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Living Nonduality Paperback – August 2, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Robert Wolfe's book is a treasure of insights and wisdom. If you liked I Am That (Nisargadatta) or  Who Am I? (Ramana Maharshi) you will love Living Nonduality.

--Jerry Jones, co-author of From Here to Nirvana

This quote from J. Krishnamurti opens the Preface to Living Nonduality:  "Is there such a thing as the absolute, the immeasurable, and is there any relation between that immensity and our everyday living?"
--J. Krishnamurti

From the Author

These monographs are a selection concerning nondual realization. Some were written as a reply to letters from correspondents; others were written as a response to a specific inquiry, resulting from an in-person or telephone discussion, over the years since 1988.

They appear in no particular order. However, there is a (loose) arrangement in terms of complexity, with some on an earlier subject perhaps making a later subject clearer.

The teachings of nonduality have begun to come of age in the West, recognized (at last) as the central essence of Zen, Dzochen, Tao, Vedanta, Sufism, and of Christians such as Meister Eckhart. In particular, the recorded teachings of sages (such as Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj) have paved the way for a contemporary generation of illuminating speakers and writers.

Due to the informal style of these monographs, quotations are sometimes abridged, or words emphasized; and English words may be substituted for Sanskrit, etc.

Since these monographs were written for persons of varied interest in the subject, and since each was written independently of the others, there is (regrettably) some unavoidable repetition. Nevertheless, each one has something unique to say, which is why it was selected for inclusion here.

As Ramesh Balsekar has said, "...even for those who have already understood something very clearly, a particular statement made in a particular context often brings out a subtle aspect which had earlier escaped their attention. It is therefore important not to take a repetition lightly, as a mere repetition."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Karina Library (August 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982449100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982449103
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #864,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I met with Robert Wolfe on two different occasions. We discussed non-duality both times, in what I would characterize as intense conversations. The second time we met, he asked me--as soon as I sat down--`why did you come back?' His implicit, unspoken questions: `what, exactly, are you looking for?' And `why haven't you found it?' It is his way--direct, unvarnished. He focuses on the essential. Nothing else matters.

Wolfe's writing is similarly uncompromising. There is nothing soft about it. At page 80 of Living Nonduality: `Our first responsibility to our self is to arrive at a state of spiritual clarity--permanent, self-evident and unequivocally beyond doubt.' Spiritual clarity is his point--his only point.

Towards that end, Wolfe covers some of the same ground covered by other non-duality teachers. But he does it with unique insight, in the language of our time and culture. For example, at page 19:

`In short, what the teachers are saying is that any object in the universe is--despite our giving it some separative name--a manifestation of the Absolute (or Source). They are also saying that the subject is not an exception to this truth: that everything in the universe is a manifestation of the same singular Source. So, at the level of the most basic reality, the subject--I--and the object--tree--are the same thing: an aspect (although different in appearance) of the Absolute. Thus, if we look beyond the separative names, there is only one universal thing, the Absolute.'

As you can see, Wolfe's core message is classical Advaita--i.e., `not two.' But his context is right now.

At page 133, a questioner states, `My life feels meaningless, repetitious and full of conflict, even after all the years of spiritual search.
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Robert Wolfe's Living Nonduality is an extraordinary book from any number of standpoints. In addition to its staggering clarity and insight, there is a virtuosity of thought and expression that is extremely rare. I have been reading, and valuing, "spiritual" books for nearly 40 years, and I can't think of another of its kind that so skillfully and eloquently points the way. I have heard the word "majestic" used to describe Nisargadatta's I Am That, a book I have read five times. Having this familiarity, I would say the same word--majestic--surely applies to Mr. Wolfe's Living Nonduality.

I don't want to give the wrong impression, however. For all its grandeur, this book is incredibly accessible. There is an exquisite heart in this work, and a fierce benevolence, that is communicated simply and straightforwardly. Though Mr. Wolfe is unwavering in his presentation, he comes at it so creatively I had a great sense of adventure in approaching each new short section, or "monograph." This adventure was wonderfully unexpected, and inspiring in its own right.

Mr. Wolfe is clearly a grounded being, something I especially appreciated in reading his book. He has a breadth and depth of "worldly" knowledge and experience, and draws on both in his reflections and his replies to inquirers. He is also deeply attentive to and appreciative of nature (see, for example, Where I am Not, p. 20, and Yea, Listen to the Mockingbird, p. 443), and I found these reflections to be some of Mr. Wolfe's loveliest and most inspiring.

There is so much beauty, wisdom and inspiration in Living Nonduality! For anyone drawn to nonduality teachings, this book, and Mr. Wolfe himself, are incredible blessings.
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Format: Paperback
What makes Robert Wolfe's book, Living Nonduality, stand out is that he approaches the subject from so many angles. Sometimes he is Thoreau-esque, touching on the natural world and the place of the individual within it. Many of the monographs cover ordinary matters which can so often consume us. Other times his approach is scientific, or philosophical and, often, he is like a logician, carefully revealing the consequences of his proposition. But from the heart of the nondual message he never wavers.

The book is constructed in such a way that it has no real beginning or end. One can flip it open to any page among the 400+ pages over which it travels and begin reading. It simply doesn't matter. Each monograph has at its heart the same message of nonduality that has been spoken of for centuries. The monograph entitled "Ungrasping" is alone worth the twenty bucks. It is often stated that the absolute is inexplicable, but this monograph gets as about as close as you one can.

In the end, though, what makes this book so special is that Mr. Wolfe is as wonderful with the craft of writing as he is at revealing the true nature of ourselves and the world. He is as clear and clean with both aspects as you will find in a nondual writer. Accessible, profound, and inspiring, I highly recommend it.
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This book offers the reader an opportunity to look at a comprehensive collection of life issues from a genuine non-dual perspective. It's an invitation to step inside the head of a human being that is the true embodiment of living nonduality.

I met Robert many years ago in the middle of an intensive spiritual search, and as much as I am skeptical about such things, Robert seems to be one of these people who show up when a person is actually ready to let go of all of the stories that are obstructing a direct experience of nonduality.

Having had the extreme good fortune of spending many an evening in dialogue with Robert exploring many of the issues beautifully articulated in this book, I was extremely pleased to discover that someone had put together this wonderful collection of Robert's writings so that a wider audience could also experience the gift which he unconditionally offers.

If there's a genuine passion for clarity inside you, and you've been reading the likes of J. Krishnamurti for many years and still feel confused, then try this book.
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