I was led to this book by a friend who knows of my involvement with Western expressions of non-duality and the Perennial Tradition. Return to the One narrates Brian Hines' search for his own spiritual identity in the Enneads, written by Plotinus. He claims a personal resonance with Plotinus. Consider this:
"Plotinus is not asking us to add one more to-do to our every expanding list of aspirations:(1) learn to play piano, (2) lose fifteen pounds, (3) smooth out golf swing, (4) return to the One. No, the message of the Enneads is much more radical: to look upon everything other than spiritual uplift as a mere pastime unworthy of being taken seriously." (page 41)
This is an awakening experience. Some contemplatives might say that this is an intermediate step, and that the return to mundane activities, accompanied with the new understanding, would complete one's experience. However, whether we consider it intermediate or not, Brian is pointing to a crucial Awakening necessary for the vast majority of humanity.
It seems to me that there are two messages which stand out in this important book. First, the vital importance of knowing the difference between experiential and intellectual learning. Second, another vital need to find a teacher whose language and approach resonate with you. Brian Hines points us in both of these directions. Recommended..!!
In the Enneads, 3rd century mystic philosopher Plotinus synthesized a thousand years of accumulated Greek wisdom with his own profound mystical experiences. What is the nature of God? Of spirit? Of soul? In what fashion can God be realized? How can the validity of spiritual experiences be tested? Return to the One presents Plotinus's compelling answers to such ageless questions in a refreshing modern style. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, you will find yourself challenged and stimulated by Plotinus's matchless blend of rationality and mysticism. (Amazon)