The Book of Not Knowing: Exploring the True Nature of Self, Mind, and Consciousness [NOOK Book]

Overview

Over decades of martial arts and meditation practice, Peter Ralston discovered a curious and paradoxical fact: that true awareness arises from a state of not-knowing. Even the most sincere investigation of self and spirit, he says, is often sabotaged by our tendency to grab too quickly for answers and ideas as we retreat to the safety of the known. This "Hitchhiker’s Guide to Awareness" provides helpful guideposts along an experiential journey for those Western minds predisposed to wandering off to old habits, ...

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The Book of Not Knowing: Exploring the True Nature of Self, Mind, and Consciousness

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Overview

Over decades of martial arts and meditation practice, Peter Ralston discovered a curious and paradoxical fact: that true awareness arises from a state of not-knowing. Even the most sincere investigation of self and spirit, he says, is often sabotaged by our tendency to grab too quickly for answers and ideas as we retreat to the safety of the known. This "Hitchhiker’s Guide to Awareness" provides helpful guideposts along an experiential journey for those Western minds predisposed to wandering off to old habits, cherished presumptions, and a stubbornly solid sense of self. With ease and clarity Ralston teaches readers how to become aware of the background patterns that they are usually too busy, stressed, or distracted to notice. The Book of Not Knowing points out the ways people get stuck in their lives and offers readers a way to make fresh choices about every aspect of their lives, from a place of awareness instead of autopilot.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“True innovators are, by definition, ahead of their time. Therefore, they remain largely unrecognized, except by a few. How many of us wish we had met Bruce Lee, sat in a session with Carl Jung, or walked around Walden Pond with Thoreau? Too late for that, but not too late to take notice of Peter Ralston. His creativity, commitment, and clarity shine through as he articulates higher principles based on direct experience and piercing insight. A caring teacher, he has been to the mountaintop and bathed in the spring of Being. His insights speak to us all.”
—Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior

“This is one of those rare books that you can read again, and refer back to… 10 out of 10 on our Infinity Scale. This is a must have book for the serious spiritual seeker.”
—EnlightenmentDudes.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583942970
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 600
  • Sales rank: 387,060
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

In 1975, Peter Ralston founded Cheng Hsin, a dogma-free approach to using direct experience in body/mind training, and two years later opened The Cheng Hsin School of Internal Martial Arts and Center for Ontological Research in Oakland, California. The first non-Asian ever to win the World Championship full-contact martial arts tournament, Ralston is author of Zen Body-Being, Cheng Hsin: Principles of Effortless Power, and other books.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Grounded Enlightenment 1

