The Notebooks of Paul Brunton

Paperback edition By Paul Brunton

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The Notebooks of Paul Brunton
Paperback edition
by Paul Brunton

Sixteen independent but related volumes

Subjects: Philosophy, Spirituality, Psychology

16 volumes
5.75 x 8.5

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Page counts vary by volume
Price here is for full set.
For single volumes, see "Individual Volumes" tab

ISBN 10: 0-943914-23-X Set
ISBN 13: 978-0-943914-23-7

Book Details

Description

"With the possible exception of Alan Watts, Paul Brunton has probably been the most influential exponent of Eastern philosophy and systems of realization in this century . . . one of the West's most perceptive thinkers and deepest students of Ancient Wisdom.” —The American Theosophist

“Sensible and compelling. His work can stand beside that of such East-West bridges as Merton, Suzuki, Huxley, Watts, and Radhakrishnan.” —Choice

“Any serious man or woman in search of spiritual ideas will find a surprising challenge and an authentic source of inspiration and intellectual nourishment in the writings of Paul Brunton.” —Jacob Needleman


Paul Brunton, “PB,” as he was known to many, was one of the twentieth century's most brilliant spiritual researcher/practitioner/writers. With eleven early books in print (some in 17 languages), he was by far the most popular and best known source of inside information on Eastern philosophies, gurus, and systems of meditation from 1934 until the late 1950s.

In the mid-1950s, PB withdrew from public notice to intensify his spiritual practice and research. Except for a wide correspondence and occasional interviews, he lived privately for the remainder of his life—successfully reclaiming his personal privacy and relative anonymity. But he continued to write daily in his notebooks. These writings, his most mature, he reserved for posthumous publication.

When that work began to appear in 1984 as The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, it quickly set a new standard for a generation of writers. Its clarity, beauty, comprehensiveness, unpretentious authority, and modern no-nonsense perspective established a new high-water mark. These writings detail the nitty-gritty how-to's of taking an independent, sympathetic, uncompromisingly individualized approach to the realization at the heart of all sacred traditions.

The path PB blazed toward his own eventual realization is remarkably like that which lies ahead for thousands of Western seekers, making his work of great value to many. In his mind and noble person, the historic need for a timely grasp of our perennial opportunities and challenges found new a plain-speaking voice.

The Notebooks series consists of sixteen independent but related volumes. Each explores a unique dimension of human character or spiritual potential. Taken individually, each volume is remarkable. Taken as a whole, the Notebooks series is unmatched for its combination of depth, simplicity, practical detail, and consistent sensibleness.

Click other tabs on this page to see the critical acclaim the series has enjoyed, a complete table of contents of the entire Notebooks series, links to information on individual Notebooks volumes, and more about Paul Brunton and his work.

Complete Table of Contents

The twenty-eight "categories" from the "Ideas" section of the notebooks Paul Brunton reserved for posthumous publication appear sequentially in sixteen volumes. The following list gives chapter titles and subheads for the entire series as published in print format.


Volume 1: PERSPECTIVES
(A representative survey of all 28 categories)

INTRODUCTION
1. THE QUEST
2. PRACTICES FOR THE QUEST
3. RELAX AND RETREAT
4. ELEMENTARY MEDITATION
5. THE BODY
6. EMOTIONS AND ETHICS
7. THE INTELLECT
8. THE EGO
9. FROM BIRTH TO REBIRTH
10. HEALING OF THE SELF
11. THE NEGATIVES
12. REFLECTIONS ON MY LIFE AND WRITINGS
13. HUMAN EXPERIENCE
14. THE ARTS IN CULTURE
15. THE ORIENT
16. THE SENSITIVES
17. THE RELIGIOUS URGE
18. THE REVERENTIAL LIFE
19. THE REIGN OF RELATIVITY
20. WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?
21. MENTALISM
22. INSPIRATION AND THE OVERSELF
23. ADVANCED CONTEMPLATION
24. THE PEACE WITHIN YOU
25. WORLD-MIND IN INDIVIDUAL MIND
26. WORLD-IDEA
27. WORLD-MIND
28. THE ALONE


Volume 2: THE QUEST (contains category 1)

INTRODUCTION

1. WHAT THE QUEST IS
    General description
    Its importance and practicality

2. ITS CHOICE
    General notes
    Qualifications
    Why people come
    Why many people don't come
    Postponing the choice
    In what sense is there a choice?
    Implications of the choice

3. INDEPENDENT PATH
    General description
    Take truth where you find it
    Intelligent nonconformity
    Pros & cons of independence
    Requirements
    Is monastic discipline needed?
    Independence and teachers
    Loneliness

4. ORGANIZED GROUPS
    Benefits for beginners
    Problems
    Relation to founder

5. SELF-DEVELOPMENT
    General description
    What exactly is the goal?
    Unique person: unique path
    Knowing and working within one's limitations
    Stages of development
    Only whole person finds whole truth
    Attainments
    Dangers

6. STUDENT-TEACHER
    General notes
    The need for a teacher
    Books as teachers
    Issues in seeking a teacher
    Qualifications, duties of a teacher
    Master-disciple relationship
    Qualifications, duties of a disciple
    Cultivating the inner link
    Master as symbol
    Graduation


Volume 3: PRACTICES FOR THE QUEST / RELAX AND RETREAT
(contains categories 2 and 3)

Part 1: PRACTICES FOR THE QUEST

INTRODUCTION

1. ANT'S LONG PATH
    What is the Long Path?
    Purification and development of character
    Confronting the obstacles within

2. THE MEASURE OF PROGRESS
    Attitudes that help or hinder
    Sources, signs, and stages of growth

3. UNCERTAINTIES OF PROGRESS
    Understanding the pace of development
    Facing the problems of development

4. PRACTISE MENTAL DISCIPLINE
    Its nature
    Its development

5. BALANCE THE PSYCHE
    Engage the whole being
    Cultivate balance

6. SELF-REFLECTION AND ACTION
    Be objective
    Apply the will

7. DISCIPLINE DESIRES
    Renunciation
    Asceticism
    Possessions

8. THE QUEST AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
    On time and solitude
    Spiritual path

9. CONCLUSION
    The development of the work
    The working of Grace

Part 2: RELAX AND RETREAT

INTRODUCTION

1. TAKE INTERMITTENT PAUSES
    Balance inner and outer
    Shorter pauses
    Longer pauses

2. WITHDRAW FROM TENSION AND PRESSURE
    Price of excessive extroversion
    The true place of peace

3. RELAX BODY, BREATH, MIND

4. RETREAT CENTRES
    What is needed today?
    Motives for entering
    Problems, limitations

5. SOLITUDE
    Dangers of solitude

6. NATURE APPRECIATION

7. SUNSET CONTEMPLATION


Volume 4: MEDITATION / THE BODY
(contains categories 4 and 5)

Part 1: MEDITATION

INTRODUCTION

1. PREPARATORY
    The importance of meditation
    The true way of meditation
    Levels of absorption
    Fruits, effects of meditation
    Dangers, and how to avoid them

2. PLACE AND CONDITIONS
    Times for meditation
    Places for meditation
    Solitary vs. group meditation
    Postures for meditation
    Other physical considerations
    Proper mental attitude
    Regularity of practice
    Ending the meditation

3. FUNDAMENTALS
    Stop wandering thoughts
    Blankness is not the goal
    Practise concentrated attention
    Varieties of practice

4. MEDITATIVE THINKING
    The path of inspired intellect
    Self-examination exercises
    Moral self-betterment exercises

5. VISUALIZATIONS, SYMBOLS
    Visualizations
    Symbols
    Guru yoga

6. MANTRAMS, AFFIRMATIONS
    Mantrams
    Affirmations

7. MINDFULNESS, MENTAL QUIET
    Mindfulness
    Mental quiet

Part 2: THE BODY

INTRODUCTION

1. PREFATORY

2. THE BODY

3. DIET
    Comments on customs

4. FASTING

5. EXERCISE

6. BREATHING EXERCISES

7. SEX AND GENDER

8. KUNDALINI

9.POSTURES FOR PRAYER


Volume 5: EMOTIONS AND ETHICS / THE INTELLECT
(contains categories 6 and 7)

Part 1: EMOTIONS AND ETHICS

INTRODUCTION

1. UPLIFT CHARACTER
    Environmental influence
    Moral relativity
    Conscience
    Goodness
    Altruism
    Patience, perseverance
    Value of confession, repentance
    Truthfulness

2. RE-EDUCATE FEELINGS
    Love, compassion
    Detachment
    Family
    Friendship
    Marriage
    Happiness

3. DISCIPLINE EMOTIONS
    Higher and lower emotions
    Self-restraint
    Matured emotion

4. PURIFY PASSIONS

5. SPIRITUAL REFINEMENT
    Courtesy, tolerance, considerateness
    Spiritual value of manners
    Discipline of speech
    Accepting criticism
    Refraining from criticism
    Forgiveness
    Criticizing constructively
    Sympathetic understanding

6. AVOID FANATICISM

7. MISCELLANEOUS ETHICAL ISSUES
    Nonviolence, nonresistance, pacifism

Part 2: THE INTELLECT

INTRODUCTION

1. THE PLACE OF INTELLECT
    Its value
    Its limitations
    Its inward vision
    Reason, intuition, and insight

2. THE SERVICE OF INTELLECT
    Cultivation of intelligence
    Balance of intellect and feeling
    Doubt and the modern mind

3. THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTELLECT
    Independence and individuality
    Comparison and synthesis
    Authority and the past
    Books

4. ABSTRACT THOUGHT
    Facts and logic
    The need for precision

5. SEMANTICS
    Clarity is essential
    The problem with words
    The meaning of language

6. SCIENCE
    Influence of science
    When science stands alone
    Science and metaphysics

7. METAPHYSICS OF TRUTH
    Speculation vs. knowledge
    Issues and adherents
    Its spiritual significance

8. INTELLECT, REALITY, AND THE OVERSELF


Volume 6: THE EGO / FROM BIRTH TO REBIRTH
(contains categories 8 and 9)

Part 1: THE EGO

INTRODUCTION

1. WHAT AM I?
    Egoself and Overself
    Body and consciousness
    I-sense and memory
    Ego as limitation
    Ego as presence of higher
    Two views of individuality
    Perfection through surrender
    Ego subordinated, not destroyed
    Ego after illumination
    Reincarnation

2. I-THOUGHT
    I-sense and I-thought
    Ego exists, as series of thoughts
    Subject-object

3. PSYCHE
    Ego as knot in psyche
    The "subconscious"
    Trickery, cunning of ego
    Defense mechanisms
    Self-idolatry
    Egoism, egocentricity

4. DETACHING FROM THE EGO
    Its importance
    Why most people won't do it
    As genuine spiritual path
    Surrender is necessary
    Its difficulty
    Ego corrupts spiritual aspiration
    Humility is needed
    Longing for freedom from ego
    Knowledge is needed
    Tracing ego to its source
    "Dissolution" of ego
    Grace is needed
    Who is seeking?
    Results of dethroning ego

Part 2: FROM BIRTH TO REBIRTH

INTRODUCTION

1. DEATH, DYING, AND IMMORTALITY
    The event of death
    Continuity, transition, and transformation
    The aftermath of death

2. REBIRTH AND REINCARNATION
    The influence of past tendencies
    Reincarnation and Mentalism
    Beliefs about reincarnation
    Reincarnation and the Overself

3. LAWS AND PATTERNS OF EXPERIENCE
    Defining karma, fate, and destiny
    Karma's role in human development
    Destiny turns the wheel
    Astrology, fate, and free will
    Karma, free will, and the Overself

4. FREE WILL, RESPONSIBILITY, AND THE WORLD-IDEA
    The limitations of free will
    The freedom we have to evolve
    Human will in the World-Idea


Volume 7: HEALING OF THE SELF / THE NEGATIVES
(contains categories 10 and 11)

Part 1: HEALING OF THE SELF

INTRODUCTION

1. THE LAWS OF NATURE
    The spiritual importance of health
    Disease has hidden causes
    Physical mortality
    The Philosopher's body

2. THE UNIVERSAL LIFE-FORCE
    The vital body
    Nature's healing power
    Exercises and meditations

3. THE ORIGINS OF ILLNESS
    The karma of the body
    Mental states and physical conditions
    The importance of hygiene
    Dangers of drugs and alcohol

4. HEALERS OF THE BODY AND MIND
    Services of the healing arts
    Medicine and surgery
    The practices of psychology
    Neurosis and its treatment
    Hypnosis

5. THE HEALING POWER OF THE OVERSELF
    Spiritual and mental healing defined
    Mental healing - its limited success
    Healers and the spiritual path
    The work of the Overself
    Seek inner peace

Part 2: THE NEGATIVES

INTRODUCTION

1. THEIR NATURE

2. THEIR ROOTS IN EGO
    Special tests for questers

3. THEIR PRESENCE IN THE WORLD
    Materialism
    Unbalanced technological development
    Hatred and violent revolution
    Totalitarianism, Communism
    War
    Causes of war
    World War II, Nazism, Fascism,
    Hitler
    Effects of World War II
    World War III
    Constructive alternatives: collective
    Crime and punishment
    Pacifism: general, non-nuclear ethic
    Pacifism in light of nuclear threat
    Constructive alternatives: individual

4. IN THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, VIOLENT PASSIONS
    Their presence
    Ways of responding

5. THEIR VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE HARM


Volume 8: REFLECTIONS ON MY LIFE AND WRITINGS
(contains category 12)

INTRODUCTION

1. TWO ESSAYS

2. PHILOSOPHY AND CONTEMPORARY CULTURE
    Grand truths and common speech
    The need for spiritual education
    Creative independence
    The challenge of synthesis

3. ENCOUNTER WITH DESTINY
    A mysterious presence
    Inside mystical experience
    The making of a messenger
    The message and the marketplace

4. REFLECTIONS ON TRUTH
    Sharing truth
    Seeking the impersonal
    The challenge of formulation
    Obstacles to inspiration
    The limits of yoga
    Living with truth

5. THE LITERARY WORK
    The kindred souls
    A mixed reception
    Responding to critics
    Corrections, revisions, development
    A warning shared
    Book notes
    Seed thoughts
    A sacred vocation
    The contribution of silence
    The value of solitude

6. THE PROFANE AND THE PROFOUND
    A sense of proportion
    An unorthodox yogi
    People and places
    Happenings on the way


Volume 9: HUMAN EXPERIENCE / THE ARTS IN CULTURE
(contains categories 13 and 14)

Part 1: HUMAN EXPERIENCE

INTRODUCTION

1. SITUATION
    Daily life as spiritual opportunity
    Spiritual laws structure experience
    Experience as personal teacher
    Spiritual truth in practical life
    Getting the point
    Sunshine and shadow
    Causes of suffering
    Different reactions to suffering
    Purpose of suffering
    Transformation of suffering
    "Failure"

2. LIVING IN THE WORLD
    A play of opposites
    Status of the herd
    Reconciling the mystical and mundane
    How to treat opportunity
    Seeking guidance
    Worldly success
    Independence
    Effects of environment, change
    Cultivate an active attitude
    Relations with others
    Marriage
    Politics
    Education

3. YOUTH AND AGE
    Reflections on youth
    Reflections in old age

4. WORLD CRISIS
    Crisis and visible effects
    Causes, meaning of crisis
    Historical perspectives
    New era in evolution
    New age directions
    Role of philosophy, mysticism now
    Need for wisdom, peace
    Forebodings
    Good will ultimately prevail

Part 2: THE ARTS IN CULTURE

INTRODUCTION

1. APPRECIATION
    The arts and spirituality
    Value of aesthetic environment
    Sacred mission of art
    Criticism of "modern art"

2. CREATIVITY, GENIUS
    Creativity
    Genius, inspiration, technique

3. ART EXPERIENCE AND MYSTICISM

4. REFLECTIONS ON SPECIFIC ARTS
    Writing, literature, poetry
    Inspired revelatory writing
    Stage, cinema, dance
    Painting, sculpture, architecture
    Music


Volume 10: THE ORIENT
(contains category 15)

INTRODUCTION

1. MEETINGS OF EAST AND WEST
    General interest
   Value of Eastern thought
    Modern opportunities
    Western arrogance
    Romantic glamour
    Western assimilation of Eastern thought
    Differences between East and West
    Decline of traditional East
    Reciprocal West-East impact
    Parallels between East and West
    Universality of truth
    East-West synthesis

2. INDIA
    Images of environment, culture, history
    Spiritual condition of modern India
    India's change and modernization
    Caste
    General and comparative
    Buddha, Buddhism
    Vedanta, Hinduism
    Shankara
    Ramana Maharshi
    Aurobindo
    Atmananda
    Krishnamurti
    Gandhi
    Ananda Mayee
    Ramakrishna, Vivekananda
    Other Indian teachers and schools
    Himalayan region

3. CHINA, TIBET, JAPAN
    General notes on China
    Taoism
    Confucius, Confucianism, neo-Confucianism
    Ch'an Buddhism
    Japan
    Tibet

4. CEYLON, ANGKOR WAT, BURMA, JAVA
    Ceylon
    Angkor Wat
    Burma
    Java

5. ISLAMIC CULTURES, EGYPT
    Islamic cultures
    Egypt

6. RELATED ENTRIES
    Mount Athos
    Greece
    Christianity and the East


Volume 11: THE SENSITIVES
(contains category 16)

INTRODUCTION

1. MYSTICAL LIFE IN THE MODERN WORLD
    Development
    Continuing the tradition
    Purpose
    The scientific and the superstitious

2. PHASES OF MYSTICAL DEVELOPMENT
    The transience of mystical emotions
    From personal vision to impersonal being
    From inner peace to inner reality
    Moral re-education
    At home in two worlds
    Philosophy and mysticism
    Rational mysticism
    The power of rational faith
    The goal of truth
    The path beyond yoga
    The completion in knowledge

3. PHILOSOPHY, MYSTICISM, AND THE OCCULT
    A criticism of the mystic
    The extremes of mysticism
    Philosophy attracts the few
    Distinguishing the spiritual and psychic
    The lure of occultism

4. THOSE WHO SEEK
    The wanderers
    The innocents
    The dreamers
    The unbalanced

5. PSEUDO AND IMPERFECT TEACHERS
    The prevalence of charlatans
    Difficulty of recognizing them
    Domination and narrowness
    Incomplete teachers
    The ego's ambition

6. DELUSIONS AND PAINFUL AWAKENINGS
    The illusion of perfection
    Superstition, imagination, and self-deception
    Penalties of delusion
    The value of disillusionment

