Information on the book:

This book follows on my earlier book, The Mystical Life (1961), and is similarly grounded in first-hand evidence. It aims, however, to present the ‘inner life’ in a far more systematic and comprehensive way, the treatment being also ‘scientific’ in the best sense of the word - open-minded, rigorously tested, rationally coherent, and illuminating.Stupendous technological achievements and unprecedented facilities for research distinguish our present age. These great advantages, however, go along with a widespread tendency to focus on worldly fact and be chary of attempts to penetrate to the inner life, whether the depths or the inspirational heights. It is as if the inner life were thought of as an insubstantial dream, instead of being the very substance of our motivational and sensitive existence.

First-hand evidence of the ‘heights’ and the ‘depths’ lies at the core of the ancient Upanishads, the ‘Oracles of the Kingdom’ in the Hebrew prophets, the letters of St Paul, and countless other classics of mystical testimony, freely quoted in this book. Today, when one seeks for explanations of these, what one finds is usually a textual and historical analysis, with little or no attention to the fact that evidence of the same great truths of life is enshrined in each.But another obvious and compensating feature of our time is the abundance of seekers (in the biblical sense) who are calling out for evidence, indeed first-hand experience of things beyond ‘worldly fact’ and theories, experience which gives a true and lasting meaning of life. What is offered people in the way of meditation systems’ and the like can prove disappointing, open to criticism as being superficial or sectarian, and ultimately inadequate to their needs. It is to be hoped that the more comprehensive array of evidence and accompanying discussions in this book will help such seekers to travel more confidently and clear-headedly along the mystical way to the goal of ultimate self-realisation and fulfilment.Of the two projected volumes entitled ‘The Meaning of Life’, Volume I (described as an ‘Introduction to Scientific Mysticism’ and here published separately) sets out first to clarify the meaning of certain words whose vagueness has often led to confusion. Specifically, the term physical is here limited to the direct sensory awareness of objects in this world. The world-view adopted could be either ‘worldly’ (attached, conditioned) or ‘mystical’ (released); in the latter case one is ‘in the world but not of it’.

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