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Supernatural: Writings on an Unknown History [Anglais] [Broché]

Richard Smoley

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Description de l'ouvrage

7 février 2013

This gem-like, concise anthology provides thoughtful people with both an introduction to the paranormal and a reason to take a fresh look at it.

 Nostradamus...channeling...Atlantis...divination. Most serious people consider such topics nonsense. But look again. Writing with intellectual verve and a deeply critical mind, religious thinker Richard Smoley explores and reconsiders the supernatural in history and today.

We are often conditioned to think of the Judeo-Christian tradition as the only valid, historically accurate, and rational spiritual philosophy. Occultism, magic, and the esoteric are, by contrast, considered illegitimate, delusional, and lacking in intrinsic worth. Supernatural challenges this prejudice, revealing that Western occult traditions are richer and more historically impactful than most of us imagine. The book reveals hidden diamonds and neglected ideas that characterize the magical tradition in the West.

For any reader, at any level of experience, who has ever been curious about an arcane subject – from psychical powers to secret societies – here is a book that gives a complete yet precise, critical, yet serious, and always respectful account of topics from the unseen world. Supernatural is a brilliant primer to the occult and magical traditions of the West.

Praise for RICHARD SMOLEY

“I have a standing rule: I read anything Richard Smoley writes.” —Larry Dossey, M.D.

“Smoley . . . is adept at unknotting the paradoxes of spiritual traditions and making new connections across centuries and languages.” —Library Journal

“He is one of the liveliest, most intrepid, and most gifted explorers of the spiritual landscape writing today.”

—Ptolemy Tompkins, author of Paradise Fever

 


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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“A fascinating series of brief glimpses into the lives of some of the major players and their ideas and beliefs. Taken as a whole, this short work offers the reader an easy to understand introduction to traditions and ideas that have informed the world for centuries."
Publishers Weekly

“I have a standing rule: I read anything Richard Smoley writes.”
—Larry Dossey, M.D.
“Smoley . . . is adept at unknotting the paradoxes of spiritual traditions and making new connections across centuries and languages.”
Library Journal
“He is one of the liveliest, most intrepid, and most gifted explorers of the spiritual landscape writing today.”
—Ptolemy Tompkins, author of Paradise Fever
"With scholarly precision, [Smoley] revisits Nostradamus, The Da Vinci Code, Atlantis, Freemasonry, A Course in Miracles, New Thought, and many other famed repositories of “secret wisdom”. Fair and clear-eyed, he communicates what his research unearthed in a surprisingly lively style. He speaks honestly to his readers as he recounts, elaborates and debunks. It makes for an intriguing read as well as excellent reference material."
Anna Jedrziewski, Retailing Insight

Biographie de l'auteur

One of today’s most highly regarded writers on esoteric topics, RICHARD SMOLEY is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Oxford. He was a longtime editor of the venerated spiritual journal Gnosis. Smoley is the author of books including Inner Christianity, The Essential Nostradamus, and Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism. He currently works as editor of Quest Books and of Quest: Journal of the Theosophical Society in America. He lives in Chicago.


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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  8 commentaires
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A short compendium of thoughtful articles 12 mars 2013
Par Alan S. Glassman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Richard Smoley's latest book offers a collection of some of his articles first published in New Dawn magazine as well as a few from other periodicals between the years 1997 and 2012. Altogether, this relatively short volume is composed of 16 separate chapters, each of which is a small gem of its own designed to be fast and enjoyable reading.

While I'm guessing the book's title is a play on words of P.D. Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching, the chapters themselves offer us brief glimpses of a variety of subjects suitable for the novice of metaphysical studies as well as those who have specialised in that area for a long time. Considering myself to be a member of the latter category, I found many delightful and interesting titbits of information of which I had not been aware.

Perhaps what is most engaging about this book is that Smoley gives us insight into some of his own personal experiences in the realm of the supernatural, whether they be direct encounters or accounts related to him by others. With his usual skilful writing ability, he tempts us to go further into our own investigations of subjects like archaic wisdom, Nostradamus, prophecy, The Da Vinci Code, the 2012 phenomenon, Atlantis, Freemasonry, The Course in Miracles, the nature of prayer, and many other areas of study.

Smoley's knowledge of Greek and Latin enlightens us with definitions with which we may not have been familiar, and add to our understanding of sometimes difficult subject matter. As early as in his Preface, for instance, he gives us the root of the word "esotericism" as coming from the Greek esoterikos, meaning "further in." This resonated and added to my mundane definition of that word as merely "hidden."