7. THE PATH OF INDIVIDUALITY
    Dangers of dependence
    Independence
    Be responsible
    Use your judgement
    Be discriminating

8. CHRISTIAN SCIENCE, OTHER SPIRITUAL MOVEMENTS
    Virtues and faults
    The hidden materialism

9. INSPIRATION AND CONFUSION
    Conflicting tenets, contradictory 'revelations'
    Interpreting mystical experience
    Admixture of ego

10. THE IS IS NOT AN ISM
    Limitations of dogma
    Misuse of mystery

11. FANATICISM, MONEY, POWERS, DRUGS
    Fanaticism
    Deluded guides, gullible followers
    Money
    The abuse of power
    Drugs

12. THE INTERMEDIATE ZONE
    Tests, ordeals, temptations
    Danger signals, protective measures

13. THE OCCULT
    A choice of directions
    The seductive shadow-world
    Occultists and psychics
    Occult practices
    Hypnotism
    Mediumship, channeling

14. THE SENSITIVE MIND
    Psychic sensitivity, personal sensitivity
    Telepathy, mental influences
    Clairvoyance
    Evaluating intuitions and 'messages'

15. ILLUMINATIONS
    Properties of imagination
    Spiritual reality, mental imagery
    Conditioning factors
    The true Word of revelation


Volume 12: THE RELIGIOUS URGE / REVERENTIAL LIFE
(contains category 17)

Part 1: THE RELIGIOUS URGE

INTRODUCTION

1 ORIGIN, PURPOSE OF RELIGIONS
    Introductory
    On evaluating religion
    Prophets and messengers
    Purpose of popular (mass) religion
    On diversity in religion
    On choosing one's religion
    Grading teaching to capacity

2. ORGANIZATION, CONTENT OF RELIGION
    Clergy
    Church and State
    Religious symbols
    Places of worship
    Ceremonies and rituals
    Relics
    Scriptures
    Conceptions of God

3. RELIGION AS PREPARATORY
    Doubt
    Inner worship is superior
    Mysticism and religion

4. PROBLEMS OF ORGANIZED RELIGION
    On criticism and scepticism
    Cycles of inspiration, decay
    Accretions, distortion, corruption
    Sectarianism
    Intolerance, narrowness, persecution
    Superstition
    Dogma
    Institutionalism, exploitation

5. COMMENTS ON SPECIFIC RELIGIONS
    Ancient religions
    Bahaism
    Buddhism
    Christianity
    Hinduism
    Islam
    Jainism
    Judaism

6. PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION
    Differences, similarities among religions
    Comparative study, practice
    Philosophy completes religion
    Philosophy and "the faithful"
    Intolerance toward philosophy
    Philosophic independence, universalism

7.BEYOND RELIGION AS WE KNOW IT

Part 2: THE REVERENTIAL LIFE

INTRODUCTION

1. DEVOTION
    The greatest love
    Warnings and suggestions

2. PRAYER
    Forms of prayer
    Misunderstandings and misuses
    Human petition, divine response

3. HUMILITY
    The need
    The practice

4. SURRENDER
    Avoid self-deception
    Accept responsibility
    The process
    Its effect

5. GRACE
    Its transmission
    Karma and forgiveness
    The power of the Other
    The significance of self-effort
    Preparing for grace
    The mysterious presence


Volume 13: RELATIVITY, PHILOSOPHY, AND MIND
(contains categories 19-21)

Part 1: THE REIGN OF RELATIVITY

INTRODUCTION

1. THE COSMOS OF CHANGE
    The world appearance

2. THE DOUBLE STANDPOINT
    Its cultivation and application

3. THE STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
    The mysterious significance of dreams
    The deep stillness of sleep
    Trance and the 4th state of consciousness

4. TIME, SPACE, CAUSALITY
    Their relative and mental nature
    Perpetuity, eternity, and now
    Living with time

5. THE VOID AS METAPHYSICAL FACT

Part 2: WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?

INTRODUCTION

1. TOWARD DEFINING PHILOSOPHY
    On the term 'philosophy'
    Philosophy's transcendental "position"
    Its value and benefits
    Its inspired practicality
    Its "worldliness"
    Relation to religion & mysticism
    Living synthesis, not anemic eclecticism

2. ITS CONTEMPORARY INFLUENCE
    Response to a vital need
    A more timely formulation
    Whom it best serves
    Some esotericism is still unavoidable
    Dangers to be recognized
    How philosophy presents itself

3. ITS REQUIREMENTS
    Basic qualifications
    Philosophic discipline
    Wholeness, completeness, integrality
    Balance

4. ITS REALIZATION BEYOND ECSTASY
    Mysticism and mystical philosophy compared
    Discriminating analysis, mystical depth
    Keys to the ultimate path
    Insight
    Service

5. THE PHILOSOPHER
    The philosopher's view of Truth

Part 3: MENTALISM

INTRODUCTION

1. THE SENSED WORLD
    Body, brain, consciousness
    The leap from sense to thought

2. THE WORLD AS MENTAL
    Mind, the projector
    Mind, the image-maker
    Mind, the knower

3. THE INDIVIDUAL AND WORLD-MIND
    The dream analogy
    Individual mind and the world image

4. THE CHALLENGE OF MENTALISM
    The effort required
    Accepting the Truth
    The position of modern science
    Mentalism and related doctrines

5. THE KEY TO THE SPIRITUAL WORLD
    The living practice
    The powerful knowledge
    The mystic experience
    Consciousness as world
    Consciousness and pure Mind


Volume 14: INSPIRATION AND THE OVERSELF
(contains category 22)

INTRODUCTION

1. INTUITION THE BEGINNING
    Cultivating, developing intuition
    Intuition and pseudo-intuition
    Let intuition rule
    Fruits of living intuitively
    Intuition and the Glimpse

2. INSPIRATION
    Its expression and development
    As act of Overself
    Its power and limitations
    The Interior Word

3. THE OVERSELF'S PRESENCE
    In each, in all, always
    Value, effects of its presence
    Toward 'defining' the Overself
    Overself and World-Mind
    Overself and ego
    Central and universal
    Responding to critics

4. INTRODUCTION TO MYSTICAL GLIMPSES
    Part of natural life-experience
    Their importance
    Their frequency and duration
    Glimpses and Light

5. PREPARING FOR GLIMPSES
    How to attract a glimpse
    Essentially grace-given
    Accepting, cultivating the glimpse
    Factors hindering the glimpse

6. EXPERIENCING A GLIMPSE
    How a glimpse comes in
    Characteristics of glimpses
    Overself displaces ego
    Revelation, exaltation, confirmation

7. AFTER THE GLIMPSE
    Retain the glow
    Possible negative after-thoughts
    Lasting effects
    Marks of authenticity
    Following through

8. GLIMPSES AND PERMANENT ILLUMINATION


Volume 15: ADVANCED CONTEMPLATION / THE PEACE WITHIN YOU
(contains categories 23 and 24)

Part 1: ADVANCED CONTEMPLATION

INTRODUCTION

1. ENTERING THE SHORT PATH
    Begin and end with the goal itself
    The practice
    Benefits and results

2. PITFALLS AND LIMITATIONS
    The truth about sudden enlightenment
    Limitations of the Long Path

3. THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL
    Its significance

4. THE CHANGEOVER TO THE SHORT PATH
    The preparation on the Long Path
    Making the transition

5. BALANCING THE PATHS
    Their contrast and comparison
    Their combination and transcendence

6. ADVANCED MEDITATION
    Specific exercises for practice
    Yoga of the Liberating Smile
    Night meditations
    Witness exercise
    "As If" exercise
    Remembrance exercise

7. CONTEMPLATIVE STILLNESS
    Experiencing the passage into contemplation
    Still the mind
    Deepen attention
    Yield to Grace
    The deepest contemplation

8. THE VOID AS CONTEMPLATIVE EXPERIENCE
    Entering the Void
    Nirvikalpa Samadhi
    Meditation upon the Void
    Emerging from the Void
    Why Buddha smiled

Part 2: THE PEACE WITHIN YOU

INTRODUCTION

1. THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS
    The limitations of life
    Philosophic happiness
    The heart of joy

2. BE CALM
    The goal of tranquillity
    In daily life
    The qualities of calm
    Staying calm

3. PRACTISE DETACHMENT
    Turn inward
    Solving difficulties
    Training mind and heart
    True asceticism
    Becoming the Witness
    Timelessness
    Free activity

4. SEEK THE DEEPER STILLNESS
    Quiet the ego
    The still centre within
    The Great Silence

Volume 16: ENLIGHTENED MIND, DIVINE MIND
(contains categories 25-28)

Part 1: WORLD-MIND IN INDIVIDUAL MIND

INTRODUCTION

1. THEIR MEETING AND INTERCHANGE
    God is in Man
    Man is not, does not become, God
    Fallacy of "Divine Incarnation"

2. ENLIGHTENMENT WHICH STAYS
    Glimpses and permanent realization
    Sudden or gradual?
    Enlightenment comes quietly
    Naturalness of the attainment
    Degrees of enlightenment
    Nonduality, sahaja, insight
    Conscious transcendental sleep
    Individuality remains
    World continues
    General effects of enlightenment

