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“I’ve gained deeper understanding listening to Rupert Spira than I have from any other exponent of modern spirituality. Reality is sending us a message we desperately need to hear, and at this moment no messenger surpasses Spira and the transformative words in his essays.”
—Deepak Chopra, author of You Are the Universe, Spiritual Solutions, and Super Brain
Our world culture is founded on the assumption that the Big Bang gave rise to matter, which in time evolved into the world, into which the body was born, inside which a brain appeared, out of which consciousness at some late stage developed. As a result of this “matter model,” most of us believe that consciousness is a property of the body. We feel that it is “I,” this body, that knows or is aware of the world. We believe and feel that the knowing with which we are aware of our experience is located in and shares the limits and destiny of the body. This is the fundamental presumption of mind and matter that underpins almost all our thoughts and feelings and is expressed in our activities and relationships. The Nature of Consciousness suggests that the matter model has outlived its function and is now destroying the very values it once sought to promote.
For many people, the debate as to the ultimate reality of the universe is an academic one, far removed from the concerns and demands of everyday life. After all, life happens independently of our models of it. However, The Nature of Consciousness will clearly show that the materialist paradigm is a philosophy of despair and, as such, the root cause of unhappiness in individuals. It is a philosophy of conflict and, as such, the root cause of hostilities between families, communities, and nations. Far from being abstract and philosophical, its implications touch each one of us directly and intimately.
An exploration of the nature of consciousness has the power to reveal the peace and happiness that truly lie at the heart of experience. Our experience never ceases to change, but the knowing element in all experience—consciousness, or what we call “I”—itself never changes. The knowing with which all experience is known is always the same knowing. Being the common, unchanging element in all experience, consciousness does not share the qualities of any particular experience: it is not qualified, conditioned, or limited by experience. The knowing with which a feeling of loneliness or sorrow is known is the same knowing with which the thought of a friend, the sight of a sunset, or the taste of ice cream is known. Just as a screen is never disturbed by the action in a movie, so consciousness is never disturbed by experience; thus it is inherently peaceful. The peace that is inherent in us—indeed that is us—is not dependent on the situations or conditions we find ourselves in.
In a series of essays that draw you, through your own direct experience, into an exploration of the nature of this knowing element that each of us calls “I,” The Nature of Consciousness posits that consciousness is the fundamental reality of the apparent duality of mind and matter. It shows that the overlooking or ignoring of this reality is the root cause of the existential unhappiness that pervades and motivates most people’s lives, as well as the wider conflicts that exist between communities and nations. Conversely, the book suggests that the recognition of the fundamental reality of consciousness is the first step in the quest for lasting happiness and the foundation for world peace.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
What more is there to say
By Amazon Customer
Rupert Spira - your books, retreats, DVDs and audio-tapes have changed my experience in ways that can not be described.
In one of your retreats someone asked "How do you know when this understanding and teaching have successfully infiltrated and dethroned the separate self"
Your response was: "When thoughts and feelings can no longer take you away from your true nature".
They no longer take me, awareness, away. Thank you Rupert.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful.
A Magnificent Antidote for Materialistic Madness
By George M. Shears
If there were a Pulitzer Prize for spiritual books, I would definitely nominate The Nature of Consciousness, by Rupert Spira to win it.
Over the past 40+ years, I have immersed myself ardently in most of the great wisdom traditions of the world. This has included intensive practice of vipassana and Tibetan Vajrayana meditation with a number of excellent teachers. For the past 15 years, my main focus has been Advaita Vedanta, Dzogchen and Mahamudra.
I have been a very enthusiastic follower of Rupert since I watched his interview with Iain McNay on Conscious TV in early July, 2011. Since then, I have watched well over 100 of his YouTube videos, each one of which I've regarded as an impeccable work of art. I've been so impressed with a number of them that I have laboriously transcribed them into Word documents. Of the many excellent teachers of non-duality I've been exposed to, I have consistently regarded Rupert as second to none. Unfortunately, I have not been able to meet him in person or attend any of his live retreats.
I had been eagerly awaiting the publication of this book since I learned about it on Facebook, anticipating that it would be absolutely superb. I ordered two copies as soon as it became available--one for my grandson and the other for myself. My high expectations for it have been much more than fulfilled.
As anyone familiar with non-duality is well aware, imparting an understanding of it in language, which is intrinsically dualistic, is all but impossible. In this regard, Rupert has more than accomplished the impossible. I cannot imagine any serious, open-minded person reading this earthshaking book without gaining at least a clear intellectual understanding of non-duality, including its many subtleties. Through the artful use of carefully chosen metaphors and analogies, Rupert elegantly offers a very gradual, systematic, highly redundant and comprehensive, spoonfed overview of non-duality, starting with the very basics and proceeding to what is by far the most advanced exposition that I have ever come across. In reading it, I have repeatedly experienced a great many surprising epiphanies and, again and again, have recognized how his masterful explication elucidates pith teachings from other non-dual wisdom traditions, as well as the deep insights of a number of great literary giants.
Since I have come to a very deep conviction that non-duality is the ultimate and necessary antidote for the materialistic madness that increasingly threatens the very survival of civilization, I am rapturously delighted that Rupert has provided a very timely and highly user-friendly map to this magnificently liberating paradigm of ultimate Reality, or "God's infinite being," as he defines it. May it quickly gain the popularity it so rightfully deserves and virally offer massive impetus to a non-dual renaissance out of the Kali Yuga into the Sat Yuga.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
By justin t.
This book goes through hidden beliefs of the body, mind and the world. It up roots those and continuously points to the awareness or consciousness being it's source. This is his best book so far
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