Enlightenment is not what many think it is, nor is the path to attain it. A. H. Almaas presents myth-shattering aspects of reality that allow true seekers to pass through to a "spiritual reality".
"Essence is a revolutionary book in its synthesis of Western and Eastern approaches to psychological and spiritual development. But it is not primarily an abstract or theoritical work. As its title suggests, Essence explores the 'essential reality' as the truth of who we are when we move beyond ego, or personality. Almaas' exposition of this essential reality is remarkably clear and precise where most authorities are vague and impressionistic. Almaas includes a discussion of what he calls the 'essential aspects, ' such as love, compassion, wisdom, and strength. . . . His work draws upon knowledge from the most sophisticated current psychological theory.... Almaas demystifies enlightenment, helping us to see it not as some mysterious event, but rather as a down-to-earth, understandable process with definite stages and signpots -- a process in which the personality gradually releases its grip on our being, and allows essence to emerge and transform the personality itself". -- Yoga Journal
Essence has been combined with The Elixir of Enlightenment, a short introductory text directed toward students on the path who remain frustrated by either the spiritual or psychological barriers that Westerners may encounter. Almaas discusses the values and short-comings of spiritual training, and explores why an impasse may occur. He reveals how a precise understanding of your own personality can free your inner resources so that your essential being can lead you toward enlightenment. --- from the publisher