Enlightenment: The Path through the Jungle by Dennis Waite


What is enlightenment? What is it not? exposes the myths and defines this misused term once and for all. Which teaching methods will get you there? And which will not? explains how the traditional methods work and why the modern, Western approaches are most unlikely to.

The clearest book that has ever been written on the subject of enlightenment, it provides a detailed examination of the satsang phenomenon (and its more extreme, neo-Advaita variant), contrasting these approaches with the traditional methods passed down from teacher to disciple for over a thousand years. It indicates what is needed in the way of preparation and path in order to gain enlightenment, given some modern teachers statements to the effect that there is no person and nothing to do. With a Foreword by Dr. Greg Goode, philosophical counselor and one of the most knowledgeable people in the world on the subject of non-duality.
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Dennis Waite’s Biography
Following an intense scientific-based education through the nineteen sixties, he emerged with a fundamental dissatisfaction with the perceived values and belief systems of Western society. Thus began his search for a philosophy that could provide satisfactory answers to the universal questions of life. He joined the Ouspensky influenced School of Economic Science in London in 1972 but left after several years, disillusioned with the lack of rigour and the mystical element. He renewed his involvement with them in the mid-eighties, by which time Shri Shantananda Saraswati, one of the four Indian Shankaracharyas was directing the School along a path influenced by Advaita and Sankhya Yoga. He remained with the School until 1998, by which time he had been acting as a tutor for four years at the Bournemouth branch and was assisting in the teaching of Sanskrit. He left because some of the teaching methods and much of the material diverged from the tenets of pure Advaita.

He is a moderator of the Advaitin Email Group (Chief Moderator in 2007) and a member of the Ramana Maharshi Foundation in London, for whom he produced and maintains the website at http://www.ramana-maharshi.org.uk.

His own extensive website is http://www.advaita.org.uk . This contains essays on topics relating to the spiritual path of Advaita Vedanta and other material, together with links to relevant organisations, teachers and resources. He still reads extensively on the subject, though no longer actively ‘seeking’. He is the editor of the Advaita sub-category for the Open Directory Project on the Internet (http://dmoz.org/Society/Religion_and_Spirituality/Advaita_Vedanta/).

Educated to degree-level in Chemistry, he has worked for most of his life in computing. Since 2000, he has devoted his life to writing. He completed a philosophical/ecological thriller in 1999 (extensively revised in 2007-8) and a book on Earned Value metrics in March 2001. His first book on Advaita, ‘The Book of One’, was written for students of that path and published in 2003. An introductory book on Sanskrit (‘The Spiritual Seeker’s Essential Guide to Sanskrit’) was published in India in 2005.

His book ‘How to Meet Yourself’, published in 2007, was aimed at the non-specialist reader and addresses the fundamental topics of meaning and purpose in one’s life and the nature of happiness. Though not intended for the ‘spiritual seeker’, its intention was that, by the end of the book, the reader will wish to become one! It approaches the subject from the standpoint of western philosophy, sociology and psychology but increasingly introduces Advaitic concepts so that the last two chapters explain in some detail the non-dual nature of self and reality.

His major book on Advaita, also published in 2007, was entitled ‘Back to the Truth’. This is a systematic treatment of Advaita which, by using examples from many sources, helps the reader to differentiate between approaches and teachers. It compares the scriptures of traditional Advaita with the words of contemporary Sages and with the modern ‘nothing to be done’ teaching of neo-Advaita. Should we ignore the mind? Is the world real? Is there anything we can do to become ‘enlightened’? These questions and many more are addressed and explanations given, in their own words, from those who discovered the truth.

His most recent book, published in 2008, was ‘Enlightenment: the Path through the Jungle’. This aimed clearly to define the term ‘enlightenment’ and dispel the many myths about it propagated by ‘new-age’ books on the subject. It endeavoured to set down the proven methods, passed down for over a thousand years in the traditional teaching of the subject and contrast these with those of modern ‘satsang’ teachers and the non-teaching of neo-advaitins, demonstrating in the process that only the traditional methods are likely to bring about enlightenment.
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