How to Search

This search function offers these two options:

Keyword(s)search will deliver only those results that contain allthe search words.

Phrasesearch will deliver only those results that exactlymatch the phrase entered.

But there is more to know.

Think of The Notebooks of Paul Brunton as one large file with 34,408 entries. When you search, the initial results will indicate their location by a single number (at the end of the entry) between 1 and 34,408. This number is a link, if you click it, its place in the 28 categories of The Notebooks will appear and indicate the category, chapter, and quote number. These three are each links to further investigate. This is especially useful if you want to explore other similar quotes on the search topic that interested you.

The Keyword Search is especially useful when you want to know what quotes contain certain words, or if you do know two or three words that are in a quote but can't remember the exact phrasing. As a simple example of a Notebooks' keyword search, let's find all the occurrences of the word gospel. First know that the search engine does not discriminate between gospel and Gospel. There are 48 results for the word gospel. However, if you were only interested in references that pertained to Jesus, you can do a keyword search on gospel and Jesus. The search engine will locate all of PB's entries that contain both words-in this case, there are 10.

This ability to narrow the results to locate the entries that interest you is especially important when there are many results for a search word. For example, if you are interested in quotes on the ego, there are 3072 results! If what you are really wanting to learn about is ego surrender, then do a keyword search on these two words-there are 139, a manageable number.

A Phrase Search on ego surrender would likely not find any results because the phrase search will only locate exact matches to the words as entered. However, if you know the exact wording of some part of a quote, for example: not truly surrendering his ego-the phrase search is the best way to find it. For in this case, there is only one result with that exact phrasing. Also, if you read a PB quote somewhere but do not know where it is in The Notebooks, you can take a phrase from it and search to find its location (and then perhaps read other similar material at that location).

Are there times when a phrase search on a single word can help with the results? Yes! For example, the word sun occurs many times in PB's Notebooks (614 search results). The challenge to finding only the references to the word sun is that it is also part of many compound words such as sunshine, sunrise, sunset, and also words like sundered. The keyword search for sun finds every entry (614) that contains those three letters. The way to work around this is to do a phrase search on sun and add a space after the word since phrase searches find exact matches including spaces and punctuation. Now the results are reduced to 126. However, adding a space will also eliminate occurrences of sun, and sun. By simply searching on sun with those two punctuations, you will find the 59 additional examples missed by using the space after the word.

Please note that misspellings are not tolerated by either of these searches. Also, it is necessary when searching for the location in The Notebooks of a phrase from a quote that you have in hand, to exclude words that PB italicized. The html coding for creating the italics is in the database, though unseen, and will make the search unworkable.

It is also good to remember that becoming familiar with the 28 Notebooks categories and their subcategories is often the best way to find and research a topic in PB.


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