Mysticism

Characteristics of Mysticism, Part 3: Practical Spiritual Activity

Last time we looked at the difficulties mystics have expressing their experiences, and introduced the four characteristics of mysticism. In part three of our extracts from Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill, she goes into more detail about the first two characteristics. Extract: “(1) Mysticism is practical, not theoretical. “This statement, taken alone, is not, of course,… Continue reading Characteristics of Mysticism, Part 3: Practical Spiritual Activity

Mysticism

Characteristics of Mysticism, Part 2: Ineffable Reality and Symbolism

Last time we looked at the differences between mysticism and magic, as explained by Evelyn Underhill in Mysticism. In part two, we continue the extracts with a look at why mystics have such trouble expressing their experiences in words, and introduce the four characteristics of mysticism. Extract: “The greatest mystics, – Ruysbroeck, St. John of… Continue reading Characteristics of Mysticism, Part 2: Ineffable Reality and Symbolism

Book Reviews

Review: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

This week I’m reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M Pirsig. It’s a curious book: not really a novel, more an excuse to philosophise about anything and everything, and likely to provoke many arguments and lots of feverish thinking. The narrator of the tale sets out on a road trip with… Continue reading Review: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Book Reviews

Review: The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

This week I’m reading The Tao of Pooh, a fun little book that explores Taoism through the wisdom of the Bear of Little Brain. Benjamin Hoff uses stories from the classics Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner to introduce the principles of Taoist philosophy, with original illustrations by E.H. Shephard plus loads… Continue reading Review: The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

Film & TV

Assassin’s Creed: a film confused by its Gnostic roots

Part of my occasional series on mystical and gnostic themes in Film & TV. The film adaptation of the Ubisoft game Assassin’s Creed had some intriguing possibilities in its mythology so I checked it out. There’s a lot of hoo-ha around the problem of video games making bad movies and many people were optimistic about this… Continue reading Assassin’s Creed: a film confused by its Gnostic roots

Book Reviews · Buddhism

The Sun of Wisdom: Teachings of the Noble Nagarjuna – Review

The Sun of Wisdom is a commentary on one of the classics of Buddhist literature by one of the great Tibetan masters, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso. Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way was written by Nagarjuna in the 2nd century and is a commentary on the Buddha’s teachings on the nature of appearance and emptiness. The… Continue reading The Sun of Wisdom: Teachings of the Noble Nagarjuna – Review

Book Reviews · Spirituality

Philosophy Bookshelf

A selection of recommended Philosophy books for anyone on the path to awakening and self-knowledge. These are some of the books I’ve found particularly interesting or inspiring over the years. There are longer reviews attached via links, and more to come… David Edwards – Free to be Human Subtitled Intellectual Self-Defence in an Age of… Continue reading Philosophy Bookshelf

Mythology

Tarot Hero’s Journey: The Hierophant

The next step on our journey to awakening is The Hierophant, or The Pope. He sits between two pillars holding a triple-tiered cross and blesses two kneeling priests before him. This is card number 5 which stands for creative thought, moral law and intellectual synthesis. It represents life being made whole as the four cardinal… Continue reading Tarot Hero’s Journey: The Hierophant

Astrology · Book Reviews

Cosmos and Psyche: Book Review

In this groundbreaking book, Richard Tarnas demonstrates the consistent correspondence between planetary alignments and the archetypal patterns found running through human history, both collectively and individually. Subtitled Intimations of a New World View, it offers a worldview and cosmology to heal the disastrous split in the Western psyche and is based on thirty years meticulous… Continue reading Cosmos and Psyche: Book Review