Realization, Enlightenment and the Life of Rapture

Realization, Enlightenment and the Life of Rapture

by A. E. I. Falconar. Dehra Dun
India: English Book Depot (15Rajpur Road, Dehra Dun 248001, India), for Non·Aristotelian Publishing, Isle of Man, 1994. Pp. (iv), vi, 208. ISBN 09510924 3 X. Hardback.

Ted Falconar is a longtime Theosophist who lives on the Isle of Man and travels frequently to India. His new book Realization, Enlightenment and the Life of Rapture is a delineation and interpretation of the spiritual path. It brings together the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom and other spiritual philosophies on the nature of the spiritual path, its difficulties, and ways to overcome them. Courageously, it attempts to describe the indescribable non-dual state of consciousness that has many names but is directly experienced by few.

Falconar says that achieving the non-dual state results in a life of rapture and the conquest of death. He suggests that the death of the desiring ego leads to a rebirth and the entering of the path to enlightenment and rapture.

Paradoxically, the author uses words to illustrate how verbalization gets in the way of achieving this state. He contends that linear, Aristotelian thinking is not only of little value in the quest but actually a hindrance. Western thought has gone down the wrong path in that it makes us more and more connected with the world instead of more detached, thus reifying the world of form and everything in it.

On the other hand, Eastern thought for millennia has taught the unreality of the conceptual world in which we exist and a method by which we can discover the real and thus gain Realization. This freedom, this liberation, is the ultimate aim of the seeker in the Eastern tradition. Realization can only be achieved by letting go and letting be.

Conceptualization and verbalization is not the path of letting go and letting be. Words and concepts are in fact a hindrance to nonverbal experience, which can only be achieved through opening the heart. The opening of the heart, in turn, is achieved through the devotional paths found in yoga, Sufism and other mystical traditions.

Falconer supports his thesis that our desiring egos and attachments are the cause of our suffering by quoting extensively from many of the great yogis, poets, Sufis, and spiritual philosophers, among them Sri Krishna Prem, Ramakrishna, Rumi, Kabir, Arabi and others who have written and spoken about this journey to rapture and the path to immortality:

Freedom can come only from Universal Consciousness for it is forever free, whereas lower selves are forever bound; only when we escape from our lower selves are we freed. [Sri Krishna Prem]

Falconar's discussion of how linear thinking and verbalization cause the main block to spiritual progress is enhanced by his use of nonverbal images, visualizations, and poetry to illustrate practically how we can go beyond the rational mind and so enter the state of rapture.

Happy the moment when we are seated in the palace,
thou and I,
With two forms and two figures but with one
soul, thou and I.
At the time when we shall come into the
garden, thou and I,
The stars of heaven will come to gaze upon us;
We shall show them the moon herself, thou
and I.
Thou and I, individuals no more, shall be
mingled in ecstasy. [Rumi]

One of the book's strongest points is its inclusion of many diverse spiritual traditions. Another is the use of poetry related to the spiritual path, which gives a deeper appreciation of both the poetry and the path.

Do not go to the garden of flowers! O Friend! Go not there.
In your body is the garden of flowers,
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the
And there gaze on the Infinite Beauty. [Kalur]

Falconer describes the spiritual path in a logical and understandable way. And yet, while his writing style is direct, readable, and often quite beautiful, it occasionally demonstrates antagonism toward a scientific point of view. In addition, some might find an overabundance of illustrative quotations.

With this single caveat, I can say that Falconar describes the indescribable as well as I have ever seen it described. This book is a truly marvelous work by a Western mystic who brings to life the familiar Sanskrit petition: 

Lead me from the unreal to the real,
Lend me from darkness to light,
Lead me from death to immortality.


January 1997