--C.F. Kelley, from the Preface
The first book to reveal the history of Western sexual mysticism- Reveals the secret sexual practices that have been used since ancient Greece to achieve mystical union with God - Details the sects and individuals who transmitted the radical sexual practices that orthodox Christianity never completely silenced - Distinguishes between sexual magic and sexual mysticism Beginning with the ancient Greek Mystery traditions, Gnosticism, and the practices in early Christianity, Arthur Versluis uncovers the secret line of Western sexual mysticism that, like the Tantra of the East, seeks transcendence or union with God through sexual practices. Throughout antiquity, and right into the present day, sexuality has played an important, if largely hidden, role in religious traditions and practices. This includes not only Christian but also kabbalistic and hermetic alchemical currents of sexual mysticism, many discussed together here for the first time. In the Mystery tradition of hieros gamos (sacred marriage) and the Gnostic tradition of spiritual marriage, we see the possibility of divine union in which sexual union is the principal sign or symbol. Key to these practices is the inner or archetypal union of above and below, the intermingling of the revelatory divine world with the mundane earthly one. Versluis shows that these secret currents of sexual mysticism helped fuel the rise of the troubadours and their erotic doctrine, the esoteric teachings of Jacob B hme in the late 16th century, the 19th-century utopian communities of John Humphrey Noyes and Thomas Lake Harris, the free love movement of the 20th century, and the modern writings of Denis de Rougemont and Alan Watts.
- The first book to seriously examine the feminine aspect of Egyptian religion sheds new light on the important role of the goddess Hathor-Sekhmet.- This accessible study sheds much new light on ancient Egypt and provides a powerful new perspective on women's theology. - The text is accompanied by nearly 200 striking and unusual illustrations Drawing from temple art, myths, rituals, and poetry, Hathor Rising is the first book to seriously examine the feminine aspect of the complex Egyptian pantheon and to shed new light on the pivotal place held there by the fiery serpent-eyed goddess, Hathor-Sekhmet. The primary importance of this goddess is emphasized by the serpent coiled over the forehead of every pharaoh--the supreme symbol of royal power in ancient Egypt. The erotic vitality and fierce aggression of the goddess, qualities commonly perceived as masculine in nature, gives the reigning Pharaoh the capacity for dynamic leadership. The author explores the symbolism behind this and other manifestations of the goddess in Egyptian cosmology and provides new revelations on the rich tradition of feminine divinity in Egypt. Hathor Rising is the most important study of one of the world's oldest civilizations to appear in years.
Whatever human beings do - however compulsive or ludicrous - to Rumi, it affords a glimpse of the inner life. This work reveals the very human properties in Rumi's vision. It includes the notorious 'Latin Parts' that Reynold Nicholson felt were too unseemly to appear in English in his 1920s translation.
This new edition of the Image classic, with more than 100,000 copies sold, brings E. Allison Peers's magnificent translation of St. John of the Cross's masterpiece Dark Night of the Soul to a new generation of readers and will renew the interest of those already familiar with its soaring poetry and timeless truths. The sixteenth-century Carmelite monk St. John of the Cross stands alongside St. Teresa of Avila as the West's best known and most beloved Christian mystic. As Peers writes in the Introduction to his definitive translation of Dark Night of the Soul, "The most sublime of all Spanish mystics, he soars aloft on the wings of Divine love to heights known hardly to any of them... True to the character of his thought, his style is always forceful and energetic."Dark Night of the Soul follows the soul's journey from a state of abandonment and darkness to a loving union with God. In a voice at once grandiose and melodious, and a style that combines the systematic theology of St. Thomas Aquinas with rapturous poetry, St. John describes the process of moving away from routine religious rituals and embracing a Being who can be known only through love. His words, Peers writes, "are a wonderful illustration of the theological truth that grace, far from destroying nature, ennobles and dignifies it, and of the agreement always found between the natural and the supernatural -- between the principles of sound reason and the sublime manifestations of Divine grace." One of the greatest contributions to the literature of mysticism, Dark Night of the Soul offers support and encouragement to all who seek oneness with God.
