Foreword to "Enlightenment in Our Time"

by John White 

If you've ever wondered what life is all about, Lonny Brown has the answer: enlightenment. That's not a new answer, of course; it is actually millennia old. Although it has many names - liberation, God-realization, non-dual consciousness, moksha, satori - it is the unanimous declaration of the world's major religions and sacred traditions. Enlightenment, they agree, is what life - both for the individual and for the human race - is all about. Enlightenment is discovering our ultimate unity with the source of existence and living in accordance with it. It is the way to enduring happiness and true understanding of reality. But each age must rediscover it for itself so that it remains living wisdom for needful people, not the dead hand of past authority.

Now, many others have written about enlightenment in the present age, including me. Often, however, the presentation is highly abstract, lofty and difficult to comprehend intellectually. Lonny has written a simple book of living wisdom. In the short chapters awaiting you, he presents enlightenment in many of its aspects and applications, and he does so in a practical way. Theory is fine; many people write about enlightenment in theory. Without practice, however, theory remains unapplied and unable to deliver the benefits awaiting you as you grow in spiritual understanding toward an enlightened state of mind. If enlightenment is a kingly banquet, Lonny doesn't want you to stand outside looking at it through a window; he wants you to come inside and taste the glorious feast. So he offers advice - short, simple, practices and ideas - to make the theory real for you personally. He invites you to dine on living wisdom.

Now, there is more to enlightenment than Lonny covers here. He'll be the first to acknowledge that. Enlightenment is a subject as vast as the universe and as close to you as breathing; you can't cover all that in a short book such as this. Then again, you couldn't cover all that in a long book either - or even in a thousand long books. So this is a wonderful place to start, to take a first step on your journey of a thousand miles. As you journey, you'll discover that a loving cosmos will provide all you need, every step of the way. The important thing is to actually take that first step.

With Lonny as your guide, you can "make haste slowly," at a self-paced rate. That way, your practice will deepen your understanding of the theory, which in turn will feed back to solidify your practice. The distinction between theory and practice will dissolve as the quest for enlightenment - for living as your authentic self - encompasses all aspects of your existence. You'll find that you undergo
changes on all levels of your being. Those changes will be for the better. Through self-directed growth in body, mind and spirit, they will lead to a greater sense of happiness and feeling at home in the universe.
                                                                    - John White,


- Editor of What is Enlightenment: Exploring the Goal of the Spiritual Path, author of The Meeting of Science and Spirit, A Practical Guide to Death and Dying and the forthcoming Enlightenment 101: A Guide to God-Realization and Higher Human Culture. A past Director of Communication for the Institute of Noetic Sciences, John White has published 15 books translated into 10 languages, and his writings have appeared in The New York Times, Reader's Digest, Esquire, Omni, Woman's Day and more. 

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