Foreward to BRI, a Collection of Essays entitled Beyond Religion I. Some essays date back to 1996-1997. Some can be read on my web site given below.
In my earlier years I used to skip the Foreword to get into the meat of the book, to delve into the mind of the writer, fathom his or her hidden thoughts, perhaps, innermost secrets. I was in error. I have learned since that omitting the foreword was like forgetting to meet the host when entering his house. Surely the rooms are saturated with the presence of him whose very being is, for the most part, held and contained within the space and time by the walls one is entering. Yet to fully understand the dwelling, one must meet the dweller.
My true dwelling is my state of consciousness. It is not my permanent abode, but rather a transient expression of the conditions that, at any particular moment, have bearing on my awareness of the outside universe. I say outside, because while my haven is both, within and without the reaches of my senses, imagination, or even mind, that which defines my essence is within a realm that is unchangeable, singularly permanent, indestructible. I, no more than a pilgrim, reach out from my haven; perhaps heaven is a better word, and stand in awe of the wonders that surround me.
It is my impressions of these wonders that I wish to share with you. I have no desire to convince anyone of anything, to praise or condemn anyone or anything, though it may seem so, at first. I have as much respect for the state of consciousness you inhabit, at any particular moment, as I have for the universe in which we all find the intimacy of our being. In many ways, the two are inseparable. Furthermore, in most essential ways we are all One; we all look out from our inner sanctum, we enter countless states of consciousness; we observe, experience, learn, and retreat to our City of Peace.
What follows I have variously named thoughts, ideas, essays or even, in my more pompous moments, dissertations. In truth––they are neither. They are little more than one man's way of looking at the world. Neither better nor worse than countless others. I trust my way will add, without detracting, expand without creating new barriers to the spectrum of reality. I offer a viewpoint that, hopefully, eliminates paradoxes. I ask no one to adopt my way of looking at the world. I ask everyone to remember that they, like myself, are unique. It is through boundless diversity that the One Consciousness finds Its expression. I like to think that you and I are indispensable components of the Whole.