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The Book of Not Knowing: Exploring the True Nature of Self, Mind, and Consciousness Paperback – January 26, 2010
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—Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior
“This is one of those rare books that you can read again, and refer back to… 10 out of 10 on our Infinity Scale. This is a must have book for the serious spiritual seeker.”
About the Author
In 1975, Peter Ralston founded Cheng Hsin, a dogma-free approach to using direct experience in body/mind training, and two years later opened The Cheng Hsin School of Internal Martial Arts and Center for Ontological Research in Oakland, California. The first non-Asian ever to win the World Championship full-contact martial arts tournament, Ralston is author of Zen Body-Being, Cheng Hsin: Principles of Effortless Power, and other books.
Top Customer Reviews
I can't describe this book as just something that adds more "stuff" to your head. This book is a pointer to experience. It's also an inspiration to be aware that a human being created something of such great value.
After all other readings I've done from psychology, leadership, eastern philosophy, you name it - this book becomes a unifying principle of everything. And it is immense. It isn't everyday that I say that something becomes a unifying principle for many other seemingly contradictory or paradoxical "realities." Yet this one somehow manages to do just that.
When you read a lot, when you experience a lot, you tend to let things just be scattered all over the place in your mind. When things in your mind are scattered, your experience of reality will equally be scattered. You will be like a leaf in the wind. And you will try to fight against any currents. This is a book that unifies everything together in a holistic manner that translates in direct experience. This book is not trying to convince you of anything, it does not, and cannot become a "belief." It is trying to SHOW you, NOW. After it has shown you, you are free to do what you like. It's a piercing expose of what it means to be human.Read more ›
"The Book of Not Knowing" will be one of the books I reread ever year or so. It is a wealth of knowledge for the truth seeker. I say this more so because - even though getting through the details is gut wrenching to read at times - it filled in some knowledge gaps for me and affirmed parts of my own path over the last 50 years (self analysis, truth seeking, travels, meditations, etc.).
For what is sometimes a lonely path - truth seeking - it is nice to periodically have your experiences and insights independently validated. Thank you Peter!
** for execution
The subject matter is tremendous. I've been interested in this sort of thing for a long time, but have never come across a book that deals with it, at least in any depth. Since I was a teenager I've had the notion that the only thing we know is that something is itself. I remember arguing the point with a friend, who wasn't really into that kind of thinking, so his eyes glazed over before we got anywhere. And so its gone most of my life.
So this book is about trying to get to a point where we can really experience ourselves--our true Being, as opposed to a concept of ourself (our conceptual self that is seemingly created by our beliefs/assumptions about everything). It deals with getting to the Truth, which in the end, involves a lot of honest indepth contemplation.
To experience this a bit, sit back, relax and comtemplate the follow: What are you? Not what you do in life, or how you're feeling right now, or what you're thinking, but just what are you basically. What is it that is thinking about this right now and where is it exactly? In your head? But is it really? How do you know? Feel that itch/pain in your ankle? Is that you, the pain in your ankle? If so, are you your ankle? Now stop thinking and just be aware of your ankle. Where is that awareness? Can you be aware of it or look at it? Awareness is like looking out of your eyes, you can't see it just like you can't see your eyes directly. So where is that awareness coming from exactly? It can't be coming from anything you can be aware of, can it? And so on.
So why two stars for execution.
1. Because the book is way too verbose.
2. There are far too few concrete examples when there could/should be many.
3.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Too long. Should have been half of the length. More Inspirational than informational or practical.not enough practice exercises it gets me interested in ideas and loose me after... Read morePublished 2 days ago by donce
I am about half way through this book, so why am I giving a review? I am doing so, because I am no longer absolutely convinced I will make it through the slog. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I found out so much about what not true about my self, this book it's great way to get direction where to look for your concussion. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Sani Misic
Amazing book! open it to any random page and there is some deep wisdom there that makes you think...Published 11 months ago by Andrey
After years of searching, being involved in several other things and reading lots of other material, I came across one of Peter Ralston's other books the Book of Not Knowing. Read morePublished 13 months ago by J. Hades9391
This book made me wonder, ponder and think. Even though it's purpose is not to make you think but to make you start doing the work that is required for truth. Read morePublished 15 months ago by rickard
I've read dozens of books about personal development and 'enlightenment.' None have had a much impact on me as Peter Ralston's. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Frank N. Wiley