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John Behague - Paul Brunton; An Appreciation

John Behague - Paul Brunton; An Appreciation

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Published by Shabd_Mystic
There have been many who have influenced me in my lifelong search for the truth, but none more so than Paul Brunton. So many times his thoughts have echoed mine, so many times I have inwardly cried out "yes, yes!" when his words have struck home. I never met him, but felt close to him, having visited the same places, met the same kind of people he met, and experienced similar happenings, but his search was the more successful because he had the courage and determination to venture into the unknown, tear down curtains of superstition, topple idols and scatter sacred cows.

From http://www.paulbrunton.org/articles/behague.php
There have been many who have influenced me in my lifelong search for the truth, but none more so than Paul Brunton. So many times his thoughts have echoed mine, so many times I have inwardly cried out "yes, yes!" when his words have struck home. I never met him, but felt close to him, having visited the same places, met the same kind of people he met, and experienced similar happenings, but his search was the more successful because he had the courage and determination to venture into the unknown, tear down curtains of superstition, topple idols and scatter sacred cows.

From http://www.paulbrunton.org/articles/behague.php

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Published by: Shabd_Mystic on Apr 19, 2011
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06/27/2011

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Paul Brunton
an appreciation by John Behague
There have been many who have influenced me in my lifelong search for the truth, butnone more so than Paul Brunton. So many times his thoughts have echoed mine, somany times I have inwardly cried out "yes, yes!" when his words have struck home. Inever met him, but felt close to him, having visited the same places, met the same kindof people he met, and experienced similar happenings, but his search was the moresuccessful because he had the courage and determination to venture into the unknown,tear down curtains of superstition, topple idols and scatter sacred cows.That may make him appear a giant among men. On the contrary, PB as he like to becalled, was small and dapper, spoke softly and slowly, wasgentlein this approach andlived quietly and abstemiously. Yet in his spiritual journeying this little man visited the far corners of the world, living with princes, mystics and holy men, staying in palaces andmud huts, and emerging something of a guru himself, with a message of incredibleimportance and hope for those who cared to read it.In this short appreciation I hope to summarize some of his findings and explain hisphilosophy. Strangely, he wasn't aware of having any mission in life other than the hopeof making people aware of the value of their own souls. He had no desire to inflict hisbeliefs on others. He was no missionary, and didn't seek to convert or compel.His main resolve was to be independent of allegiances and authorities, and to rely on hisown observations and findings so that he could set down the simple truths of thingswhich had become hidden or distorted over the years. Others would pick them up or  
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discard them as they thought fit. All he hoped was that people would find withinthemselves what he had found.He wrote several philosophical books, some of which have become best-sellers, butmuch of his writings, in the form of notebooks, remained unpublished until the creationof the Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation in New York. He died in 1981 and a brightlight went out, but his vital question: "What's the meaning of it all?" and his answers to itshould provide spiritual food for many years to come.Questions were his stock and trade, from his early years as a journalist in London,a ndlike me, that little word "why?" was constantly on his lips. Why is it that we can conquer disease, design complicated computers, and send men into space when we can't evenexplain why we are here on earth? As PB put it" We have gathered highly detailed information about almost everythingunder the sun. We know the work, qualities and properties of all the objects andphenomena of the earth. But we do not know ourselves. The very persons who havebeen studying all the sciences have yet to study the science of self."Throughout history the great seers and philosophers have struggled to find the key toour existence on earth. Like the old station master in the English comedy play "GhostTrain" the agonized question is "Where do ee cum from and where do ee go?" Are wemere lumps of matter destined to disintegrate into nothingness, or are we God-madecreatures with everlasting souls?Brunton called them great riddles of life which have puzzled the sages of manygenerations, and will puzzle many more. He saw man as a doubting and despairing figurestalking across the cold wastes of this world laughing cynically at the name of God.Within man there were dark radiant places where the soul could take wing. The angeland the beast were both inner tenants.What are we to believe? Are the words of the ancient sages the babblings of irresponsible lunatics, or are they messages of tremendous importance to us all? PaulBrunton resolved to bring the record up to date by tracking down the seers of today--swamis, gurus, holy men and yogis--to discover the truth for himself. As I have found, truth is often hard to uncover. Sometimes a "holy man" worshipped bythousands turns out to be a complete fraud. Sometimes miracle men prove to be littlemore than conjurers. PB's investigations and travels lasted several years and in the end 
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he came to the inescapable conclusion that Divinity is everywhere. God could be foundand God was good. The catch, however, was that to find Him you first had to findyourself.He also found that calamity has beset us. We may make wonderful machines, ships of vast size, and reach for the stars, but the tragedy is that we have forgotten who we are.We can trace out kin to the ape, with a wealth of detail and proof for this miserablepedigree, but we cannot remember our kindred to the angel." We forget our ownspiritual nature.He believed that at the back of our personal selves lies another self, described by anancient seer as: "Unseen but seeing, unheard but hearing, unperceived but perceiving,unknown but knowing...This is thy Self, the ruler within, the immortal." We show theworld a superficial mask. Our true self lives in the depths of our heart. I suspect that wehouse several selves, including the good, the bad and the ugly. One has only to consider how devoted German fathers with deep love of family, music and the arts, supportedHitler in his massacre of innocents. But even within the beast there lies hidden a spiritualbeing.You may dismiss this as being farfetched or imaginative, but PB insisted that "wrapped inthe folds of our nature hides a rare jewel, though we know it not. None has yet dared toset a price upon it, nor will any dare to do so, for its value is beyond all known worth."So, where is the proof?Brunton was at first positive you wouldn't find it in books. This, despite his literaryoutpourings. Truth is a state of being, not a set of words, he asserted, and beggedpeople to start experimenting for themselves. The word God, he said, was meaninglessunless you could contact Him within. The answers to all things lay within the limitlessinterior of your own being. You had to push to one side your doubts, inhibitions,prejudices and religious scruples and take the plunge.Easier said than done in this day and age. Most of us are lost in a sea of confusion andcontradiction, with powerful forces pulling us this way and that. There are thedistractions of radio, television and instant news. It's fast food, fast action world withlittle time for purposeful thinking or spiritual experimentations.Well, that's what many people might suppose. Brunton was made of much sterner anddetermined stuff. To him the question of where we come from and where we go to was 
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