This is a series of pointers to how the Western approach can assist with one’s self-inquiry. It is less a historical survey, and more a collection of Western views that might serve as tools for inquiry, along with suggestions on how these tools might be used. Every week we will publish one new article on this topic in a total of eleven articles.
Where Do I Go From Here?
All these philosophers say different things. God, ideas, brain science, language, anti-metaphysics! Who’s right? How do I proceed? Since Western philosophy is not as soteriologically minded as Eastern philosophy, there is no strong culture of enlightenment surrounding Western teachings.
Nevertheless, Western nondualistic philosophy can be used as a tool to root out the conceptual bases of suffering. All nondual philosophies attack the claim of a truly dualistic world by attempting to show how our normal understanding of the world is mistaken. Normally, we think that the world is made up of a multiplicity of objects or substances or sentient beings. Nondual philosophies attempt to provide a clearer understanding which reveals how these distinctions are not the case. One just needs to know where to look and how to proceed.
OK, I see that – Still, what do I do?
It can certainly help to have a human, written or internet guide to the Western philosophers. Human guides include college teachers, spiritual teachers and philosophical counselors. You can find teachers through Google, through Jerry Katz’s www.nonduality.com, which includes one of the largest list of teachers in existence. You can find philosophical counselors through www.philosophicalgourmet.com, which evaluates various academic departments, or through www.APPA.edu, the official website of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association. Basic philosophy guidebooks can be found on Amazon by typing “guide to philosophy” into the keyword search field. Lou Marinoff’s Plato Not Prozac! is a well-known place to begin learning how various famous philosophies might be of service. Informative internet links include Garth Kemerling’s www.philosophypages.comand the giant www.Epistemelinks.com. There is a much smaller list of books and writers (Western and Eastern) on my www.heartofnow.com that I and others have found helpful.