Praise for Seeing, Knowing, Being


2013 Winner of the Nautilus Silver Book Award in Spirituality/Religion

2013 eFestival of Words Book Award finalist, Best Non-fiction (Religion/Spirituality)

2012 National Indie Excellence Book Award finalist in Body/Mind/Spirit

2012 National Indie Excellence Book Award finalist in Spirituality


“An intelligent and truly transformative book.”
—Library Journal

“This book draws on the great mystical traditions and philosophies of the West and East and shows, in an extremely artful way, how spiritual realization can be lived in the fullest and most inclusive way possible. John Greer uses delightful metaphors to provide an accessible and deep introduction to the transcultural unitive dimension. I highly recommend it.”
—Peter Fenner, Ph.D., author of Radiant Mind: Awakening Unconditioned Awareness and founder of Radiant Mind and Natural Awakening: Advanced Nondual Training

“Books often describe journeys. Seeing, Knowing, Being actually takes you on one.  It moves the reader from a sense of isolation and loss of innocence to an intimate connection with Divine Reality. A profound expedition into the true nature of life.”
—Matthew Flickstein, author and producer of the award-winning film With One Voice

“Meditation teacher Greer’s first book ‘is about the return to wholeness, going back to the source from which all manifestation evolves.’ Modeled on the hero’s journey as presented by Joseph Campbell, the book itself is divided into two parts: “The Exile,” which explains how cultural conditioning leads to a distinction between self and other, and “The Return,” which traces how nonduality can be regained and ego vanquished. From Rumi and Alan Watts to the Bhagavad Gita and the Tao Te Ching, Greer carefully collects inspiring quotations from the world’s wisdom traditions to evoke a sense of oneness and interconnectivity. Also imaginative are the lists of illuminating metaphors the author includes in each chapter. The Self, for example, is explained using images of a flame, clock, prison cell, Rorschach test, clouds, and clay pot. . . . This wise and serene book is clearly the product of many years of study and practice with nondual beliefs.”
Publishers Weekly

“This book shows an author who has wrestled with the truly difficult questions of a spiritual life and who has emerged with grace and insight. Greer bases his work on the great spiritual systems, but he then leads the way to a significant understanding beyond tradition.”
—Deng Ming-Dao, author of 365 Tao: Daily Meditations, The Living  I Ching, and Chronicles of Tao: The Secret Life of a Taoist Master 

“A beautifully written and comprehensive guide to the best of the wisdom traditions. Seeing, Knowing, Being abounds with images, metaphors, and stories to help the reader perceive the unseen, grasp the ephemeral.”
—Catherine Ingram, author of Passionate Presence, In the Footsteps of Gandhi, and A Crack in Everything

“The great psychiatrist Carl Jung described Gnostic Intermediaries as people who imbibe a wisdom tradition so deeply that they are able to translate and transmit its ideas to another culture. John Greer is a Gnostic Intermediary who has imbibed core ideas from the world’s major spiritual traditions and transmits them beautifully for our culture and time.”
—Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D., author of Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices

To know the self is something harder than one would believe. “Seeing, Knowing, Being: A Guide to Sacred Awakenings” is a thoughtful exploration of the self and thought from John Greer as he presents a spiritual discussion that takes from many faiths to encourage people to find their nature and embrace it, no matter what one may call their traditional faith. With much to ponder and contemplate, “Seeing, Knowing, Being” is a strong addition to any spiritual reader’s collection.
Midwest Book Reviews

“Weaving together wisdom from the world’s great mystics, John Greer skillfully penetrates the core issues and endless possibilities that welcome us on our personal spiritual quest. Seeing, Knowing, Being is a beautiful and genuine work that touches both heart and spirit and gently helps us break through old ways of thinking to the wonder of what’s real.”
—Patricia Spadaro, author of Honor Yourself: The Inner Art of Giving and Receiving


RECENT BLOG FEATURES, REVIEWS AND ONLINE BUZZ  (283,000 Twitter followers, 94,000 Facebook fans) Lori Deschene, founder, said in introducing the Q and A:

“In his powerful new book Seeing, Knowing, Being, meditation teacher John Greer explores insights from a wide range of spiritual traditions, inviting us to challenge our perceptions and thought patterns to access our inner knowing and experience oneness with the world around us. Laden with evocative metaphors, the book breaks complex ideas into understandable parts, inviting us to challenge what we think know for a greater awareness of what actually is. I highly recommend Seeing, Knowing, Being.”

