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One: Essential Writings on Nonduality

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One: Essential Writings on Nonduality [Paperback]

Jerry Katz (Editor)
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews) Like (1)

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Book Description

January 29, 2007
This is the first book on nonduality intended for a mainstream audience. Nonduality means not two or One without a second. That One has many names-God, consciousness, truth, the Self-and the writings in this collection turn the reader toward this nondual reality. This is done through the practice of inquiry, in which questions about the source of one's action or thought lead one to see the fact of non-separation, and through expressions of nonduality in art, music, scriptures, and diverse areas of ordinary life. In gaining an understanding of the nondual nature of life, one can live with greater integrity and joy, because the truth of existence is seen and lived.

Often called Advaita in the East, nonduality describes the singular wholeness of existence that suggests that the personal self is an illusion. Nonduality is the basis of much of ancient Eastern thought, and there is a growing interest in it among Western spiritual seekers. The book covers religious and cultural expressions of nonduality, nondual spiritual practices, and the philosophical underpinnings of the nondual perspective. This very lively and diverse collection includes readings from Ramana Maharshi, Ibn 'Arabi, the Tao Te Ching, Ohiyesa, the Diamond Sutra, the Avadhuta Gita, Bernadette Roberts, Kabbalah, nondual psychotherapy (John Prendergast), education (Steven Harrison), art (Jerry Wennstrom), and the movie The Matrix (Pradheep Chhalliyil). It's a sourcebook for understanding this profound perspective and how it relates to our lives.

One conveys what nonduality itself is, in a nonacademic style that draws heavily on modern, popular writing on the subject. Included are lively passages from major traditions-Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. This new take on an ancient philosophy makes it relevant for modern lives.

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Editorial Reviews


Edited by nonduality instructor Jerry Katz, One: Essential Writings on Nonduality is a sourcebook anthology of writings crucial to the spiritual perspective of universal reality, and the mystical integration of the self within the universal. Exploring nonduality as understood within Sufism, Judaism, Taoism, Christianity, Buddhism, Native American traditions, and the Advaita Vedanta, One, as well as nonduality as experienced in psychotherapy, education, art, and even the pop culture movie "The Matrix", One is an integral primer to a powerfully transcendent concept. "The practical expression of the spiritual realization that life is interconnected is expressed in the forms we create, the work in progress of that understanding. Even a learning center that embodies freedom and responsibility is not complete until it seamlessly interfaces with the community of families, businesses, and institutions that surround it, as well as the world at large. Learning may finally be deinstitutionalized and returned to its natural state: curiosity-driven, lifelong, and incorporating every dimension of the human being." Highly recommended for religious and spiritual philosophy shelves.

--Midwest Book Review

A translation of the first verse of the Avadhuta Gita, a Hindu scripture, reads: "Through the Grace of God alone, the desire for nonduality arises in wise people to save them from great fear." Katz attributes the appearance of this desire to know our true nature as an outgrowth of the desire for spiritual development, which ultimately shows itself to be another wish for something to possess. Mystical experiences, inner peace, and even wisdom eventually leave us unsatisfied. Something lies beyond these: the realization, rather than the acquisition, of our ultimate identity beyond our dualistic world. In One, Katz presents various perspectives--including writings from Sufism, Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, and Native American tradition as well as the essential teachings of Ramana Maharshi and a discussion of The Matrix Trilogy--to guide us toward recognition of the essential oneness of reality, the truth of our Self.

--Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness

From the Author

This book weaves the desire for nonduality, the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, self-realization confessions from major traditions, and the nondual perspectives of psychotherapy, education, art, and the movie The Matrix, to present a sweeping introduction to the teaching of nonduality. Diverse, sparkling, classic writings make-up this compilation, which might serve as a foundation to a collection of nonduality books.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Sentient Publications (January 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591810531
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591810537
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #741,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
What's nice about this one is the broad selection of the writings. D. S. Clark  |  7 reviewers made a similar statement
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grace arises from truth! April 9, 2007
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
Jerry Katz had me from the first sentence when he defined nonduality as "the experience of our true nature, the taste of being" -- what a clear, concise definition. Direct seeing itself is the experience -- you can call the experience itself Self, or if you choose, God -- and in this direct seeing one becomes whole. This is the experience of becoming a participant in the natural bliss of plants and flowers and trees, and it is one's death as well as rebirth. As soon as we drop the mind [ego] that is the source of all fear, this new world unfolds. In it, we become one with nature. Nothing is separate, nothing is different, and everything begins to throb in harmonious peace, which is our true nature.

