Â “About My Books” was a pamphlet first published in German in 1929 by the Kobersche Verlagsbuchhandlung in Berne, Switzerland. It was first published in English in 1977 by the Kober Press, Berkeley, California, USA as part of a collection of BĂ´ Yin RĂ˘’s essays entitled BĂ´ Yin RĂ˘: An Introduction to His Works. This is an edited version.
In every age of human history one can find individuals who seem imbued with a special faith not only in their persons, but also in the infallibility of their respective "visions," and who labor with fanatic zeal to force their own idea of "truth" upon the minds of others. Nor has there ever been a lack of those who try to satisfy their lust for power over others by exploiting the trusting good faith of simple piety. All this is common knowledge, obvious to anyone who knows of humanity’s longing to look beyond the towering walls that it can never scale through intellect or the perception of the senses.
This should not discourage one, however, from carefully examining, again and again, the accounts of humanity’s experience in the nonphysical dimension of reality. For even if one has failed a thousand times, even if each and every "revelation" has turned out to have been merely prompted by someone's craving to be seen as importantâ€”justÂ a single insight into reality that is beyond the earthly senses would make all one's patience and careful attention worthwhile.
My situation, thus, is anything but enviable, because my own accounts of this dimension of reality need just such discriminating attention on the part of readers. That is to say, what I present is not some theory but, rather, a reporting of my experience. Experience of this kind does not conflict with any religious faith, unless this faith denies on principle that any such experience of metaphysical reality is possible.
I am familiar with the compelling grounds for skepticism about my claim of being able to know of this type of experience. I certainly would not deny any readers their right to approach descriptions of the spiritual reality from which we all derive our being with greatest caution and doubt.
But I in turn should be entitled to expect that the disclosures of my spiritual experiences will not be thoughtlessly mixed in with a type of "revelation" that I myself find no less odious and unworthy of belief than will the most inveterate of skeptics among my readers.
I further must point out that all my books present nonphysical reality from two quite different perspectives: On the one hand, I describe experiences that I have found to be within the reach of every human being, although the range and depth of such experience will understandably depend upon each person's innate faculties. On the other hand, I also give account of things I know by virtue of a different, specific kind of spiritual perceptionâ€”one not accessible to others and of which I only speak when such disclosures are possible or necessary.
I speak in my books only about things that are of my own experience. For this reason, I was obliged to describe in detail the nature and kind of these experiences so as to make them more accessible to others.
To use an analogy, when Â botanists describe a landscape and its plants, their individual impressions are less important than the advancement of the discipline. Likewise, I would have my readers look on my writings, which are based upon experience of a specific kind, not within reach of all, as offered only for the sake of illustration. The only thing that matters is that readers assimilate whatever may assist them in developing their ability to experience that innermost realm of being for themselves.
Once readers begin to feel what I am speaking of, and then allow word and syllable to sink into their being, they shall receive out of their own innermost depths all the help and guidance they may need.
Nothing would be more mistaken than to direct one's attention to the writer as a person, instead of concentrating entirely upon his texts.
I must also categorically reject all imputations that I intend to launch a "spiritual movement" or a new kind of religion.
Human beings have a more than ample range of choices among religions, and can select whatever forms of worship best suit their temperament and need to honor the divine.
We most assuredly have no need for any new religion, let alone for founding novel sects.
What we do bitterly need, however, is an awakening of the living, spiritual energies that are latent in every mortal human being. Humans in our time can awaken these energies in themselvesâ€”just as those first of the faithful who gathered around the ancient religious symbols did in times long ago.
What seems to many in our present day to be outdated and no longer relevant to our times has, in reality, barely begun to reveal and manifest its timeless spiritual power. If the present age no longer feels connected to its ancient heritage, this is because people have lost the ability to grasp the height and depth of hidden truths in the time-honored symbols of religion—truths they could still find were it not for the dogma that asks them to believe in words and tenets but without providing insight as to their symbolic meaning.