3. THE SAGE
    The race of sages
    Remarks on specific illuminates
    Differences in attainment, expression
    Wisdom beyond bliss
    Qualities, characteristics of the sage
    God alone is perfect
    Sage not easily recognized
    Isolation, privacy, reticence
    Sage is usually misunderstood
    Sages merit veneration

4. THE SAGE'S SERVICE
    A full identity of interest
    Help the sage gives
    Effects of the sage's presence
    Sage as catalyst for higher powers
    Sage works with few directly

5. TEACHING MASTERS, DISCIPLESHIP
    Teaching and non-teaching illuminates
    Advice, warnings to would-be teachers
    Value of a qualified teacher
    Seeking the sage
    Approaching the sage
    Qualifications for discipleship
    Master-disciple relationship, general
    Master is symbol of Overself
    True relationship is internal
    Eventual graduation of disciple

Part 2: WORLD-IDEA

INTRODUCTION

1. DIVINE ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE
    Meaning, purpose, intelligent order
    Ultimate "rightness" of events
    Nature of the World-Idea
    World-Idea is ultimate determinant
    Uniqueness, non-duplication
    On the "why" of "creation"
    Universe as emanation of Reality

2. CHANGE AS UNIVERSAL ACTIVITY
    Everything changes
    Metaphysical view of universal change

3. POLARITIES, COMPLEMENTARIES, DUALITIES OF THE UNIVERSE
    Paradox, duality, nonduality
    Opposites constitute universe
    Cyclic unfoldment, reversal
    Spiral movement of universal flux

4. TRUE IDEA OF MAN
    Man more than animal
    Divine essence of Man
    Purpose of human life
    Glimpsing the World-Idea
    Co-operating with the World-Idea
    World-Idea guides evolution
    Evolution's goal is not merger

Part 3: WORLD-MIND

INTRODUCTION

1. WHAT IS GOD?
    Differing views of God
    Is God good, conscious?
    God beyond finite knowing
    The active God we worship

2. NATURE OF WORLD-MIND
    Attributes, characteristics, powers
    As source of all

3. WORLD-MIND AND "CREATION"
    How
    Why
    Distinguishing World-Mind and Mind

Part 4: THE ALONE

INTRODUCTION

1. ABSOLUTE MIND
    Mind alone Is
    Levels, phases, functions of Mind
    On knowing Why
    Real as self-existent, transcendent, unique
    Real as unchangeable
    Real as Void
    Real as Consciousness

2. OUR RELATION TO THE ABSOLUTE
    Inadequacy of human symbolization
    Reporting, nonetheless, has value
    Reality reveals itself through Overself
    Meditations on Mind
    The ultimate "experience"

Critical Acclaim

Selected review highlights on The Notebooks of Paul Brunton

Through the years, Paul Brunton and his Notebooks series have received many favorable reviews from a wide variety of sources. The following is a selection of highlights. To see full reviews where more is available, click here.


“Paul Brunton was a great original and got to a place of personal evolution that illumines the pathways of a future humanity.” —Jean Houston

“Paul Brunton's Notebooks are a veritable treasure-trove of philosophic-spiritual wisdom.” —Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“The meticulousness of his reading and interviewing, as well as his personal, inward application of that knowledge, reveals a genius for balance. —San Francisco Chronicle

“ . . sensible and compelling.  His work can stand beside that of such East-West bridges as Merton, Huxley, Suzuki, Watts, and Radhakrishnan.  It should appeal to anyone concerned personally and academically with issues of spirituality.” —Choice

“Any serious man or woman in search of spiritual ideas will find a surprising challenge and an authentic source of inspiration and intellectual nourishment in the writings of Paul Brunton.” —Jacob Needleman

“Vigorous, clear-minded and independent . . . a synthesis of Eastern mysticism and Western rationality. . . A rich volume.” (volume 1, Perspectives) —Library Journal

“With the possible exception of Alan Watts, Dr. Paul Brunton has probably been the most influential exponent of Eastern philosophy and systems of self-realization in this century. . . . significant commentaries on nearly every conceivable aspect of the spiritual quest . . . unreservedly recommended as the final, eloquent summing up by one of the West's most perceptive thinkers and deepest students of the Ancient Wisdom.” —The American Theosophist

“His work should therefore help readers assess the present deluge of books in New Age philosophy. . . the work as a whole is a rich vein of wisdom to be mined by the interested and the spiritually concerned.” —Library Journal (on volume 11)

“A simple, straightforward guide to how philosophical insights of the East and West can help to create beauty, joy, and meaning in our lives. . . . His keynote is balance, and his uplifting message encompasses all phases of human experience.” —East West Journal

“ . . . a great gift to us Westerners who are seeking the spiritual.” —Charles T. Tart

“With each succeeding volume of these remarkable 'Notebooks,' we are more and more impressed with the extent of Brunton's wisdom . . . particularly important for everyone who is engaged in meditation, 'New Age' thinking. . . Very highly recommended.” —Millard Nachtwey, (Spiritual Studies Center)

“It is to the likes of Brunton, Vivekananda, and A.E. Burt that I bow in gratitude for early initiations.” —Stephen Levine

“The notebooks of Paul Brunton represent the acme of wisdom on the nature of human spirituality.  Every serious student of this subject will profit enormously by becoming acquainted with Brunton's seminal work.” —Kenneth Ring

“A person of rare intelligence. . . thoroughly alive, and whole in the most significant, 'holy' sense of the word.” —Yoga Journal

“. . . attuned to today's holistic health movement.  Healing of the self is the guiding principle behind these writings.” —Publishers Weekly

“This is a work (vol. 13) both brilliant and profound.  For the student of mysticism, metaphysics and/or spiritual disciplines, there are enough important ideas and gems of wisdom to provide food for thought for at least one lifetime.  —Robert Masters, Ph.D., The Foundation of Mind Research.

“Mr. Brunton's writings are most sensitive, deep, and original.  One has to admire his most positive attitude toward life, nature, beauty, and his respect for both cultures, east and west, their ways of life, religions, arts, and search for truth and goodness.  A very inspirational reading.” —Karel Husa

“Nowhere else will you find such a profound synthesis of East-West philosophic mysticism stripped of all the usual obscurity and extravagances.  Both the modern intellect and the weary heart will find unlimited inspiration, wisdom, and guidance for action in these notebooks.” —Victor Mansfield, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Colgate University

“Paul Brunton was surely one of the finest mystical flowers to grow on the wasteland of our secular civilization.  What he has to say is important to us all.”  —Georg Feuerstein

Individual volumes

To see and/or order individual volumes in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, hover your mouse over the specific cover in the Notebooks section of Complete Paul Brunton Opus below, then click on Details in the box that appears within it.

CD-ROM edition

Click here for all 16 volumes on CD-ROM

Paul Brunton, in his words

In his own words:

“Writing, which is an exercise of the intellect to some, is an act of worship to me. I rise from my desk in the same mood as that in which I leave an hour of prayer in an old cathedral, or of meditation in a little wood . . .” —from Perspectives, volume 1 in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, p. 143

“P.B. as a private person does not count. There are hundreds of millions of such persons anyway. What is one man and his quest? P.B.’s personal experiences and views are not of any particular importance or special consequence. What happens to the individual man named P.B. is a matter of no account to anyone except himself. But what happens to the hundreds of thousands of spiritual seekers today who are following the same path that he pioneered is a serious matter and calls for prolonged consideration. Surely the hundreds of thousands of Western seekers who stand behind him and whom indeed, in one sense, he represents, do count. P.B. as a symbol of the scattered group of Western truth-seekers who, by following his writings so increasingly and so eagerly, virtually follow him also, does count. He personifies their aspirations, their repulsion from materialism and attraction toward mysticism, their interest in Oriental wisdom and their shepherdless state. As a symbol of this Western movement of thought, he is vastly greater than himself. In his mind and person the historic need for a new grasp of the contemporary spiritual problem found a plain-speaking voice . . .” —from Perspectives, volume 1 in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, p. 145

Learn more about Paul Brunton through articles at the Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation web site

See all our Paul Brunton titles

To see all our Paul Brunton titles, scroll down to The Complete Paul Brunton Opus below.

About Paul Brunton

Paul Brunton helps us hear the melody behind the medley of today's "spiritual marketplace." His late writings raise the bar for what we can expect of spiritual teachings and teachers, and what we can do for ourselves. Born in London in 1898, he soon became a leading pioneer of much of what we now take for granted. He traveled widely throughout the world (long before it was fashionable) to meet living masters of various traditions with whom he then lived and studied. His eleven early books from 1934–1952 shared much of what he learned, and helped set the stage for dramatic east-west exchanges of the late 20th century. Paul Brunton left more than 10,000 pages of enormously helpful new work in notebooks he reserved for posthumous publication, much of which is now available as The Notebooks of Paul Brunton. See "The Complete Paul Brunton Opus" in blue below to see his many works available on this site. You can also search on Paul Brunton in the search bar to browse the selections, or click on a link below for specific connections.

Click here for an article about Paul Brunton.

Click here for The Notebooks of Paul Brunton.

To access small theme-based books compiled from Paul Brunton's writings, scroll down to Derived from the Notebooks below.

To access Paul Brunton's early writings, published from 1934–1952, scroll down to Paul Brunton's Early Works below.

To access commentaries on Paul Brunton and his work by his leading student, Anthony Damiani, as well as other writings about Paul Brunton and/or his work, scroll down to Commentaries and Reflections on Paul Brunton and His Work below.

