Experience of No-Self, The: A Contemplative Journey, Revised Edition

SUNY Press
1
Free sample

Within the traditional framework, the Christian notion of loss-of-self is generally regarded as the transformation or loss of the ego (lower self) as it attains to the higher or true self in its union with God. Thus, because self at its deepest center is a run-on with the divine, I had never found any true self apart from God, for to find the One is to find the other.

Because this was the limit of my expectations, I was all the more surprised and bewildered when many years later I came upon a permanent state in which there was no self, no higher self, true self, or anything that could be called a self. Clearly, I had fallen outside my own, as well as the traditional frame of reference, when I came upon a path that seemed to begin where the writers on the contemplative life had left off. But with the clear certitude of the self's disappearance, there automatically arose the question of what had fallen away--what was the self? What, exactly, had it been? Then too, there was the all-important question: what remained in its absence? This journey was the gradual revelation of the answers to these questions, answers that had to be derived solely from personal experience since no outside explanation was forthcoming. 

Read more
Collapse

About the author

Bernadette Roberts is also the author of The Path to No-Self: Life at the Center, What is Self?, and Spiritual Journey Recapitulates the History of Religion. 

Read more
Collapse
4.0
1 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Jan 1, 1993
Read more
Collapse
Pages
212
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9781438417462
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Best For
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Religion / General
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
This sensitive and imaginative study explores the phenomenon of conversion in three major religious autobiographies: the Confessions of Saint Augustine, Grace Abounding by John Bunyan, and Thomas Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain. These three religious figures could hardly be more different, and yet, as Hawkins shows, their conversion narratives are remarkably similar in patterns of theme, figure, and action. This archetypal approach is particularly appropriate to spiritual autobiography, which is less concerned with "self" than with "soul" and which seeks to relate the individual to a divine reality that is universal and timeless.

Hawkins' approach to these texts is sophisticated, yet free of jargon and doctrinaire psychologizing. Here, archetypal analysis becomes not an end in itself, but also a means to investigate the complexity of the individual text. Hawkins' archetypal analysis serves not only to discern continuities, but also to explore cultural, ideological, and psychological variations. Adapting William James's distinction between crisis and lysis conversion, Hawkins shows that the conversion paradigm central to each autobiography determines its religious meaning, its formal structure, and its archetypal emphases.

The author approaches the phenomena of conversion with a blend of critical detachment and imaginative sympathy. She is always careful to honor the authenticity of religious experience, and for this reason her commentary succeeds in illuminating it. The result is an interdisciplinary study that will appeal to the psychologist and literary critic as well as the student of religion. But these narratives of conversion offer paradigms that apply to any deeply significant change, for they are of interest and concern to all readers seeking to find meaning in their lives. Hawkins makes us feel both the immediacy and the permanence of these texts, for "What is human in them speaks to what is human in us."
This book shows how, once we have adjusted to the unitive state, the spiritual journey moves on to yet another more final ending.

In our major religious traditions, the outstanding milestone in the spiritual journey is the permanent, irreversible transcendence of the self center or ego. The fact that a great deal has been written about the journey to this point means that many people have come this far. But what, we might ask, comes next? Looking ahead we see no path; even in the literature there seems to be nothing beyond an abiding awareness of oneness with God. Had this path been mapped in the literature, then at least we would have known that one existed; but where no such account exists, we assume there is no path and that union of self and God is the final goal to be achieved.

The main purpose of The Path to No-Self is to correct this assumption. It verifies that a path beyond union does indeed exist, that the eventual falling away of the unitive state happens as the culmination of a long experiential journey beyond the state. The author shows that a path exists between the transcendence of the ego (self-center), which begins the unitive state, and the later falling away of all self (the true self), which ends the unitive state.

As a first hand account, The Path to No-Self will be of interest to those with similar experiences, or those searching for a better understanding of their own spiritual journey. Since the journey is concerned with the effects of grace on human consciousness, the book will be of interest to those psychologists concerned with the transformational process.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.