The Enduring Myth of the Buddha: New Book Release

The story of Siddhartha Gautama, who became the Buddha, connects the human psyche to the transcendent. My new book, The Enduring Myth of the Buddha, is rich in metaphor that touches the heart and has the power to turn the egoic self back onto itself to question your very essence. 

Maybe you’re wondering: What the heck does this mean?

The egoic self is what we commonly call “me,” and we are referring to a person who we only believe we are — complete with ideas, memories, dispositions, preconceptions, fears, biases, and attitudes that interfere with our seeing life for what it really is, which is the source of suffering. To move past this egoic self is to end suffering and find a life of compassion; and this was the core of the Buddha’s teachings.

Siddhartha ultimately discovered that we suffer due to the way our minds are psychologically conditioned to believe we are separate from all others. Because we do not realize that everything is available to us, we are always desiring to get or attain something to make us feel whole and happy. To truly understand this fact of life takes enquiring into your own sense of self to find out what you are beneath this conditioned mind. And this is what Siddhartha had done, and once he knew he became the Buddha — the awakened one.

This book has little to do with Buddhism as a religion, and mostly to do with Buddha as a mythical figure whose life, actions, words, and relationships are full of power that bring to the fore compassion, humanity, love, respect, deep thinking, caring, and the transcendence beyond human suffering and desire. This is a light and interesting study that appreciates the metaphor and myth in the Buddha story to reflect on your own life. While it is most common to regard the life of the Buddha as an historical fact and a suggestion to quiet the mind and avoid attachment, the Buddha myth is really a much deeper teaching, and I have used the teachings of other enlightened persons who were able to elucidate what it means to be awake in a world otherwise perceived by the limited mind of the egoic self.

I am not a Buddhist nor a Buddhist scholar, and The Enduring Myth of the Buddha is not an academic work; I leave such writings to the experts. My interest in writing this book was to explore the depths of the myth, as well as to make it clear that a myth, despite popular misuse of the word, does not equate to a lie. Rather, a myth is a story that guides you back from the objective to the subjective to find out who you are at the core. As such, it does not matter whether you are a religious person, an atheist, or merely interested in a subject  that moves your thinking about your self beyond materialist, scientific, religious, and academic thinking.

The Buddha’s teachings have endured for millennia for a good reason that is fundamental to who we are as human beings, and if we regard his story literally then we are apt to miss the richness of his hero’s journey.

Delving deep into consciousness in my new book

When I wrote Consciousness: The Potentiality of All Existence: Exploring reality and belief as a subjective experience, I knew I was jumping into turbulent waters, because there is such a huge divide between materialist science and spirituality. Strangely, as I discovered in the process of writing, both religious people and materialist scientists base their opinions about spirituality on beliefs. Both ends of the spectrum swear that they are right and that they have the answers to life’s questions, including what consciousness is. But it turns out that a belief is a belief, which means that the believer has no idea of what the truth is, yet this is what shapes most people’s opinions and actions.

Consciousness isn’t a book for everyone, because it’s quite honest in its approach to who we are and why we see the world in our own unique ways. Honesty does not sit well with the egoic sense of self. The self has been conditioned since birth to believe it is a body and all of the attachments and identities that go along with it. In essence, people are not who they take themselves to be; they are amalgams of thoughts that are unreliable, ephemeral, and changeable.

Although we are quiet complex people, this book is easier reading than it looks!

In Consciousness, I discuss all sorts of ideas of what consciousness is, according to the experts who ironically really do not know very much outside of their own guesses and iffy conclusions, whether they are scientists or self-proclaimed New Age experts. If you are alive, you are experiencing consciousness.

This book also dives into the many experiences in consciousness — near death and out of body experiences, dreaming, lucid dreaming, intuition, hallucinogenic trips, imagination, quantum entanglement, and more.

It’s so easy that it’s hard
So how do you get to the bottom of what consciousness is? The answer is so easy that it is mostly overlooked. In addition to my experience with many years of self-enquiry meditation, I turned to some of the most respected and profound teachers who have realized their own natures by waking up to what they are not. That’s right, what they are not. This means that we all have the ability to observe our own state of being and see where thoughts come from, how they rise and fall, and how they accrete to form a sense of self.

A number of gurus have taught about finding one’s true nature as consciousness down through the ages, from Buddha to Rumi, and from Jiddu Krishnamurti to Ramana Maharshi. These individuals have all said the same thing: You cannot rely on information, teachings, rituals, religion, ideas, thinking, or practice to realize consciousness; you just have to observe with great persistence, desire, and interest, and eventually it dawns on you who you are.

If you are too tied to your beliefs about who you are, as well as the teachings of New Age philosophy, religion, or materialist science, then don’t take this book personally. You can read it for an intellectual understanding. Or if you are brave enough you can look into your own self at the deepest level and in the process let go of your preconceptions and suppositions. Read the book and investigate your own nature. It’s quite rewarding if you can do it.

Happy reading!

#neardeathexperiences #outofbodyexperiences #dreams #quantumentanglement

Find out who we really are, beyond the mind

Recently I published two books about the mind and how it creates stress, happiness, illness, and health. The books are Stressing Out Over Happiness, and The Guidebook to Stress, Meditation and Happiness. My goal is to go far past the subject of the mind. This is why I wrote my latest book, 13 Pillars of Enlightenment, which is a novel about self-realization and enlightenment. Through the eyes of its protagonist this book takes you on a journey into the sense of self and then far beyond. It took me more than 60 years of research and a year to write this book.

This new work is a short narrative novel that leads you to find the most mysterious and illusive aspect of life throughout the ages. It’s been called self realization, enlightenment, or realizing your true nature. Nonetheless, these terms are relatively meaningless and can only point to what exists behind that which we call the mind, body, and reality. I am hoping that this book can point you toward your own realization about who you are, if that’s what you desire.

My goal is to share the most fundamental tenets related to enlightenment. In the book I also go into the problem of language in trying to shed light on something that is beyond language, concepts, and images. Ultimately, I hope that you will be able to find out for yourself where thoughts come from, how they form the sense of self and the world that seems to exist, and how to discover the true nature of the essence of existence.