Book Details

"With the possible exception of Alan Watts, Paul Brunton has probably been the most influential exponent of Eastern philosophy and systems of realization in this century . . . one of the West's most perceptive thinkers and deepest students of Ancient Wisdom.” —The American Theosophist

“Sensible and compelling. His work can stand beside that of such East-West bridges as Merton, Suzuki, Huxley, Watts, and Radhakrishnan.” —Choice

“Any serious man or woman in search of spiritual ideas will find a surprising challenge and an authentic source of inspiration and intellectual nourishment in the writings of Paul Brunton.” —Jacob Needleman


Paul Brunton, “PB,” as he was known to many, was one of the twentieth century's most brilliant spiritual researcher/practitioner/writers. With eleven early books in print (some in 17 languages), he was by far the most popular and best known source of inside information on Eastern philosophies, gurus, and systems of meditation from 1934 until the late 1950s.

In the mid-1950s, PB withdrew from public notice to intensify his spiritual practice and research. Except for a wide correspondence and occasional interviews, he lived privately for the remainder of his life—successfully reclaiming his personal privacy and relative anonymity. But he continued to write daily in his notebooks. These writings, his most mature, he reserved for posthumous publication.

When that work began to appear in 1984 as The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, it quickly set a new standard for a generation of writers. Its clarity, beauty, comprehensiveness, unpretentious authority, and modern no-nonsense perspective established a new high-water mark. These writings detail the nitty-gritty how-to's of taking an independent, sympathetic, uncompromisingly individualized approach to the realization at the heart of all sacred traditions.

The path PB blazed toward his own eventual realization is remarkably like that which lies ahead for thousands of Western seekers, making his work of great value to many. In his mind and noble person, the historic need for a timely grasp of our perennial opportunities and challenges found new a plain-speaking voice.

The Notebooks series consists of sixteen independent but related volumes. Each explores a unique dimension of human character or spiritual potential. Taken individually, each volume is remarkable. Taken as a whole, the Notebooks series is unmatched for its combination of depth, simplicity, practical detail, and consistent sensibleness.

Click other tabs on this page to see the critical acclaim the series has enjoyed, a complete table of contents of the entire Notebooks series, links to information on individual Notebooks volumes, and more about Paul Brunton and his work.

The twenty-eight "categories" from the "Ideas" section of the notebooks Paul Brunton reserved for posthumous publication appear sequentially in sixteen volumes. The following list gives chapter titles and subheads for the entire series as published in print format.


Volume 1: PERSPECTIVES
(A representative survey of all 28 categories)

INTRODUCTION
1. THE QUEST
2. PRACTICES FOR THE QUEST
3. RELAX AND RETREAT
4. ELEMENTARY MEDITATION
5. THE BODY
6. EMOTIONS AND ETHICS
7. THE INTELLECT
8. THE EGO
9. FROM BIRTH TO REBIRTH
10. HEALING OF THE SELF
11. THE NEGATIVES
12. REFLECTIONS ON MY LIFE AND WRITINGS
13. HUMAN EXPERIENCE
14. THE ARTS IN CULTURE
15. THE ORIENT
16. THE SENSITIVES
17. THE RELIGIOUS URGE
18. THE REVERENTIAL LIFE
19. THE REIGN OF RELATIVITY
20. WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?
21. MENTALISM
22. INSPIRATION AND THE OVERSELF
23. ADVANCED CONTEMPLATION
24. THE PEACE WITHIN YOU
25. WORLD-MIND IN INDIVIDUAL MIND
26. WORLD-IDEA
27. WORLD-MIND
28. THE ALONE


Volume 2: THE QUEST (contains category 1)

INTRODUCTION

1. WHAT THE QUEST IS
    General description
    Its importance and practicality

2. ITS CHOICE
    General notes
    Qualifications
    Why people come
    Why many people don't come
    Postponing the choice
    In what sense is there a choice?
    Implications of the choice

3. INDEPENDENT PATH
    General description
    Take truth where you find it
    Intelligent nonconformity
    Pros & cons of independence
    Requirements
    Is monastic discipline needed?
    Independence and teachers
    Loneliness

4. ORGANIZED GROUPS
    Benefits for beginners
    Problems
    Relation to founder

5. SELF-DEVELOPMENT
    General description
    What exactly is the goal?
    Unique person: unique path
    Knowing and working within one's limitations
    Stages of development
    Only whole person finds whole truth
    Attainments
    Dangers

6. STUDENT-TEACHER
    General notes
    The need for a teacher
    Books as teachers
    Issues in seeking a teacher
    Qualifications, duties of a teacher
    Master-disciple relationship
    Qualifications, duties of a disciple
    Cultivating the inner link
    Master as symbol
    Graduation


Volume 3: PRACTICES FOR THE QUEST / RELAX AND RETREAT
(contains categories 2 and 3)

Part 1: PRACTICES FOR THE QUEST

INTRODUCTION

1. ANT'S LONG PATH
    What is the Long Path?
    Purification and development of character
    Confronting the obstacles within

2. THE MEASURE OF PROGRESS
    Attitudes that help or hinder
    Sources, signs, and stages of growth

3. UNCERTAINTIES OF PROGRESS
    Understanding the pace of development
    Facing the problems of development

4. PRACTISE MENTAL DISCIPLINE
    Its nature
    Its development

5. BALANCE THE PSYCHE
    Engage the whole being
    Cultivate balance

6. SELF-REFLECTION AND ACTION
    Be objective
    Apply the will

7. DISCIPLINE DESIRES
    Renunciation
    Asceticism
    Possessions

8. THE QUEST AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
    On time and solitude
    Spiritual path

9. CONCLUSION
    The development of the work
    The working of Grace

Part 2: RELAX AND RETREAT

INTRODUCTION

1. TAKE INTERMITTENT PAUSES
    Balance inner and outer
    Shorter pauses
    Longer pauses

2. WITHDRAW FROM TENSION AND PRESSURE
    Price of excessive extroversion
    The true place of peace

3. RELAX BODY, BREATH, MIND

4. RETREAT CENTRES
    What is needed today?
    Motives for entering
    Problems, limitations

5. SOLITUDE
    Dangers of solitude

6. NATURE APPRECIATION

7. SUNSET CONTEMPLATION


Volume 4: MEDITATION / THE BODY
(contains categories 4 and 5)

Part 1: MEDITATION

INTRODUCTION

1. PREPARATORY
    The importance of meditation
    The true way of meditation
    Levels of absorption
    Fruits, effects of meditation
    Dangers, and how to avoid them

2. PLACE AND CONDITIONS
    Times for meditation
    Places for meditation
    Solitary vs. group meditation
    Postures for meditation
    Other physical considerations
    Proper mental attitude
    Regularity of practice
    Ending the meditation

3. FUNDAMENTALS
    Stop wandering thoughts
    Blankness is not the goal
    Practise concentrated attention
    Varieties of practice

4. MEDITATIVE THINKING
    The path of inspired intellect
    Self-examination exercises
    Moral self-betterment exercises

5. VISUALIZATIONS, SYMBOLS
    Visualizations
    Symbols
    Guru yoga

6. MANTRAMS, AFFIRMATIONS
    Mantrams
    Affirmations

7. MINDFULNESS, MENTAL QUIET
    Mindfulness
    Mental quiet

Part 2: THE BODY

INTRODUCTION

1. PREFATORY

2. THE BODY

3. DIET
    Comments on customs

4. FASTING

5. EXERCISE

6. BREATHING EXERCISES

7. SEX AND GENDER

8. KUNDALINI

9.POSTURES FOR PRAYER


Volume 5: EMOTIONS AND ETHICS / THE INTELLECT
(contains categories 6 and 7)

Part 1: EMOTIONS AND ETHICS

INTRODUCTION

1. UPLIFT CHARACTER
    Environmental influence
    Moral relativity
    Conscience
    Goodness
    Altruism
    Patience, perseverance
    Value of confession, repentance
    Truthfulness

2. RE-EDUCATE FEELINGS
    Love, compassion
    Detachment
    Family
    Friendship
    Marriage
    Happiness

3. DISCIPLINE EMOTIONS
    Higher and lower emotions
    Self-restraint
    Matured emotion

4. PURIFY PASSIONS

5. SPIRITUAL REFINEMENT
    Courtesy, tolerance, considerateness
    Spiritual value of manners
    Discipline of speech
    Accepting criticism
    Refraining from criticism
    Forgiveness
    Criticizing constructively
    Sympathetic understanding

6. AVOID FANATICISM

7. MISCELLANEOUS ETHICAL ISSUES
    Nonviolence, nonresistance, pacifism

Part 2: THE INTELLECT

INTRODUCTION

1. THE PLACE OF INTELLECT
    Its value
    Its limitations
    Its inward vision
    Reason, intuition, and insight

2. THE SERVICE OF INTELLECT
    Cultivation of intelligence
    Balance of intellect and feeling
    Doubt and the modern mind

3. THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTELLECT
    Independence and individuality
    Comparison and synthesis
    Authority and the past
    Books

