The Book of Not Knowing: Exploring the True Nature of Self, Mind, and Consciousness – Book Review -Video & Text

There must be a lot of people who fantasize about being stranded on a deserted island. You’ve heard the questions “if you were on an island all alone, what songs would you want with you…or what books?” Being alone on an island with no hope of rescue may actually sound more appealing to the spiritually inclined.

Hello everyone, this is Scott from, and I actually have been getting that question a lot lately: “If you could have just one spiritual book with you…what would it be?” That would be a difficult choice to make, but today’s review covers a book that would meet my criteria.


(Click on video below to watch or to just keep reading scroll down)

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The Book of Not Knowing, by Peter Ralston, is well written and edited. There are no typos that would take my attention away from the beach on my island only to remind me of stern authority figures like my high school English teacher. The book isn’t flimsy – it’s actually almost 600 pages – so it would take longer to get bored with the content. More seriously and more importantly, there really isn’t any belief in this book. No dogma, no esoteric teachings of looking at a toilet seat and being One with it. The Book of Not Knowing is full of experiential exercises and the point is made more than once that belief isn’t what Ralston is going for here.

What Ralston really shows the reader is a systematic approach to realizing that everything that occurs for the average individual is for self-survival, or preservation of the self that one takes themselves to be. This “self” one takes themselves to be is made up of a series of beliefs, cultural programming and assumptions that have been taken on since childhood. This book is largely about getting free of all that stuff in order to experience the Truth. Without your thoughts, beliefs, programming, emotions, assumptions – what is True right now about this experience I’m having?

Later in the book, there is a series of contemplative exercises to heighten awareness and expose what is false. There are also practices to help the reader get deeper into the root causes of some of the reactions that have evolved to help protect the sense of self.

This is one of those rare books that you can read again, and refer back to, particularly for the exercises. The only thing that could have possibly improved this book is to have a CD with some of the exercises recorded on it. But that would have just been sprinkles on the chocolate icing on the chocolate cake for me. This is an excellent book.

We here at aren’t wishing for you to be stranded on an island anytime soon (unless you want to be). But if universal events happen to put you in that circumstance, we hope you have a book with you like The Book of Not Knowing, which receives a 10 out of 10 on our Infinity Scale. This is a must have book for the serious spiritual seeker.

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