“The Myth of Self-Enquiry”
“Probably you believe you are a person reading these very words right now. Maybe you also see yourself as a spiritual seeker. You’ve been to sacred places, followed yoga or meditation, maybe you’ve been involved in a group of seekers with similar interests. Probably you’ve invested a lot in this search for the ultimate truth. Maybe you feel you have been close to finding your true nature, and still … something is lacking. What if this search leads you nowhere because the seeker who wants to achieve “it” is itself a concept? Have you ever investigated the existence of the investigator you believe you are? The seeker you believe yourself to be will not like this book. Seekers do not want to learn that that their search for enlightenment is just a game of their ego. They don’t like to see that their spiritual enquiry is endless and that their goal of finding their “true nature” is a myth.” Jan Kersschot graduated in medicine from Antwerp University, Belgium. His lifelong quest for the ultimate truth was characterised by his interest in a wisdom which does not exclude anything or anyone. Blending the core of Eastern wisdom with a contemporary Western lifestyle, Jan shows in this collection of extraordinary dialogues how the popular myths about self inquiry and enlightenment can be unmasked. He is the author of the books, Coming Home, Nobody Home and This Is It.
Review By Jerry Katz
About the author: “Jan Kersschot graduated in medicine from Antwerp University, Belgium. His lifelong quest for the ultimate truth was characterised by his interest in a wisdom which does not exclude anything or anyone.” Jan is also the author of Coming Home, Nobody Home, and This Is It, all well-received books on the teaching of nonduality or Oneness.
The first thing I liked about this book is the compact size. It only has about 97 pages and is narrow enough to fit into my back pocket, so I took it with me on a walk and sat in the park and read it.
The theme is that liberation is a myth as there is only awareness, oneness, God, or Beingness. The theme is developed through as series of brief, pointed conversations on a number of topics: the body, the soul, the shadow side, intelligent design v. Darwinism, blasphemy, life after understanding, belief, religion, ego, control, hope, and more.
Prior to the conversations is Kersschot’s introduction to the book. It is important because it easily enables the reader new to nonduality and Advaita to comprehend the prison walls of the mind and to see that they are made of thin air.
Something else I like about this book is that Jan is addressing questions that might be posed by any beginning investigator of Advaita or of Beingness. Such questions as, “If I am not my body, then I am a soul that has chosen this body to live in?” “What I eat, how much I pray, it’s not essential? Is that what you’re saying?” “Is there nothing we can do to change the world for the better?”
The responses are brief and lead to conversations consisting of further concise responses back and forth.
There is a freshness to this book that is illustrated in how Jan describes his offerings. The questioner asks, “Are you like the Zen masters, who say that the finger pointing to the moon is not the moon?” Jan responds, “I would rather say I try to point to the sun instead of the moon. And the sun stands here for the one and only source of light of everything. Of all beings.”
This book of conversations is a concise and fresh guide to Advaita that considers a variety of worldly topics. This book will be extremely useful to people first investigating Advaita and to anyone who still has questions or doubts