Spirituality

Non-duality and Esoteric Traditions

Non-duality is the realization that reality is a unity. It is not a system of related individual parts: this is only an illusion presented to an 'ego'. Consciousness is primary and the source of all existance. No separation exists between subject and object. This teaching will be found at the core of nearly all the major spiritual traditions. Unity implies that there is no separation between the illusory individual, ego or observer and the 'rest of the universe'. Reality is a process, the mysterious mechanics of which may be forever hidden from the five senses and all instrumentation that enhances them. Cause and effect are superficial appearances and thoughts are as 'real' (or 'immaterial' ?) as mass and energy and the fundamental fields of physics. They are all the same stuff.

There are further profound implications of a non-dualistic reality: thought affects - or even determines - the forms of the physical world. The informational structure of thoughts, intentions and emotions, difficult as this might be to conceive of, resonate with the deep structures or networks of bits of information that constitute the universe perceived by our senses. I am talking here about what has been called "magic" in all cultures throughout human history.

The word "magic" has accrued much stigma and misunderstanding, especially among those who hold strong traditional religious beliefs. It is perceived as mere superstition, sinister or even satanic. In the light of what I have written in the lines above it will be clear that I am saying it is a fundamental aspect of the way the universe works. The unitive interaction between thought and 'external' form is an essential aspect of the fundamental process of reality. It does not contradict the laws of nature: it is itself a law and works in tandem with them. Whether we know it or not, like it or not, we all engage in it. There is a vital interplay between spirituality and so-called "magic" because the former is concened with the path of wholeness and integration. If human beings are agents in a cosmic formative process then it is crucial that that engagement is fully conscious and done with wisdom by an informed will and not left to the unconscious forces of a fragmented psyche or performed under the motivation of greed or the lust for power.


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I Am That Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Behold, the deep sleep in which there is no notion of being this or that. Yet ‘I am’ remains. And behold the eternal now. Memory seems to being things to the present out of the past, but all that happens does happen in the present only. It is only in the timeless now that phenomena manifest themselves. Thus, time and causality do not apply in reality. I am prior to the world, body and mind. I am the sphere in which they appear and disappear. I am the source of them all, the universal power by which the world with its bewildering diversity becomes manifest. (From the Forward)

 

 
 

Notes on Spiritual Discourses Shri Atmananda

One need not be a devotee of Shri Atmananda or a follower of any Advaitic or any other Eastern tradition of spirituality to appreciate the profound wisdom of his teaching. This '..is a collection of dialogues compiled from Nitya Tripta's notes kept over the ten year period from 1950 to 1959, plus a biography and collection of spiritual statements from Atmananda. This is a new, digitally remastered PDF file, with searchable text and a linked PDF table of contents and index.'

From a review on Greg Goode's website heartofnow.com

 
 

Beyond Duality Dr. Norman Williams, Col. K. K. Nair & And Barry Oborne

Researched and compiled by Dr. Norman Williams, Col. K. K. Nair and Barry Oborne, this book deals with the lives and teachings of Saints and enlightened spiritual teachers of modern times. The book does not endorse, nor is it funded by, any particular religion or cult.

 

 

 

 
 
How to Become a Mystic Graham Ledgerwood

Has your mind ever astonished you? Have you suddenly realized what another person was about to say or do? Have you solved some difficult problems in seemingly miraculous ways? Have you ever felt ecstasy move through your body during moments of reflection? Has your heart leapt with indescribable joy and good will as you thought of other people? Do you mysteriously attract into your life whatever you yearn for in your moments of stillness? We welcome you to an exploration of the mystical part of your life — your amazing and invaluable higher consciousness. Nothing on earth is more rewarding than the discovery of your own levels of higher awareness.

Graham Ledgerwood from the website: http://www.themystic.org/

 
 

Astavakra Gita

The Ashtavakra Gita, or the Ashtavakra Samhita as it is sometimes called, is a very ancient Sanskrit text. Nothing seems to be known about the author, though tradition ascribes it to the sage Ashtavakra; hence the name. There is little doubt though that it is very old, probably dating back to the days of the classic Vedanta period. The Sanskrit style and the doctrine expressed would seem to warrant this assessment.The work was known, appreciated, and quoted by Ramakrishna and his disciple Vivekananda,as well as by Ramana Maharshi, while Radhakrishnan always refers to it with great respect. Apart from that the work speaks for itself. It presents the traditional teachings of Advaita Vedanta with a clarity and power very rarely matched.

The translation here is by John Richards, and is presented to the public domain with his affection. The work has been a constant inspiration in his life for many years. May it be so for many others.

Translator's introduction

 
The Gospel of Advaita Duncan Greenlees

Edited and translated from the sanskrit of various upanishads and gitas, of the Yoga-Vasistha Laghu, of various works ascribed to Sri Sankaracharya, etc. With introduction, explanatory commentary, full annotations and appendix by Duncan Greenlees. Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Madras, India.

 

 

 

 
 
Cosmic Consciousness Richard Maurice Bucke  

This is an attempted scientific study of illuminated individuals. Bucke provides three dozen very consistent examples of 'cosmic consciousness.' Some of these are the usual suspects, and others are contemporary case-histories which Bucke collected. Bucke proposed that these enlightened figures are evolutionary jumps, the precedecessor of a more advanced species.

