The co-editors of Gnosis magazine explore the many esoteric traditions that Western culture has to offer. While terms from Eastern spiritual practices such as Zen, mantra, and karma have become part of our daily lexicon, the traditions of Western spirituality have been largely unexplored by people searching for non-mainstream routes to spiritual experience. But for those who identify with Western culture, Western religious traditions have their own wisdom teachings that are more suitable to their needs and expectations. Many of those searching for alternative religions are not even aware that Western civilization has always had its own traditions, which are often hidden.
In this fascinating introduction to non-mainstream Western spirituality, the coeditors of Gnosis magazine - today's leading journal of mystical spirituality - 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.
©2006 Richard Smoley and Jay Kinney (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I had to listen to it again right after I got to the end ... it is such an easy listen while being so profound ...
This was a leisurely stroll through interesting esoteric subjects. Very interesting and entertaining with good insights and a balanced perspective. It gives you just a "taste," and isn't too focused on any single tradition. I thought it was smart to start the book up with Jung.
Loved it, good narrator, best part was the very ending, whatever you find out about life or the universe keep to yourself dont force/preach to the people, only for those who ask and are interested.
Have not read the print version
i enjoyed the entire listening experience.
Very easy to listen to. Pleasant voice
Can't be done. Too much here.
A fantastic overview of the entire history of Christian esoteric thought and practice. A complete pleasure to listen to. Very comprehensible and well written.
The book tweaked my interests in many areas that I haven't explored before. Mr. Sawyer's interpretation of such a deep and broad ranging subject was far from the dry, lifeless norm for such a research. But then it is as evident that Smoley and Kinneys writing put the material in a well thought out modern perspective, while not overly simplifying the many contributions to the Western Occult Tradition, or the unique nuances each brought to its development. This deserves rereading, as I'm quite sure I will pick up more insight and a better understanding of this fascinating and highly complex subject matter. One of the things I most enjoyed was the treatment of western thought in relation to eastern. Nothing in the progression of wisdom can ever be done totally in a vacuum, and relationships and influences are important, even though how they may be perceived or found useful in the Western mind and culture is often quite different from that of the East. Enlightening, and thought provoking.
Fantastic audio quality, information presented with a great deal of support and knowledge of where dither information can be found, all while maintaining an unbiased tone and encouraging belief with a healthy backing of skepticism and trust in one's own personal b.s. meter.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
Even if you aren't a seeker, this is a fascinating introduction to neglected traditions and history in Western culture.
This discussion of Western spiritual traditions is objective, piercing, and sympathetic.
Smoley and Kinney write clearly and with subtle, dry humor about serious and complicated issues surrounding spirituality in a way that a non-academic can understand. It's like listening in, over lunch, on a long conversation between two thoughtful masters in their field.
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