This is hands down the best book I’ve read in the past year, and is a huge favorite of Naval Ravikant
Oddly enough, Naval has one of the only Amazon reviews – “Unvarnished truth delivered by a living master. It won’t make you happy, and it won’t make you popular, but you will feel the truth of this in your bones.”
The commonality – it is the genuine desire to know and need to learn
Kapil has an ability to see things in people that they don’t see in themselves
He looks for sincerity, the single most important element of personality
He likes to ask – “Do you genuinely want that? Or are you playing a curiosity game?”
Kapil says he can sense sincerity very keenly
“You are hyper attuned to the things you look for “
Society preaches prescription, not truth
“The only reason you don’t have what you want, is because you didn’t really want it.”
“The only reason you have the things you do, is because you couldn’t live without them”
“The only reason you are where you are, is because somewhere in you, it’s okay for you to be there”
The Pursuit of Mastery
Sit with you self in a dark corner, and really ask yourself what you really want
The answer that comes in the first 7 seconds, is not the right one – it’s a cultivation/exploration to discover it, and without that discovery, you chase ghosts
How do people start on that road of discovery?
“If you are serious about finding the Truth, you will not find it difficult to throw every self-help book in the trash”
Stop listening to gurus, or reading scriptures
These do not speak the Truth, they speak prescription and adherence to a group
All things involving a group is false. All things arise in the individual.
Example: group meditation (silent retreats etc.) are a farse
If you really speak the Truth, stop following anyone and asking for prescriptions
The moment you have a how, you have dependency
Getting Close to The Truth
“When I work with someone, I never try to produce a change – and when that change happens, no one is more surprised than me”
Kapil doesn’t prescribe anything
“You do not need to fix anything, you need to see everything”
In the quiet examination, the Truth reveals itself
Things happen for you not by forcing, but as a side effect
Are there common patterns of frustration?
Following the path that you have previously followed will only continue not to lead you to the Truth
“The prevailing dogma is always wrong. The masses are always wrong”
How does Kapil define success?
Language is a fabricated creation
So to turn a word into a Truth – Kapil doesn’t like to do this
“I don’t think anyone really wants success”
The want is never stated outright, the thing verbalized is the masquerade of the want. The want has to be discovered.
How does Kapil describe the sense of fulfillment he is explaining?
“Language is a very ineffective tool for communication – the word gets you into the area, but can never get you into the experience”
For this reason, you can’t describe the experience of the Truth
“All human beings seek engagement, to be lost in whatever they do – that is the central human desire”
How did Kapil get to where he is?
“My knowledge is not my own, it is just that I know the way to the well”
Knowing the Truth isn’t something you learn in a book, you see it through some form of grace, meaning it’s bestowed upon you when you demonstrate to the world how sincere your desire for that Truth really is
All Conflict is Self-Conflict
All conflict is “mine made” (or “mind made”)
Whenever you fight with another, it is your own uncomfortableness that you are fighting with
If you were totally content with yourself, you would never be affected to the point of conflict, because no matter what the other person said, there’d be no reason to get upset
We get upset because we internalize the negative things directed towards us
How did Kapil come to live this way? – Uncompromising desire
Does Kapil ever get stressed?
Wherever Kapil goes, he looks for places to be alone
He gets annoyed when he walks into a restaurant, and a band is playing
“I don’t know why in society, there has to be music wherever you go. I don’t know why there can’t be silence.”
He views this as an annoyance, but he’s able to calm himself down
Kapil prefers silence, and aims to structure his day around it
“Gratitude is prescription”
He doesn’t believe in gratitude as a doing, like keeping a gratitude journal
It’s a romanticized idea to say wealthy people are miserable and by implication, those who don’t have money are happy
Society sometimes looks down on wealthy people for having money, as if they didn’t deserve it
“Charity is not a responsibility, it’s an option”
All things at the end of the day, are done for yourself
The only people who can search for Truth, are the ones who are financially free
“The one who has to feed his stomach, can not spend his life feeding his soul”
Where is Kapil on the path of mastering the truth?
“My sincerity and desire to live a sweet spot of a life, is to the absolute point of desperation. I do not want a single moment of a day to go by, that I do not truly feel immersed.”
What would Kapil make sure a group of millenials would learn from him?
“The thing they would benefit the most from, would be to allow my dogged intensity for the Truth to bleed into them. “