Sudasi reviews Avikal’s latest book: “A wonderful resource for everyone who seeks to deeply connect to the moment, and increase their awareness and understanding of themselves.”
Who Is In?
by Avikal Costantino
O Books (25 November 2022)
Paperback and Kindle version
Paperback: 208 pages, ISBN-10: 1785359479, ISBN-13: 978-1785359477
Kindle: ASIN: B0BHTXZQL5
Available via Amazon
I was thrilled when Avikal asked me to contribute to his book by proofreading and editing the early translation (from Italian to English) of each chapter as it was produced. This meant I read it in its earliest creative form, and now I read it again as this published version. As I read the final version, it felt to me, very compellingly, as if Avikal had been building up to this book for years.
One reason I loved the book was that I felt, in many instances, as if I was exploring with the author a deeply personal stream of consciousness – and yet, as I was absorbing and saturating myself in the content, I was also experiencing my self in the exploration of ‘Who is in?’
Some chapters were, for me, confounding and insightful in equal measure. There were times when I re-read sections so as to identify with and absorb the experience of this book – which is not to say that it is hard to read, only that for me it continued to invite me to explore the koan more deeply, in an experiential way.
I guess that is something that made reading the final version so compelling. I had experienced the book in its raw form, and had a lovely time with it. Then in reading its final fully edited version I felt a deepening of understanding.
I do recall asking Avikal who this book is for, and he said he was writing it as a direct reflection of his experience, and had not moulded it for a certain audience. And that is very much reflected within the book, and makes it so creative. He has shared such open, receptive experiences moment by moment, to bring to life the opportunity to explore who is in, that for me this was not so much a book that I read, as a book that page after page I deeply experienced.
The exercises Avikal shares (within the series of inquiries) invite that practical application of the mystery of exploring who is in. That paradox of the mystery and the practical co-habiting makes this such a valuable book for seekers. It doesn’t pretend or try, so much as invite the reader in to the glorious moving moment by moment exploration of ‘Who’.
That the journey beyond self-image is a unique one is well reflected in the contributions towards the end of the book. Here, a number of seekers share their personal journeys. Avikal has been able to share not only the complexity and mystery of the search, but also illustrates the fact that every exploration of ‘Who is in?’ is unique. I think this section invites the reader to be brave and bold and curious, and embrace whatever unfolds in their inquiry – and ultimately celebrate that beyond self-image there is only presence, and their uniqueness.
This book is a wonderful resource for everyone who seeks to deeply connect to the moment, and increase their awareness and understanding of themselves. And for anyone who loves the eternal, existential exploration of ‘Who is in?’