4. ABSTRACT THOUGHT
    Facts and logic
    The need for precision

5. SEMANTICS
    Clarity is essential
    The problem with words
    The meaning of language

6. SCIENCE
    Influence of science
    When science stands alone
    Science and metaphysics

7. METAPHYSICS OF TRUTH
    Speculation vs. knowledge
    Issues and adherents
    Its spiritual significance

8. INTELLECT, REALITY, AND THE OVERSELF


Volume 6: THE EGO / FROM BIRTH TO REBIRTH
(contains categories 8 and 9)

Part 1: THE EGO

INTRODUCTION

1. WHAT AM I?
    Egoself and Overself
    Body and consciousness
    I-sense and memory
    Ego as limitation
    Ego as presence of higher
    Two views of individuality
    Perfection through surrender
    Ego subordinated, not destroyed
    Ego after illumination
    Reincarnation

2. I-THOUGHT
    I-sense and I-thought
    Ego exists, as series of thoughts
    Subject-object

3. PSYCHE
    Ego as knot in psyche
    The "subconscious"
    Trickery, cunning of ego
    Defense mechanisms
    Self-idolatry
    Egoism, egocentricity

4. DETACHING FROM THE EGO
    Its importance
    Why most people won't do it
    As genuine spiritual path
    Surrender is necessary
    Its difficulty
    Ego corrupts spiritual aspiration
    Humility is needed
    Longing for freedom from ego
    Knowledge is needed
    Tracing ego to its source
    "Dissolution" of ego
    Grace is needed
    Who is seeking?
    Results of dethroning ego

Part 2: FROM BIRTH TO REBIRTH

INTRODUCTION

1. DEATH, DYING, AND IMMORTALITY
    The event of death
    Continuity, transition, and transformation
    The aftermath of death

2. REBIRTH AND REINCARNATION
    The influence of past tendencies
    Reincarnation and Mentalism
    Beliefs about reincarnation
    Reincarnation and the Overself

3. LAWS AND PATTERNS OF EXPERIENCE
    Defining karma, fate, and destiny
    Karma's role in human development
    Destiny turns the wheel
    Astrology, fate, and free will
    Karma, free will, and the Overself

4. FREE WILL, RESPONSIBILITY, AND THE WORLD-IDEA
    The limitations of free will
    The freedom we have to evolve
    Human will in the World-Idea


Volume 7: HEALING OF THE SELF / THE NEGATIVES
(contains categories 10 and 11)

Part 1: HEALING OF THE SELF

INTRODUCTION

1. THE LAWS OF NATURE
    The spiritual importance of health
    Disease has hidden causes
    Physical mortality
    The Philosopher's body

2. THE UNIVERSAL LIFE-FORCE
    The vital body
    Nature's healing power
    Exercises and meditations

3. THE ORIGINS OF ILLNESS
    The karma of the body
    Mental states and physical conditions
    The importance of hygiene
    Dangers of drugs and alcohol

4. HEALERS OF THE BODY AND MIND
    Services of the healing arts
    Medicine and surgery
    The practices of psychology
    Neurosis and its treatment
    Hypnosis

5. THE HEALING POWER OF THE OVERSELF
    Spiritual and mental healing defined
    Mental healing - its limited success
    Healers and the spiritual path
    The work of the Overself
    Seek inner peace

Part 2: THE NEGATIVES

INTRODUCTION

1. THEIR NATURE

2. THEIR ROOTS IN EGO
    Special tests for questers

3. THEIR PRESENCE IN THE WORLD
    Materialism
    Unbalanced technological development
    Hatred and violent revolution
    Totalitarianism, Communism
    War
    Causes of war
    World War II, Nazism, Fascism,
    Hitler
    Effects of World War II
    World War III
    Constructive alternatives: collective
    Crime and punishment
    Pacifism: general, non-nuclear ethic
    Pacifism in light of nuclear threat
    Constructive alternatives: individual

4. IN THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, VIOLENT PASSIONS
    Their presence
    Ways of responding

5. THEIR VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE HARM


Volume 8: REFLECTIONS ON MY LIFE AND WRITINGS
(contains category 12)

INTRODUCTION

1. TWO ESSAYS

2. PHILOSOPHY AND CONTEMPORARY CULTURE
    Grand truths and common speech
    The need for spiritual education
    Creative independence
    The challenge of synthesis

3. ENCOUNTER WITH DESTINY
    A mysterious presence
    Inside mystical experience
    The making of a messenger
    The message and the marketplace

4. REFLECTIONS ON TRUTH
    Sharing truth
    Seeking the impersonal
    The challenge of formulation
    Obstacles to inspiration
    The limits of yoga
    Living with truth

5. THE LITERARY WORK
    The kindred souls
    A mixed reception
    Responding to critics
    Corrections, revisions, development
    A warning shared
    Book notes
    Seed thoughts
    A sacred vocation
    The contribution of silence
    The value of solitude

6. THE PROFANE AND THE PROFOUND
    A sense of proportion
    An unorthodox yogi
    People and places
    Happenings on the way


Volume 9: HUMAN EXPERIENCE / THE ARTS IN CULTURE
(contains categories 13 and 14)

Part 1: HUMAN EXPERIENCE

INTRODUCTION

1. SITUATION
    Daily life as spiritual opportunity
    Spiritual laws structure experience
    Experience as personal teacher
    Spiritual truth in practical life
    Getting the point
    Sunshine and shadow
    Causes of suffering
    Different reactions to suffering
    Purpose of suffering
    Transformation of suffering
    "Failure"

2. LIVING IN THE WORLD
    A play of opposites
    Status of the herd
    Reconciling the mystical and mundane
    How to treat opportunity
    Seeking guidance
    Worldly success
    Independence
    Effects of environment, change
    Cultivate an active attitude
    Relations with others
    Marriage
    Politics
    Education

3. YOUTH AND AGE
    Reflections on youth
    Reflections in old age

4. WORLD CRISIS
    Crisis and visible effects
    Causes, meaning of crisis
    Historical perspectives
    New era in evolution
    New age directions
    Role of philosophy, mysticism now
    Need for wisdom, peace
    Forebodings
    Good will ultimately prevail

Part 2: THE ARTS IN CULTURE

INTRODUCTION

1. APPRECIATION
    The arts and spirituality
    Value of aesthetic environment
    Sacred mission of art
    Criticism of "modern art"

2. CREATIVITY, GENIUS
    Creativity
    Genius, inspiration, technique

3. ART EXPERIENCE AND MYSTICISM

4. REFLECTIONS ON SPECIFIC ARTS
    Writing, literature, poetry
    Inspired revelatory writing
    Stage, cinema, dance
    Painting, sculpture, architecture
    Music


Volume 10: THE ORIENT
(contains category 15)

INTRODUCTION

1. MEETINGS OF EAST AND WEST
    General interest
   Value of Eastern thought
    Modern opportunities
    Western arrogance
    Romantic glamour
    Western assimilation of Eastern thought
    Differences between East and West
    Decline of traditional East
    Reciprocal West-East impact
    Parallels between East and West
    Universality of truth
    East-West synthesis

2. INDIA
    Images of environment, culture, history
    Spiritual condition of modern India
    India's change and modernization
    Caste
    General and comparative
    Buddha, Buddhism
    Vedanta, Hinduism
    Shankara
    Ramana Maharshi
    Aurobindo
    Atmananda
    Krishnamurti
    Gandhi
    Ananda Mayee
    Ramakrishna, Vivekananda
    Other Indian teachers and schools
    Himalayan region

3. CHINA, TIBET, JAPAN
    General notes on China
    Taoism
    Confucius, Confucianism, neo-Confucianism
    Ch'an Buddhism
    Japan
    Tibet

4. CEYLON, ANGKOR WAT, BURMA, JAVA
    Ceylon
    Angkor Wat
    Burma
    Java

5. ISLAMIC CULTURES, EGYPT
    Islamic cultures
    Egypt

6. RELATED ENTRIES
    Mount Athos
    Greece
    Christianity and the East


Volume 11: THE SENSITIVES
(contains category 16)

INTRODUCTION

1. MYSTICAL LIFE IN THE MODERN WORLD
    Development
    Continuing the tradition
    Purpose
    The scientific and the superstitious

2. PHASES OF MYSTICAL DEVELOPMENT
    The transience of mystical emotions
    From personal vision to impersonal being
    From inner peace to inner reality
    Moral re-education
    At home in two worlds
    Philosophy and mysticism
    Rational mysticism
    The power of rational faith
    The goal of truth
    The path beyond yoga
    The completion in knowledge

3. PHILOSOPHY, MYSTICISM, AND THE OCCULT
    A criticism of the mystic
    The extremes of mysticism
    Philosophy attracts the few
    Distinguishing the spiritual and psychic
    The lure of occultism

4. THOSE WHO SEEK
    The wanderers
    The innocents
    The dreamers
    The unbalanced

5. PSEUDO AND IMPERFECT TEACHERS
    The prevalence of charlatans
    Difficulty of recognizing them
    Domination and narrowness
    Incomplete teachers
    The ego's ambition

6. DELUSIONS AND PAINFUL AWAKENINGS
    The illusion of perfection
    Superstition, imagination, and self-deception
    Penalties of delusion
    The value of disillusionment

7. THE PATH OF INDIVIDUALITY
    Dangers of dependence
    Independence
    Be responsible
    Use your judgement
    Be discriminating

8. CHRISTIAN SCIENCE, OTHER SPIRITUAL MOVEMENTS
    Virtues and faults
    The hidden materialism

9. INSPIRATION AND CONFUSION
    Conflicting tenets, contradictory 'revelations'
    Interpreting mystical experience
    Admixture of ego

