Main CategoriesMagic and SorceryWestern Mystery Schools Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions

Hidden Wisdom: A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions

Product no.: 0-14-019582-3
The co-editors of Gnosis magazine explore the many esoteric traditions that Western culture has to offer.

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Publisher's Synopsis

In this fascinating introduction to non-mainstream Western spirituality, the coeditors of Gnosis magazine guide you through the teachings of Jung and Gurdjieff, the Kabbalah, neo-paganism, shamanism, alchemy, Sufism, and more. Explaining the history and practice of each tradition and describing its important figures, the authors present the ideas, strengths, and weaknesses of each tradition and offer a wealth of resources for those interested in pursuing these paths further.

Reviews

"The topics covered include Jung's theories of the unconscious, Gurdjieffianism, gnosticism, the Jewish Kaballah, witchcraft and neopaganism, nativistic Shamanism, and the beliefs of Masons and Templars.

This book does a particularly good job on 'fringe' occult areas such as esoteric Christianity, astral light magic, and New Age theology. The authors take special care not to advocate one belief system over another and offer a highly readable account of Western spirituality and mysticism."        ~Library Journal

Excerpt
"Did Jung create, intentionally or inadvertently, a new faith that would supplant the waning religions of Western civilization?

In one sense anything that calls itself a religion must attempt to tell us about the unseen powers that rule the universe. It must purport to explain not only the workings of these powers but how we must conduct ourselves toward them in ritual, worship, or ethical behavior. Most religions (though not all) speak of a God or of gods.

Jung's view of such issues can be gleaned from a famous reply he gave in a BBC interview that was broadcast in 1959. The interviewer asked him if he believed in God. He answered, 'I know. I don't have to believe, I know.'

This could hardly sound more unequivocal. But in a letter written a few weeks later, Jung explained his statement thus: '[It] does not mean: I do know a certain God (Zeus, Yahweh, Allah, the Trinitarian God, etc.) but rather: I do know that I am obviously confronted with a factor unknown in itself, which I call God... This is the name by which I designate all things which cross my wilful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans, and intentions and change the course of my life for better or worse.'

This statement points to the crucial difference between Jung's psychology and religion as such. Jung was an empiricist. Metaphysical speculation did not interest him; indeed it is unclear whether he thought anything useful could even be learned by such means. Throughout his career he was concerned not with the abstract truths of the universe, but with leading individuals toward wholeness."

Author Smoley, Richard
Coauthor Kinney, Jay
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 389 pp.
Publisher Penguin/Arkana 1999
Browse these categories as well: Western Mystery Schools, Metaphysics, Mysticism and Initiation, Syncretism and the Perennial Philosophy

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