Self-Discovery Portal


Articles - page 2

By the website author

Below is an index, listed in alphabetical sequence by title, of some articles that I've written.
Click on a title to see the referenced material. An index of articles by other authors is on page one.



Another Way

"How do I get there … 'there' being the place of completion?" A poem of questions and suggestions.…

Anxiety, Worry & Procrastination

Highlights from The Worry Cure by Robert L. Leahy, PhD – and their ultimate application. There's only one accomplishment in life that leads to complete satisfaction....

Asking Ourselves out of Depression

Avoiding the pit of depression, or climbing out when we've fallen in, with reference to the amazing life story of Mike May from Crashing Through by Robert Kurson.

Blindsight & Group Efforts

In Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert described the phenomenon of blindsight, where patients with certain kinds of brain lesions have no awareness of seeing, and yet....

Burning the Boats

The success formula learned by Darwin Smith, a self-effacing and courageous man.

Capacity to Love

Poem by the author.

Climbing Jacob's Ladder

A short essay, with illustrations, on the striking concept Richard Rose used to illustrate the spiritual climb, in his Psychology of the Observer.


If we judge ourselves on our intentions, we're all saintly and heroic and saviors. But our actions seldom line up consistently with our intentions.

Common-Sense Meditation

Rest and relaxation are necessary ingredients for a healthy life, but to be a process of self-inquiry, meditation needs to be confrontational not restful. It also needs to be observational.

Compassion & the Revelation of Negatives

Progress on the path to recognition of the truth about ourselves and the cosmos is a revelation of negatives. What's what is revealed by discovering what's not.

Deliberate Practice

Research results reported by Geoff Colvin in his book, Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else.

Developing Clarity of Mind

A raindrop sheds its limitations when it merges into the ocean. The human being similarly loses its limitations, becoming whole and complete, when it merges into the sanctuary of its oceanic being.

Direct Looking: Go Right Down the Middle

Response to a question about a comment made by Richard Rose in a talk at Kent State U., where he said: "Now this is what they really mean in Zen literature about no-mind … you have to go right down the middle. Look at it directly. Become one with it."

A Direct Path?

We get a taste of the mind's sinking into the Heart whenever we fall asleep. But we awake none the wiser. The unripe mind closes its eye when it sinks into its source.

Discovering Your Identity

A presentation made to a student-organized class on the Perennial Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University.

Doing Nothing vs. Being Nothing

… The Case of the Forgotten Self: Not just any old self, but the self.

Douglas Harding & Richard Rose

Two camps of spiritual warfare: Are the Headless Way of Douglas Harding and the Threefold Path of Richard Rose best pursued separately, or can they yield an unexpected synergy?

Facing Fear & Depression

Excerpts from autobiographical writings of Tony Blair (former British Prime Minister) and Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Love, Pray) telling how they faced emotional entanglements.

Feed Before You Eat

When you reach the pinnacle of self-knowledge, you may find yourself aligned with the view expressed by Nisargadatta.

Getting to Know Your Own Mind

Why did it take the Buddha so long to vacuum his sofa?

How Does the Brain Generate Experience?

"This disconnect between modern neuroscience research and mental health practice partly reflects the unresolved 'hard' problem of consciousness: How does the brain generate consciousness?" But does the brain generate consciousness?

Identity Crisis

"The ultimate identity crisis is not an issue of 'am I x or am I not-x?' but of 'what am I, really, at the core of my being?'"


Feeling inspired may last for an extended period during which it produces great activity, as in the manic phase of bipolar disorder, but in most cases it's fleeting and produces little if any productive action. Action for action's sake is nice, especially after a period of inaction, but action toward our primary life-goal is what we're concerned with here.

Interview with Art Ticknor

"What was your life like prior to starting seeking?", "What are you?", and other questions asked by Croatian seeker and friend Mario Pallua of the website author.

Intuition and the Search for Authenticity

What is intuition? Is it distinct from whims and other forms of inspiration? Is it always in our best interest to act on it, or should we try to vet it with common sense? How does it apply specifically to the seeker of truth and a true state of being?

Letting Go

Jason McElwain, an autistic high school senior, had a magical night that inspired the basketball coach, his fellow students, and President Bush among many others.

Liquidity Trap of Self-Ignorance

What can you do to end a recession or depression affecting the going-within desire? Demand for productive capacity (i.e., action) depends on desire, and desire depends on a feeling of want....

Look at Awareness

To know the self, look at awareness....

Looking & Questioning

Looking at the world through a self concept & questioning the nature of the self.

