What then is sleep? And more importantly, who sleeps, who dreams?
And what then is the Awake state?
10. The Nature of the Real
Having pointed out the nature of the unreal, we are now ready to discuss what remains when all the false is seen as false.
What is the nature of this Reality? Why would one even want to know, exactly what it is? And what is the Philosopher’s Stone?
11. Birth, Death, and Reincarnation
What is the beginning of this waking/dreaming/sleeping cycle? What began? What will end? What will restart? What will continue as it always was?
And what never started in the first place?
And if something has no beginning, how can it have an ending?
12. Experience, Memory, Thoughts, and Emotions
What exactly is experience? What is it that we remember? What is recollection? What are thoughts, and what is thinking? And how do feelings fit into the mix?
All this is mind stuff, yet it is apart from the Real.
13. Time and Space
When you go to sleep tonight, and dream a beautiful dream of your centenarian birthday celebrations, with your whole family around you, 4 generations of it, and it’s such a beautiful day outside, and the birds are also singing!
You don’t suddenly stop to wonder where those 100 years went, or if the whole world is really present as it appears, if those stars in the night sky are real … time itself is not questioned, nor is space.
So what exactly is the situation?
14. Of Free Will, Causation, and Karma
The Big Bang set off our Universe on its journey of creation – everything since that massive primordial event has been an action and reaction of epic proportions.
If everything is an action and reaction to previous events, then everything has unfolded exactly according to the expected, predictable plan – therefore, the question of free will does not even arise.
Or does it?
15. The Pursuit of Happiness
When I say “blue”, you get what I mean. Does it also mean that when I say “blue”, you see the same thing in your mind as I do? Regardless of what we each see, we can agree on what that something means, in this case the color named blue.
What if I say the word “happiness”? Could we agree on what it meant?
More importantly, do you know what it is? So that you know what to look for? Or so that you know you’ve found it if you do come across it?
16. The Question of God
Now that we have examined the very fabric of Reality and Experience, one naturally must ask – what of God? How does God fit into this whole scheme? And what does it matter, what what can one do with it?
17. Of Yogis, Gurus, and Magic
What is this one hears of magical feats performed by strange mystics from the east? And what of western mystics? What is a mystic? What is Yoga?
And what is a Guru? Can an illusory human being transmit understanding to another illusory being?
18. What Meditation Really Is
Having come this far, if it is not already clear what the word meditation indicates, then this will be seen now. It will be seen that meditation is in fact the very background of reality that one is seeking, and in fact meditation is all there is.
How to meditate will become clear.
19. How to Realize the I
There are many paths to what is called self-realization. We have referred to it using the more familiar word “I”. There is much knowledge about this I within the pages of this book – all of it not actually the Truth, but only a description of it, in this particular expression.
However, now that the description is understood, what about the actual?
Can this be known without knowing?
20. Before and After
What exactly is the difference before the Awakening, and after? What exactly is the experience when everything is perceived as the self?
What is life in such a situation, and who is the one living?
21. Living the Dream
Once all this has been transcended, you will be free. In that liberation, your experience of your reality will be no different than what is possible in dreams.
Indeed, there was never any difference.
And the answer to the question we started out with: Who Am I?
Appendix I . An Unreligion for Tomorrow
All organized religions have failed humanity. However, this is to be expected, as organized religions are based around human ideas – or concepts – and as such have nothing to do with God or Reality whatsoever.
So what does a new religion, one that is entirely devoid of concepts – what does such an Unreligion look like?
Appendix II. A Community for Today
Understanding the I is a process. Realization of it is the goal.
During this journey into oneself, a lot of questions and confusion can arise, due to the very nature of mind. It is very subtle indeed! To help, iRealization.com is also a community with apps, tools, and other helpful services to practice the approach described in the book.
Appendix III. Getting help in the Now
The understanding of the I is changing how we understand mental wellness. This understanding is being applied by many therapists and practitioners who work with people in helping them resolve deep seated troubles.
The Nomindfulness community is pushing the conversation on using this model of the mind as the basis for healing, and creating new mental wealth.
Appendix IV. Dreaming a Better World
With this clarity of vision, everything appears as Oneself.
In this situation, one is able to self-actualize one’s deepest potential in service to the whole. Anything and everything is possible – join us in creating a better now!
Read the work in progress here.