While it may take another lifetime to study these, it only takes a moment to search by subject, or to let the computer gods pick a random para for you. From time to time we will post Commentaries on PB's ideas and writings. Click here for a complete listing of chapter titles and subheadings for each volume in the series.
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This volume was prepared under the watchful eye of Anthony Damiani, and sets the tone for all the subsequent volumes. While the first few chapters of this book are geared for the novice and the merely curious, the later chapters will quickly become a reference guide. We all must begin here, and will often have to return as various incidents in our life re-awaken old habits and issues. The second half of this volume is fun! Here PB discusses the critical importance of relaxation and short-term withdrawal from the hubbub of society, family, and ourselves.
He also has given us some exquisite paras on Nature, the Sunset, and Solitude.
This material is remarkable because PB presents the basic methods of early meditation as practiced by Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans, and Moslems—sometimes so identified, and sometimes not. The middle section addresses the sorts of meditation helpful to the Long Path see Category 2 above ; the last section prepares the way for Advanced Contemplation see category 23 below.
The importance of a vegetarian diet, fasting, and conscious relationship to our bodies is not to be forgotten, however, and a study of this material may well clean up a few bad habits! This is a key issue for the Long Path: many of us can either undertake the rigorous purification of the body or exercise our Intellect—but we often evade the labor of character refinement and emotional transformation.
PB identifies a variety of essential virtues—love, compassion, courtesy, tolerance, and moderation—to name a few. The second topic, the Intellect, is rightly paired with Emotions and Ethics, for our lower mind is only as good as its last emotion! Conversely, a well-disciplined and active intellect can go a long ways towards transmuting negative emotions into more positive ones.
That is the Ego. Several of these Volumes of PB contain material that is truly unique and invaluable to any spiritual quester, regardless of their lineage or inclination towards independence; this is one of them. PB gives us a unique context with which to regard reincarnation in his treatment of karma, fate, destiny, and free will. Many issues are considered from the divergent perspectives of the participant us and the principle the Overself. His approach brings clarity to issues that provoke radically contrary views: for example, once we realize that free will is true in one light and false in an another, we can better navigate the teachings and practices of many different traditions.
We need to have first studied the forces of karma, fate, destiny, and freewill before we can understand what is possible and why and what is impossible and why when it comes to healing the body. There are also many useful comments on types of healers, up to and including the Overself itself and an emphasis on the healing of spiritual ignorance as the cornerstone of all healing work in our lives.
The second topic—negativity—we now understand is thoroughly linked to the health of the body and the mind. This section goes on to address the expression of negativity in criminal activity, war, and, surprisingly, even in anti-war sentiments. While there is little about his personal life and history here—topics that seldom held his interest—there is a great deal about his life as a traveler, seeker, meditator, and spiritual author.
It includes discussions of youth and age, politics, marriage, business efforts, and most importantly, the on-going world crisis. PB incorporates these into our spiritual journey, and shows us how to incorporate our spiritual journey into these arenas of daily life. Where the first half of this book addresses the challenges and tedium of modern life, the second half takes a look at the positive and negative faces of art with respect to the quest.
PB casts his inner eye upon the modern art world, and differentiates between those works conjured out of the ego and those works inspired by the Overself.
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What may be attractive and powerful to the psyche may prove a sticky distraction for those seeking to sustain the subtle refined vision required for deep contemplation. While often critical of modern art, PB balances his criticism by providing many specific examples of genuinely inspired art—art that is essential to the refinement of individual feelings and the enrichment of human society. And it is dated—today! While we have all heard a great deal about the cross-pollination of Western Science and Eastern Mysticism, we still have a long way to go before any new fruit is born.
Before we look to some future Utopia, we should at the ground beneath our feet, beneath the feet of all of us. Each culture has responded to the Spiritual Impulse differently, and applied that impulse to daily life differently; it is likely that solutions to problems we cannot resolve already exist and it is inefficient, not to say oddly lazy, to ignore these solutions. He gives us his views on money, mediums, channeling, drugs, and many other specific topics that we are bound to encounter in our mystic journeying.
As indicated by A Search in Secret Egypt and his autobiographical paras, PB spent a lifetime around the occult and the esoteric, and encountered the full range of its practitioners, from the shallowest of charlatans to the most revered of saints.
The sheer size of this volume is a testament to his researches; there is no better guidebook for the sincere spiritual seeker, no better source for determining what is spiritually destructive, what is merely distracting, and what rare aspects of the esoteric are truly priceless. In The Religious Urge PB talks about the place—and there is a place—of traditional religion in the quest. He shows us the intrinsic strengths and the weaknesses which are fated to occur in all religions due to their collective nature.
He goes on to examine the specific opportunities and challenges associated with all the well-known religions of the world today. The second half of this volume shows us the means by which we can achieve that transition. The chapter titles themselves describe this text very precisely: Devotion, Prayer, Humility, Surrender, and Grace. So to celebrate, here is one of our first Summer Reading Newsletter.
Check out some great stories on Astronauts, as well as a craft and a recipe. Stay tuned for more! When you know the author of a book, it makes reading that book extra-special.
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Lucy lives at the end of the world, with the Gatekeeper, who holds the key to the worldgate, the only way to travel between the eight worlds. As you might imagine, travel is highly regulated…the Gatekeeper is the one who unlocks and opens the door, but Lucy is the person who stamps your passport, files all the paperwork, and does a hundred other routine jobs that protect the worldgate. As the person in charge, the Gatekeeper is only one who holds the keys, and in addition to her daily duties, once a year she does the regular maintenance that keeps the worldgate running.
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So on one random Thursday, which happens to be Maintenance Day the Gatekeeper goes through to the East to meet Bernard, the Gatekeeper for that side to do some repairs and cleaning and polishing. Lucy goes about her normal routine, keeping one eye out for Emergencies and the other on the worldgate for the return of the Gatekeeper.
But when she wakes up the next morning and the Gatekeeper is still gone, Lucy is in panic mode. A clumsy boy named Arthur who falls through the door, practically on top of her and somehow manages to break the spare key off in the lock. Lucy decides the best way to handle a broken gate and a missing Gatekeeper is to go to the other end of the world to find Florence, the gatekeeper of door leading to the South. So Lucy sets off, with Arthur and the spelling bees it tow, to journey to the gate at the other end of the world.
She puts a sign on the gatehouse, and hopes for the best. Save the world, of course! I loved this book! Lucy and Arthur are great characters, as is sneaky Rosemary, who has her own mission.
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- Guillaume le Maréchal : Ou le meilleur chevalier du monde (Divers Histoire) (French Edition).
And I absolutely adore the spelling bees! I hope they turn it into an audio book as well, because it would be a great read-aloud. I got teary when I first saw it, and every time I look at it, even now. Thank you Caroline, for your words. I hope that somewhere out there, some librarian is saving this book for a reader who loved Hilary and Gargoyle, so that he or she can be the first person to read it. Then maybe that young reader will go out into the world and write a story that will continue a tradition.
You make me very proud to have been a part of your life. I think it will be even better on the second and third, and fourth… time around! Who Let the Gods Out?