Part I Questioning the Obvious

Chapter 1 A Powerful Openness 9

Beginning to Wonder 9

Beyond the Self Mind 11

Knowing and Not-Knowing 14

Self and Being 19

Chapter 2 Moving Beyond Belief 25

Learning to Not-Know 25

Natural Contemplation 27

Zen Influence 29

Relating Differently to Beliefs 31

Creating a New Perspective 33

Empty Your Cup 36

Chapter 3 The Cultural Matrix 41

We Are Culture 41

Not-Knowing in Our Culture 47

The Self in Our Culture 50

The Cost of Our Assumptions 52

Your Own Experience of These Consequences 57

Chapter 4 An Experience of Not-Knowing 63

Learning versus Knowing 63

Thinking without a Net 66

What Is an Experience? 69

What Is an Experience of Not-Knowing? 74

What Is an Insight? 77

Chapter 5 The Principles of Discovery 81

Four Cornerstones of Discovery 81

Authentic Experience 84

Honesty 87

Grounded Openness 90

Questioning 95

Embracing Paradox 101

Part II Our Self Experience

Chapter 6 Conceptual Dominance 107

Creating a Conceptual World 107

What Is a Concept? 112

Concepts Dominate Our Perceptions 115

There's More to Perception than Meets the Eye 118

The Solidification of Concepts 120

Challenging Conceptual Dominance 122

Chapter 7 You Don't Have to Rehearse to Be Yourself 129

Being Yourself 129

The Real and the False 131

Masks and Hats 133

Superficial Remedies 137

Looking for Self in All the Wrong Places 139

Chapter 8 Unknown Origins 143

Our "Need to Know" Level of Consciousness 143

Mistaking the Uncognized Mind for the Real Self 147

The Origins of Your Self 151

Part III In Search of Real Being

Chapter 9 What Am I? 159

OurExperience of "Being" 159

Identifying Ourselves 164

Our Conceptual Self Experience 168

Chapter 10 Self and Being 173

What Is a Self? 174

What Is Being? 180

What Is Your Self and What Is Being? 185

Chapter 11 The Self: Noun or Verb? 193

Am I a Noun or a Verb? 196

To Noun or to Verb? 199

"Doing" versus "Being" 204

Part IV Creating Self

Chapter 12 Inventing Self and World 213

The Self-Identity Reinforces Itself 216

The Never-Ending Story of Me 219

Inventions 221

Inventing Personalized Worlds 226

Manipulating Circumstances 230

Chapter 13 Lost in Translation 233

What Is Not and Never Was 233

Interpretation Revisited 236

Reconstructive Interpretation 239

Self as We Know It 243

Life in the Loop 244

Chapter 14 Creating an Experience of Self 251

The Myth of Real Self 251

Apples and Oranges 254

Believing in Your Self 257

Mandatory Misrepresentation 259

Living as a False-Self 260

The Snowball Effect 262

Assembling a Particular Self 267

The Way You Are in Particular 270

Chapter 15 The Self Principle 273

All about You 273

Meaning Steers the Self 276

Two Domains of Survival: Physical and Conceptual 279

Social Survival 282

To Be Frank 286

Surviving as a Self 288

Chapter 16 Survival Is Not Being 291

Three Distinctions in Consciousness 291

What Is "For-Itself"? 297

Beyond Happiness and Suffering: Perceiving Something For-Itself 301

For-Itself versus As-Itself 308

Experiencing the Truth Is Not the Purpose of Self-Survival 309

For-Itself versus As-Itself-an Ontological Overview 315

Surviving Isn't Being 317

What Does Persist? 319

Entertaining the Possibility of Not Surviving 320

Part V Penetrating Experience

Chapter 17 Recognizing Self-Survival in Your Own Experience 325

Getting from Here to There 326

What Is Being at Effect? 327

Becoming More Conscious of Effects 331

Experiencing Something For-Itself 334

Changing from Reaction to Experience 336

Changing Context Changes Effects 341

Chapter 18 Beyond Belief 353

A Quick Review of Belief 354

Getting Free of Our Need to Believe 359

On the Shoulders of Giants 362

Using Beliefs as a Map 364

Radical Openness 367

Eliminating Beliefs 369

The Practice of Dispelling Beliefs 372

A New Experience in Consciousness 376

Chapter 19 Freedom from Assumptions-Part One 381

Making Connections 383

Emptiness 388

Chapter 20 Freedom from Assumptions-Part Two 407

Self-Doubt 407

Feeling Trapped 413

Suffering 416

Struggle 429

Chapter 21 Contemplation 437

Creating a Place to Stand 437

Being as Unknown 441

Contemplation 444

Pre-contemplation 445

Contemplating 451

Developing a Steady Practice 455

Looking Both Ways 465

Chapter 22 Awakening the Uncognized Mind 467

Finding Our Way into the Unconscious 469

Contemplating the Uncognized Mind 470

The Process of Contemplating Uncognized Mind 473

Explaining the Process 476

A Sample Bottom-Line Contemplation 478

Guidelines for Your Bottom-Line Contemplation 482

Five Points of Reference 484

Part VI The Nature of Reality

Chapter 23 The Nature of Emotion 491

Fear 493

Anger 501

Desire 507

Pain 515

Chapter 24 The Nature of Everything 523

What Is Everything? 524

The Distinction "Distinction" 528

Distinctions and Existence 533

Chapter 25 The Nature of Being 539

Meaning Doesn't Mean Anything 539

In Search of Absolute Knowledge 541

The Possibility of Direct Consciousness 545

The Nature of Being 546

The Paradox of Being 552

Being and Self 553

Chapter 26 Being and Life 559

What Now? 559

Life Principles 563

Happiness: Don't Want It 570

Discipline and Freedom 575

The Lava Syndrome 576

A Final Word 578

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2011

    Wow, there is a lot of thought in this book!

    I would recommend buying a physical copy of this book unless you really enjoy your Nook. It's a 581 page book and is not light reading. Excellent though !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    Peter Ralston: The Most Enlightened Man in the Western Hemisphere

    Mr. Ralston very gently takes his reader by the hand and takes him, step-by-step through the enormously challenging task of discovering his assumptions and beliefs--which constitute the totality of his "knowing"--and gradually discarding them in favor of an even more challenging task: direct knowing through contemplation. This book convinced me that Mr. Ralston experienced what Buddha Sakyamuni had himself experienced; what made his enlightenment and realization so powerful. The best part is, Mr. Ralston's guidance parallels the Workbook section of A Course In Miracles. And that is impressive, indeed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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