©2002 Richard Smoley; (P)2006 BMA Studios
"Smoley presents his work simply and convincingly, with a conversational tone of voice. His scholarly text is balanced by an overriding gentleness that encourages his listener to take in the book's message of spiritual study and discovery. Those with an academic bent will find much to stimulate new inquiry, and those with a more heart-based faith will absorb the message and appreciate the guided meditations." (AudioFile)
I'm a modern day rocker pirate!!! }; )~
I really never thought I'd find a modern book that gives so much hidden esoteric & symbolic knowledge & wisdom. I have been a member of several esoteric groups for many years that have not penetrated this deeply into the true & highest levels of understanding of a path that I gave up many years ago. This book has given me a new & dynamic perspective of Christianity & completely reinvigorated my interest in it's teachings. Richard Smoley is not only an adept but his voice & tone is pleasant & scholarly while he is able to articulate intricate information in a way that even a beginner on the path can understand & assimilate into daily practices that will reap wisdom & self knowledge for a lifetime.
I have over 300 audio books in my Audible library and this is the first book that compelled me to write a review. It continues to hold my interest and is a great balance of scholarship and modern language. There is substance for the experienced adept as well as the uninitiated. There are so many outstanding attributes contained in this audio book, that I also purchased and read the paperback and buy copies for friends and fellow esoteric students. Give this well researched and written gift to yourself.
Very detailed without being overwhelming. He explains much in a very orderly manner that most who follow the path must either discover or dig out on ones own. He provides a launch pad for further study, (very little of which is unfortunately in Audible.)
Eye-opening, inspiring, amazing.
Richard Smoley unveils some of the symbolisms of the cross to make it understandable by the layman. One of them, the cross as the living intersection of time and space was brought about by unassailable reasoning. And led the listener to a long meditative inner travel...
No, but seriously looking forward to.
This can't be made into a film, as several avenues are only uncovered and not followed.
Some reviewers blamed the book for trying to be all things to all. I'd rather want to thank the author for sharing so much knowledge in so narrow a space. The book needs to be listen over and over to be truly digested.
Say something about yourself!
Yes. Interesting approach to old stories!
Fresh, interesting, well presented by author!
Neither! Good book!
Like to see more speakers like Smoley! Straight forward! No music! Just the facts as the writer sees it.
The many places where Smoley made New Testament passages come alive with an unorthodox, "esoteric," yet plausible and never "new-agey" interpretation.
The various historical references, and the "light-bulb-on" interpretation of many previously-puzzling biblical quotations.
His voice was conversational, clear, very easy to listen to. It was like having an old friend or a father-figure sitting next to you and discussing these interesting ideas with you. His reading style was very natural and pleasant.
No - parts of it (historical overviews, and especially the chapter on "Symbols and Sacraments,") would make the book "too much" for a one-sitting listen!
Overall I immensely enjoyed listening to it, and felt I learned a lot. It is a little uneven - the material in some parts was, for me, more enjoyable or instructive than in others. For instance, there was a warm and wonderful discussion of the esoteric view of "Love, Evil, and Forgiveness." There was then a jarring shift (for me, at least) into a dry and academic (and sometimes pretty speculative) discussion of "Symbols and Sacraments," material I just could not engage with, and felt would never end! Overall, however, the book was fascinating and instructive, with just a few of these "speed bumps," so "four stars."
I enjoyed parts of the book here and there, but in my opinion, the book tries to do too much. The book is far from being a history book, but also touched on Biblical symbolism, meditation method and modern theological theory. Ultimately, the effort was a far cry from the success it could have been, it would also help if the subjects were arranged chronologically instead of by topics.
Smoley takes on the daunting and laudable task of examining the intersection of esoterica and exoteric praxis within Christianity. Unfortunately, he has done only damage to the topic. The most notable failure for Smoley is not his breadth of knowledge concerning esoteric subjects (of which I claim no expertise with which to judge), but his impoverished understanding of Christianity and its doctrine, out of which comes an even more impoverished sense of history and sacramentality. One should not, as Smoley does, neglect to make distinctions between an orthodox Christian canon of spiritualities and anthropologies and the botched attempts by unanchored fools whose addled sense of spirituality leads to lunacy more than illumination.
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