This work is a well-written primer for those approaching the philosophy of Non-duality, sometimes referred to as Avaita. The author studied medicine at Antwerp University and has practised natural medicine in Belgium since 1986. His interest in spirituality led him to the Eastern tradition including Zen Buddhism, Tantra and Avaita Vedanta.
And this is exactly my criticism of the work, for throughout the writing is an implied presumption that like the author, we readers are concerned solely with Spiritual Enlightenment.
The book then proceeds to demolish the myth that there is anything necessary for us to do in order to be ‘enlightened’, since we are already a presence upon which life projects itself, regardless of whether we identify ourselves with our individual egos, or not.
But those whom I come across tend to be concerned rather with the more concrete issues of life than a spiritual search. They stress themselves with how to acquire wealth, how to maintain their marriages, and perhaps, how to enable their children to become healthy and successful. The book fails to address all of these issues explicitly.
To my mind it would benefit from the deletion of the words ‘Spiritual’, ‘Spirituality’, or ‘Spiritually’. Nothing would be lost as a result of the deletions and immediately the book would develop a more focussed pattern. After all for a book that espouses the opinion that we have nothing ‘Spiritual’ to seek, it spends a great deal of time discussing spirituality
It is rather like the physicist who in lecturing on Quantum Physics begins by explicating in detail just what Cartesian science is all about. The result is that the listeners have a good idea about Cartesian science, and only scant impressions of the Post Cartesian model.
Those who have read the author’s earlier work; ‘Coming Home’ should be cautioned that ‘Nobody Home’ is virtually the same book with the omission of some interviews. Notable among these is the interview with Douglas Harding the author of ‘On Having No Head’. Fortunately many of Harding’s experiments in locating awareness have been retained and are illustrated in simple but effective line drawings.
The book is enjoyable, and for those who believe in a path to enlightenment through so called spiritual practices it is to be recommended for its remedial properties.
It has been excellently produced by Watkins Publishing, which is the publishing arm of Watkins Bookstore in London who, I have found, provide a superb personal service by phone or Internet.
Nobody Home: From Belief to Clarity by Jan Kersschot. Watkins Publishing, London, 2003,
177 pages including notes and references. ISBN 1-84293-062-1.
This review first appeared in Nurturing Potential Issue 8 Volume 2 – No. 5 – 2003