From the Author

Surendra James Conti

Surendra James Conti

As an avid observer of life in all of its manifestations – familiar, peculiar, and inscrutable – I invite you to join me in these books on a journey into the wilds of what I have seen. My experience, although unique, is collectively ours. The hopes and fears we share, the joys and woes we have known, are surely much the same.

Born in 1943, I was raised in the heady years of post-war renewal, a great time to be a kid. It wasn’t until twenty years later, November 22, 1963, that the world changed for me and my generation. It happened in barely an instant. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy took the innocence out of our sails.

As I look back now, my journey has meandered through many careers and occupations, all of which have served to inform the writer that I have become. Above all, it is my spiritual path, however – a universal blend of “original Christianity” and the Vedic wisdom of India – that has led me to who I am, why I am here, and what this human life is all about. For that blessed perspective, I am most deeply indebted to my guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, and his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda.

Paramhansa YoganandaSwami Kriyananda

About the Books

Let Me Remember This

Observations and Thoughts On the Path to Higher Awareness

Surendra James Conti

Practical in its wisdom, provocative in its perspective, and generously infused with humor and heart, Let Me Remember This is a journey of self-discovery for the writer and reader alike. It’s a journey into the consciousness of all that we are and all that is.

Although each of us is unique, our quest is the same: to realize our highest potential, which is not of this earth. These essays invite us to see our way to that summit. Ultimately, it is less about learning anything new and more about remembering what we’ve forgotten: that we are beings of light, divinely endowed. Joy awaits within.

Some would say the opposite of reason is madness, and yet madness has often been the result of what we reason to do.

Truth is all that really counts. It is at our peril that we ignore or distort it, for it alone will have the final say.

If you would be here now, you must take off your “expectacles” and own the moment as it is.

… And remember: You must be present to win.

Let Me Remember This is a book of essays and commentaries. In it you will meet my heroes, encounter my peeves, hopefully enjoy the humor that underlies most of our fears and frustrations, and hopefully too, find a wealth of ideas that could be applied to make this world a happier, healthier place for one and all.


My life has not been one of extremes, nor of exceptional drama. But in the course of my years, I have seen changes in the world that have far exceeded the science fiction of my youth. The age of atomic energy, which exploded into existence when I was a child of two, has since given way to a dozen successors, the latest of which is the age of virtual reality. What next? We have landed men on the moon, mapped and demystified the wonders of the human brain; and now, in our startling output of innovation, it seems we have come to the brink of wonder’s demise. Who is surprised by anything anymore?

I have been journaling my thoughts and observations since the 1970s. This book of essays, reflections, and poems has been culled from that volume of work, ranging widely in content, with an emphasis on my inward journey. It’s a compilation of reminders, to me in particular, to live the teachings that I have been blessed to receive and put into words.

As I wrote on the book’s title page, “Memory fades over time like a photograph left in a window that catches the light. Most of what is missing doesn’t matter. But let me remember this.”

And This Too

More of What This Life Is About

Surendra James Conti

Things change. Even within the illusion of time, every moment, and every atom within it, is different than in the moment before. The universe, by nature, is relentlessly in flux. It is God’s dream, and God dreams in motion.

Things change, and as they do, we get on with getting on or off. The whole of life is a dance, and although the tune is not always ours to call, we can give it our best. It’s not about skill or style. It’s about committing to live in joy.

This book, And This Too, is who I am, a further account of my thoughts as the shuffle of tunes has played around and within me, sometimes sweetly and sometimes not. Perhaps you will find this something of your book too.

The reason we are here, in this dream of body and mind, is because we have yet to become who we truly are.

The difference between a writer and one who isn’t, is that writing for the writer takes far more time and fewer words to finish.

We may accidently make a foolish mistake, but we do not accidentally make it again. It becomes a choice.

Everything passes away, moving by the moment in route to Eternity’s edge. We are losing ground even as we seem to gain it. This frightens us, but why? Why do we forget to sing of that which does not die?

What is it for, this passing away, if not to wake us to the life that is forever, to the song of our immortality and the bliss that our mortal living has resisted?


What can we know of this decade, these challenging twenties? Only that we will be tested, perhaps more severely than in any decade before. We can know that its time and space will compress, that everything about it will happen faster, demanding of us the resilience and stamina to adapt.

