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Marc: Hi, Sundari, I have no question (for the moment), I just wanted to express my gratitude to James for his new book The Essence of Enlightenment. It is easier to understand for non-native English speakers (which was, I thought, one of the reasons why James wrote it) – which doesn’t mean that it’s less profound than How to Attain Enlightenment.
I’ve almost finished reading it for the first time. This definitively is a book to be read and re-read many times. The next thing I’ll do is make “mind maps” per chapter, which will make it easier to digest the teachings, for after all Vedanta is not an easy topic. But nevertheless, I’ve never encountered a teaching that makes so much sense. And I’m so sorry now for having wasted so much time with “Neo-Advaita” (which, in my opinion, is not a good term: “fake” or “pseudo-Advaita” would be better). Unfortunately, the bookshop where I used to buy Neo-Advaita books had a few shelves about the topic, which were labeled “Advaita,” so for many years I didn’t even know that there was something like traditional Advaita. I guess I’m not the only one who was deceived in this way…
But anyway, enough complaining; please let James know how very much I appreciate this book. It’s very well written (and often with a great sense of humor). Now I really know which one book I would take to a desert island, if I could only pick one…
~ Kind regards, Marc
Sundari: Hello, Marc. Thank you for your lovely email of appreciation, always much appreciated! I agree with you totally, there is no better, saner or clearer teacher of Vedanta than James – and there are no teachings anywhere to match the power, simplicity and logic of Vedanta. We who find it and James are blessed with grace as the truth, and the real teacher only comes to those who are ready for it. Grace is earned.
We all walked the path of delusion at some point, it is the way of ignorance and inevitable in the maya world. One cannot blame anyone, because no one is setting out to deceive, even if they try to. Ignorance makes fools of us all, but some of us are fortunate enough to find the only way to end ignorance, which is only possible through self-knowledge. Even the Neos have their place; they have part of it right, they just don’t know what it means or how to apply the knowledge. The problem is they think they do. Ignorance is fine once you know what it is – but if you take ignorance to be knowledge, well, you have a problem.
Many blessings to you from Ram and me. May self-knowledge deepen and bless your life in every way.
~ Om, Sundari