Before its publication, a draft of the original question and answer version was shown to Sri Ramana for his approval, and when he read it he noticed that Sivaprakasam Pillai had expanded his original answer to the first question, adding a detailed list of things that we mistake ourself to be, but that in fact we are not. On seeing this, he remarked that he had not answered in such a detailed manner, but then explained that, because Sivaprakasam Pillai was familiar with nēti nēti , he had added such detail thinking that it would help him to understand his answer more clearly.
Many people have helped in this project, directly or indirectly, and I would like to acknowledge my debts to them. First of all, Phra Ajaan Fuang Jotiko, in addition to being the original inspiration for the research, provided me with the training that has formed the basis for many of the insights presented here. The example of his life & teachings was what originally convinced me of Buddhism's worth. A. K. Warder's excellent Introduction to Pali made learning Pali a joy. Marcia Colish & J. D. Lewis, two of my professors at Oberlin College, taught me — with no small amount of patience — how to read & interpret ancient texts. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Donald Swearer, John Bullitt, Margaret Dornish, Robert Ebert, Michael Grossi, Lawrence Howard, & Doris Weir all read earlier incarnations of the manuscript and made valuable suggestions for improvements. I, of course, am responsible for any mistakes that may still remain.