From the description on archive.org

 

 
 
The Perennial Philosophy Aldous Huxley

The Perennial Philosophy is defined by its author as "The metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds." With great wit and stunning intellect, Aldous Huxley examines the spiritual beliefs of various religious traditions and explains them in terms that are personally meaningful.

 

 

 
A Course in Consciousness Stanley Sobottka

An understandable account for the non-scientist by Stanley Sobottka, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Virginia, of the reasons why consciousness is a necessary part of the most widely accepted interpretations of quantum theory.

Visit website at http://faculty.virginia.edu/consciousness/home.html

 

 

 
 

Post Mortem Experience in the Context of Non Duality Denis Martin

The question of 'post mortem experience' in the context of non-duality is problematic since many non-dualists deny the existence of a 'soul' and there is no longer a brain to process sense data or think. Therefore, it can be questioned whether the question itself has any meaning! ...is there a kind of 'pure experience' which does not necessitate any form of embodiment? In other words, what is Consciousness 'conscious of' when there are no sense data, memories or thoughts?

 

 

 
 
The Chaldean Oracles

The Chaldean Oracles...have survived as fragmentary texts from the 2nd century AD, and consist mainly of Hellenistic commentary on a single mystery-poem (which may have been compilations from several oracular sources, considering the random subject changes) that was believed to have originated in Chaldea (Babylonia). They appear to be a syncretic combination of Neoplatonic elements with others that were Persian or Babylonian in origin. Later Neoplatonists, such as Iamblichus and Proclus, rated them highly. The 4th-century Emperor Julian suggests in his Hymn to the Magna Mater that he was an initiate of the God of the Seven Rays, and was an adept of its teachings. When Christian Church Fathers or other Late Antiquity writers credit "the Chaldeans", they are probably referring to this tradition.

An analysis of the Chaldean Oracles demonstrates an inspiration for contemporary hermetic teachings: fiery emanations initiate from the transcendental First Paternal Intellect, from whom the Second Intellect, the Demiurge comprehends the cosmos as well as himself. Within the First Intellect, a female Power, designated Hecate, is, like Sophia, the mediating World-Soul. At the base of all lies created Matter, made by the Demiurgic Intellect. The matter farthest from the Highest God (First Father/ Intellect) was considered a dense shell from which the enlightened soul must emerge, shedding its bodily garments. A combination of ascetic conduct and correct ritual are recommended to free the soul from the confines of matter and limitations, and to defend it against the demonic powers lurking in some of the realms between Gods and mortals.

Wikipedia

 
 
The Egyptian Mysteries Iamblichos. Translated from the Greek by Alexander Wilder

Iamblichus is thought to have been born in Syria in the middle of the third century and is regarded as one of the great Neoplatonist philosophers. He founded a school in which he taught 'white magic' or 'theurgy'; he sought to uncover the invisible side of nature and to give Man the means to effect the union of the divine spark with its parent-flame within him. In this work, divided into ten sections, he gives a complete canon of pagan religious thought and belief and explains their background. The Neoplatonist Porphyry's Letter to Anebo, in which he criticises religious rituals and practices, and Iamblichus' response to this criticism, and defence of these traditions, are included.

 

 

 
The Gospel of Thomas
One of [the] documents [found at Nag Hammadi] begins with the scribal note in the margin, "The Gospel According to Thomas." And the first sentence of that document says, "These are the secret words which the living Jesus taught and which Judas Thomas Didymos wrote down." And then they start a total of over 110 sayings, each introduced by "Jesus said...." Some of those sayings have parallels in the gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke. Some of these have not. Some of these sayings may go back to a very early period of Christianity, some of them may have been added later. The document itself comes from the fourth century.... As with all gospel text, with this one in particular, we have to remember that these texts were fluid, that scribes could add, that scribes could leave out things, that scribes could add comments, or add an interpretation. So we cannot with certainty reconstruct what did the Gospel of Thomas look like around the year 100 or earlier. But it is very likely that it existed at that time, and that a good deal of the material that's now in that manuscript was already in a Greek manuscript that dates back to the first century. Which of course, is very exciting because here we have a collection of sayings of Jesus, additional sayings of Jesus, that were not known before, and the whole beginning of a new field of studies has opened up....

Now what is typical about these sayings is that in each instance, these sayings want to say that if you want to understand what Jesus said, you have to recognize yourself. You have to know yourself, know who you are. It begins with a saying about the Kingdom of God, "if you seek the Kingdom of God in the sky then the birds will precede you. And if you seek it in the sea, then the fish will precede you, but the Kingdom is in you. And if you know yourself then you know the Kingdom of God." (The Kingdom of the Father, in fact, it always says in the gospel of Thomas. Normally the Kingdom of the Father, not the Kingdom of God.) "But if you don't know yourself, you live in poverty." And poverty is understood as the ignorance of a life in its physical existence. Knowledge is understood to be the knowledge of one's divine origin, of the fact that one has come from the Kingdom. That we are on this earth only in a sojourn....

