When St. Patrick first came to Ireland in the 5th century A.D, he encountered the Celts, a unique race of people who found divinity all around them: in the rivers and hills, the sea and sky and in every kind of animal. Surviving to this day, the Celts' reverence for the spirit in all things, and their celebration of the continuous mysteries of everyday existence is a vibrant spiritual legacy unique in the Western world, one that has captured the imaginations of thousands of Americans rediscovering the wisdom of the past.
In Anam Cara (Gaelic for "soul friend"), O'Donohue takes readers into a world where God's passionate side is celebrated and the Fates are not feared. Drawing on the wisdom of the Celts and their Druid shamans; the imbas (inspirational sagas) of the wandering bards; and the sacred fountainhead of the Christian monasteries, Anam Cara goes beyond traditional religious programs to provide an intuitive and truly accessible approach to spirituality. Exploring themes such as the divinity of solitude, the spirituality of the senses, the mystery of friendship, the beauty of aging and the concept of death in the Celtic tradition, it helps readers reconnect with the world around them and awaken the power hidden in their souls.
A "lively...generously illustrated" (Washington Post Book World) survey of how, over the past four thousand years, religious leaders, artists, writers, and ordinary people in the West have visualized Hell-its location, architecture, purpose, and inhabitants. Illustrations; full-color inserts.
" This] magnificent critical survey, with its inherent respect for both the 'Westt's mainstream high culture' and the 'radically changing world' of the 1990s, offers a new breakthrough for lay and scholarly readers alike....Allows readers to grasp the big picture of Western culture for the first time."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Here are the great minds of Western civilization and their pivotal ideas, from Plato to Hegel, from Augustine to Nietzsche, from Copernicus to Freud. Richard Tarnas performs the near-miracle of describing profound philosophical concepts simply but without simplifying them. Ten years in the making and already hailed as a classic, THE PASSION OF THE WESERN MIND is truly a complete liberal education in a single volume.
It was the invention and dissemination of alphabetic literacy some twenty-six hundred years ago that produced the Enlightenment that became our philosophical tradition. Descartes consolidated in his mind-body dualism the values and images of literacy that Western intellectuals embraced. But literacy was not without price, according to William H. Poteat: in a world of printed words and discarnate readers, nihilism and cultural insanity reign.
Poteat strikes through the veil of our literate imaginations to an archaic but still active reality that antedates literacy--the intractable and substantial actuality of the lively words we speak and hear spoken. In the medium of printed words he seeks the philosophic import of our ongoing oral/aural life, which has been obscured and denigrated by the images and values we have learned as readers. By every available rhetorical strategy, therefore, this must be an anti-book. It must strive to defeat our centuries-old habituation to the book as spectacle, in order that we may be brought to dwell in the immediacies of our lively selves in the world, as we do in our oral/aural life.
A Philosophical Daybook: Post-Critical Investigations sets out to induce a radical and irreversible transformation in the way we apprehend the world and our being in it. With journal entries written over fifteen months, Poteat attempts the impossible. In a world threatened by our own false conception of our nature and our place in the world, Poteat--by a feat of philosophical archaeology--seeks, still intact within ourselves, the ground for a new philosophy of the human.
Since his death in 1944, Rene Daumal has come to be recognized as one of the original minds of the twentieth century French letters. Poet, essayist, philosopher and translator, Sanscrit scholar and pupil of Gurdjieff, Daumal was a founder of the Grand Jeu group. He was iconoclastic and electic, able to embrace simultaneously Alfred Jarry's Pataphysics and Hindu teachings.
Daumal's two major works in English translation, Mount Analogue and A Night of Serious Drinking, have long been classics in this country; but until now, readers have not had acess to the full range of his thought. The Powers of the Word spans a lifetime of essays and notes-many here translated for the first time-from the earliest incitements to drug use and revolt; through Daumal's unique readings of literary works; to his more mature, but no less ardent, meditations.
"There are considerable portions of Ren Daumal's thinking that leave one with the sensation of watching a man climb out of sight on a steep slope.... Climbing was his vocation and his avocation, and he simply kept on going when others turned back.... In all his writing, the world of concrete objects carries its full common sense of pleasure and hardship, of beauty and blight. At the same time his philosophical turn of mind involves him in a real struggle of ideas, one usually carried on by closed minds and obscured by fuzzy words.... (His is) a startlingly clear voice in the din." --Roger Shattuck
Rene Daumal (1908-1944) was a French spiritual writer and poet. He is well-known for his posthumously published novel Mount Analogue and for being an outspoken practitioner of pataphysics.
The first novel of Sartre's monumental Roads to Freedom series, The Age of Reason is set in 1938 and tells of Mathieu, a French professor of philosophy who is obsessed with the idea of freedom. As the shadows of the Second World War draw closer -- even as his personal life is complicated by his mistress's pregnancy -- his search for a way to remain free becomes more and more intense.
Crossing the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, and literature, the Danish writer Soren Kierkegaard is regarded as one of the most significant and influential figures in contemporary thought. In Kierkegaard's view, faith is the most essential task of life. Faith is not a matter of dogmatic adherence, but rather of subjective passion. In Purity of Heart, Kierkegaard discusses different aspects of living, particularly the responsibility of single-minded spiritual seeking and ethical integrity, offering clues to the nature of the good while insisting that each reader must work this out for themselves.
Michel Foucult offers an iconoclastic exploration of why we feel compelled to continually analyze and discuss sex, and of the social and mental mechanisms of power that cause us to direct the questions of what we are to what our sexuality is.
Considered the preeminent verse satirist in English, Alexander Pope (1688-1744) brought wide learning, devastating wit and masterly technique to his poems. Models of clarity and control, they exemplified the classical poetics of the Augustan age.
This volume contains a rich selection of Pope's work, including such well-known poems as the title selection -- a philosophical meditation on the nature of the universe and man's place in it -- and The Rape of the Lock, a mock-epic of rare charm and skill. Also included are Ode on Solitude, The Dying Christian to His Soul, Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady, An Essay on Criticism, Epigram Engraved on the Collar of a Dog, Epistle IV] to Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington: Of the Use of Riches, Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot; or, Prologue to the Satires and more.
Taken together, these poems offer an excellent sampling of Pope's imaginative genius and the felicitous blending of word, idea and image that earned him a place among the leading lights of 18th-century literature.
Pierre Teilhard De Chardin was one of the most distinguished thinkers and scientists of our time. He fits into no familiar category for he was at once a biologist and a paleontologist of world renown, and also a Jesuit priest. He applied his whole life, his tremendous intellect and his great spiritual faith to building a philosophy that would reconcile Christian theology with the scientific theory of evolution, to relate the facts of religious experience to those of natural science.
The Phenomenon of Man, the first of his writings to appear in America, Pierre Teilhard's most important book and contains the quintessence of his thought. When published in France it was the best-selling nonfiction book of the year.