In reading the first section of this essay, I felt digressions into my biography and early experiences defeated the topic itself, which is not time-dependent, nor susceptible to language, yet is always here and now. Therefore I will simply state that a direct experience of Reality, Truth, Wisdom, God – whatever you wish to call it – is possible, largely through meditation, but is beyond any descriptive language whatsoever, so why bother?. Try a year of meditation, whatever kind appeals to you, and then decide if a change emerges in your deepest self. The only book I would recommend reading on this subject is Talks with Ramana Maharshi. If this does not convince you that a truly wise and holy man is speaking as directly as possible on the issue that is life’s very foundation, then nothing will. I had intended to discuss ancient scriptures, but why? Their beauty and wisdom is unassailable, but they too often relate to another age. When we have a text, or texts in fact, by a person who died in 1950, Ramana Maharshi, why bother with sages who lived before him? Maharshi’s life, unlike those of gurus since, shows the simplicity, poverty, and direct knowledge of the divine within which we rightly expect from such men. It is my Bible; he is my link with inner reality minus the attractive yet superfluous yarns and deities. Many ask him questions – almost everything one would wish to ask oneself – and his answers are relentlessly consistent and ring deafeningly true. This is my best advice for the day, and the year ahead: read Maharshi.
With love, as always, Paul William Roberts.