Whether he's talking about such diverse ideas as the Kabbalah; Tarot; the Western magical tradition; widening our observing faculties and qualities of attention in the manner taught by G.I. Gurdjieff; C.G. Jung's world of archetype and synchronicity; the predictions of Edgar Cayce; the astral realm; sacred literature; Priory of Sion; Mayan Calendar; Theosophy; the Rosicrucians; the Kahunas of Hawaii; Gnosticism; Hermeticism; psychic protection; and a host of other fascinating topics, Smoley presents them all in a thoroughly delightful and down-to-earth way.

The author's thematic stream prods us to develop our own way of finding our true Self, our real "I," if you will. While there are innumerable methods for this in the "esoteric tradition - the body of knowledge that underlies all the great spiritual traditions of humanity," Smoley cautions that we cannot necessarily find this in ordinary religion which "involves a relationship with a personal deity." Perhaps we can only find the useful and correct method for enlightenment in the sacred and secret technology of "real" magic prompted by meditation and directed imagination.

Of course, Smoley admits we are left with many more questions than answers as to the nature of other realms beyond our own that may, indeed, be generating and controlling factors in our day to day lives here on Earth. He reminds us, "We do not know. The evidence would seem to suggest as much. At any rate, I am convinced that we will not understand the rise and fall of civilisations, or history itself, until we do know."

And, he reiterates, a small step in beginning to crack the barrier to that knowledge is to get in touch with what it is, both within us and outside of us, that "experiencing." But, he cautions that, "...this is not ordinary ego, with its thoughts and desires and judgements. Why? Because we can step back and look at all these things within ourselves. If we can look even at internal events, what is doing the looking?"

In the final chapter of the book, entitled "The Dual Nature of Reality," Smoley gives us the goal from the Samkhya, thought to be the oldest of all Indian philosophical systems. It can be, and perhaps should be, the ultimate goal for those of us who are involved in metaphysical pursuits.

He summarises that ancient teaching's objective and intended result in this way: "The spiritual path, which is for a long time the process of detachment, is a means of gradually separating the `I' from the world, that is, separating consciousness from the contents of its experience. At this point, supreme illumination takes place. The old world falls away, and a new one arises. Such is enlightenment."

- This review first appeared in New Dawn magazine, Issue #137
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Facts or Fiction? 11 février 2013
Par Anna from InannaWorks - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Smoley takes us on a tour of all things esoteric using his personal journey into that world as the framework. Beginning with the revival of interest in occultism which blossomed along with Hippies and Free Love, through the consolidation now known as New Age, and finally arriving at today's New Consciousness, he separates fact from fiction bringing reason and common sense to subjects which have been exploited and misrepresented in proportion to the profitability that was generated.

With scholarly precision, he revisits Nostradamus, The Da Vinci Code, Atlantis, Freemasonry, A Course in Miracles, New Thought, and many other famed repositories of "secret wisdom". Fair and clear-eyed, he communicates what his research unearthed in a surprisingly lively style. He speaks honestly to his readers as he recounts, elaborates and debunks. It makes for an intriguing read as well as excellent reference material. For those of us who also lived the journey he writes about, it a nostalgic revisiting with interesting clarifications.

(InannaWorks.com received a free review copy of this book.)
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Good read, and well worth the wait. 30 octobre 2013
Par Mr Pasquale Di Rago - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Richard Smoley is one author that I have a lot of time for, ever since I stumbled across him in New Dawn Magazine, several years back. His latest book offers a variety of topics, ranging from Prophecy to Hidden Masters, Atlantis to the power of Prayer, and much more besides.

But be warned these topics are vast in scope and if you wish to really explore them then Supernatural serves only as an appetizer, and not the main course. For that you need to possibly belong to a mystery school, or have a vast library and infinite time to spend in pursuing your interests. And let us not ignore the very critical aspect of experience.

Nonetheless, Richard Smoley has written a very good book, and one that allows one to gain a grasp of some of the basics. At least as far as understanding is concerned.

But I think the real worth, for me comes in Richard's words that appear at the end of each chapter, where his experience and knowledge, humility and wisdom really shine through. I wont spoil it for you, other than to say, that Richard has a gift of putting things in their right place and in their right order. And that is far better than being led astray.

PDR.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting but a bit too sprawling 22 mars 2013
Par Anonymous - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Each chapter had its own charm but I think ultimately the author tried to cover too much ground and each chapter was just an introduction to what might have been in its own right material for a whole book.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 EXCELLENT COLLECTION OF ARTICLES 28 février 2014
Par AMPCNAGELSCHMIDT - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
INTERESTING, WELL WRITTEN, WELL INFORMED. A MUST FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN WESTERN ESOTERIICISM. SOME THEADOPIICS COULD BE EXPLORED MORE IN DEPTH, BUT THIS IS TO BE EXPECTED SINCE IT IS A COLLECTION OF ARTICLES-
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