What does it mean really to know oneself? To know oneself is to have insight into one's own ultimate divine identity. You can go back to understand this to Greek models, which certainly exist. "Know yourself" is a very old Greek maxim... that is, you have to know that your own soul is divine, and then you know that you are immortal, whereas the body is the mortal part of human existence. Now this is radicalized in the Gospel of Thomas into saying that everything that is experienced physically and through sense perception, everything in this world that you can perceive in this way is nothing. It is, at best, chaos and, at worst, it doesn't even exist in reality. The only thing that really exists is your divine spirit or your divine soul, which is identical in its quality with God himself. And Jesus is the one who teaches that....

[When one truly knows oneself], one understands that one is divine, but also one understands that one is mortal. In such a way, you recognize that this mortality is really meaningless, as physical existence is meaningless. And therefore, death is no longer a problem, but death is a solution, because in death finally all this mortality will fall away, and the true self will be liberated to an independent existence that's no longer dependent on physical existence. And on everything that goes with physical existence, sickness and poverty and so on. And so physical existence is often described as poverty. But when you know yourself you are no longer in poverty.

Helmut Koester: John H. Morison Professor of New Testament Studies and Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History Harvard Divinity School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nag Hammadi Codices

The Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient codices containing over fifty texts, was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945. This immensely important discovery includes a large number of primary "Gnostic Gospels" - texts once thought to have been entirely destroyed during the early Christian struggle to define "orthodoxy" - scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth.The leather-bound codices were found at Nag Hammadi in 1945.

The discovery and translation of the Nag Hammadi library, completed in the 1970's, has provided impetus to a major re-evaluation of early Christian history and the nature of Gnosticism.

The Gnostic Society Library, http://gnosis.org

 
The Emerald Tablet of Hermes: The Wisdom and Responsibility of the Rosicrucians
Zoran Petrowanowitsch

The ancient text of the Tabula Smaragdina (Emerald Tablet), after it had been translated into Latin, has taken a prominent position within the spirituality of the West. The few surviving lines have inspired a whole epoch, so that one may speak of a time before and a time after its discovery. As a graphic enhancement, the text later received an emblem and the whole was included into the book Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians. After this contribution initially outlines the history of the text and the emblems, it will concentrate, with the aid of selected images from Rosicrucian and alchemical literature of the late middle ages, on the interpretation of the individual symbols of the emblem ...

 

 
The Theological and Philosophical Works of Hermes Trismegistus, Christian Neoplatonist John David Chambers.

1882. The Hermes Trismegistus of legend was a person, an Egyptian sage or succession of sages, who, since the time of Plato, has been identified with Thoth, the reputed author of the “Ritual of the Dead”, or, as styled in Egyptian phraseology, the “Manifestation of Light” to the Soul, who through it declared the will of the Gods and the mysterious nature of Divine things to Man. This Hermes – and there was but one among the ancient Egyptians – was worshipped as a god. Tertullian says, “In ancient times most authors were supposed to be, I will not say god-like, but actually gods; as, for instance, the Egyptian Hermes, to whom Plato paid very great deference.” Clement of Alexandria gives a detailed account of his works, forty-two in number – four of astrology, others of astronomy, geology, and hieroglyphics, and thirty-six of philosophy, hymns to God, religious ceremonies, and sacerdotal discipline. He was most fully imbued with every kind of learning, so that the knowledge of many subjects and arts acquired for him the name of “Trismegistus”. Hermes must have been a Greek living at Alexandria, subsequently to Philo Judaeus and Josephus, in the end of the 1st and beginning of the 2nd century; who assumed the name of Hermes in order to give greater weight to his teaching. Many, including early church fathers and editors of Hermes, may have been misled as to his great antiquity by the hieroglyphical representations of him; but the facts that the use of these characters lasted in Egypt down to the tenth year of Diocletian at the least, and that, the ordinary writing on papyrus in the National Library at Paris, some of which is entirely in Greek is not earlier than the times of Nero, refute their suppositions. It is quite impossible that an author who shows an intimate acquaintance with the phraseology of Plato, with the Hebrew Scriptures as extant in the Septuagint version, who reproduces the language of the Sermon on the Mount and of the Gospel, Epistles, and Revelation of St. John, and of St. Paul, can have flourished at so early a period. Many of the works of Hermes are probably still entombed in the libraries on the Continent; but those which have come to light, and are translated, are most remarkable and of very considerable importance, since they are the only treatises we possess of the kind belonging to that epoch.

Amazon Book Description

 

 

 
The Corpus Hermeticum translated by G.R.S. Mead

The fifteen tractates of the Corpus Hermeticum, along with the Perfect Sermon or Asclepius, are the foundation documents of the Hermetic tradition. Written by unknown authors in Egypt sometime before the end of the third century C.E., they were part of a once substantial literature attributed to the mythic figure of Hermes Trismegistus, a Hellenistic fusion of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth. This literature came out of the same religious and philosophical ferment that produced Neoplatonism, Christianity, and the diverse collection of teachings usually lumped together under the label "Gnosticism": a ferment which had its roots in the impact of Platonic thought on the older traditions of the Hellenized East. There are obvious connections and common themes linking each of these traditions, although each had its own answer to the major questions of the time.