Will today’s winds be whipped into storms? Who would dare to think not? It is time to prepare, as it always is, for the chance of typhoon forces to surge against us. Like the tree that has weathered the worst of these, we must focus on strengthening our roots, anchored in readiness for gusts that are likely to come with little warning. No terrible blow can break the one who has learned how to bend.

We can know of this decade only that we must meet whatever it brings, and that each meeting will offer a chance to find the gem within it. Love it, and it will serve you well.

Surfaces and Seems

In the Shallows and Fictions of Life, We and the World Go Awry

Surendra James Conti

From the moment of birth, the hourglass of our life is losing sand. Here is where everything ceaselessly moves, en route to eternity’s edge. We are giving up ground even as we seem to gain it, heading from form to formless, slowly passing away. This frightens us, but why? What is it for, this passing away, if not to wake us to the song of our immortality and the bliss that our mortal living has resisted? (page 134)

Each of us carries a different karmic load, yet the road for all is the same.

Your signature is written not with a pen, but with your ways of being.

Mind is a fickle guide to understanding. You must look and live beyond it.

Nothing ends that is not a new beginning.

Kerouac called it the machine, the force that drives our thinking. He wrote of reaching a point where he just wanted to stop it, and to ‘lie in the grass and look at the clouds.’

I, too, long for a pastoral reprieve when wrestling with that machine, with thoughts that lead only to wishes and where I would rather be. Meditation is meant to be that connection, but when the machine is running me a bit ragged, meditation gropes for the shut-off switch, often fails to find it, and I can do little more than write about. it. (page 234)


George Mallory, when asked a century ago why he wanted to scale to the summit of Mt. Everest, answered in four words: “Because it is there.” As a writer, my answer would be the same if asked why I am drawn to study the world within and around me.

George Mallory died on an Everest slope before fulfilling his quest, and I will surely die before my fascination with the world and its ways has run its irresistible course. Yet, each of us—seven billion and counting—will leave behind stories and aspirations that, for a time, will serve as teachings to others. Poet, thief, parent, savant, sociopath and everyone in between has come here not only to learn, but to teach.

The problem is, what we know is next to nothing; and what we think we know can be dangerous and often is. For the explorer and the scribe, the world is fascinating and irresistible indeed.

Book Reviews

“Reading Let Me Remember This is like having a conversation with a close, trusted friend. As a writer myself, I recognize a kindred spirit in Surendra who loves the beauty of words and the subtlety they can convey. As a seeker of truth, I see through his writings a soul who is on the same quest for the meaning behind life’s experiences. And as someone who has met truly wise people in my life, I acknowledge the deep wisdom he has gained. Poet, seeker, sage: Surendra is all of these, and his book is a gift to cherish for years to come.”

Let Me Remember This is a gem of a book that scintillates with warmth and wisdom. Gleaned from decades on the spiritual path, Surendra offers reflections, philosophical musings, life stories, dreams and insights to amuse, edify, and awaken us. His keen awareness, depth of heart and twinkle of humor make for thoroughly enjoyable reading while imparting important life lessons. Let Me Remember This will be a warmly welcomed companion to any seeker’s library.”

“Surendra James Conti’s book, Let Me Remember This, is filled with inspiration and insights, garnered from many years of introspection while following the spiritual path laid out by Paramhansa Yogananda, the great Indian master and author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi. Walk along with him as he takes you on a delightful journey from one beautiful thought-vista to the next, each insight directed toward the highest goal of Self-realization.”

“Reading Surendra’s Let Me Remember This feels like engaging in an inspiring and captivating conversation with a close friend in my own living room… like he’s holding up a mirror for me to see and experience my true, higher self in a number of different ways. Highly recommended reading.”

“In this beautifully written book, Surendra shares his journey, filled with very human experiences, insights, struggles, and devotion to the guidance of his beloved guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, and that of his spiritual teacher Swami Kriyananda. These pages are of his quest to move beyond egoic consciousness and remember the bliss and depth of the True Self. May we all, with the support of whatever path or wisdom tradition we follow, remember this.”

“Reading this book is like having an interesting conversation with a wise friend. Surendra has the gift of putting into words, the questions, and many of the answers, that intrigue all sincere truth seekers. Open the book anywhere. It will lighten your heart and give you something interesting to think about for the rest of the day. Highly recommended.”

And This Too gives us spiritual inspiration, laugh-out-loud humor, a lifetime’s wisdom, personal vulnerability, musings on history and the craft of writing, and profound insight, carefully woven into creative poetry and elegant prose. Reading the book is like having a long conversation with a wise friend, as much self-reflective as offering answers to the eternal questions. A good book to read if you want to be nudged into your own process of introspection.

