How should you approach reading this book?
Well it is a book-of-ideas, more about that later, but it means that the specific facts are meant to bolster the presentation of the ideas and it is all not meant to be memorized. It is intended to inspire and effect how you feel and think. When you come upon complex or difficult sections, just blow through them and don’t worry about getting it. Let the words wash over you and if you don’t seem to understand what is being said—it’s no big deal. Books like this one are meant to be experienced and re-read later on after you have had a chance for the ideas to percolate in your unconscious for a while. If I have done my job right, you will be affected and will start to pick up on my ideas sort of subliminally. Then later, after months or a year or more goes by, pick it up again and you might be surprised that more of it makes sense on the next read through.
I consider myself a philosopher, a lover of wisdom.
I use this term, philosopher, in the classic sense harkening back to Pythagoras, who is said to have coined the term.
I believe that a philosopher is interested in wisdom of how to live a fulfilled life, rather than examining the world to make it knowable. The thinker who is concerned with trying to make something understandable is the kind of philosopher who follows in the footsteps of Aristotle. Aristotle’s endeavors led to those thinkers who are more lovers of acquiring insight into the workings of the cosmos than lovers of wisdom.
One could call perhaps call them philo/lovers of – episteme/knowledge to distinguish them from the philo/lovers of –sophie/wisdom. Hence, Socrates and Pythagoras were philosophers while Aristotle was a philoepistemer. (The Greek word Episteme is etymologically derived from the Ancient Greek word ἐπιστήμη for knowledge or science, which comes from the verb ἐπίσταμαι, ‘to know’.)
At a young age I had a mystic event that has guided my life ever since. I wish to present my wisdom tradition that is the findings of my life’s efforts, and that is what is contained in this book.
I will eventually offer you a bit of biography, to give you a context, so you have some idea who am, and how I came to be, and believe what I do.
The first section of this book tells my story and the making of this book, then I present my pragmatic orienting system, next is a set of commentary, and after that some essays that show you how I apply this system. In the last section of the book, I will offer some inspirational truths that have helped me to find my way.
I hope that all of this will help to guide you to find your way.