Greg Goode Direct Path Review
Review of The Direct Path: A User’s Guide by Greg Goode
Greg Goode is one of the best teachers of the extremely subtle and nuanced subject of non-duality. His main advantage is the wide base of non-dual teachings he studied and practiced throughout his own personal journey – from Buddhism to Vedanta to Western philosophy, his unique perspective lends him the ability to combine elements from multiple paths and lay out the vision of non-duality in stunning clarity.
Greg has his own website, www.heartofnow.com, as well as several interviews available on youtube so that you can get acquainted with his journey, influences, and teaching style. His approach to teaching is warm, objective, and always with a hint of humor. But most importantly, he helps one actually experience the truth of non-duality. For most of us, these non-dual teachings remain as concepts and never seem to truly be experienced in the here and now. This is all the more frustrating since the teachings themselves usually state that the here and now is already a non-dual experience! Greg Goode leads you step by step in clearly laid out, logical experiments that ultimately result in a deceptively simple yet radical transformation in the way one experiences life.
The main teaching employed in The Direct Path: A User’s Guide is, no surprise, the direct path! This is a teaching wielded by several non-dual teachers such as Sri Atmananda, Francis Lucille, Jean Klein, and Rupert Spira. I recommend checking out all these teachers and what they all have to offer, but from my experience, Greg is the best teacher on this subject. His authenticity is communicated through the words he writes, and makes you feel as if he is a friend guiding you through unchartered territory. This is very comforting, as the ramifications of these teachings are so radical and contrary to what we normally believe, that it may cause some anxiety (at least that was my case).
Not everyone comes from the same place when it comes to non-duality.
Everyone has their own story, their own concepts, and their own expectations of what should happen. I know how confusing it can be to come upon a whole new teaching, where words mean entirely different things or are used in a different way. That’s why the simplicity of the direct path is so refreshing. All preconceived notions and concepts are thrown out the window. Only direct experience is deemed valid, and the only conclusions to be drawn are based off the best indicator of truth possible – your direct experience.
The main tenet of the direct path is that you clearly exist, but you are not this body-mind entity that most of us normally assume to be. It states that this is a mistake and is not actually based on experience. What our experience actually proves, it says, is that who you really are and the nature of everything in the universe is pure awareness. Quite a difference to what we normally believe, right? To help understand the direct path, Greg breaks down the entire universe into physical objects, mental objects, and objects you didn’t even think of as objects, and slowly but surely proves using simple, ordinary, everyday experience and logic, that all such objects are contained in you, awareness.
At first, these experiments seemed too simple on the surface. I found myself doubting whether the simplicity of the logic really proved the great truths of non-duality. But the honesty and matter-of-fact style of Greg’s teaching made me doubt my conclusions more than I doubted his. I know that he’s not out to prove anything, get famous, or grab a quick buck. I dropped my expectations, suspended my suspicion, and followed the experiments in earnest. That’s when I was able to most effectively see the truth of his teaching.
Final Thoughts on The Direct Path by Greg Goode
Non-duality is not something reserved for a monk in a monastery or a Hindu in an Ashram. As Zen likes to say, it is the most ordinary of things. Greg’s book does not guarantee that you will have a grand spiritual experience where all your wishes come suddenly true. It only promises that, if fully grasped, the most ordinary suddenly becomes the most extraordinary. Getting even a glimpse of this truth is invaluable as it can save a whole bunch of time chasing something believed to be ever out of one’s reach. And for that, Greg’s book is a most valuable resource.