Update on Books

Update on Books

NurLast spring, I repurposed the outline of another book into a doctoral dissertation. Essentially, the topic of my SAND18 talk, how the world comes to be.

I then took a break from all that long-form writing for a while. Suddenly last week, I was working on the book again and now have a first rough draft. Lots of work yet to edit, polish, format, etc. but it’s underway.

And then to add further surprise, I’ve also started work on a translation and commentary on the Yoga Sutra, another project long considered. This one has been laid out too. Now I’m working through a fresh translation, adding commentary as I go. Just finished a draft of the first of 4 padas.

It’s curious where life goes when you get out of the way.

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  1. Looking closely at the Yoga Sutra has been interesting. I thought I knew it well, but in studying the exact Sanskrit words used, I can see things in there I didn’t before. For example, the book mentions the 7 stages of enlightenment of Vasishtha, the framework I use in my first book, Our Natural Potential. It’s generally translated to refer to the 7 stages of samadhi of the first part. But that’s not what the words imply. You don’t get supreme wisdom from transcending alone.

    1. AB

      Hi David,
      Great, looking forward to both books.
      I’ve only recently learnt this in Sanskrit. Working with the verbal roots, dhatus, seems to give a better feel for the meaning of the words, then there seems to be a kind of “flow” with the verses sort of like experiencing. Don’t know if I’m making sense. However, I’m still a beginner.
      Most likely you will already know this but thought I’d share.

      1. Hi AB
        Yes, the word roots point to the intention of the word but then the context the word is placed in refines the meaning. For example, soma is a word referring to a fine chemical the body refines. It’s often translated to mean the juice of a rare plant, as the first meaning is not broadly understood. But the word is also an alternate for the moon. Then there’s moon deva, Monday (moon day), a food, and a number of other derivations. They all point back to the original meaning but that may not make sense in some places, like “the day after Sunday.”

        And yes, the words flow together as with nature. So in translating the art is in knowing where to separate them to define the word.

        The basics are simple – each letter has only one pronunciation. So there are several N’s, S’s and even an R that’s a vowel. They always come with an a, as in Va or Ta, unless it’s modified. But the grammar has thousands of rules, mainly about how constants join in the flow, like Ksha.

        The real magic is in it being close to natures language.

    1. Hi Stephen
      Well, first thing, it isn’t “their” wisdom because its not something known by the personal mind. This is something realized by being. For example, Self Realization is when we shift from being a me to being atman, the cosmic Self.

      In the context of the Yoga Sutra, that was a reference to a sutra that says:
      “For that there are seven stages, culminating in supreme knowledge.”
      That would be a reference to the 7 stages of enlightenment so the supreme knowledge would be ParaBrahman aka pure Divinity.

  2. Have a first draft of the YS book now. More surprises. Next is all the grunt work. First up, cross-checking it all with various sources and checking that I’ve covered the key points often lost in common translations.

    Then I’ll loop back to the other book for another round of edit and polish.

    1. Hi Gina
      No. The first book took about 10 years. I don’t expect these to take as long as I’ve done it once. But they flow when they flow. They are big projects that require a lot of editing, review, cross-checking, formatting, and so forth.

      Both are past first draft but I’m not happy with the overview of the structure of reality book. It’s challenging to introduce how the world arises when the basics are outside of many peoples experience. The opening of my 2018 talk lost a lot of the audience right off the top because of this. Tried a different approach here but it’s imperfect.

      Have made a lot of progress with the Yoga Sutra book. I now need to go through some of the primary commentaries to see if I’m missing something obvious.

      These days though, I’m not very clear so little progress is being made. One day…

  3. Kjetil Wedervang Mathiesen

    Hi David, looking forward to your new books. Are you getting close? The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a real treat, and the name Patanjali has such a wonderful ring to it, maybe some remembrance from the past? And the Raja Yoga-approach of the ashtanga is royal.

    1. Hi Kjetil
      Considering how rapidly the books came together, they’re taking awhile to polish. Made very little progress last year during treatment, though I did reorganize the chapters of the layers book to reflect reality better. Relate to experience first, then lay out the process from our deep origins.

      Very gradually slogging though a couple of key commentaries on the YS and feeling into what the layers book still needs. Both are fully written. They just need “completion”, then editing, formatting, etc for publishing. We’ll see how it unfolds.

      Thanks for asking.

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