The Great Misunderstanding: Discover Your True Happiness With A Simple New Understanding by Premananda [updated Aug 6, 2013]

The Great Misunderstanding shows us that we are conditioned to believe in duality, perceiving ourselves as separate from the world. We deeply misunderstand who we really are. We try to change our lives to be better, more happy and content.

Premananda’s playful Zen stick deconstructs our misunderstanding. Using actual meetings and situations from his life, he intertwines the ordinary with the extraordinary to deliver a profound and life-changing message.

Nothing is missing! What is really true is just now. We only have this moment. With this understanding life becomes a paradise and we are truly free. Being quiet, empty, we discover that we are happiness itself.

Then there is this void, the Self, God, Consciousness.
We are not separate from that.
Just Be Quiet. And there you are.

The Book

The great misunderstanding is that we are not who we think we are, and follow a mistaken conditioning. We experience ourselves as separated from everything. This misunderstanding is the cause of all our suffering. We believe that everything we experience and feel is caused by the world and from other people. This book explains how to develop self-awareness, and how we can calm the mind, and be a witness of our lives.

The book is compact and sleek, with a beautiful design and color pages with each chapter.

The Film

An intense experiment in conscious living. One spiritual teacher and twenty people with a strong longing for a true understanding of what is real, living together in one house. This film shows the residents in their search for Awakening, with Premananda guiding them from the misunderstanding of separation to oneness. He explains clearly how we are trapped in our conditioning and points us to our true nature.

Finding no fulfillment in career and relationship in England, and driven by a deep question inside him, Premananda began a spiritual journey. After many years he eventually arrived in India at the doorstep of his master, Papaji. Here, twenty years of spiritual searching ended when the Self revealed itself and he saw that this was his true nature.
Today, Premananda is a spiritual teacher, artist, author and filmmaker living in Open Sky House an International Satsang and Arts community that he founded in Germany in 2004. Here he holds regular retreats as well as broadcasting live SatsangTV via the Internet three evenings a week.
You can engage in dialogue with him by entering into the meeting live using Skype. During the week you can ask questions by email which he will then answer in the next meeting. There is also a comprehensive archive of 300 Satsang meetings since 2009, in seven different languages.

Premananda’s books include Papaji Amazing Grace and Arunachala Talks. He has published three books from his deep love for India and Sri Ramana Maharshi, which also have companion films: Arunachala Shiva and the Blueprints for Awakening series Indian Masters and European Masters. He has recently completed his new book, The Great Misunderstanding, and finished directing and producing the film Satori: Metamorphosis of An Awakening. He is currently working on his latest film project, The Great Misunderstanding.
He is an unusual character, full of fun and lightness with the possibility of a sudden storm at any moment. Many love him to bits and others find him outrageous. He is never boring but not always able to see when he is too much. He would love to invite you to come and make your own assessment!

Click here to view a film trailer.

The Power of Witnessing—How Would a Fish Know It is in Water? by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.

An excerpt from his forthcoming book
Awakening to Sanity: Being Sane in an Insane World
—A Traveler’s Guide

We don’t know who discovered water, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t a fish.
—Aphorism, Author Unknown

Adapting the above quote: we don’t know who discovered one’s perceptual lenses and ego, but we’re pretty sure the last to find out would be 99.99% of human beings! How would a fish know it is in water? This is the keystone question of this book. The late brilliant essayist-novelist David Foster Wallace tells a story of two young fish swimming and going by an older fish headed the other way. The older fish nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” The two young fish swim on awhile, and after a time one fish looks over at the other and asks, “What the hell is water?” 1

What is taken for granted is not easy to see! Water is to fish as mind is to humans. Have you ever considered that a fish can no more see the water it is in than a human being can see its own mind? Since our entire perception and experience of living is filtered through the mind, how could anyone ever see things as they truly are without being present and witnessing their own mind?

Several cartoons point to the same understanding. In one cartoon a fish half out of the water is splashing water at another nearby fish half out of the water and says, “That stuff!” In another, two fish in separate fishbowls are jumping out of each fishbowl into the other one. While in mid-air one points its fin down in the direction of the water and says to the other flying fish, “It’s that stuff!” A third has no caption, only a smiling fish resting in a rowboat watching an oblivious fish blowing bubbles in the water. This may be the most profound and eloquent example of a shift into what could be called witnessing: the happy fish out of the water in the boat is witnessing itself as the same clueless fish in water. Self-consciousness or self-reflection, healthy or not, only comes “on-line” developmentally during the early teen years. Even then, how often do we see our minds?

Again, how would a fish know it is in water? Upon reflection, wouldn’t it have to get out of the water to see the water it is swimming in? Can the rational mind or ego see itself? Can the ego step outside itself to see the perceptual lenses through which it seems to exist? Or does it take stepping outside of the mind to see the mind, and reality, as it is?

