Enlightenment is not what many think it is, nor is the path to attain it. A.H. Almaas presents myth-shattering aspects of reality that allow true seekers to pass through to a "spiritual reality." In this edition, Essence has been combined with The Elixir of Enlightenment, which is a short introductory text directed toward students on the path who may be frustrated with the spiritual or psychological barriers presented by modern Western life. Almaas discusses the values and shortcomings of spiritual training, and explores why an impasse may occur. He reveals how a precise understanding of your own personality can free inner resources so that your essential being can lead you toward enlightenment.
The person who has realized essence does not experience it once in a while, as a special unique occurrence. This pattern is the usual one for the ordinary person under the best circumstances, but it is so for the realized person only at the beginning. In time, essence becomes a permanent and abiding presence, and the person progressively identifies with it as his true nature and identity. It becomes the ordinary experience of the individual every minute of his life. The fullness of essence is then permanently present and is the center and the source of the individual's life and actions. - A. H. Almaas
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"Essence is a revolutionary book in its synthesis of Western and Eastern approaches to psychological and spiritual development... Almaas demystifies enlightenment, helping us to see it, not as some mysterious event, but rather as a down-to-earth, understandable process with definite stages and sign posts--a process in which the personality gradually releases its grip on our being, and allows essence to emerge and transform the personality itself." -Yoga Journal
Chapter One - Presence and Essence
Chapter Two - Essence
Chapter Three - The Loss of Essence
Chapter Four - The Retrieval of Essence
Chapter Five - The Development of Essence
Read an early article on Essence by Almaas