Then, one page later, when Katz said that the need for knowing nonduality is grace, and that grace is a profound gift arising from truth, my heart nearly exploded. He went on to say that allowing the desire for nonduality to unfold saves us from fear -- the fear that we're missing what is real [true] and the "great fear" that we do not exist [we just "are" -- "being," as opposed to "being this" or "being that"]. This was all said in the first three pages and is where this review probably needs to end, even though the following 190 treasure-filled pages are as plenary as these three.

The essence of the remaining pages is that we cannot transcend a duality by choosing only one of its sides. It is the choosing itself that is the mistake. The nondual path is where there is no extreme, no duality, no choice to make. Instead, we are to move into the consciousness that chooses, into the state of knowing that perceives the duality. This movement is true wisdom, and it is this wisdom that is the door to light. All actions, perceived as good or bad, happen against a background of "being" that is unaffected. Ultimately, neither good nor bad has any real existence. Reality is beyond dualities. Consciousness -- which is all there is -- supports all, without involvement. "Good" actions are those that point one back towards the truth, towards knowledge of Self. "Bad" actions entrench one further in the depths of illusion, taking one further away from Self. And, there is no reaching Self because You are Self -- you are already That. This is nonduality, where there is no separation from Self or truth.

Still, I am compelled to comment on Jerry Wennstrom's chapter of "becoming nothing" in the nondual perspectives section. A film has been made about the life of Whidbey Island artist, Jerry Wennstrom. Beginning in 1979, Wennstrom destroyed all the art he had created, gave everything he owned away, and began a new life. He sensed an inner and outer world in perfect order and became a willing participant in that order -- he leaped into the void, the ultimate creative act. In reading this chapter, I tasted the "great freedom that nothing is ours to hold or identify with...and that the only territories consistently worth exploring are the badlands of limitation and fear. When we release the personal identity, then our gifts will be sanctified and returned. The attempt to do anything significant in the world before we have been deeply changed ourselves is a way to avoid real change. Good intention counts for very little...doing our own work first leads to our true and unique participation in the world we wish to serve." Jerry Wennstrom and I met in the Heart as I read this chapter, three times in a row. The Heart is the only possible place to meet, to join -- no separation from truth is there. And, I'll end this review with a quote from Wennstrom: "A mature creative life, which has discovered its source, finds it is linked to everything."
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
The editor of "One: Essential Writings on Nonduality", Jerry Katz, exhibits an intuitive grasp of the universality of a nondual understanding of reality through his selection of the broadly ranging texts included in this volume. He succeeds both in presenting the essential features of Nonduality through his selection of the succinct teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi which are formatted in a clear question and answer format, and also in ensuring that his readers do not stray from the important point that Nonduality is not a particular school of thought or system of any one person or culture, but rather lies at the heart of a broad range of writings in many fields, including education, art, and cinema, as well as in mystical writings from all major religions. This is the fruit of this book.

There are many ways to talk about Reality, but none of them adequately encompass the wholeness of Reality. Language focuses on descriptions of the world around us, but necessarily loses focus when we attempt to turn it onto the essential nature of Wholeness. Lacking a basis upon which to distinguish non-dual Reality, each speaker must necessarily create his or her own language for describing the nature of that which they have come to realize in their heart. By placing many of these descriptions, each couched in its own subjective terms, side by side in this volume, Jerry Katz had made it possible for us to find the nuggets of gold buried, sometimes deeply, other times lying close to the surface, in each contribution and thus to see their common nature. As he points out in his introduction to the selection of texts he calls "Nondual Confessions": "It is important to grasp that self-realized people are speaking from an understanding about reality very different from the understanding of most others."