 

 
The Enneads Plotinus
Plotinus is often accredited as the founder of Neo-Platonism. In an attempt to revive Platonic thought, this third century philosopher and mystic wrote about issues such as virtue, happiness, reason, body, and soul, with Plato's philosophy as his guide. Like Plato, Plotinus had much disdain for material things and instead embraced the idea of a higher realm of immaterial intelligibility. Plotinus located the source of creation in a supreme "One." Plotinus believed this "One" transcended being, nonbeing, multiplicity, and division. The Enneads were compiled by Plotinus' student, Porphyry, who gathered together his teacher's essays and arranged and edited them himself. These writings had a significant impact on the religious metaphysicians and mystics from the ancient world. Plotinus has also influenced many thinkers of Islam, Indian Monism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Emmalon Davis, The Christian Classics Ethereal Library, www.ccel.org

 
 
Dionysius the Areopagite, Works (1897) Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite

There remains for the Christian reader no theologian or scholar quite as enigmatic as Dionysius the Areopagite, also known as Pseudo-Dionysius. Dionysius is mentioned in Acts 17, as someone who became a follower of Christ through the preaching of Paul. In the fifth and sixth century, a number of works appeared under the name Dionysius the Areopagite. For centuries, the authorship of these writings was debated, and it is now accepted by most scholars that the author of these medieval texts remained anonymous and wrote under the pseudonym of Dionysius. John Parker, the translator and compiler of this specific collection of works, was one of the last to believe the anonymous author was in fact the first century apostle. The question of the exact authorship does not, however, take away from the power of the words and the great influence Pseudo-Dionysius has had on mystical thought, Christian theology, and liturgical awareness.

Laura de Jong, The Christian Classics Ethereal Library, www.ccel.org

 
 
Meister Eckhart's Sermons Johannes Eckhart

Eckhart’s theology is that of radical panentheism (“all in God, God in all”), which goes far beyond mere theism (which can only posit a transcendent “God up there” who sometimes personally intervenes “down here”), and certainly goes far beyond lowly pantheism (“all is God”—God is not more than the sum of creation). For Eckhart, God’s supremely glorious nature can only mean that God is fully transcendent and fully immanent, entirely beyond all and yet completely within all as the One Who alone IS, pure Spirit, the groundless Ground or Essence of all. For Eckhart, therefore, God is both the transpersonal Godhead (Gotheit) or “God beyond god,” and the personal Lord, i.e., the triune God—the Persons Father, Son and Holy Spirit in one nondual, indistinct Divine Nature...
In these very original works occur most of the statements charged (falsely) as being “heretical.” And it is in these sermons (many recorded by the Dominican nuns under his guidance) that Eckhart eagerly speaks to the listeners’ heart with his most intensely nondual, mystical parlance on the glory of God and the soul.

Timothy Conway, Enlightened-Spirituality.org

 
 
 
The Adornment of the Spiritul Marriage, The Sparkling Stone, The Book of Supreme Truth John of Ruysbroek
Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage is just one of the three works included in this version of St. John of Ruysbroek's (1293-1381) writings. It also includes The Sparkling Stone and The Book of Supreme Truth. St. John is well-known as a Christian mystic of Flemish descent who spent most of his life in solitude, living as a hermit or with a small number of disciples. Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage is a study of the Bible's metaphor of Christ as the Bridegroom and the church as the Bride, a "marriage" that produces perfect union. Union with God is also the theme of The Sparkling Stone and The Book of Supreme Truth, where St. John describes several mystical levels of union with God in which the human body and mind are forgotten. St. John is known for having an extraordinary propensity for theology and philosophy, and his works exhibit his great mind. These classic pieces of spiritual literature are rife with imagistic language and readers will be in awe of this spiritual giant's mind.

Abby Zwart, The Christian Classics Ethereal Library, www.ccel.org

 
 
 
The Cloud of Unknowing Anonymous
Some things never change, including the human need to connect with our creator. Prayer and meditation on the divine are techniques that have been used for millennia to grow in the knowledge of God. The Cloud of Unknowing documents techniques used by the medieval monastic community to build and maintain that contemplative knowledge of God. Scholars date the anonymous authorship of Cloud of Unknowing to 1375, during the height of European monasticism. Written as a primer for the young monastic, the work is instructional, but does not have an austere didactic tone. Rather, the work embraces the reader with a maternal call to grow closer to God through meditation and prayer.

Andrew Hanson, The Christian Classics Ethereal Library, www.ccel.org

 
 
Ascent of Mount Carmel John of the Cross
One of St. John of the Cross' most important and insightful works, Ascent of Mount Carmel is a brilliant work of Christian mysticism. Considered one of the great Spanish poets, St. John depicts the soul's ascent to Mount Carmel--allegorically, the place of God--and the "dark night" that the soul must endure to reach it. St. John describes the different mystic experiences the soul encounters on its way to union with God through the dark night. Although St. John continues to describe the dark night in Dark Night of the Soul, the sequel to Ascent of Mount Carmel, this book provides a hauntingly beautiful, profound, and mystical account of Christian spirituality. It is highly recommended.

Tim Perrine, The Christian Classics Ethereal Library, www.ccel.org

 
 
Dark Night of the Soul John of the Cross

A sequel and continuation of Ascent of Mount Carmel, the Dark Night of the Soul is a spiritually moving and mystical book. In it, St. John of the Cross continues his description of the soul's journey--the "dark night"--to the "divine union of the love of God." A poet at heart, St. John describes the journey and the union with beautifully rich and deeply symbolic language. However, St. John does not simply describe the journey; he seems at times to be offering encouragement and comfort directly to readers as they too struggle with the excruciating dark night. Offering hope to the downtrodden and discouraged, the Dark Night of the Soul is one of the most difficult books a person can read, but its difficulty is surpassed by its reward. One of the most profound works of Christian mysticism, this book is highly recommended for those seeking union with God.

