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How to Get Out of This World Alive
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Awakening occurred one winter's afternoon in the half-light of the 12th century Gothic cathedral of Chartres. In the winter of 1977-1978, I used to travel to this beautiful medieval town that lies about an hour away from Paris where I would settle down to read certain metaphysical texts. I would then meditate for an hour and return home. After three months of regular practice, while sitting in silence in the cathedral, a powerful question propelled me to a level beyond my mind and I suddenly saw that I was not my thoughts, not my emotions, that I was not this psychological entity. For the first time I had living proof of what the classical texts had been saying. What that experience showed me is that awakening is nothing else but our natural state. It is always there but is masked by our psychological entity. An awakened person perceives people and things just like everybody else. However, having lost his conditioning, he attains a state that is one with life. Only that state is free of fear. The philosophy contained within this book has emerged from the work that I have undertaken on myself and is the result of a journey that I would like to share with you. At the age of 22, I met my first teacher, a homeopathic doctor who had been one of Gurdjieff's students. From that moment I dedicated most of my spare time to becoming better acquainted with the philosophy of non-duality - Advaita Vedanta, the Ch'an Buddhist Masters, the Sufis and the Christian mystics. At the age of 25, I had for the first time the experience of awakening in Chartres. My work over the next few years became more and more intense. I developed the practice of sitting in silence often in remarkable places such as the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, the Basilica at Santiago de Compostella and by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. At the age of 39, the processes of this inner evolution intensified to such an extent that the ability to fuse with the states of unity, awakening, oneness became more and more frequent. In the years that followed, I noted down the techniques that had brought about awakening. My first students came from the circle of my friends and acquaintances. They allowed me to perfect the system that I now call the philosophy of the 4Ds, I then formed groups in Paris, in London and in NewYork that meet on a regular basis.

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