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Can a Book Teach Enlightenment?

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Article One

From my first breath, I have tried to figure out what I am doing here. I do not mean in my home in Vancouver, Washington, but a deeper sense of who am I? What am I? What is my purpose? There are plenty of people who claim to know the answer to that question, but each time I looked into what was promised it was always in the hereafter, and I simply must endure, follow the arbitrary rules, and hope that I am found worthy to ascend to the next level of consciousness after death.

I decided to leave the religion I was raised in and focus on building a career, have fun, and figure out the heavy life stuff when I was older. I suppose now I am older, and the questions have returned with greater force. Who am I? What am I? What is my purpose?

When I have a question, my favorite place to search for answers is in books. My search led me to the book set The Way of Mastery. In this triple combination, there are thirty-five lessons, which are intended to awaken my mind and bring eternal happiness to me NOW! The introduction explains the reason that I am here is, I had a thought which boils down to, I wonder what it would be like to feel separate, small, and like I must do everything alone? The answer to that question is the Earth and everything I perceive through the eyes of my body.

That blew my mind, and it was different from anything I have ever read before, so I continued reading. I was promised that I had nothing more to learn what I needed was the process of unlearning. We all made it to the Earth in some form or another and have gotten so involved with our forms that we have forgotten who we really are. The introduction continued that I am never alone, and that I will be guided each step of the way. I am no different from anyone, including Jeshua (the name The Way of Mastery uses for Jesus), and together we will infuse the world with happiness for those who want it.

Sounds like a bargain to me, read a book, follow the exercises, and then perfect happiness! I turned to the first lesson: The Way That Calls You Home. The words leap off the page like a disembodied voice is speaking to me from another dimension. I see phrases like, “Your experience is always the effect of where you choose to focus the attention of your consciousness” and “you are not a victim of the world you see.”

Internal arguments erupted as I thought of experiences where I felt I was a victim, or I was certain someone else was a victim. I have learned from previous books that resistance is a body signal to pay close attention to what is being taught. I continued reading in the section: The First Step In Awakening. The idea of everything I see being something I called to myself kept repeating. I started to become worried that I was reading something that was going to castigate me for thinking “evil thoughts” or not thinking enough “good thoughts.” Then I read “I have no idea how I did this. Therefore, I must surrender to something else.”

It was the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free-card that I have ever read. I really don’t know how I created everything up to now. Some of what I have created is wonderful, and some of it is a mess. The section moves on and explains that I believe that if I had more money, more popularity, and more drama then my life would be wonderful.

When I was in high school (before GPS and cell phones) one of my favorite things to do was to drive my car down unfamiliar roads and get lost just so I could find my way back home by an inner sense of direction. In The Way of Mastery, it is very much the same. We have turned down all kinds crazy roads until we have no sense of direction and no idea of how to return home. In this moment, we have a chance to choose to follow an inner guide instead of doing what we always do and still feeling unsatisfied.

This book was starting to get interesting. I quickly read on to the section: The Way Of The Heart Calls You Home. In this section I was compared to a wayward sunbeam who thinks it is separate from the sun. It can never be separate from the sun because the sun extends through it. I could feel the internal struggle again because I want to believe I am separate from those who I do not especially like in this world. I pressed on because I wanted to know what else this first chapter had to say. Luckily, it seemed like the roughness was over, and I was alerted that I would be given certain exercises, meditations, and energetic practices that would begin the unlearning and awaken me to who I truly am.

The last few paragraphs encourage me to feel the lessons and avoid filtering them through my intellect. According to The Way of Mastery, my intellect merely allows information in and can only parrot what I have already learned and has not led to happiness in the past so why keep insisting on my way? Then finally I am invited to release all the blocks to my peace and happiness, which has kept them at arm’s length until now. I am further invited to invest in that which is eternal rather than what is only in the dimension of time.

That was only the first chapter in the book, and already my head is spinning! I am going to continue to study each lesson and write about my experiences and thoughts. I encourage you to read along with me and share your own experiences in a comment.




Feb 15, 2014 9:52pm
Thanks for sharing your reactions to the book. There is, imo, a definite buddhist slant to some of the teaching, eg, that we are not separate from the rest of the world, and the karmic cause and effect whereby we "call" events or people to ourselves. Very interesting read. Thanks again.
Feb 16, 2014 9:31am
I agree with your assessment, and I appreciate your comment.
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  1. Shanti Christo Foundation The Way of Mastery. Ashland: Shanti Christo Foundation, 2005.

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