Looking All the Way Through

"Are you in harmony with truth or not? Here you cannot be mistaken; investigate all the way through." ~ Foyan

Looking Back

Presentation notes from a February 2016 retreat, the theme of which was "Looking Back."


A phenomenon where resistance decreases by an unusual amount in the presence of a magnetic field ... and how this applies to the search for the authentic self.

Meditation Is Simple

Notice what you're seeing....

Meditation: What Is It?

What am I? Where did I come from? What's my connection with the world and particularly with this body-mind? Will its death be my end? The answer comes by watching....

A Micromanaged Life?

Do you struggle to find what will make you happy without getting around to the real problem of not knowing what that "you" is?

Mirror Therapy

I saw a segment on a TV news program recently showing a treatment for phantom limb pain that's simple and surprisingly effective. Can we apply a similar technique to dispel existential pain?

Number Our Days

Bas reliefs and incised quotes from the Henry & Arabella Huntington mausoleum, San Marino, CA

Paean to Group Work

The Real Self, being Nothing, weighs nothing, while the illusory self is a heavy set of beliefs....

A Part of Thee

From a presentation at the October 2011 retreat of the Raleigh (NC) Self Inquiry Discussion Group, covering three points: 1) the idea of "no self" is absurd; 2) looking for that of you which is eternal; and 3) going on the offensive (to hell with all this "effortless" stuff :-)

A Path in Pictures

Pictorial progression from infant no-self to final self-realization.

Pray for Dead Serious

In the final analysis, I believe it all comes down to looking for our self – with the emphasis both on the object, our self, and on the subject, for our self. This looking or listening is the ultimate form of prayer....

Rabbit-Proof Fence

What can the amazing, true story of an aborigine girl in Australia, who had to cross a trackless desert on her 1,200-mile trek home, tell other seekers about how to find their way when the path they're following becomes invisible?

Recovery from Un-Enlightenment

"After leaving home to seek answers, Gautama worked diligently for years…." From the author's Solid Ground of Being.

Romeo and Juliet: The Language of Love

The internal language of love, the longing for loss of separation and for permanent satisfaction, is the silent melody that guides us Home.

Science as a Spiritual Practice

What can we learn about ourselves from quantum physics?

A Self-Effacing Man

Ever heard of George C. Marshall? When he entered Westminster Abbey, unannounced, to take his seat at the coronation of young Elizabeth II, the entire congregation arose.

Spiritual Foundering

"Definition requires comparison" (Richard Rose). What is the opposite of disciplined commitment on the path?

The Stockdale Paradox

The success formula learned by Admiral Jim Stockdale, POW.

Subjective, Subtractive, Immanent, and Immediate

"Zen is action." Thoughts about an active path of self-realization, excerpted from the author's Solid Ground of Being.

Thinking About Thinking

The truth-seeker is like a physician who is his own first patient. Is there a best way to think about the diagnosis and the treatment? Where does thinking go right – or, more importantly, where does it go wrong – in the business of truth-facing?

Thoughts on Philosophical Self-Inquiry Discussion

1. Philosophy: the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. 2. Self-inquiry: looking within for answers; looking for the real self among the many selves. 3. Objective: the end of suffering….

Three Questions

"For the person seeking self-knowledge, the distinction between subject and object, between viewer and view, is critical." A possible progression of focus, excerpted from the author's Beyond Relativity.

To Fight You Need an Enemy

There are two approaches to knowing the self: fight or surrender.


How would we get a view that shows us all things are equally valid in the sense of being true or false? The Conciliatory Path to Self-Knowing through Insight....

True Love

An unforgettable personal experience of rapport – and what it points to.

Use and Misuse of Poetry

Poetry can entertain us, distract us, comfort us – or through inspiration and irritation it can goad us to action.

What Are You Looking For?

If you're looking for the truth, as opposed to a comforting fantasy, let's consider together what you're looking for.

What Part of Speech Are You?

All spiritual work is aimed at consciously knowing what you really are. "Let me remind you that the perceived cannot perceive." ~ Huang Po

Why Do Seekers of Truth Fail?

Three possible reasons, with the focus of this article being on #3: failure to find and work with fellow seekers.

Who Are You Trying to Please?

Peers? Authority figures? Yourself? [Are you sure you know what's really going on?]

The World Is Your Oyster

You've probably heard the term "the world is your oyster," which I think generally implies that you can get anything you want in the world if you play your cards right. But the truth may be that you feel trapped in your oyster world, the prison is which you're serving a death sentence.

Your Strategy

You're reading this today because you're pursuing a strategy to get what you want out of life....

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