Review of Seeing, Knowing, Being posted on blog: Buddhist Travelers

“A book I only had for a couple weeks, because books this new have brief loan periods from the library, is titled, “Seeing, Knowing, Being – A Guide to Sacred Awakenings”, by John Greer. I only got a couple chapters into the book, but it made such an impression on me that I ordered the book on-line from Amazon. . . . I love this stuff!”
—Buddhist Travelers

Reviewed on Dairy of a White Indian

“. . . What I really liked about the book is how it lays out the human spiritual experience as a progression of ‘exile’ from our true being to ‘return’ to wholeness, and the concepts it involves. Poignant metaphors are used to help the reader understand the concepts better.”
Sharell Cook, Dairy of a White Indian

Reviewed by Charlie Hayes, author of You Are Unborn; Thy Will Be Done

“What I love about this book is the breadth of included wisdom-pointers from a great variety of Nondual traditions. The author shares his own experience right out of the gate, then offers a veritable feast of possibilities that may resonate for a variety of seekers . . . . I recommend this book without reservation, whether you are just starting a search for Truth or a seasoned veteran of the futile search for that which already always is, fully present though usually completely overlooked, until a vibrant, alive work such as this comes along and the looking turns into natural seeing.”

Reviewed on James Waite owner of

“Greer serves up a feast of lived and well understood truths spiced and salted to taste with plenty of delicious metaphors that will feed and nourish our deeper understanding of reality. A consummate spiritual chef, Dr. Greer’s style is open, inclusive and approachable, providing a grand sampling of spiritual cuisine for those of us who are hungry. . . . Proceeds in a flowing 264 pages to dish up treats for the whole family of man that beautifully combine flavors from traditional and contemporary sages that delight even as they enlighten.”
—James Waite tasting-a-new-book/

Reviewed on

“Drawing inspiration from a diversity of teachers, sages, mystics, philosophers, artists, scientists, and religious leaders, Greer helps the reader navigate society’s hand-me-down version of reality.” —Religious Tolerance.Org Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

Added to website as a featured Mysticism and Spiritual Awareness title

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Images of Selflessness

Self is, ultimately, a mask, — no more than the mental concept we have of who and what we believe ourselves to be. Selflessness, in its mystical sense, is the label we give to the experience that arises when we no longer take the concept at face value. Once we recognize that we are not what we think we are—that we do not, in any conventional sense, exist—the world is transformed. The walls of separation come down, and the elaborate stratagems we once needed for self-defense are no longer necessary: there is no longer a self to defend. In the faces of others we see a reflection of our own being, and we begin to recognize a profound oneness with the rest of life. As this truth takes root in our awareness, the fear of death itself begins to fade, and nothing in our world remains the same. We see with new eyes.

Our daily experience as individuals is so concrete and seemingly undeniable in its reality that the idea of selflessness is very difficult to grasp or hold. It can seem unfathomable, even absurd, from the perspective of the everyday. Perhaps the metaphors offered below will reveal new ways to imagine this timeless conundrum.

Ticking Watch Listen to your watch tick for a moment. Now imagine trying to isolate the tick that you hear. If you took the watch apart one piece at a time, you would never find it, because the tick by itself does not exist. It is created by the interaction between the different elements of the watch. When the mechanism is disassembled, the tick disappears. Something similar happens when scientists look for the illusory self in the body or mind. Neuroscientists, biologists, physiologists, and psychologists have systematically examined and dissected the psychophysical organism for over a hundred years and have never been able to locate a self or a quantifiable source of consciousness. There is no scientific evidence to refute the mystical realization that the body and mind operate without any apparent direction. As the tick in the watch disappears when the timepiece is disassembled, the self cannot be found when the non-self parts are scrutinized one by one.

Hurricanes At certain times of the year, the hurricane and typhoon seasons begin in the oceans of the world. Weather forecasters watch for disturbances in water and air; when a storm system gains enough size and strength and definition, the forecasters give it a name, chart its progress, predict its path, and issue warnings. Then, just as quickly, the storm fades from the radar. Like the self, storms are processes devoid of any fixed or inherent entity. When the elements necessary for their arising coalesce, they appear to exist, and as those same causes and conditions drop away, the appearance dissolves.

Wavicle New Physicists coined the term wavicle to convey the fact that subatomic objects exhibit two very different properties, that of a “wave” and that of a “particle.” Since it was impossible to observe both properties at the same time, the off-and-on existence of an object proved to be dependent on the apparatus chosen for the experiment. In other words, it was the way the observer chose to measure it that determined what he or she saw. If the observer used one instrument to determine its location, the object appeared as a particle; if the observer chose a different instrument to calculate its speed, it behaved like a wave. This wave/particle phenomenon offers an interesting analogy for the nature of selflessness: the particle is like the self that exists in duality, while the wave represents nonduality, where no separate entity is “seen.” Just as the apparatus of observation determined whether an observer saw the wave or the particle, it is our apparatus of perception—our use of concepts to package what we experience—that reveals a world filled with “particles,” or separate entities, and most importantly the self. When we use intuition and insight to replace our dependence on thought, we can see the wave: we can awaken to an extraordinarily different reality, a world without boundaries. And in both cases, consciousness is key in determining what we experience. There is no preexisting reality “out there,” independent of the participant observer.

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