The history and philosophy of the mysterious Cathar religion and its lost treasure- Demonstrates that Catharism is not simply a heretical Christian cult as it is often portrayed - Examines the evidence for the existence of a lost Cathar treasure and its possible connection to the Holy Grail On March 16, 1244, over 200 Cathars were captured in their fortress stronghold of Monts gur and were burned alive by troops of the Inquisition. While some Cathar enclaves survived into the next century, this was the death blow to a religion that had been a powerful symbol of Occitain sovereignty against the designs of the French monarchy and the papacy. History has recorded that four high-ranking Cathar perfecti carried a great treasure out of Monts gur the night before its fall, a fact that led rebel Huguenots of the 17th century and members of Hitler's S.S. to believe that an enormous treasure or weapon of awesome spiritual power lay hidden somewhere nearby the ruins of the former Cathar stronghold. Seeking to untangle the true from the false, Celtic and medieval scholar Jean Markale meticulously searches through the obscure history of the Cathars, tracing their roots back to the ancient Zoroastrian religion of Persia. He examines what earned the Cathars--who practiced vegetarianism, non-violence, and tolerance--the ruthless persecution of both the Church and the state. He explores their doctrine, their place in medieval Occitain culture, and their secret pact with the Knights Templar. Most important, he uses all available documentation to reveal the nature of the treasure the Cathars spirited away from their fortress at Monts gur the night before its surrender to French troops.
Bound by religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the Knights Templar were a Military Crusading Order engaged in religious war in the Holy Land. At the end of the thirteenth century, after their withdrawal from Syria, they became the apparently innocent victims of a campaign of slander and persecution mounted against them by the French government.The ruthless dissolution of the Knights Templar was only the beginning of a new and strange chapter in their history. They soon became the focus of numerous beliefs about their presumed occult powers, and by the eighteenth century their history had undergone a mythical metamorphosis--they figured highly in occult fantasies of magical practices and hidden knowledge as well as in the romance of the Gothic novel, with its frequent tales of monastic impropriety. In this widely praised book, author Peter Partner elucidates the history of the Templars as well as the beliefs that have developed around them in more recent times. From the tangled traditions of occultism to concepts of crusading chivalry, from political conspiracy to governmental greed and papal corruption, Partner shows how a medieval act of political injustice grew into a modern fantasy.
Responding to the extraordinary number of questions raised by recent cultural phenomena such as "The Gospel of Judas" and "The Da Vinci Code," "New York Times" bestselling author Sylvia Browne brings readers the "full" story of the life of Jesus
New discoveries in archaeology and recent bestsellers and movies such as "The Da Vinci Code" and "The Passion of the Christ" have sparked a renaissance of the many controversies that have remained unanswered in Christianity and other religions. At the heart of these controversies is Jesus. With a unique perspective only Sylvia Browne could bring, "The Mystical Life of Jesus" is filled with the details of Jesus? inspiring life.
Including his birth, childhood, travels, ministry, miracles, crucifixion, death, and resurrection, she addresses all of the major controversies:
? Was there a virgin birth?
? Was there a Star of Bethlehem?
? What did he do for the first thirty years of his life?
? Was he married?
? Was he divine?
? Was it a miracle at Cana (and who was getting married)?
? Is there a Jesus lineage?
Using her unique relationship with her spirit guide and her years studying the controversial Gnostic texts, Sylvia answers all of these questions with a confidence and authority only someone who has visited the afterlife can have.
A groundbreaking look at the phenomenon of the labyrinth, connecting this ancient symbol to modern scientific principles.- Illustrated with labyrinths from around the world and throughout history. - Demonstrates how the labyrinth differs from a maze and how it is a tool for interpreting ancient myths and religious beliefs. - Draws parallels between the labyrinth and quantum physics, showing how through the secrets of the labyrinth we can unlock the mystery of life itself. The powerful symbol of the labyrinth exists in countless cultures spanning the globe from Africa and ancient Greece to India, China, and pre-Colombian North and South America. For centuries they have been used for religious rituals, meditation, and spiritual and physical healing. In the labyrinth humanity finds a model of the quintessential sacred space that depicts the most profound levels of consciousness. Its center is regarded in many cultures as a door between two worlds, thus providing individuals with the ideal place for self questioning and meditation. In a comprehensive exploration of this time-honored symbol, Patrick Conty shows how the geometrical construction of the ancient labyrinth corresponds exactly with today's modern geometry, illustrating that recent developments in math and physics parallel the science of ancient civilizations. By looking at the way the two systems complement each other, Conty draws new conclusions about the ancient world and how that world can benefit us right now. Conty explores not only physical labyrinths but also reveals how the same transcendent principles are at work in Celtic knot work; the designs of ancient Chinese cauldrons; the tattoos and tracings of primitive art; the textiles of Africa, Peru, and Central America; and the geometric patterns in Islamic art.