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The Book

Beyond Self-Realization

A Non-Sectarian Path to Enlightenment

The book is organized around the concept of a classroom in which teacher and students present, challenge and clarify different points of view. A robust exchange of ideas and experience among classroom participants will help readers of the book to develop both a conviction that enlightenment is possible and a familiarity with the techniques for making it happen.

The following is a written interview protocol provided by the internet radio firm (TOGInet) and responded to by the author:

Interviewer: How would you introduce your book to a friend in a sentence or two?

Breer: Assuming some serious interest on the part of my friend, I would say that it is a book about two things: waking up to who you are not while providing a roadmap to discovering who you really are.

Interviewer: Who does the book appeal to and why?

Breer: The book will appeal to anyone with a strong desire to become enlightened.

Interviewer: How did you come to write this book? What was your motivation?

Breer: A desire to share what I have learned through a lifetime of meditation.

Interviewer: What one thing do you want readers to learn/take away from this work?

Breer: You are not the person you think you are. When I say that I’m not referring to the fact that you are not as intelligent as you think you are or that you are not as handsome or beautiful as you think you are. I’m referring to something much deeper, namely that the person you typically identify with does not even exist.  It is an illusion, one planted early in life by the culture you grew up in and reinforced daily by your language. The truth is that you are much more than you think you are. Helping you to wake up to that truth is the aim of this book.

Interviewer: Tell me how this book is unlike others with similar topics.

Breer: There are several ways in which it is different. For one, the ideas are presented in the form of a classroom with teacher and a small group of students, each raising questions related to their own unique personality. This is unlike other books on the subject that interject comments on the ideas being presented without tying those comments to real people.  As a result they appear artificial and overly intellectual.

Regarding the philosophy itself, the book is unique in the prominence it gives to the free-will illusion and the role that dispelling that illusion plays on the path to enlightenment.

Regarding methodology, much of the book is devoted to searching for signs of the illusory self that is blocking the way to the discovery of one’s deeper nature. As the book unfolds, the emphasis shifts from the presentation of ideas to the exploration of ways students cling to false notions of who they are. At that point the classroom takes on the quality of a psychotherapy group in which members (with the help of the teacher) begin to examine their own feelings and behavior for signs of the illusory self. Some of the most common signs are bragging, defensiveness, talking about oneself, guilt, pride, straining, self-pity and self-righteousness. Once a sign of the illusory self is detected, other techniques like a looking-for-the-self experiment, meditation, contemplation, changes in language etc. can be brought into play. As awareness deepens of where in one’s life the self-illusion continues to manifest itself, the illusion begins to shrink, paving the way for the discovery of one’s fundamental nature which has been hidden from view by identification with an inner “I” that doesn’t exist.

This analogy might help: if enlightenment can be pictured as the top of a mountain and one’s practice as the trail leading to the summit, the illusory self can be seen as a giant boulder blocking the path. The fastest way to get to the top is to remove the boulder— and that’s what the book is all about.

Interviwer: What was the most challenging part about writing this book? The most fun/rewarding?

Breer: Most readers are going to resist the notion that they don’t know who they really are. Making that outrageous idea palatable intellectually and at the same time personally meaningful was both challenging and aesthetically satisfying.

Interviewer: Is there anything we haven’t covered here that you feel is important for people to know about your book?

Breer: Perhaps that it covers the same territory as Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, even though the approach is both intellectually and methodologically quite different.

Beyond Self-Realization

Beyond Self-Realization