We do not have to learn the truth. This is a notion to be discarded. Whether we like it or not, we are learning that we already ARE the Truth. There is a whale of a difference. Just the knowledge of this fact speeds Self-discovery. How? It has us properly identified.
Since I am the Truth, I am not one who is searching FOR the truth. AS the Truth, I am seeking, finding and becoming aware of the many vistas of my Self-identification. As one attempting to learn the Truth as if it were separate and apart from myself, I am forever falling into the intellectual outhouse of confusion and anguish. Either we will forsake that identification in time or watch ourselves attempt to live its destruction. One is already swimming in polluted water.
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With that in mind, the following statements can be understood easily: It is not WHAT we read that matters so much as the knowledge of WHO reads. But if WHAT we read tells us honestly WHO reads, this is to be preferred to the WHAT that indicates (even by inference) that we are a struggling, imperfect, ignorant mortal identity searching for wisdom. However, once we know who reads, the WHAT can be seen for whatever value it may appear to have, even if it is written from the total absence of a knowledge of WHO really reads.
The literature to be wary of is that which professes to be "absolute" while addressing itself to unawakened mortals. If we cannot find something to read that speaks to the Self as the Self is, then we should get busy and write it – and put it into our own understood language of simple honesty.
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We are not struggling to put off the old man. We are about the effortless business of letting go the BELIEF of an old man, a mortal identity. This is to end the belief that beliefs are really going on – and then to find ourselves comprehending what "appearances" are.
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God would be a sadist if one's saving grace depended on a detailed knowledge of philosophy. What kind of god would require continual delving into the abstruse and arcane lore of mysticism or metaphysics as a passport to a Reality that is already ONLY and unchallenged?
(Metaphysicians do not call metaphysics "mystical" but virtually everyone else on the earth does. Even though we might not call it mysticism, its finer points apparently remain a big mystery to most metaphysicians. "When neither he who speaks nor he who listens has any idea what is being said," said Voltaire, "that is metaphysics.")
Reading metaphysical literature can be extremely worthwhile, but it is putting the cart before the horse if one thinks that arduous study is the final door opener to the ultimate wisdom. Academic study is and has ever been the intellect's conditioner: consideration of the bits and pieces of the whole; the measure of the parts; a concern for the relationships of characteristics. And all of this is necessary; all of this is an aspect of Wisdom – but the survey of the Whole and of the transcendent arena which lies above and beyond the fine points of metaphysics (or any other intellectual study) has to do with the HEART, not the processes of mentation.
In the "outer" world the philosopher discovers and science rushes to confirm. In the inner world, intellect confirms the Heart's Self-discoveries.
"Then why is the 'enlightened' literature of the world aimed toward the religious mystic and metaphysician?"
Because the "metaphysical-mystical state of mind" (Huxley) is the least likely to slam the door in its face. By and large, the "introspective self-examination of metaphysics" (James) is most willing to grant the possibility of the HEART and its "super-experience of illumination" (Ouspensky). Ordinary theology is generally unaware of the metaphysical solipsism  that undergirds the genuine mysticism and metaphysics whose principle aim is to do more than make a human experience more comfortable.
[1. The view that only one's own mind is sure to exist.]
Likewise, the struggle with the detail of metaphysics, as though one were a student, precludes [prevents] the conscious recognition of Identity, the experience usually called "illumination".
This experience is the real aim of genuine "religious" instruction, especially metaphysics and mysticism, but it is not limited to their students. It has nothing to do with intellectual attainment. It has naught to do with who is worthy by any human standard, with who has studied what, with whom or how long ago.
Rather, it has to do with GOD – it has to do with deific simplicity and godly gentleness. It has to do with honesty and guilelessness. Most of all it seems to me to have to do with simple, credulous childlikeness, willing to acknowledge the presence of a Light that stands on its own and for which there can be found no intellectual undergirding capable of satisfying the "supreme logic" of intellectualism, nor, I might add, capable of satisfying the monumental ego that the hard study of mysticism, et al, seems capable of producing.
The intellect is incapable of opening the Heart. The Heart of the Child opens and intellect follows – filled in a twinkling with an immediate knowledge of detail a lifetime of study could never, never accomplish.
Then how do we study? With the gentle grace of Light examining Itself. From the position of Intelligence already intelligent, happily examining and being amazed by its infinite detail. We study by tangibly, practically, actually LIVING the Light of our Self that has already been disclosed and by ending our reticence to surrender the uttermost farthing of the former (more limited) concept of Self. We study by learning the lessons that come from living our Light enthusiastically – and by telling "others" of the wonders we have found.
But we study best by returning to the native, intuitive, heartfelt Child we are. What Nicoll refers to as the "profundities of paradox" may titillate and inspire us, but the child we are understands them.
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