Tim Perrine, The Christian Classics Ethereal Library, www.ccel.org

 
 
The Interior Castle or The Mansions St. Teresa of Ávila

The Interior Castle, or The Mansions, (Spanish: El Castillo Interior or Las Moradas) was written by St. Teresa of Ávila, O.C.D., the Spanish Discalced Carmelite nun and famed mystic, in 1577 as a guide for spiritual development through service and prayer. Inspired by her vision of the soul as a crystal globe in the shape of a castle containing seven mansions, which she interpreted as the journey of faith through seven stages, ending with union with God.

Wikipedia


 
The Inner Life Francois Fénélon

“WHAT men stand most in need of, is the knowledge of God. They know, to be sure, by dint of reading, that history gives an account of a certain series of miracles and marked providences; they have reflected seriously on the corruption and instability of worldly things; they are even, perhaps, convinced that the reformation of their lives on certain principles of morality is desirable in order to their salvation; but the whole of the edifice is destitute of foundation; this pious and Christian exterior possesses no soul. The living principle which animates every true believer, God, the all and in all, the author and the sovereign of all, is wanting.”

 

 
Abandonment to Divine Providence Jean Pierre de Caussade

The writings by de Caussade that have been published as Abandonment to Divine Providence are in two unequal parts, the first containing a treatise on total abandonment to Divine Providence, and the second, letters of direction for persons leading a spiritual life.

The “Letters of Direction” were addressed to Nuns of the Visitation at Nancy. Fr. de Caussade had been stationed in this town for some time, and when later he was called away, his letters to the Nuns carried on the powerful influence he had exercised over them. They were treasured and preserved with religious care.

The leading idea in the letters is abandonment, complete and absolute, to Divine Providence. This was the mainspring of de Caussade’s own spiritual life, and the key-note of his direction of souls.

Review from The Headless Way: http://www.headless.org/Biographies/j.p.de-caussade.htm

 
 
New Seeds of Contemplation Thomas Merton

New Seeds of Contemplation seeks to awaken the dormant inner depths of the spirit so long neglected by Western man, to nurture a deeply contemplative and mystical dimension in our
spiritual lives. For Father Merton, "Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them : for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity and love."

From the cover

 
 
The Tibetan Book Of The Dead W. Y. Evans-Wentz

[This] is one of the texts that, according to legend, Padma-Sambhava was compelled to hide during his visit to Tibet in the late 8th century. The guru hid his books in stones, lakes, and pillars because the Tibetans of that day and age were somehow unprepared for their teachings. Now, in the form of the ever-popular Tibetan Book of the Dead, these teachings are constantly being discovered and rediscovered by Western readers of many different back-grounds—a phenomenon which began in 1927 with Oxford's first edition of Dr. Evans-Wentz's landmark volume. While it is traditionally used as a mortuary text, to be read or recited in the presence of a dead or dying person, this book—which relates the whole experience of death and rebirth in three intermediate states of being—was originally understood as a guide not only for the dead but also for the living. As a contribution to the science of death and dying—not to mention the belief in life after death, or the belief in rebirth—The Tibetan Book of the Dead is unique among the sacred texts of the world, for its socio-cultural influence in this regard is without comparison.

Oxford University Press

 
 
 
The Power of Awareness Neville Goddard

The Power Of Awareness allows those who rebelled against a rigid religious upbringing to renew some of the images etched in their consciousness, only in a more loving, positive and universal way. Neville shows how change of consciousness is the critical factor in life, for consciousness is the only reality, the first and only cause-substance of the phenomena of life.

 

 

 
As a Man Thinketh James Allen

The mind guides our footsteps as we progress along the pathway of life. Purity of mind leads inevitably to purity of life, to the precious love and understanding that should control our everyday acts and attitudes towards friends and foes. But where must one look for guidance? How does one achieve purity of mind that alone brings happiness and confidence?

The author offers his clear answers in this book As A Man Thinketh. His words have helped millions for more than a century--and they continue to point the true way to a better life for a troubled humanity. "Out of a clean heart comes a clean life and a clean body," James Allen writes. "out of a defiled mind proceeds a defiled life and a corrupt body."

Too many mortals strive to improve only their wordly position--and too few seek spiritual betterment. Such is the problem James Allen faced in his own time. The ideas he found in his inner-most heart after great searching guided him as they will guide you.

 
The Way to Peace James Allen

James Allen remains one of the bestselling and respected self-help authors ever. In The Way to Peace he shows how peace begins within us and inevitably manifests in the physical realm. Using concepts incorporated into the Law of Attraction and The Secret, this classic book is an essential resource for anyone interested in vitality, creativity, a peaceful life, and a peaceful world.

