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Dwelling in the Mirror: A Study of Illusions Produced by Delusive Meditation and How to Be Free from Them Paperback – July 14, 2017
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"I totally loved this book! After running across many spiritual and self-help books filled with unrealistic promises, this little jewel had the impact of a triple Espresso."
- Sandra Carrington-Smith, author of Housekeeping for the Soul
"This is a much needed book. Considering the colossal and burgeoning size of the self-development industry, many of whose adherents advocate a fallacious understanding of laws of manifestation, as they promise anything up to high heaven and beyond, within hours, it is heartening to read a book that focuses on the core values of spirituality and self-mastery as espoused by the Ascended Masters, including Jesus."
"This book provides an invaluable source of information regarding the Ego and how it can manifest & manipulate meditators and spiritual seekers on their path. It contains lots of examples and valid points, that give the reader food for thought when scrutinizing their own meditation practice. One can never be too complacent.
"The author has tried to cover as much as possible of what is a large subject to begin with and it works. I would of liked to have read more examples of delusions of enlightenment & genuine spiritual experiences for comparison , but I was not disappointed with this book and will read it again."
"A very important "caveat emptor" and guide for all spiritual aspirants seeking a serious path that will take them to the Goal with as few detours as possible."
About the Author
Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri) is the founder and director of the Light of the Spirit Monastery (Atma Jyoti Ashram) in Cedar Crest, New Mexico, USA. In his many pilgrimages to India, he had the opportunity of meeting some of India's greatest spiritual figures, including Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh and Anandamayi Ma. During his first trip to India he was made a member of the ancient Swami Order by Swami Vidyananda Giri, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, who had himself been given sannyas by the Shankaracharya of Puri, Jagadguru Bharati Krishna Tirtha. In the United States he also encountered various Christian saints, including Saint John Maximovich of San Francisco and Saint Philaret Voznesensky of New York. He was ordained in the Liberal Catholic Church (International) to the priesthood on January 25, 1974, and consecrated a bishop on August 23, 1975. For many years Abbot George has researched the identity of Jesus Christ and his teachings with India and Sanatana Dharma, including Yoga. It is his conclusion that Jesus lived in India for most of his life, and was a yogi and Sanatana Dharma missionary to the West. After his resurrection he returned to India and lived the rest of his life in the Himalayas. He has written extensively on these and other topics, many of which are posted at OCOY.org.
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For this is a much needed book. Considering the colossal and burgeoning size of the self-development industry, many of whose adherents advocate a fallacious understanding of laws of manifestation, as they promise anything up to high heaven and beyond, within hours, it is heartening to read a book that focuses on the core values of spirituality and self-mastery as espoused by the Ascended Masters, including Jesus.
In this book, the author attempts to document the kind of delusions that are evoked by the condition called “A little learning” as spelt out in the poem by Alexander Pope:
“A little learning is a dangerous thing
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring :
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.”
The text in the book is arranged as follows:
The author starts by describing the condition of a few initiates, who, after having done a little meditation, knowingly or unknowingly, become victims of delusion, concerning their personal role in the grand scheme of things. This is a very common hurdle for many initiates to encounter on the path to self-realization, however serious they may be about their quest. The delusions could stem from several factors, e.g. dreams, biomagnetic sensations that could cause the initiate to see angels and light, meditations that yield chills and thrills at the start but which cause ultimate harm to our subtle bodies in the long term. Sometimes the initiate could be doing the wrong breathing exercises, or doing the right exercises in the wrong way, this could affect her/his pranic energies and manifest in nervous disorders, which the initiate would probably attribute to “burning karma”. Other pitfalls on the road to self-discovery that are mentioned in this book, are kundalini yoga and the use of beej mantras, both of which, if practised correctly, can yield good results. However, used in the wrong way, the health of the practitioner can be affected very negatively. In this section, the author also deals with the subject of the ego and how pandering to its vagaries can wash away the merits of years of meditative practice. False gurus are also a major factor that can affect the health of an initiate.
In the second section, the author lists several symptoms of self-delusion that could affect a spiritual aspirant. Some of these are physical degeneration, addiction to drugs, extreme disinclination to rational and open self-investigation, intellectualization of his/her experiences in the light of being nothingness and so on.
In the third section, the author presents a technique for a spiritual practitioner to heal himself/herself of multitudinous health problems that have arisen as a result of wrong meditative practices. Subsequently, the author goes on to describe how a genuine seeker would talk of his spiritual attainments, closing the chapter with the example of St. Ambrose of Optina, Russia and a description of one of his transcendental experiences,
In the last chapter, the author suggests a meditative path called Om-yoga meditation.This is a simple,yet powerful meditative path with the additive advantage that one cannot easily go astray, as happens very often in the case of inappropriate Beej mantra meditations.
Like his other books, this book is very well written. A lesser person could have gone off on a tangent while dwelling on the negative consequences of much of the New Age buzzwords of consciousness. The author has been restrained with his criticism in this regard, without compromising on the facts, many of which he has experienced first hand, a difficult balancing act indeed. His facts are also bolstered by stories of encounters with genuine spiritual savants whose authenticity and authority stand unquestioned. This book could be invaluable to a genuine spiritual seeker as it informs her/him of many of the pitfalls created by the ego that lie in wait.
Warmly recommended to all genuine spiritual seekers.
1. The disparagement of Astral projection or up-and-out... and then later on he gives an example of Saint Ambrosie - who had an experience very similar to what Robert Bruce descries on his book on Astral projection! (The 'Mystic Level' in Bruce's words)
2. Connected to that is the superficial discussion of the Dweller at the Treshold. In Bruce, this is an illusory presence (but I wonder) which frightens you into aborting projections. Now why would the ego, which is the Dweller in George Burke's telling, put such effort into aborting a projection - if projections were a type of delusion?
3. Further, and on the same topic - to say that we go to the astral levels in sleep, and what do we gain? Nada... This is again a facile dismissal. The point Astral projectors make is that, exactly - when you project into the astral in dreams you bring back only incoherent jumbles - but that a lucid projection is quite different, and gives access to knowledge and higher levels.
4. The Abbott kindly mentions one of the signs of the false guru as being an obsession with food - but if you look at his pic on Amazon you see that he is a man of, ahem, considerable size. Looks like he is obsessed with food. Could this be a result of neglect of the sexual (an imbalance in one center would manifest itself as a compensatory focus on another center)?
5. All of this has a a sound of a Tetra hack: that is, use the truth (warning about false practices -
Part of which rings very true) in order to draw people to the Christian God. This pulls the meditator into a whole universe of associations: the Old Testament, the slaughter of Egyptian babies by the angel of God, genocide of the Caan nites, the bloody reckoning of Revelations, where JC rides around steeped in blood. Which is - well, I guess if that is the truth, then that is it. But peppering your book with nice quotes from the Bible while not mentioning or grappling with the more.... stark stuff looks like guru-type hand waving to me. A kind of bait and switch.
Most recent customer reviews
Right from the start, this little book gets right in your yogi face. The author details a “difficult and ugly exposition” of the dangers of misguided forms of...Read more
I would read more by this author because it's good to stretch one's imagination.