Here follow a couple of sections from Chapter One: VISION AND PRACTICE
..Because many of us are not merely satisfied with biological survival, but need to find a deeper meaning to life, this inward demand for happiness, emotional equanimity, relational integrity and wholeness becomes an all-consuming passion to seek and find a teacher, teaching, organization, philosophy or way of life we believe may deliver us from our inner emptiness.
However, the greater our need, the greater the possibility that we may fail to approach our quest for happiness and integral living with sufficient care and inner clarity. The lure of ready answers, the charm of a charismatic teacher or a teaching that may merely satisfy our need for emotional and psychological comfort zones often deceive us into believing that we have entered upon a path of true liberation.
The indiscriminate urgency with which we seek, dilutes the integrity of our quest and thereby limits our ability to make sound decisions with regard to this critical area of life. The greater any particular need, and the higher value we place on the fulfillment of any demand, the greater the potential for us to delude ourselves. Need often takes our discernment away.
Need is indeed the mother of invention. But whereas in practical matters invention is a necessary instrument for survival, it could prove completely counter-productive if used indiscriminately in areas where a different, more circumspect, approach might have been more appropriate. Without enquiring deeply into our own situation, we create visions of what human life should be like, and on the basis of these, project answers as to how we should fulfill the integral demands of our born condition. But such visions, if not based in the reality of our present situation, will only obscure the revelation of our potential for holistic living. The questions we ask, and the answers we present to ourselves with regard to the path of inner exploration, have to be intimately related. That is, our path has to serve our quest for freedom in a direct and intelligent manner.
In view of this, we may appreciate the critical importance for developing a healthy skepticism and a penetrating and fearless spirit of enquiry. If we are serious about coming to terms with our human condition we will realize that life is a dynamic process that cannot be approached through dogmas, superstitions, ancient metaphors for truth, philosophy, religion or metaphysics. None of these can ever touch the direct experience of the living moment. Whatever their origin and validity, these are nothing but concepts we impose onto the truth of life. Whereas life is a living process, ideas are stagnant reflections within thought about it. Thought is a secondary process, and in terms of happiness and integral living ultimately unimportant to the direct experience of the living moment which alone can afford us with unmediated information from which to arrive at intelligent living.