10. THE IS IS NOT AN ISM
    Limitations of dogma
    Misuse of mystery

11. FANATICISM, MONEY, POWERS, DRUGS
    Fanaticism
    Deluded guides, gullible followers
    Money
    The abuse of power
    Drugs

12. THE INTERMEDIATE ZONE
    Tests, ordeals, temptations
    Danger signals, protective measures

13. THE OCCULT
    A choice of directions
    The seductive shadow-world
    Occultists and psychics
    Occult practices
    Hypnotism
    Mediumship, channeling

14. THE SENSITIVE MIND
    Psychic sensitivity, personal sensitivity
    Telepathy, mental influences
    Clairvoyance
    Evaluating intuitions and 'messages'

15. ILLUMINATIONS
    Properties of imagination
    Spiritual reality, mental imagery
    Conditioning factors
    The true Word of revelation


Volume 12: THE RELIGIOUS URGE / REVERENTIAL LIFE
(contains category 17)

Part 1: THE RELIGIOUS URGE

INTRODUCTION

1 ORIGIN, PURPOSE OF RELIGIONS
    Introductory
    On evaluating religion
    Prophets and messengers
    Purpose of popular (mass) religion
    On diversity in religion
    On choosing one's religion
    Grading teaching to capacity

2. ORGANIZATION, CONTENT OF RELIGION
    Clergy
    Church and State
    Religious symbols
    Places of worship
    Ceremonies and rituals
    Relics
    Scriptures
    Conceptions of God

3. RELIGION AS PREPARATORY
    Doubt
    Inner worship is superior
    Mysticism and religion

4. PROBLEMS OF ORGANIZED RELIGION
    On criticism and scepticism
    Cycles of inspiration, decay
    Accretions, distortion, corruption
    Sectarianism
    Intolerance, narrowness, persecution
    Superstition
    Dogma
    Institutionalism, exploitation

5. COMMENTS ON SPECIFIC RELIGIONS
    Ancient religions
    Bahaism
    Buddhism
    Christianity
    Hinduism
    Islam
    Jainism
    Judaism

6. PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION
    Differences, similarities among religions
    Comparative study, practice
    Philosophy completes religion
    Philosophy and "the faithful"
    Intolerance toward philosophy
    Philosophic independence, universalism

7.BEYOND RELIGION AS WE KNOW IT

Part 2: THE REVERENTIAL LIFE

INTRODUCTION

1. DEVOTION
    The greatest love
    Warnings and suggestions

2. PRAYER
    Forms of prayer
    Misunderstandings and misuses
    Human petition, divine response

3. HUMILITY
    The need
    The practice

4. SURRENDER
    Avoid self-deception
    Accept responsibility
    The process
    Its effect

5. GRACE
    Its transmission
    Karma and forgiveness
    The power of the Other
    The significance of self-effort
    Preparing for grace
    The mysterious presence


Volume 13: RELATIVITY, PHILOSOPHY, AND MIND
(contains categories 19-21)

Part 1: THE REIGN OF RELATIVITY

INTRODUCTION

1. THE COSMOS OF CHANGE
    The world appearance

2. THE DOUBLE STANDPOINT
    Its cultivation and application

3. THE STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
    The mysterious significance of dreams
    The deep stillness of sleep
    Trance and the 4th state of consciousness

4. TIME, SPACE, CAUSALITY
    Their relative and mental nature
    Perpetuity, eternity, and now
    Living with time

5. THE VOID AS METAPHYSICAL FACT

Part 2: WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?

INTRODUCTION

1. TOWARD DEFINING PHILOSOPHY
    On the term 'philosophy'
    Philosophy's transcendental "position"
    Its value and benefits
    Its inspired practicality
    Its "worldliness"
    Relation to religion & mysticism
    Living synthesis, not anemic eclecticism

2. ITS CONTEMPORARY INFLUENCE
    Response to a vital need
    A more timely formulation
    Whom it best serves
    Some esotericism is still unavoidable
    Dangers to be recognized
    How philosophy presents itself

3. ITS REQUIREMENTS
    Basic qualifications
    Philosophic discipline
    Wholeness, completeness, integrality
    Balance

4. ITS REALIZATION BEYOND ECSTASY
    Mysticism and mystical philosophy compared
    Discriminating analysis, mystical depth
    Keys to the ultimate path
    Insight
    Service

5. THE PHILOSOPHER
    The philosopher's view of Truth

Part 3: MENTALISM

INTRODUCTION

1. THE SENSED WORLD
    Body, brain, consciousness
    The leap from sense to thought

2. THE WORLD AS MENTAL
    Mind, the projector
    Mind, the image-maker
    Mind, the knower

3. THE INDIVIDUAL AND WORLD-MIND
    The dream analogy
    Individual mind and the world image

4. THE CHALLENGE OF MENTALISM
    The effort required
    Accepting the Truth
    The position of modern science
    Mentalism and related doctrines

5. THE KEY TO THE SPIRITUAL WORLD
    The living practice
    The powerful knowledge
    The mystic experience
    Consciousness as world
    Consciousness and pure Mind


Volume 14: INSPIRATION AND THE OVERSELF
(contains category 22)

INTRODUCTION

1. INTUITION THE BEGINNING
    Cultivating, developing intuition
    Intuition and pseudo-intuition
    Let intuition rule
    Fruits of living intuitively
    Intuition and the Glimpse

2. INSPIRATION
    Its expression and development
    As act of Overself
    Its power and limitations
    The Interior Word

3. THE OVERSELF'S PRESENCE
    In each, in all, always
    Value, effects of its presence
    Toward 'defining' the Overself
    Overself and World-Mind
    Overself and ego
    Central and universal
    Responding to critics

4. INTRODUCTION TO MYSTICAL GLIMPSES
    Part of natural life-experience
    Their importance
    Their frequency and duration
    Glimpses and Light

5. PREPARING FOR GLIMPSES
    How to attract a glimpse
    Essentially grace-given
    Accepting, cultivating the glimpse
    Factors hindering the glimpse

6. EXPERIENCING A GLIMPSE
    How a glimpse comes in
    Characteristics of glimpses
    Overself displaces ego
    Revelation, exaltation, confirmation

7. AFTER THE GLIMPSE
    Retain the glow
    Possible negative after-thoughts
    Lasting effects
    Marks of authenticity
    Following through

8. GLIMPSES AND PERMANENT ILLUMINATION


Volume 15: ADVANCED CONTEMPLATION / THE PEACE WITHIN YOU
(contains categories 23 and 24)

Part 1: ADVANCED CONTEMPLATION

INTRODUCTION

1. ENTERING THE SHORT PATH
    Begin and end with the goal itself
    The practice
    Benefits and results

2. PITFALLS AND LIMITATIONS
    The truth about sudden enlightenment
    Limitations of the Long Path

3. THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL
    Its significance

4. THE CHANGEOVER TO THE SHORT PATH
    The preparation on the Long Path
    Making the transition

5. BALANCING THE PATHS
    Their contrast and comparison
    Their combination and transcendence

6. ADVANCED MEDITATION
    Specific exercises for practice
    Yoga of the Liberating Smile
    Night meditations
    Witness exercise
    "As If" exercise
    Remembrance exercise

7. CONTEMPLATIVE STILLNESS
    Experiencing the passage into contemplation
    Still the mind
    Deepen attention
    Yield to Grace
    The deepest contemplation

8. THE VOID AS CONTEMPLATIVE EXPERIENCE
    Entering the Void
    Nirvikalpa Samadhi
    Meditation upon the Void
    Emerging from the Void
    Why Buddha smiled

Part 2: THE PEACE WITHIN YOU

INTRODUCTION

1. THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS
    The limitations of life
    Philosophic happiness
    The heart of joy

2. BE CALM
    The goal of tranquillity
    In daily life
    The qualities of calm
    Staying calm

3. PRACTISE DETACHMENT
    Turn inward
    Solving difficulties
    Training mind and heart
    True asceticism
    Becoming the Witness
    Timelessness
    Free activity

4. SEEK THE DEEPER STILLNESS
    Quiet the ego
    The still centre within
    The Great Silence

Volume 16: ENLIGHTENED MIND, DIVINE MIND
(contains categories 25-28)

Part 1: WORLD-MIND IN INDIVIDUAL MIND

INTRODUCTION

1. THEIR MEETING AND INTERCHANGE
    God is in Man
    Man is not, does not become, God
    Fallacy of "Divine Incarnation"

2. ENLIGHTENMENT WHICH STAYS
    Glimpses and permanent realization
    Sudden or gradual?
    Enlightenment comes quietly
    Naturalness of the attainment
    Degrees of enlightenment
    Nonduality, sahaja, insight
    Conscious transcendental sleep
    Individuality remains
    World continues
    General effects of enlightenment

3. THE SAGE
    The race of sages
    Remarks on specific illuminates
    Differences in attainment, expression
    Wisdom beyond bliss
    Qualities, characteristics of the sage
    God alone is perfect
    Sage not easily recognized
    Isolation, privacy, reticence
    Sage is usually misunderstood
    Sages merit veneration

4. THE SAGE'S SERVICE
    A full identity of interest
    Help the sage gives
    Effects of the sage's presence
    Sage as catalyst for higher powers
    Sage works with few directly

