The Book of Not Knowing
Over decades of martial arts and meditation practice, Peter Ralston discovered a curious and paradoxical fact: that true awareness arises from a state of not-knowing. Even the most sincere investigation of self and spirit, he says, is often sabotaged by our tendency to grab too quickly for answers and ideas as we retreat to the safety of the known. This “Hitchhiker’s Guide to Awareness” provides helpful guideposts along an experiential journey for those Western minds predisposed to wandering off to old habits, cherished presumptions, and a stubbornly solid sense of self. With ease and clarity Ralston teaches readers how to become aware of the background patterns that they are usually too busy, stressed, or distracted to notice. The Book of Not Knowing points out the ways people get stuck in their lives and offers readers a way to make fresh choices about every aspect of their lives, from a place of awareness instead of autopilot.
Building on his previous groundbreaking work, Peter Ralston once again proves to be a sure-footed guide for readers seeking to negotiate the challenging terrain of personal and spiritual growth. In accessible language, Ralston demonstrates how the lofty goals of self-transformation and enlightenment can be achieved with a no-nonsense approach available to anyone willing to reach beyond their current experience of self and reality. Pursuing Consciousness is a down-to-earth handbook for staying focused on the work at hand, even while tackling such unsettling tasks as investigating deeply ingrained psychological beliefs and identifying common areas of misunderstanding that hamper transformative growth.
Ralston explains that deeper levels of consciousness aren’t just for monks—anyone can have an enlightenment experience. He shows that enlightenment does not transform the self, and transforming the self does not produce enlightenment. Once we grasp that these two pursuits take place in entirely different domains of consciousness, we can use each to empower the other. Ralston provides specific tools for changing the very person that we experience being. His work has been acclaimed by people from a diverse range of disciplines—including spiritual teachers, psychiatrists, cognitive scientists, physicists, and artists. As with Ralston’s previous works, this book points the way to a direct encounter with the true nature of Being and the possibility of real personal change.
The Genius of Being
Peter Ralston’s exceptionally lucid trilogy on the nature of human consciousness culminates here in The Genius of Being, a book of deep contemplations on the unseen elements that create our world. The first volume, The Book of Not Knowing, garnered much praise as a comprehensive exploration of the depths of self and consciousness. The second volume, Pursuing Consciousness, clarifies the difference between enlightenment and self-transformation, and then pairs these two goals in a strikingly effective way. This third book is both shorter and more complex, taking us straight to the heart of the origins of our experience.
In a progression of illuminating assertions, Ralston shows us how human consciousness carves out distinctions from whatever is absolutely true. This dynamic not only generates both self and reality from nothing, it imbues them with the quality of objective truth. From the time we first distinguish between self and not-self as infants, we begin making a sequence of existential assumptions that result in the illusion that a self is some ethereal “object” within. This universally accepted assumption persists despite the failure of exhaustive investigations to locate this inner self.
This book is not for the faint of heart or the casual seeker, but contemplating the assertions here empowers you to personally and experientially grasp what is rarely even glimpsed: a profound consciousness of the genesis of human experience.
This illuminating collection of 150 questions and responses between Peter Ralston and a global spectrum of seekers provides a rare and nuanced look at the nature of consciousness and the path to understanding our true selves. Ralston is the author of the groundbreaking trilogy on the existential foundations of the human condition—The Book of Not Knowing, Pursuing Consciousness, and The Genius of Being. Here he has selected inquiries from more than two decades of question-and-answer exchanges with students as they work their way through his communications.
The mosaic of viewpoints from an astonishing diversity of real people at all levels of consciousness work yields a narrative that is intricate, wide-ranging, intimate, and emotionally honest. These dialogues expand our understanding of consciousness, test our assumptions, and interrogate the very process of inquiry.
The Principles of Effortless Power
Every once in a while you find a high impact book. Something that awakens something deep within and lasts forever. This is the one. It is a book that you can pick up time and time again and always gets something new out of it, or something deeper than you. Cheng Hsin is the best introduction for beginners to the internal practice of fighting. It is a seminal work that draws on T’ai Chi Ch’uan, Aikido, and Pa Kua Chang and was written by the first Westerner ever to win the world championship in a full-contact martial arts tournament.
In this inspiring guide, Peter Ralston presents a program of “physical education” for anyone interested in body improvement. Using simple, clear language to demystify the Zen mindset, he draws on more than three decades of experience teaching students and apprentices worldwide who have applied his body-being approach. More of a transformative guide than a specific list of exercises devoted to any particular physical approach, Zen Body-Being explains how to create a state of mental control, enhanced feeling-awareness, correct structural alignment, increased spatial acuity, and even a greater interactive presence. Exercises are simple, often involving feeling-imagery and meditative awareness, which have a profound and sometimes instant effect. Where similar guides teach readers what to do, this book teaches readers how to be.
Other Books By Peter Ralston
Reflections of Being
The earliest essays in consciousness by Peter Ralston in 1978, long before The Book of Not Knowing, but you can see the origins of the same principles and assertions that are the foundation for his later work. This eBook keeps to the basic communication but it as been edited by Ralston to increase clarity and improve the communication. The book touches on the basics of our contraction into a self and confusion with the mind, the need for integrity, conscience, states of mind, and being more fully alive and aligned with the Truth.