 


 
Esoteric Buddhism A P Sinnett

Esoteric Buddhism, though by no means divorced from the associations of exoteric Buddhism, must not be conceived to constitute a mere imperium in imperio - a central school of culture in the vortex of the Buddhist world. In proportion as Buddhism retreats into the inner penetralia of its faith, these are found to merge into the inner penetralia of other faiths. The cosmic conceptions, and the knowledge of Nature on which Buddhism not merely rests, but which constitute esoteric Buddhism, equally constitute esoteric Brahmanism. And the esoteric doctrine is thus regarded by those of all creeds who are enlightened (in the Buddhist sense) as the absolute truth concerning Nature, Man, the origin of the Universe, and the destinies toward which its inhabitants are tending ...

From preface

 
Universal Theosophy - Talks Given by Robert Crosbie
Robert Crosbie was a theosophist and founderd the United Lodge of Theosophists in Los Angeles in 1909. His talks provide a simple introduction to some of the basic ideas of theosophy. Theosophy claims not to be a religion but a philosophy. Although it often refers to its own teachings as "doctrines" they are not at all credal but are held rather as "working hypotheses" according to Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who along with Henry Steel Olcott and William Quan Judge, founded the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875. Blavatsky's teaching as set out in her work The Secret Doctine is idiosyncratically complex and is her fusion of the resonating core ideas of the world's spiritual traditions. These core ideas constitute a "secret", "hidden" or "occult" knowledge - an esoteric tradition that has existed since the dawn of civilization and has been passed on to a relatively small number of worthy "initiates" in almost all cultures. The exoteric, or outer, knowledge is what has passed on to public forms of religion and constitute merely the husk. Yet, this knowledge has always been available to those who truly seek it. Those who are prepared to embark on a disciplined yet open-minded path of contemplative practice, and are willing to go beyond a materialistic, reductionistic and self-centred existence will experience a natural spiritual unfoldment and acquire access to the unlimited powers that lie latent within us all.
 
To Light A Thousand Lamps Grace F Knoche

To Light a Thousand Lamps shares a universal perspective on the central questions of human existence, while providing practical insights on daily living and spiritual growth. Offering a thoughtful critique of religious and scientific views and current practices in light of theosophy, the author presents the foundation ideas of mankind's spiritual heritage, addressing our responsibility as partners in a oneness that reaches to the core of each and every being. In so doing she suggests how we can live with dignity, purpose, and compassion, whatever our circumstances.

"If enough men and women will not only believe in, but also follow their intuitions and consciously cast their lot
with the cause of compassion, there is every reason to have confidence that our civilization will one day make the leap from self-centeredness to genuine brotherhood in every phase of the human enterprise."

Grace F Knoche (b. 1909) was leader of The Theosophical Society and editor of Sunrise magazine from 1971 until her death in 2006.

From the inside cover

 
The Kybalion. A Study Of The Hermetic Philosophy Of Ancient Egypt And Greece Three Initiates

A ..book claiming to be the essence of the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus, published anonymously by a group or person under the pseudonym of "the Three Initiates". The Kybalion was first published in 1908 by the Yogi Publication Society and is now in the public domain... The book purports to be based upon ancient Hermeticism, though many of its ideas are relatively modern concepts arising from the New Thought movement. The book early on makes the claim that it makes its appearance in one's life when the time is appropriate and includes variations of material found in the book of Proverbs.

Wikipedia

 
The Varieties of Religious Experience William James

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by the Harvard psychologist and philosopher William James that comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on "Natural Theology" delivered at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland between 1901 and 1902. These lectures concerned the nature of religion and the neglect of science, in James' view, in the academic study of religion. Soon after its publication, the book found its way into the canon of psychology and philosophy, and has remained in print for over a century.

Wikipedia

 

 
The Hermetic Tradition Joscelyn Godwin

In this short five page document leading esoteric scholar Joscelyn Godwin traces the outlines of the Hermetic Tradition from Thoth to Hermes Trismegistus, and its essential teachings. He demonstrates how the unique character of the tradition has enabled it to influence much of the Western world and its many paths.

 

 

 
The New Pearl of Great Price Bonus of Ferrara

Two features of special interest attach to the Pearl of Great Price, as written by Bonus of Ferrara, and edited by Janus Lacinius. In the first place, it is one of the earliest works printed on alchemy, and the original is a very beautiful specimen of typography. Concerning the latter point, it is only necessary to say that it was issued from the press of Aldus, appearing in 1546, with the privilege of Pope Paul III. and the Senate of Venice for the space of ten years. This edition is, of course, exceedingly rare, and is highly prized by collectors. In the second place, it is a very clear, methodical, and well-reasoned treatise, comparing favourably in these respects with the bulk of alchemical literature. A reader who is unacquainted with alchemy will probably not appreciate these points, but any one who, like the present editor, has had occasion to become widely familiar with Hermetic authors, will do honour to the lucidity of Bonus.

Concerning" the adept himself, no biographical materials whatsoever are forthcoming, nor, as in most other cases, is there even a legend to fall back on. He is supposed to have been a native of Lombardy, and to have performed his alchemical labours at Pola, a maritime town of Istria, about 1330. He is sometimes described as Bonus of Ferraria, and on this and other grounds Tiraboschi identifies him with the "monk Ferarius".


From the preface to the English Translation.