5. TEACHING MASTERS, DISCIPLESHIP
    Teaching and non-teaching illuminates
    Advice, warnings to would-be teachers
    Value of a qualified teacher
    Seeking the sage
    Approaching the sage
    Qualifications for discipleship
    Master-disciple relationship, general
    Master is symbol of Overself
    True relationship is internal
    Eventual graduation of disciple

Part 2: WORLD-IDEA

INTRODUCTION

1. DIVINE ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE
    Meaning, purpose, intelligent order
    Ultimate "rightness" of events
    Nature of the World-Idea
    World-Idea is ultimate determinant
    Uniqueness, non-duplication
    On the "why" of "creation"
    Universe as emanation of Reality

2. CHANGE AS UNIVERSAL ACTIVITY
    Everything changes
    Metaphysical view of universal change

3. POLARITIES, COMPLEMENTARIES, DUALITIES OF THE UNIVERSE
    Paradox, duality, nonduality
    Opposites constitute universe
    Cyclic unfoldment, reversal
    Spiral movement of universal flux

4. TRUE IDEA OF MAN
    Man more than animal
    Divine essence of Man
    Purpose of human life
    Glimpsing the World-Idea
    Co-operating with the World-Idea
    World-Idea guides evolution
    Evolution's goal is not merger

Part 3: WORLD-MIND

INTRODUCTION

1. WHAT IS GOD?
    Differing views of God
    Is God good, conscious?
    God beyond finite knowing
    The active God we worship

2. NATURE OF WORLD-MIND
    Attributes, characteristics, powers
    As source of all

3. WORLD-MIND AND "CREATION"
    How
    Why
    Distinguishing World-Mind and Mind

Part 4: THE ALONE

INTRODUCTION

1. ABSOLUTE MIND
    Mind alone Is
    Levels, phases, functions of Mind
    On knowing Why
    Real as self-existent, transcendent, unique
    Real as unchangeable
    Real as Void
    Real as Consciousness

2. OUR RELATION TO THE ABSOLUTE
    Inadequacy of human symbolization
    Reporting, nonetheless, has value
    Reality reveals itself through Overself
    Meditations on Mind
    The ultimate "experience"

Selected review highlights on The Notebooks of Paul Brunton

Through the years, Paul Brunton and his Notebooks series have received many favorable reviews from a wide variety of sources. The following is a selection of highlights. To see full reviews where more is available, click here.


“Paul Brunton was a great original and got to a place of personal evolution that illumines the pathways of a future humanity.” —Jean Houston

“Paul Brunton's Notebooks are a veritable treasure-trove of philosophic-spiritual wisdom.” —Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“The meticulousness of his reading and interviewing, as well as his personal, inward application of that knowledge, reveals a genius for balance. —San Francisco Chronicle

“ . . sensible and compelling.  His work can stand beside that of such East-West bridges as Merton, Huxley, Suzuki, Watts, and Radhakrishnan.  It should appeal to anyone concerned personally and academically with issues of spirituality.” —Choice

“Any serious man or woman in search of spiritual ideas will find a surprising challenge and an authentic source of inspiration and intellectual nourishment in the writings of Paul Brunton.” —Jacob Needleman

“Vigorous, clear-minded and independent . . . a synthesis of Eastern mysticism and Western rationality. . . A rich volume.” (volume 1, Perspectives) —Library Journal

“With the possible exception of Alan Watts, Dr. Paul Brunton has probably been the most influential exponent of Eastern philosophy and systems of self-realization in this century. . . . significant commentaries on nearly every conceivable aspect of the spiritual quest . . . unreservedly recommended as the final, eloquent summing up by one of the West's most perceptive thinkers and deepest students of the Ancient Wisdom.” —The American Theosophist

“His work should therefore help readers assess the present deluge of books in New Age philosophy. . . the work as a whole is a rich vein of wisdom to be mined by the interested and the spiritually concerned.” —Library Journal (on volume 11)

“A simple, straightforward guide to how philosophical insights of the East and West can help to create beauty, joy, and meaning in our lives. . . . His keynote is balance, and his uplifting message encompasses all phases of human experience.” —East West Journal

“ . . . a great gift to us Westerners who are seeking the spiritual.” —Charles T. Tart

“With each succeeding volume of these remarkable 'Notebooks,' we are more and more impressed with the extent of Brunton's wisdom . . . particularly important for everyone who is engaged in meditation, 'New Age' thinking. . . Very highly recommended.” —Millard Nachtwey, (Spiritual Studies Center)

“It is to the likes of Brunton, Vivekananda, and A.E. Burt that I bow in gratitude for early initiations.” —Stephen Levine

“The notebooks of Paul Brunton represent the acme of wisdom on the nature of human spirituality.  Every serious student of this subject will profit enormously by becoming acquainted with Brunton's seminal work.” —Kenneth Ring

“A person of rare intelligence. . . thoroughly alive, and whole in the most significant, 'holy' sense of the word.” —Yoga Journal

“. . . attuned to today's holistic health movement.  Healing of the self is the guiding principle behind these writings.” —Publishers Weekly

“This is a work (vol. 13) both brilliant and profound.  For the student of mysticism, metaphysics and/or spiritual disciplines, there are enough important ideas and gems of wisdom to provide food for thought for at least one lifetime.  —Robert Masters, Ph.D., The Foundation of Mind Research.

“Mr. Brunton's writings are most sensitive, deep, and original.  One has to admire his most positive attitude toward life, nature, beauty, and his respect for both cultures, east and west, their ways of life, religions, arts, and search for truth and goodness.  A very inspirational reading.” —Karel Husa

“Nowhere else will you find such a profound synthesis of East-West philosophic mysticism stripped of all the usual obscurity and extravagances.  Both the modern intellect and the weary heart will find unlimited inspiration, wisdom, and guidance for action in these notebooks.” —Victor Mansfield, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Colgate University

“Paul Brunton was surely one of the finest mystical flowers to grow on the wasteland of our secular civilization.  What he has to say is important to us all.”  —Georg Feuerstein

To see and/or order individual volumes in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, hover your mouse over the specific cover in the Notebooks section of Complete Paul Brunton Opus below, then click on Details in the box that appears within it.

Click here for all 16 volumes on CD-ROM

In his own words:

“Writing, which is an exercise of the intellect to some, is an act of worship to me. I rise from my desk in the same mood as that in which I leave an hour of prayer in an old cathedral, or of meditation in a little wood . . .” —from Perspectives, volume 1 in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, p. 143

“P.B. as a private person does not count. There are hundreds of millions of such persons anyway. What is one man and his quest? P.B.’s personal experiences and views are not of any particular importance or special consequence. What happens to the individual man named P.B. is a matter of no account to anyone except himself. But what happens to the hundreds of thousands of spiritual seekers today who are following the same path that he pioneered is a serious matter and calls for prolonged consideration. Surely the hundreds of thousands of Western seekers who stand behind him and whom indeed, in one sense, he represents, do count. P.B. as a symbol of the scattered group of Western truth-seekers who, by following his writings so increasingly and so eagerly, virtually follow him also, does count. He personifies their aspirations, their repulsion from materialism and attraction toward mysticism, their interest in Oriental wisdom and their shepherdless state. As a symbol of this Western movement of thought, he is vastly greater than himself. In his mind and person the historic need for a new grasp of the contemporary spiritual problem found a plain-speaking voice . . .” —from Perspectives, volume 1 in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, p. 145

Learn more about Paul Brunton through articles at the Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation web site

To see all our Paul Brunton titles, scroll down to The Complete Paul Brunton Opus below.

About Paul Brunton

Larson Publications photo of author Paul Brunton

Paul Brunton helps us hear the melody behind the medley of today's "spiritual marketplace." His late writings raise the bar for what we can expect of spiritual teachings and teachers, and what we can do for ourselves. Born in London in 1898, he soon became a leading pioneer of much of what we now take for granted. He traveled widely throughout the world (long before it was fashionable) to meet living masters of various traditions with whom he then lived and studied. His eleven early books from 1934–1952 shared much of what he learned, and helped set the stage for dramatic east-west exchanges of the late 20th century. Paul Brunton left more than 10,000 pages of enormously helpful new work in notebooks he reserved for posthumous publication, much of which is now available as The Notebooks of Paul Brunton. See "The Complete Paul Brunton Opus" in blue below to see his many works available on this site. You can also search on Paul Brunton in the search bar to browse the selections, or click on a link below for specific connections.

Click here for an article about Paul Brunton.

Click here for The Notebooks of Paul Brunton.

To access small theme-based books compiled from Paul Brunton's writings, scroll down to Derived from the Notebooks below.

To access Paul Brunton's early writings, published from 1934–1952, scroll down to Paul Brunton's Early Works below.

To access commentaries on Paul Brunton and his work by his leading student, Anthony Damiani, as well as other writings about Paul Brunton and/or his work, scroll down to Commentaries and Reflections on Paul Brunton and His Work below.

The Complete Paul Brunton Opus:


The Notebooks of Paul Brunton:

Paul Brunton's most mature work, in the order he specified for posthumous publication.

Derived from The Notebooks:

Smaller books on popular/timely themes, developed from the Notebooks and published posthumously.

Early Works:

Paul Brunton's works published during his lifetime from 1934-1952

Commentaries/Reflections:

Commentaries/Reflections by other authors on Paul Brunton or his works.

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