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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Barbara
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 03-17-14

Had to give it 5 Stars

Would you listen to Hidden Wisdom again? Why?

I had to listen to it again right after I got to the end ... it is such an easy listen while being so profound ...

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Interesting, enjoyable, not too deep

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Well written and performed

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very helpfull, answered alot of questions.

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic Overview Of Christian Esoteric Thought

Would you consider the audio edition of Hidden Wisdom to be better than the print version?

Have not read the print version

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hidden Wisdom?

i enjoyed the entire listening experience.

What about Ethan Sawyer’s performance did you like?

Very easy to listen to. Pleasant voice

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Can't be done. Too much here.

Any additional comments?

A fantastic overview of the entire history of Christian esoteric thought and practice. A complete pleasure to listen to. Very comprehensible and well written.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Awesome!!!

I Love this book, it's very informative. The authors were on point with all of the esoteric traditions discussed and highly educated. They did their research.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderfully informative and unbiased

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Susie
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 04-29-13

Everything You Ever Wanted to Gnosis

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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating journey through Western Esotericism

This audiobook is a super interesting listen about the western mystery traditions, providing enough information about each genre for a great introductory overview. The narration is among the better I have heard of any of them. If you are interested in knowing western occult theory and philosophy I would highly recommend this for an enlightening experience!

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  • Mr. J. Alliban
  • 04-13-18

Great overview

I wanted an overview of traditions such as Hermeticism, Kabbalism, Sufism and several others before delving deeper. This book certainly provided that. A must for any seeker of truth looking to explore a variety of esoteric religions.