- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Non-Duality; Revised edition (September 20, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0956309151
- ISBN-13: 978-0956309150
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #453,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Standing as Awareness: The Direct Path Revised Edition
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After reading Goode's work, I tend to explain it in sensory terms. We think (or more precisely, are taught that) we have 5 senses, but we really have limitless sensory capabilities. Our own thoughts, memories, knowledge, emotions and other experiences are just labels that we have slapped onto different things that 'we' experience. As an example exercise, 'think' about 'thoughts' that 'come to mind' - realize that this is no different from smelling a scent or seeing a color! In Goode's terms, it appears to your awareness, as does everything. It becomes clear that during our 'socialization' within society, our sensory complex (again, a concept in awareness, and therefore simply awareness) developed the ability to works in terms of labels and concepts, not the stuff of raw images, sounds, smells, and so forth. This would be what J. Krishnamurti liked to call our "conditioning", and why he suggested to really 'listen' (fall back to the raw input of Goode's 'awareness' outside the realm of concepts, the only place where the ineffable truth can be). Now you can become aware of the concepts that arise! Anything I can say about how powerful this is would be an understatement.
At this point you realize that there seems to be some control you can have over the concepts you experience, because you become aware of how you learn them. Each concept in itself is kind of like a radio that's attuned to different sensory experiences - for instance you learn hunger as a set of sensations. Everything is like that. I also recommend Goode's "The Direct Path" which explores all aspects of awareness with exercises. You learn, for instance, that an 'orange' is this concept you place on the sights, smells, tastes of 'orange'. An orange is nothing else. Fantastic stuff. Each one of these concepts becomes a 'sense'. One way I like to think of it is : we have a 'sense' for every concept we've learned plus our ineffable non-conceptualized senses (some of which we've associated with concepts, and most we probably haven't).
This review extrapolates quite a distance from the topics Goode discusses (in particular, I have created new conceptualizations to explain his ideas, whereas his work is, by contrast, somewhat deconstructive). You may experience completely different realizations of your own! I highly recommend this work; it is so powerful in its simplicity.
To explore further, consider "As One Is" by J. Krishnamurti, "The Social Construction of Reality" by Berger and Luckmann, and of course other works on nonduality, Advaita Vedanta, and so forth.
Added July 24, 2010: Also GET HIS NEW DVD "ILLUMINATION" (from non-duality press). It is enjoyable and effortless to experience this interview-style presentation of the basic principles in the book. It drives points home in a way the written word can't. Even if you have no interest in "spirituality", if you are just a curious observer of life, this DVD will astound you, in its simplicity, and its easily-followed deconstruction of everything most of us take for granted: There is a "me' and the "world" that are solid and independent. "You" are contained in the body. "You" are located somewhere, etc. It is simple and compelling, yet totally unravels the conventional view of reality and the suffering it brings. It will upset your mental apple-cart. The author pulls from Eastern wisdom and from western philosophy, presenting in an easy an entertaining way, clear plain-english insights that would otherwise be inaccessible to most of us.
But this is not philosophy. It is the usage of our own direct experience (unadorned by any second-hand knowledge passd down by culture) to see that conventionlly defined "reality" is pure inference. It does not hold up to our own direct looking. Looking at our direct experience is something culture does not teach, but everyone has the ability to look at their direct experience. It's innate in us. There is nothing to learn. Our own direct experience is closer to us and more accessible than any second-hand knowledge. It is so close and familiar to us, it is overlooked by most people. Once you stop relying on what you have been told, and start relying on your own direct experience, life takes a liberating turn.