And This Too is a book with the perfect subtitle: “More of What This Life Is About.” True wisdom awaits our perception, through an increasing willingness to shine more light on our inner, superconscious selves. Surendra reveals his sincere inner dialogues and light-filled inspirations, by the not-always-easy process of writing them down, clarifying them, and then sharing them freely with his readers.

The author is a deep, subtle thinker, well outside the box. Daily life with a spiritual focus. The writing is excellent — interesting, nicely challenging our preconceptions, but in a kind, often amusing way. Open the book anywhere and you’ll gain a deeper understanding of something you really need to know.

A lovingly-crafted book. Both timely and timeless, deep and light-hearted, these pages offer sophisticated questions with easy-to-understand instructions on how to find inner peace. Written with humor and grace, And This Too is a gift for all to treasure that assists in remembrance of our true nature.

Purchase Book

Inspiration for Challenging Times

The Way of the Way. - Let Me Remember This Blog Posts - Surendra Conti

The Way of the Way

Life is a pilgrimage. It is not a tour. Be its pilgrim, its…
Truth Does Not Require That We Accept it - Blog Posts - Surendra James Conti

Truth Does Not Require That We Accept It

But… “Be not deceived, God is not mocked.” It is said…
Democracy Vs Truth - Blog Posts - Surendra James Conti

Democracy vs. Truth

Why is there a disconnect between them? Shouldn’t the truth…
First, You Fall: Why is there a disconnect between them? - Blog Posts - Surendra James Conti

First, You Fall

When you and I were just learning to walk, we wobbled and fell…
Surendra Conti (author of Let Me Remember This) is offering a new series of posts: Inspiration for Challenging Times (COVID-19) related to the current global crisis.

Inspiration for Challenging Times (COVID-19) – March 2020

As a writer, I see it as a calling to bear witness to the pivotal…
Let Me Remember This is a collection of provocative essays that probe below the surface of what we think we know, a search for deeper meanings and wiser ways of being.

Let Me Remember This – The Why of the Why

I have been a writer for half a century. During that time, which…
As Many as Received Him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God. - Let Me Remember This Blog Posts - Surendra Conti

“As Many as Received Him…
… to them gave he the power to become the sons of God.”

That’s an unbeatable deal! But there seems to be confusion…
Maybe It's Time to Move - Let Me Remember This Blog Posts - Surendra Conti

Maybe It’s Time to Move

Each of us lives in a haunted house. Ghosts are there, and demons…
Conversations Overheard in My Head - Let Me Remember This Blog Posts - Surendra Conti

Conversations Overheard in My Head

What are you doing? I’m waiting. Waiting for what? Waiting…
Let Me Remember This - Lion: friend or foe?

Ego: Friend or Foe?

Have you ever had a nemesis? Someone you couldn’t get rid of,…
Can We See God? - Let Me Remember This - Surendra Conti

Can We See God?

In a word, no. Our human sight has a very limited range of visibility.…
The Trouble with How We Love

The Trouble with How We Love

It seems we were born to invent. For better or worse, it is what…
Self-Talk for Two

Self-Talk for Two

Do you ever feel like a slave? You mean to my career, to my…
Do You Need a Guru?

Do You Need a Guru?

In any field of practice, when we reach the limit of our expertise,…
Random Thoughts to Reflect On

Random Thoughts to Reflect On

Goodbye is never the end. In the end, we begin again. Hello,…
The Trouble with How We Love

The Trouble with How We Love

It seems we were born to invent. For better or worse, we incline…
It's Not About Innovation - Lone Tree

It’s Not About Innovation

Every age is an age of wonder, but some are more wondrous than…
How Do You Know? - Aurora Borealis

How Do You Know?

Can the trillions of cells in your body know what it’s like…
What's Holding You Back? - Autumn Path

What’s Holding You Back?

Maybe it’s how you were taught to get ahead. I was raised…
Still Trying to get It Right

Still Trying to get It Right

I keep hearing these days that happiness is a choice. Apparently,…
Ignorance: Bliss or Beware?

Ignorance: Bliss or Beware?

We’ve all heard it said that ignorance is bliss, and that what…
Shiva's Dance

Shiva’s Dance

In Hindu legend, Lord Shiva is depicted as Nataraja, lord of…

In Short…

Sadness comes of missing what is no longer there or never was:…

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