"One" is probably the best introductory text for gaining access to this understanding of Reality. Finding this book is a grace, spending the time to understand its' meaning is worth every moment.

James Corrigan
An Introduction to Awareness
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A picture of One. April 5, 2007
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
Q: What is the sound of one editor, editing?

A: Deafening, like the roar of many waters, is the silence and peace it can bring! -- especially so in this case, as the editor, Jerry Katz (owner of nonduality [dot] com) knows the nondual literature of past and present as few other Earthlings do.

Nonduality is an ancient view of consciousness and being, albeit a minority view. It's what you've always known, but have ever been told is naive and impossible: All is one! And the beauty of this realization is nothing less than breathtaking in its arrangement in this volume.

If you're just beginning your inquiry into nonduality, his selections will bless you on your way, while encouraging you to retain the suppleness of 'beginner's mind.' If you are a person of long and/or deep spiritual practice, able to bring an open thought to these readings, you will surely find insight here.

His is a full-spectrum presentation. He has a gem dealer's eye for clarity, hue, sparkle, while never seeming to be put off by packaging or provenance. This man knows how to select and string pearls! And he doesn't care if they are from freshwater water, or salt; from east, or west. He shows us their fitting place; he is able to juxtapose them into a setting that is fluid, graceful, stunning in their relational beauty. Readers will find their wariness of brandname spiritual practices fade as they are able to behold, simply, what is.

His selections range from Native American to Christian, from Tao to Hindu and Sufi. And they all point to One, not-two, thus nondual. Isn't it time you availed yourself of some help putting 'Humpty together again?' The whole is the sum of the parts. And they belong together, as he shows us. Yes, it's just a start, but the journey is both inviting and compelling. This is a great place to begin.

~eric. Alden, NY
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult subject, made more difficult by the selections
By its very nature, non-duality is a difficult topic to write about. Words fail to convey the deep meaning of this concept, so writers must use rather special techniques to convey... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Eric Maroney
5.0 out of 5 stars A compilation from various faiths
What's nice about this one is the broad selection of the writings. There is even one from an American Indian. One is from an artist and another from a school educator. Read more
Published on March 9, 2010 by D. S. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Universal Advaita
No other book exploring the philosophy of Advaita, has the breadth of One: Essential Writings by Jerry Katz. Read more
Published on January 16, 2010 by Eric Gross
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite for Buddhists
This book contains many interesting views of non-duality, including some Buddhist ones. However, if one is a Buddhist, and looking for an exclusively Buddhist view, another book... Read more
Published on December 9, 2009 by William Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars Excerpts from the human journey
This slim volume collecting excerpts from some of the world's well known sacred texts and enlightened writers makes a simple point, that awakening to our true nature is not a... Read more
Published on October 30, 2008 by Daiho
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! A Book I Can Give to Friends that ask, "What...?" A++
I am grateful to Jerry Katz for offering us this superb introduction and explication on the meaning, function, and essence of Nonduality. Read more
Published on June 19, 2008 by Ted Biringer
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone
`Selected writings' rather than `essential' but there is nevertheless something here to inspire everyone and perhaps point them in a direction to discover more about the one truth... Read more
Published on March 20, 2008 by D. Waite
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for religious and spiritual philosophy shelves.
Edited by nonduality instructor Jerry Katz, One: Essential Writings on Nonduality is a sourcebook anthology of writings crucial to the spiritual perspective of universal reality,... Read more
Published on July 8, 2007 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Resource
Non-duality is the most important topic one can study, contemplate, discuss with others, and practice. Read more
Published on May 21, 2007 by Cliff Mikkelson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshing Bringing Together of Perspectives on Nonduality
In One: Essential Writings on Nonduality, editor Jerry Katz captures refreshing and diverse perspectives on nonduality in one book, proving the point that nonduality is a truth... Read more
Published on May 18, 2007 by Gina Lake
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