The Book of Not Knowing

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2010-01-26
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books
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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 Knowingpoints 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.

Author Biography

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Grounded Enlightenmentp. 1
Questioning the Obvious
A Powerful Opennessp. 9
Beginning to Wonderp. 9
Beyond the Self Mindp. 11
Knowing and Not-Knowingp. 14
Self and Beingp. 19
Moving Beyond Beliefp. 25
Learning to Not-Knowp. 25
Natural Contemplationp. 27
Zen Influencep. 29
Relating Differently to Beliefsp. 31
Creating a New Perspectivep. 33
Empty Your Cupp. 36
The Cultural Matrixp. 41
We Are Culturep. 41
Not-Knowing in Our Culturep. 47
The Self in Our Culturep. 50
The Cost of Our Assumptionsp. 52
Your Own Experience of These Consequencesp. 57
An Experience of Not-Knowingp. 63
Learning versus Knowingp. 63
Thinking without a Netp. 66
What Is an Experience?p. 69
What Is an Experience of Not-Knowing?p. 74
What Is an Insight?p. 77
The Principles of Discoveryp. 81
Four Cornerstones of Discoveryp. 81
Authentic Experiencep. 84
Honestyp. 87
Grounded Opennessp. 90
Questioningp. 95
Embracing Paradoxp. 101
Our Self Experience
Conceptual Dominancep. 107
Creating a Conceptual Worldp. 107
What Is a Concept?p. 112
Concepts Dominate Our Perceptionsp. 115
There's More to Perception than Meets the Eyep. 118
The Solidification of Conceptsp. 120
Challenging Conceptual Dominancep. 122
You Don't Have to Rehearse to Be Yourselfp. 129
Being Yourselfp. 129
The Real and the Falsep. 131
Masks and Hatsp. 133
Superficial Remediesp. 137
Looking for Self in All the Wrong Placesp. 139
Unknown Originsp. 143
Our "Need to Know" Level of Consciousnessp. 143
Mistaking the Uncognized Mind for the Real Selfp. 147
The Origins of Your Selfp. 151
In Search of Real Being
What Am I?p. 159
Our Experience of "Being"p. 159
Identifying Ourselvesp. 164
Our Conceptual Self Experiencep. 168
Self and Beingp. 173
What Is a Self?p. 174
What Is Being?p. 180
What Is Your Self and What Is Being?p. 185
The Self: Noun or Verb?p. 193
Am I a Noun or a Verb?p. 196
To Noun or to Verb?p. 199
"Doing" versus "Being"p. 204
Creating Self
Inventing Self and Worldp. 213
The Self-Identity Reinforces Itselfp. 216
The Never-Ending Story of Mep. 219
Inventionsp. 221
Inventing Personalized Worldsp. 226
Manipulating Circumstancesp. 230
Lost in Translationp. 233
What Is Not and Never Wasp. 233
Interpretation Revisitedp. 236
Reconstructive Interpretationp. 239
Self as We Know Itp. 243
Life in the Loopp. 244
Creating an Experience of Selfp. 251
The Myth of Real Selfp. 251
Apples and Orangesp. 254
Believing in Your Selfp. 257
Mandatory Misrepresentationp. 259
Living as a False-Selfp. 260
The Snowball Effectp. 262
Assembling a Particular Selfp. 267
The Way You Are in Particularp. 270
The Self Principlep. 273
All about Youp. 273
Meaning Steers the Selfp. 276
Two Domains of Survival: Physical and Conceptualp. 279
Social Survivalp. 282
To Be Frankp. 286
Surviving as a Selfp. 288
Survival Is Not Beingp. 291
Three Distinctions in Consciousnessp. 291
What Is "For-Itself"?p. 297
Beyond Happiness and Suffering: Perceiving Something For-Itselfp. 301
For-Itself versus As-Itselfp. 308
Experiencing the Truth Is Not the Purpose of Self-Survivalp. 309
For-Itself versus As-Itself-an Ontological Overviewp. 315
Surviving Isn't Beingp. 317
What Does Persist?p. 319
Entertaining the Possibility of Not Survivingp. 320
Penetrating Experience
Recognizing Self-Survival in Your Own Experiencep. 325
Getting from Here to Therep. 326
What Is Being at Effect?p. 327
Becoming More Conscious of Effectsp. 331
Experiencing Something For-Itselfp. 334
Changing from Reaction to Experiencep. 336
Changing Context Changes Effectsp. 341
Beyond Beliefp. 353
A Quick Review of Beliefp. 354
Getting Free of Our Need to Believep. 359
On the Shoulders of Giantsp. 362
Using Beliefs as a Mapp. 364
Radical Opennessp. 367
Eliminating Beliefsp. 369
The Practice of Dispelling Beliefsp. 372
A New Experience in Consciousnessp. 376
Freedom from Assumptions-Part Onep. 381
Making Connectionsp. 383
Emptinessp. 388
Freedom from Assumptions-Part Twop. 407
Self-Doubtp. 407
Feeling Trappedp. 413
Sufferingp. 416
Strugglep. 429
Contemplationp. 437
Creating a Place to Standp. 437
Being as Unknownp. 441
Contemplationp. 444
Pre-contemplationp. 445
Contemplatingp. 451
Developing a Steady Practicep. 455
Looking Both Waysp. 465
Awakening the Uncognized Mindp. 467
Finding Our Way into the Unconsciousp. 469
Contemplating the Uncognized Mindp. 470
The Process of Contemplating Uncognized Mindp. 473
Explaining the Processp. 476
A Sample Bottom-Line Contemplationp. 478
Guidelines for Your Bottom-Line Contemplationp. 482
Five Points of Referencep. 484
The Nature of Reality
The Nature of Emotionp. 491
Fearp. 493
Angerp. 501
Desirep. 507
Painp. 515
The Nature of Everythingp. 523
What Is Everything?p. 524
The Distinction "Distinction"p. 528
Distinctions and Existencep. 533
The Nature of Beingp. 539
Meaning Doesn't Mean Anythingp. 539
In Search of Absolute Knowledgep. 541
The Possibility of Direct Consciousnessp. 545
The Nature of Beingp. 546
The Paradox of Beingp. 552
Being and Selfp. 553
Being and Lifep. 559
What Now?p. 559
Life Principlesp. 563
Happiness: Don't Want Itp. 570
Discipline and Freedomp. 575
The Lava Syndromep. 576
A Final Wordp. 578
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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