Is the mind able to see itself, and grasp or make any sense of Original Nature? Mind cannot go beyond mind; thinking cannot go beyond thinking. Once the act of thinking is observed by witnessing the mind from outside the mind, the charge behind thought dissolve as thoughts are seen for what they are. Witnessed thoughts usually fade. A possibility exists of a shift from being unaware of being unconscious to being aware of being unconscious, a crucial step to awakening, or being aware of being conscious without thinking and identifying oneself as the false self or its false identities/delusions.


1. “David Foster Wallace on Life and Work”, [Adapted from a commencement speech by David Foster Wallace to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College], The Wall Street Journal, Friday, September 19, 2008, page W14, reference: first paragraph.

© Copyright 2011 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.

Presence – Part 1 & 2 – Psychologist Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.

Psychologist Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. explores the realm of presence, and especially witnessing the mind from outside the mind to see what it is up to now. The natural and learnable abilities to inhabit the present moment (presence) and therein see the mind from outside it (witnessing) are seen as the most impactful ones anyone could develop to experience a happy, satisfying, fulfilling and contributive life. The metaphor of a fish cannot see itself in water, just as the mind cannot see itself, is offered. To see the water the fish must get out of the water, just as getting out of the mind is essential to see the mind. Possibilities galore ensue.

#8 Presence – #1 of 2 – Psychologist Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.

The extraordinarily ordinary realm of this present moment or Presence is evoked by psychologist Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. in an incredibly simple and profound experience the viewer has an opportunity to inhabit. Viewers can tap into time orientation by noticing what percentage of time do they show up in the past, present and future. Once a calibration is made by experiencing the present moment (a taste or free sample of enlightenment or illumination), the percentages tend to dramatically change, as you will see.

#9 Presence – #2 of 2 – Psychologist Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.

2013: The Beginning Is Here by Ervin Laszlo (Author), Geoff Stray (Author), Jose Arguelles (Author), John Major Jenkins (Author), Young Jim (Editor)

This anthology offers wide-ranging views by various global experts about the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, as well as related prophecies and associated physical changes of Earth’s structure. The purpose of this collection is to broaden your perspective about such issues and concerns, so you can discern for yourself what your commitment to planetary life will be-and then to demonstrate your commitment into being, beginning this very instant.

Click here to browse inside.

Ervin László: A new mindset is emerging

Ervin Laszlo, who was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, is interviewed by Lilou Mace about a new mindset, a new paradigm, that is emerging on our planet.

Said Laszlo:
I talk about what interests me most. It’s a new way of thinking — what I call a new paradigm — updating the way we think about ourselves and the world, which is very much needed because the world evolves much faster than our thinking does…
We are moving from a mechanistic, fragmented paradigm to a holistic, quantum-based paradigm… The outcome of it is that we actually feel ourselves much more belonging to this larger community of life…
Something larger doesn’t have to be a divinity. Something larger can be the whole community of life that has evolved on Earth. With over seven billion people, humans are a member of that. But, we are forgetting that we are a member of that, and we are forgetting that we are a whole community. We just think of ourselves…
I think that there are no foreigners on this planet… We are all brothers and sisters. We closer to some because we live together — more with some than with others. But, there are no people who do not belong to this large human community and the community of life. That, I think, is a new paradigm — the sense of becoming one, which is keynoted by this concept of love. Love means feeling one’s belonging to each other, which I think is the new paradigm. If young people grow up with that and start acting on that basis, we won’t have all of these problems that we’ve had (all this crises), because we will use our creativity to collaborate — instead of working against each other, trying to out-compete each
other, or become more powerful that the other — we try to see how we can together solve the problems.

Laszlo also talks about the Akashic field…Ervin Laszlo is a systems philosopher, integral theorist, and classical pianist. Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, he has authored more than 70 books, which have been translated into nineteen languages, and has published in excess of four hundred articles and research papers, including six volumes of piano recordings.

Dr. Laszlo is generally recognized as the founder of systems philosophy and general evolution theory, and serves as the founder-director of the General Evolution Research Group and as past president of the International Society for the Systems Sciences. He is also the recipient of the highest degree in philosophy and human sciences from the Sorbonne, the University of Paris, as well as of the coveted Artist Diploma of the Franz Liszt Academy of Budapest. Additional prizes and awards include four honorary doctorates.

His appointments have included research grants at Yale and Princeton Universities, professorships for philosophy, systems sciences, and future sciences at the Universities of Houston, Portland State, and Indiana, as well as Northwestern University and the State University of New York. His career also included guest professorships at various universities in Europe and the Far East. In addition, he worked as program director for the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). In 1999 he was was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Canadian International Institute of Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics.

For many years he has served as president of the Club of Budapest, which he founded. He is an advisor to the UNESCO Director General, ambassador of the International Delphic Council, member of both the International Academy of Science, World Academy of Arts and Science, and the International Academy of Philosophy. source

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