 
 
Oration on the Dignity of Man Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

In 1486, Renaissance philosopher Pico della Mirandola spoke the Oration on the Dignity of Man through which he called into question the primacy of the human creature. He held that God endowed man with the ability to choose his own destiny and his own perspective with which to view life and everything around.His contention was that those abilities distinguished man from all other beings. He further argued in the Oration, that animals come into the world with everything they can ever possess. Similarly, he believed that angels and other astral beings likewise come into existence as complete beings that do not continue to develop. Only the human creature is bestowed "with all possibilities."Mirandola purports that the glory of humanity is that it has an ever-changing nature. He goes on to explain that the philosopher is prime among men for his reason-based outlook on life, and even more so if he transcends thoughts of the body and immerses completely into contemplation.He cites philosophers and intellectuals from a variety of faiths and cultures, so as not to appear hypocritical, and suggests that any human has the potential for pondering existence. He calls into question the "well-worn doctrines" of some of his compatriots, urging his audience to look deeper, past the usual reasons given for human primacy such as the philosophical study of arithmetic and arts. He urges others to enter into a realm of comparative reason: man alone can choose his own path. His theory advances the idea that a description of natural magic and wonder challenges people who become angry at the idea of magic and wonder because, similar to dogs barking at strangers, they do not understand it.The Oration on the Dignity of Man concludes with a promise to continue speaking out in favor of the pursuit of knowledge and personal development, and a challenge to the audience to do the same and "join battle."

Grace B, Reference.com

 

 

 
Three Books of Occult Philosophy: Book 1 Henry Cornelius Agrippa
Three Books of Occult Philosophy: Book 2 Henry Cornelius Agrippa
Three Books of Occult Philosophy: Book 3 Henry Cornelius Agrippa
Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy Henry Cornelius Agrippa

Three Books of Occult Philosophy (De Occulta Philosophia libri III) is Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's study of occult philosophy, acknowledged as a significant contribution to the Renaissance philosophical discussion concerning the powers of ritual magic and its relationship with religion.
The three books deal with Elemental, Celestial and Intellectual magic. The books outline the four elements, astrology, kabbalah, numbers, angels, God's names, the virtues and relationships with each other as well as methods of utilizing these relationships and laws in medicine, scrying, alchemy, ceremonies, origins of what are from the Hebrew, Greek, and Chaldean context.

These arguments were common amongst other hermetic philosophers at the time and before. In fact, Agrippa's interpretation of magic is similar to the authors Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Johann Reuchlin's synthesis of magic and religion and emphasize an exploration of nature. Unlike many grimoires of the time, before and past, these books are more scholarly and intellectual than mysterious and foreboding. These books are often read as authoritative by those interested in the occult even today.

Wikipedia

 
 
 
Cause, Principle and Unity and Essays on Magic Giordano Bruno

Giordano Bruno's notorious public death in 1600, at the hands of the Inquisition in Rome, marked the transition from Renaissance philosophy to the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. This volume presents new translations of Cause, Principle and Unity, in which he challenges Aristotelian accounts of causality and spells out the implications of Copernicanism for a new theory of an infinite universe, and of two essays on magic, in which he interprets earlier theories about magical events in the light of the unusual powers of natural phenomena.

Cambridge University Press


 
 
The Hermetic Museum Various Authors

Designed to supply, in a compact form, a representative collection of alchemical writers, from ancient anonymous writers to 17th century legends. This important work was first published in Latin in 1678, and the first English edition was published in London in 1893, in two volumes.

Google Books


 
Alchemy Ancient and Modern Herbert Stanley Redgrove

Herbert Stanley Redgrove (1887-1943) was a chemist who helped to form the Alchemical Society in London. His works include: On the Calculation of Thermo-Chemical Constants (1909), Alchemy: Ancient and Modern (1911), A Mathematical Theory of Spirit (1912), Experimental Mensuration (1912), The Magic of Experience (1916), Bygone Beliefs (1920), Purpose and Transcendentalism (1920) and Roger Bacon (1920).

[This book contains] a brief account of the alchemistic doctrines, and their relations, to mysticism on the one hand, and to recent discoveries in the physical science on the other hand; together with some particulars regarding the lives and teachings of the most noted alchemists. The meaning of alchemy; The theory of physical alchemy; The alchemists before and after Paracelsus; The outcome of alchemy; The age of modern chemistry; Modern alchemy.

Descriptions from Google and Goodreads.

 
 
The Tree of Life: A Study in Magic Israel Regarde

Since it was first published in 1932, this book has provided spiritual seekers and aspiring magicians with the most comprehensive study of the common threads of magical theory and practice. Israel Regarde`s mission of bringing magic into the light of understanding takes a giant step forward in this new edition. Two adept associates of his have contributed these enhancements: Annotations throughout, with critical and explanatory notes; A new introduction, glossary, bibliography and index; and a large number of new illustrations.

 

 

 
Magic: Its Ritual, Power and Purpose W.E. Butler

The aim of the genuine magician, says W.E. Butler, is to realise that True Self of which his earthly personality is but the mask. In this book is to be found a remarkably concise explanation of the ancient uses, ritual and true aims of Magic. The author sweeps away the confusion caused by the many misconceptions, and surveys the history of Magic from the 'old religion' of pre-Christian times through to the discoveries of modern psychology, and it is, he says, with the modern school of psychology, particularly Jungian, that the magician finds his closest link with modern thought.

