As living experience, the advance to emancipation cannot be tied down to a series of mere negations, for such a mode of treatment omits precisely what is most essential to the spiritual quest — the immediacy of inner striving, growth, and transformation. Parallel to the demolition of old barriers there occurs, in the quest for deliverance, a widening of vistas characterized by an evolving sense of maturation, enrichment, and fulfillment; the departure from bondage, anxiety, and suffering at the same time means the move towards freedom and peace. This expansion and enrichment is made possible by the structure of the gradual training, which is not so much a succession of discrete steps one following the other as a locking together of overlapping components in a union at once augmentative, consummative, and projective. Each pair of stages intertwines in a mutually vitalizing bond wherein the lower, antecedent member nurtures its successor by serving as its generative base, and the higher, consequent member completes its predecessor by absorbing its energies and directing them on to the next phase in the series. Each link thus performs a double function: while rewarding the efforts expended in the accomplishment of the antecedent stage, it provides the incentive for the commencement of the consequent stage. In this way the graduated training unfolds organically in a fluid progression in which, as the Buddha says, "stage flows over into stage, stage fulfills stage, for crossing over from the hither shore to the beyond." 
Unlike the other major philosophical lights of his era, and despite having written more than any of them, Leibniz produced no magnum opus . He seemed most at home in dialogue, in correspondence, and in controversy. The Discourse on Metaphysics and Monadology are his most commonly studied works in metaphysics. Scholars disagree about the extent to which the two works are in accord, but they together provide a solid grounding in Leibniz’s thought. The Theodicy is a classic of philosophical theology and the New Essays provides the fullest account of Leibniz’s epistemology. This article will summarize Leibniz’s philosophy mainly as it is presented in these works. It would be a mistake, however, to think that one can get a full picture of Leibniz’s interests from these works and the reader is encouraged to consult the many excellent edited selections of Leibniz’s texts.