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The Appearance of Things

This is a true story, a call to come on a great adventure. More than a travel tale or memoir, it is an invitation to the very real possibility of freedom, always available, always here and now. In 1974, intrigued by accounts that spoke of the magic and mystery of Asia, a young man commenced an overland journey from Indonesia to Europe. His story is, in some ways, a "coming-of-age" narrative about a singular journey of discovery through Southeast Asia and India, across the Middle East to Greece. However, the movement from innocent abroad to cynical world traveler is interrupted in the Himalayas by a chance meeting with a Buddhist monk and the Dharma. The title of the book comes from Kalu Rinpoche, a Tibetan master. "We live in illusion, the appearance of things. There is a reality. You are that reality. When you see this, you realize you are nothing and being nothing, everything. That is all." This is also a cautionary tale where "awakening" does not necessarily mean "wisdom in the world." As the Buddha is meant to have said, "Sometimes the closest you can get to the truth is in the knowing of what is not true."
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"In his candid and intimate account Vernon meets his youthful self and others along a strange and exotic journey. A most welcome and satisfying contribution to the archives of self-discovery." David Hornsby

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