 

 

 
Ultimate Between-ness Bart Marshall

How do we reconcile total surrender with the desire for action in the world as co-creators with God? How do we square 'holy indifference' and a profound gratitude in all circumstances with fervent and effective prayer or the practice of true magic (which are essentially the same things)? In this short document Bart Marshall captures the essence of a simple practice which is found at the heart of all true spirituality. It is the "Pearl of Great Price" if only we would take it seriously.

At the heart of this teaching is the idea that only when we rest, perfectly poised, in equilibrium between two seemingly opposing 'forces', when there is no expenditure or waste of energy, and there are no hidden conflicts, then all things which are possible can manifest in our lives with surprisingly little effort.

 
Becoming Magic Genevieve Davis
Doing Magic Genevieve Davis
Advanced Magic Genevieve Davis

The practices taught in these two short books are almost identical in nature to those outlined in the book by Bart Marshall above. They are under copyright but can be purchased from Amazon as Kindle versions at low cost).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Lectures on Meditation and Spiritual Growth Tan Kheng Khoo

Some of us are lucky enough to experience a wake-up call in this life. The timing of this call varies with the individual. Very rarely one may experience it soon after adolescence as with Ramana Marhashi. Most of us get the call around middle age or the mid-life crisis. After graduating from school or university, one starts with a job or many jobs and raises a family at the same time. Between forty to sixty years of age after a successful career, the thinking person will start to ask this question: “Is that it?” Where is the paradise? The next frequent question is “Why am I here?” “Why am I born at all?” At this early stage hardly anyone will ask this famous question “Who am I?” This question will arise only after some practice... These essays are for those who want to embark on a spiritual journey, but do not know how to go about it. They have a widespread of mystical paths of several religions.

Tan Kheng Khoo, from the website: http://www.kktanhp.com/

 
 

Links

Adyashanti Adyashanti, author of The Way of Liberation, Falling into Grace, True Meditation, The End of Your World and Emptiness Dancing, is an American-born spiritual teacher devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence.

Conscious TV A UK based TV channel broadcasting on the Internet at www.conscious.tv. Its aim is to stimulate debate, question, enquire, inform, enlighten, encourage and inspire people in the areas of Consciousness, Science, Non-Duality and Spirituality. It is run by a team of volunteers and is not a commercial business.

Never Not Here Videos of Interviews with people who have had awakening experience.
Capacitie Articles by John Wren-Lewis

Nonduality.com When this website was started in 1997, few heard of nonduality. At that time the vision was stated that there would eventually be so much about nonduality available online that no one would be able to keep up with it all. The vision came to pass after a few years. Nonduality.com is still a great place to begin your search. You will stumble upon many good things. Because "stumbling" is so important, there are no suggestions on how to carry out your search. Just start or continue somewhere and somehow. (From the website)

Waynewirs.com For those who find much of contemporary non-duality teaching sterile and "impersonal", Wayne Wirs's web site offers a more "mystical" approach to enlightenment.
Heartofnow.com Greg Goode's web site on Non-dual Inquiry with videos, dialogues etc.
Knowledge Reform.com A Wisdom blog sharing inspirational words of wisdom, philosophy, and enlightening knowledge for the truth seeker. Containing the author's own philosophy of life as well as wisdom-related links to articles, free ebooks, videos and documentaries to educate, liberate and improve one's mind.
The Manly P Hall Archive

Canadian-born author and mystic. He is perhaps most famous for his work The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy, which is widely regarded as his magnum opus, and which he published at the age of 25 (or 27, 1928)

He has been widely recognized as a leading scholar in the fields of religion, mythology, mysticism, and the occult.

Carl Jung, when writing Psychology and Alchemy, borrowed material from Hall’s private collection.

In 1934, Hall founded the Philosophical Research Society (PRS) in Los Angeles, California, dedicating it to an idealistic approach to the solution of human problems. The PRS claims to be non-sectarian and entirely free from educational, political, or ecclesiastical control, and the Society’s programs stress the need for the integration of philosophy, religion, and science into one system of instruction. The PRS Library, a public facility devoted to source materials in obscure fields, has many rare and scarce items now impossible to obtain elsewhere.

In 1973 (47 years after writing The Secret Teachings of All Ages), Hall was recognized as a 33º Mason (the highest honor conferred by the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite), at a ceremony held at PRS on December 8th, despite never being initiated into the physical craft.

In his over 70-year career, Hall delivered approximately 8,000 lectures in the United States and abroad, authored over 150 books and essays, and wrote countless magazine articles.

From the website

Manly P Hall Audio Lectures (YouTube)
The Philosophical Research Society A nonprofit organization founded in 1934 for the purpose of providing resources for the study and research of the world’s wisdom literature. Rejecting doctrinal, political, or ecclesiastical investments, it provides a learning environment sheltered from any intention to coerce or convert. The goal of this institution is to enable the individual to develop a mature world view and philosophy of life in association with a diverse and stimulating community of inquiry, dedicated to understanding and appreciating their unique possibilities in the unfolding universal pattern.

Film: Alan Jacobs Reads Sri Ramana Maharshi's Talk 146 In short film by French director Jean-Raphael Dedieu, Alan Jacobs, President of the Ramana Maharshi Foundation, UK, reads Ramana Maharshi's Talk 146. The film is also illustrated with still photographs of Ramana Maharshi.