Personal Advaita profile (fwd)
Ravisankar S. Mayavaram
aum at UNIX.TAMU.EDU
Sat Jul 12 11:31:17 CDT 1997
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 1997 10:29:50 -0400
From: Gregory Goode <goode at DPW.COM>
To: aum at unix.tamu.edu
Subject: Personal Advaita profile
Here is my* Advaita intro.
(* see footnote below)
My background has included atheism, fundamentalist Christianity and Western
mysticism, as well as advaita.
I was raised with no notion of God, in a family of atheists. I majored in
psychology and philosophy, gaining a Ph.D. in the latter, where I studied
the atheistic arguments of George Smith and Anthony Flew, as well as the
immaterialist metaphysics of Brand Blanshard and George Berkeley. I became
(and still am) convinced that there are no rocks or trees or minds. These
are just appearances that can seem to suggest those "things."
About 12 years ago, I started to soften up on the idea of God, even though
intellectually I was still an atheist. To make a long story short, in the
mid-80's, I actually got "saved" as a born-again Christian, joined a
gospel-singing church, and was a deacon for about 5 years.
Then the mind reached out for a more sophisticated understanding. At that
same time, a friend recommended the books by Rudolf Steiner. This set off
a 3-year search through lots of Western mystic writers and schools, such as
Esoteric Christianity, Anthroposophy, various varieties of Rosicrucianism,
including AMORC, Builders of the Adytum, Kabbala, Hermetic Science,
Theosophy, Sanaya Roman and other New Age writers, Freemasonry, Silva Mind
Control, etc. etc.
One thing these all had in common was using some Hindu/Vedantic terms and
concepts, sometimes without honest attribution. So I studied Hinduism,
which led me to Buddhism, and then straight to Advaita, through a chain of
teachings(ers) including: Swami Shivananda, Vedanta Society, Zen Buddhism,
Advaita started for me with Nisagardatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharshi, Jean
Klein, and Ramesh Balsekar. When I read Balsekar's book CONSCIOUNESS
SPEAKS, I had the strong feeling "This is the last book I need to read."
Anything after that has been for entertainment only, as Nisagardatta
Maharaj might say.
I'm looking forward to the activity on this list!
*Please note, this name and the "I" pronoun refer to a mind/body complexes
associated with a name, and are not to be taken a selfstanding entity or
Davis Polk & Wardwell
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