INSPIRED by his time spent with sages in Asia in the 193os, Paul Brunton wrote The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga (and its companion volume The Wisdom of the Oversell) at the request of these remarkable teachers who recognized that he had a significant role to play in the transmission of traditional wisdom to the West. Here is a profound recreation of these teachings, brought to life and made accessible by the brilliance of Brunton's insights. Clearly written, the books speak directly to the contemporary spiritual seeker.
The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga is a step-by-step guide to realizing the fact that our experienced world is not material but composed entirely of consciousness. Brunton's expert analysis of perception, grounded in science, is designed to awaken us to our sacred foundation and to transform our personality into a mirror of that reality. He prepares us for this journey by describing the attitudes, mental disciplines, and character traits that are essential for success in this quest. This new edition has been updated to incorporate Brunton's final revisions. It includes a new introduction plus supplementary reading material selected from the author's archives by the Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation.
Paul Brunton (1898-1981) is generally recognized as having introduced yoga and meditation to the West. His writings are among the most popular and authoritative sources of information on Eastern philosophies and meditation systems. .
The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga is more than another book of teachings de-signed to deepen or broaden spiritual pursuit: this book can fundamentally change one's orientation to life. Through a remarkable exploration of experience, 7he Hidden Teaching answers the question, ''What is the nature of reality and the relationship of mind, body, and world?''
Paul Brunton (PB, as he referred to himself ) begins this journey with a step-by-step analysis of ordinary perception. He deftly guides one down a path that demonstrates that an assumed dualism-me and my world-is not what it seems. PB shows that one cannot go beyond or ''outside'' the ideas and images in awareness-that these are all we ever know, not an ''outside'' world. This understanding of mind as the basis of experience is called ''mentalism'' by PB.
By mentalism we mean more precisely this: that all things in human experience without any exception are wholly and entirely mental things and are not merely mental copies of material things; that this entire panorama of universal existence is nothing but a mental experience and not merely a mental representation of a separate material existence; that we can arrive at such conclusions not only by a straight-line sequence of reasoned thinking but also by a reorientation of consciousness during advanced mystical meditation.'
The Hidden Teaching is a guide to experiencing this truth for oneself. PB's masterful presentation delivers the realization of mentalism through expert analysis and examples of how perception happens. And he grounds these inquiries in the still-relevant twentieth-century science. Yet this is much more than an intellectual study; if pursued wholeheartedly, it is designed CO awaken one's insight and to transform one's person into a mirror of reality.
If this truth is to become a living one, one needs to walk an independent path to question and discover for oneself the true nature of experience. PB is very familiar with the attitudes, mental disciplines, and character traits that are beneficial for success in this quest. The first part of The Hidden Teaching details the preparation needed for this inquiry. For without these disciplines and attitudes, one will likely stumble over oneself in the pursuit of truth.
Why does PB call this book The Hidden Teaching Beyond Yoga? Practicing to transcend our life situation in meditative trance is a mystical movement. Mysticism and many yoga practices work within the context of duality by controlling or refining that which are known as components of oneself, such as thoughts, the breath, and the body. This is only a stage along the way. To awaken to the fundamental nature of reality and to simultaneously know and live this truth in the world is something deeper-philosophy (as PB uses the term), which brings one insight into Mind as the final truth of self and world. While mysticism dives deep into one's own heart to relate to God therein, philosophy reaches beyond the personal into the collective heart of humanity and realizes the value in serving God in all.
PB holds a special place in the story of Eastern wisdom coming to the West. Before he travelled to Asia, PB was well equipped as both a mystic and an acute thinker. He was recognized by the teachers he met as someone with a destiny to recreate the timeless treasures of Eastern spirituality in a form suitable to the modern West. In his early writings (A Search in Secret India and A Search in Secret Egypt), he took the role of an inquiring skeptic so that Western readers unfamiliar with the mysteries of the East could sympathetically explore with him without having to leave the convenience of their armchairs. In his later works, PB takes off this guise and is the wise teacher who effectively guides students through the mystical and philosophic grades of spirituality.
As PB writes: ''Asiatic and African mystics, yogis, and learned men, and even rare sages of whose eminence and existence the West still knows little or nothing have given me their confidence, confided much of their knowledge and secrets to my care, and sent me forth from their presence with their uttered benediction to mediate between Orient and Occident. I have thus had several teachers, yet could become the pupil of none: I have studied the tenets of several schools, but could become enslaved by none. In obedience to an inner compulsion and intermittent premonition whose justification became quite clear as destiny unfolded, I have ever maintained a sacred independence amidst all such relations, a detached loyalty, and have considered Truth a goddess above all mortals and hence alone to be worshipped.'
Many years have gone by since the writing of this book. The world has passed through an unprecedented war full of shocks and surprises and subsequently through a peace, which in a lesser way is also traumatic. Both phases constitute a challenge and a warning to the inhabitants of this planet.
Who can live contentedly in these insecure times? War is still going on in the hearts and minds of men. This is where it must first be stopped, for it is there that the explosives, whether they later take the form of small bullets or tremendously destructive atom bombs, begin their existence.
This outer condition is an illustration of the power of thought and feeling when sufficiently sustained, prolonged, and concentrated. In the book there has been shown another side of mentalistic truth-the side which shows us how we share in the creative experience of knowing and living with the physical world. How our puny little minds and the great World-Mind (otherwise called God) are closely connected. How time and space, which seem w be outside us, are really inside the mind. How matter, with its seeming solidity, mass, weight, et cetera is really our mental experience of it.
All this leads up, as shown in the second volume (later published as The Wisdom of the Oversell) to the supreme Truth that MIND alone is real, that deep within us and within the entire cosmos there is undying consciousness. Our share of it, at our best level, is found in a nobler and purer being than this very limited human existence normally manifests. It is there where it must one day be sought and found by everyone, whether in this or after many lifetimes in many bodies.
If the idea of mentalism seems too incredible and too difficult to under-stand, there is no other final conclusion to which modern thought will be forced to reach in the end, just as ancient metaphysical thought in Greece, India, and China had to come to it centuries ago. Fortunately thinking is not the only way to the mentalistic terminus. The most delicate form of feeling, which is intuitive feeling, can also bring us to it in the end.
**Contents and Sample Pages**