What I have to communicate is meant chiefly for those who have sought in vain to find a true experience of God within the forms of traditional religion, but yet feel the inner need to live their lives in harmony with the eternal ground of all life.
However, these accounts of my experiences in the realms of ultimate reality are likewise meant for those who are still attached to the time-honored rituals, symbols, and beliefs of their religion, but who find themselves conflicted and feel their minds shackled by the convention of taking every word and sentence literally. This rigid practice does not allow them to set free the energies within their soulâ€”energies that these religious forms were originally meant to awaken and set free.
What I communicate concerning spiritual experience is not by any means intended to replace, or render obsolete, the old religious understandings of eternal truth but, rather, to revive their precious inner content for humanity's enlightenment.
There is no question that this hidden content can be found. But it would be a most serious error to assume that one must form new sects or movements in order to reveal it. By organizing new religions, one would merely run the risk of losing altogether whatever remnants of authentic wisdom one still possesses and to be given in exchange some questionable surrogatesâ€”idols invented by misguided minds.
There are plenty of examples illustrating that this has been the outcome in the past. And if readers need proof that it is also true today, they have not very far to look.
Those whose minds are set on finding timeless truth within the symbols of their ancestral faith should remain devoted to these historic symbols until they are able to fathom their deeper meaning.
Not every detail of what I have imparted through my books is intended for such readers. Yet there is much that even they may well accept, although at times they will have to "translate" the language and style of my writing into the traditional formulations of the beliefs they have been taught.
They will find many things in what I offer that can revive their faith and, in areas where they were beset by doubts and have struggled to not lose faith, they will regain inner confidence.
Even those who are no longer willing to accept religious guidance may come to see ancient religious doctrines in a different light, and the truths hidden within these religions may find a way into their hearts without the constraints of creeds and dogmas.
What I have to communicate is not in any manner whatsoever subject to belief or disbelief.
Every kind of creed has its apologists, and every apologia in turn has its opponents.
There is no greater waste of time, and none more sterile, than arguments about mere viewpoints of religious faith.
And nothing could be farther from my intention than to be an advocate for any specific beliefâ€”or for any form of disbelief.
Readers of my books will have to discover for themselves how they may integrate within their worldview the things I have to say; but they must not approach my books with the erroneous belief that I am serving any one religious faith, or its opponents.
Although I seek to give every aspect and experience of humanity's existence its due, one nonetheless may say that all my books have one central theme. This theme might briefly be defined as follows:
I bear witness, based on personal experience, to the truth that human beings are anchored in a field of spiritual energy. This energy can never be perceived by the physical senses, but only by the spiritual senses. Once their physical existence has come to an end, human beings will inevitably awaken into this field of spiritual energy; however, it is possible for them to awakenÂ already in their present life on earth.
I bear witness, based on personal experience, to the truth that there exists, within this realm of spirit, a hierarchy of helping individuals. This hierarchy originates within the very center of the field of energy, from whence it descends into the sphere of human life on earth. And here it manifests itself in earthly form through certain individuals who were prepared for this specific task before their birth into this present life.
I bear witness, based on personal experience, to the truth that mortal human beings can connect spiritually with this hierarchy, and I describe the ways how this may be achieved.
And finally, I state how I came to the experiences that were opened for me, and why it was inevitable that I did.
The terms I use when speaking of this field of spiritual energy, its primal core, or of the members of the spiritual hierarchy originating in this center, are not chosen arbitrarily but, rather, correspond to concepts shared by all the members of that hierarchy who live on earth as mortals.
This does not mean, however, that readers of my books might not translate the terms I use into language which may be closer to their heart or way of thinking, whether that be the language of their native faith, or a personal terminology.
The only thing that matters is that readers sense and comprehend the spiritual reality that I describe.
The religious concept that most closely describes what I am speaking of is redemption. Only I would add that humanity's redemption, as I know it, does not begin and end with one particular, unique event in human history but, rather, is a process that goes on forever.
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