The Book of Not Knowing
Exploring the True Nature of Self, Mind, and Consciousness
By Peter Ralston
(North Atlantic Books, Paperback, 9781556438578, 600pp.)
Publication Date: January 26, 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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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.
In 1975, Peter Ralston founded Cheng Hsin, a dogma-free approach to using direct experience in body/mind training, and two years later opened The Cheng Hsin School of Internal Martial Arts and Center for Ontological Research in Oakland, California. The first non-Asian ever to win the World Championship full-contact martial arts tournament, Ralston is author of Zen Body-Being, Cheng Hsin: Principles of Effortless Power, and other books.
“True innovators are, by definition, ahead of their time. Therefore, they remain largely unrecognized, except by a few. How many of us wish we had met Bruce Lee, sat in a session with Carl Jung, or walked around Walden Pond with Thoreau? Too late for that, but not too late to take notice of Peter Ralston. His creativity, commitment, and clarity shine through as he articulates higher principles based on direct experience and piercing insight. A caring teacher, he has been to the mountaintop and bathed in the spring of Being. His insights speak to us all.”
—Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior
“This is one of those rare books that you can read again, and refer back to… 10 out of 10 on our Infinity Scale. This is a must have book for the serious spiritual seeker.”