After the Absolute: The Inner Teachings of Richard Rose

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Richard Rose was an unlikely Zen master: A rugged, plainspoken, ornery West Virginian, he scraped out a living raising goats, planting crops and painting houses. But Richard Rose had a secret: Having once vowed to “find the Truth or die trying,” Rose experienced a cataclysmic spiritual awakening at age 30 that thrust him into “Everything-ness and Nothing-ness,” or what he called “the Absolute.” The experience left him with only one earthly desire: to do anything, for anyone, on a similar quest for Truth.

David Gold was an unlikely student: An arrogant, ambitious and egotistical law-student, Gold only agreed to meet the “enlightened hillbilly” in the hopes of showing him up. But when Rose turned the tables by seeing right through Gold and painting a devastatingly accurate picture of the fears and obsessions that ruled his life, a humbled Gold found himself hungry to know more.

Thus began a remarkable 15-year adventure—part spiritual odyssey, part legal thriller—in which death threats, corrupt politicians, and life-threatening cancer run parallel to glimpses of the divine and extraordinary manifestations of timeless wisdom.

After the Absolute is one of the most gripping, intensely interesting, dramatic, and indeed romantic-heroic-mythic, yet poignantly human accounts I have ever read. It would make a fantastic, if unbelievable film, and is a profoundly important document. This book throws light on the perennial what-and-why enigma of our species, reveals the makings of a “new cosmology,” and surely gives glimpses into as-yet undeveloped potentials we humans hold within us. That all this is found in an utterly absorbing narrative proves the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction.”

—Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, and Magical Child