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April 2016 – The Inner Reality, Part 1

This new edition of Discover Yourself is a treasure trove of ideas for those new to PB’s writings, and for long-time readers a reminder of the comprehensive scope of teachings in this small volume. Looking within brings deeper and more spiritual meaning. Although Paul Brunton (PB) wrote this book in the late 1930s, it is perhaps even more relevant today. He provides a practical framework for spiritual development that includes one of the best guides to meditation–both for readers who have a Christian background as well as people who are simply interested in deepening their spiritual life and appreciating the East-West mystical teachings of Jesus and Krishna.

On page 7 of the “Prefatory,” PB expresses his hope : “Just as a slender ray of light creeping from the East betokens a broader dawn, so a man’s interest in these ideas may betoken the dawn of a deeper understanding of them.” And his belief that “by the time sensitive readers have gone through part or all of my books, there will remain a legacy of definite and vital experience, not only through reading their pages, but through the quiet rumination which should follow.”

Chapter II opens the dialogue with the vital question, “What is God?” It examines the variety of ideas that people hold about God: from a personal to an impersonal God. Scientists find that life exists everywhere and is present in every atom of matter throughout the universe. They picture God as this infinite power and life-current. Orthodox religion has usually pictured a personal God, an individualized Being Who rewards the adherents of that particular faith because they worship and praise Him. Much of the confusion in the religious world arises out of its dependence on feelings alone, unchecked by reason. The power which man has found in religion, the power to help him and to lift him up has come from man himself. He himself has given himself the guidance, help, exaltation and spiritual consolation which he believed he found in his church or in his faith or in his idea of God. When man has learnt to build a quiet church inside his own heart and to be a ministering priest to his own self, religion will have done its true work (pp. 10-11).

Other chapters in The Inner Reality include “A Sane Religion,” which explores how religions develop historically. It points out, “It is impossible to live entirely in the past when we seek for Truth. The present is just as real, just as useful, on this quest.”….” religion must be a personal thing, – a relationship between yourself as an individual, and God the Infinite Spirit- not between you and any organized institutions”. …“God is a spirit, so you must find God as spirit; it is something that needs no external demonstration”. ..”You can find it inside your own heart and in the secrecy of your most intimate feelings”. … “The only way in which religion can be established is by worship, not by argument or discussion”…. (pp. 23-24).

Chapter IV unfolds “The Mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven” as Jesus first explains his message to the world in The Sermon on the Mount, albeit in parables and similes. PB comments that the essence of the Sermon in contained in the beatitude with which it opens.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” The meaning of the Seven Beatitudes (combining the first two and the last two) can be understood only from the esoteric standpoint which means an initiation, the beginning of a new life, a new outlook, and a new understanding and is brought about only after you have learnt something of the art of meditation (p. 52).

The next two PB eTeachings will continue to explore teachings in The Inner Reality. Readers are invited to read and study along with us. A study guide prepared by PB will be posted shortly on the website.