Book Review – The Book of One by Dennis Waite


About Alan Jacobs

Alan Jacobs is a retired businessman and art dealer. He has made a lifelong study of mysticism, particularly focusing on the teachings of G.I. Gurdjieff, J. Krishnamurti and Douglas Harding. Mr. Jacobs is the chairman of the Ramana Maharshi foundation in the U.K.He has edited several books, including Poetry for the Spirit; Ramana, Shankara and the Forty Verses; The Wisdom of Balsekar; The Wisdom of Marcus Aurelius; and a modern free verse translation of the Bhagavad Gita and the Principal Upanishads. Alan Jacobs has produced a collection of sacred poetry, “Myrobalan of the Magi.”


This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Volume 1 : Issue 1. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Book Review – The Book of One by Dennis Waite

  1. Subject: Review of The Book of One by Dennis Waite plus appended critique on neo-advaita by Alan Jacobs.

    Alan’s essay is an excellent critique of current practice but it is kind of doubtful that any of the agents so practicing will themselves be able to comprehend it simply because they do not understand that the true source of vasanas (uncontrollable behavioral tendencies) is grounded in samscaras (the scars arising from personal “error”) lodged in the deep psyche accumulating from passage through the endless rounds of samsara (cycle of birth and death). By erroneously supposing that such influences simply “arise” (de novo as it were) within the consciousness of non-duel being the neo-advaitin teacher is unable to purge personal consciousness of the influences at source so to speak. What is required for this is a degree of self-inquiry that not only involves effort to discard them but requires that they be directly identified, rooted out, stem and branch, and that the individual concerned takes direct responsibility for the original action, no more and no less. Sri Bhagavan does not directly and bluntly say this but his admonition to turn within and ask “who am I?” is the critical point to emphasize.

    The Book of One is an adequate technical summation of much fundamental material concerning Advaita but it lacks the reach of the sacred texts themselves and does not properly encompass the overview elaborated by Sri Adi Shankara let alone does it draw-in Buddhism into the circle. The account is essentially intellectual and is truncated at an initial sense of “oneness”

  2. alan jacobs says:

    I broadly agree with Robin’s comments. I felt at the time of writing that I had pointed out enough flaws for the Neo Advaita reader to question what he is up to and perhaps do some home work. I have heard it caused a stir when it first appeared. If ever I rewrite the article, which I may do, I shall be more specific. Thanks and regards.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *