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Franklin Merrell-Wolff was an American mystic, philosopher, and mathematician. Born in 1887 in Pasadena, California, he was the son of a Methodist minister. He graduated from Stanford University in 1911 with a major in mathematics and minors in philosophy and psychology, proceding to Harvard graduate school to study philosophy, where he was particularly influenced by the study of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. As a result of his philosophical studies, Wolff "became convinced of the probable existence of a transcendent mode of consciousness that could not be comprehended within the limits of our ordinary forms of knowledge." He left his teaching career to engage in a spiritual quest.

Wolff's twenty years of seeking included studies of yoga, theosophy, Sufism, and Hinduism. Later he was drawn to the philosophical works of the Indian sage Shankara, who founded the Advaita Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy. While in deep contemplation of the teachings of Shankara, in 1936, his efforts culminated in two Transcendental Realizations which provided the foundation for his philosophy. While the first Realization confirmed the perspective of Shankara's philosophy, the second opened Wolff's philosophical view beyond his understanding of Advaita Vedanta. His books Pathways Through To Space and The Philosophy of Consciousness Without An Object provide a detailed record of his realizations and a philosophical description of Transcendental Consciousness. He spent his retirement years at the foothills of the eastern Sierra Nevada near Lone Pine, California and died there in 1985 at the age of 98.

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  • 43
  • Spirituality
  • Mar 27, 2003
  • English

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