Living in Feeling by Russel Williams, edited by Steve Taylor

Aug 13th, 2018 | By | Category: Articles, Eastern Philosophy, Esoteric, Extract, Mantra Books, O Books, Spirituality

rwimageRussel Williams was one of the most remarkable enlightened spiritual teachers of our time. After an early life of extreme hardship – leaving school at the age of 11, and becoming an orphan shortly afterwards – he underwent a spiritual awakening at the age of 29. Since the late 1950s, he was a spiritual teacher until his passing this year (2018). Previously, Russel had avoided publicity and never published any writings or transcripts of his talks, preferring to work quietly with small groups.

Recent interview with Conscious TV – Russel Williams


Working with well-known spiritual author Steve Taylor – who attended Russel’s meetings regularly since the 1990s – Russel created a profound text which will surely become known as a classic of spiritual literature. Not I, Not Other than I is published by O Books. Here is an extract.

Living in Feeling

When you see completely clearly – that is, when you see with a clear mind – then you find that the “I” is delusory and you can let go of it. It will go naturally – the mind won’t hold on to it anymore. All things arise out of the unmanifest, therefore all things that have arisen have the unmanifest behind them, so when you see their true nature, you find that there is nothing. Therefore they must have been delusory.

You should bring mindfulness into daily life and give your full attention to everything you possibly can – but just one thing at a time. For example, you might be washing the dishes, then something else appears and demands your attention. Whatever it is, leave everything else and give your full attention to that, containing nothing else but that which is present. This is truly living in the moment, which has a great reality. You’ll find that if you experience this, even if only for a few minutes, you feel completely safe – because you are, because there is nothing separate from you.

This is what mindfulness is – full of that object at that moment – not cluttered up with a lot of other things. It’s coming out of you – not out of anyone else. You’ve found the true teacher – not out there, but inside you.

When you move beyond fear to a little more freedom, it begins to show itself for itself, by itself. It’s almost as if there’s something inside you unravelling and showing you who you really are. The only problem is you can’t put an identity on it.

The Buddha talked about the apparent no-self, but he didn’t talk about this. He talked about the conditioned self – the ego – but here there is the knowing that this is what I am. It is not an identity – not who I am, but what I am – a very subtle difference. The physical body, the emotions and thought processes have to bow to this and begin to change – with nothing to be afraid of, you begin to feel more comfortable and at home. You find a unity inside yourself – head and heart come together as one. Each one begins to merge into the other, and there is oneness rather than separateness and fragmentation.

The intellect doesn’t function in its own right – it becomes conditioned by feeling. When you look at your own intellectual processes, you find that to a degree they are very clinical and devoid of feeling. They are not personal but factual to themselves.

But when there is an opening in the heart area, feeling enters into it. The processes can’t function clinically anymore. There is a new affinity between them and the objects of thought and so no more separation. All thought is separate from the thinker, but here you find that the thinker is one with thought. There is less abstract thought and a little more realisation, which doesn’t require a lot of understanding anymore, because it has knowing in the sense of belonging in the feeling area, which is always united with things, whereas the intellect is always separate.

The intellect can’t break into the feeling areas of oneness, but the feeling of oneness can break into the gaps and flow into the intellect, bringing it peace for the first time. If anything, it clarifies the whole process by eliminating an awful lot of repetition and unwanted mental activity. It thinks only when it needs to think. When it doesn’t, there are spaces filled with perception and experience, moments of true contentment.

From time to time we all have thoughts that we don’t want, which shows that there is a part of our minds which is always detached from thinking, which stands back and observes it. As we become clearer inside, a distance begins to open up between us and our thoughts. Gradually a space appears between thoughts – and meditation can help in this – and eventually thought is no longer automatic. We experience stillness. And this inner peace spreads to the people around us. People sense it when they’re near you, and it spreads to them. You become a much more amenable companion; people become drawn to you, because you are still, never angry, never judgemental.



Not I, Not other than I – The Life and Teachings of Russel Williams is published by O Books, August 2015. ISBN: 978-1-78279-729-6 (Paperback) £9.99 $15.95, EISBN: 978-1-78279-728-9 (eBook) £5.99 $8.99.



Edited by Steve Taylor – No. 80 on the #watkins100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in 2016.

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