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The Seduction of Religion offers an illuminating and provocative guide to the religions of the world, focusing on the irrationality of religious beliefs. The point of this book is not to preach atheism so much as it is to encourage its readers to reflect more carefully on why they believe what they believe. Every religion, thinks it is the true religion. But clearly they cannot all be right. The Seduction of Religion places each of the major religions in its historical context and examines some of their most important doctrines in the light of reason and common sense. At the same time, it treats its reader to a host of amusing facts and anecdotes about the various religions that make the book enjoyable to read. At the heart of the book is a paradox: All religions claim to be the one true religion, but if any of them is right then all the others are wrong. The Seduction of Religion introduces its readers to the fascinating history of religions--a history that is the outworking of this thought-provoking paradox.
What lies at the root of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the worldwide pandemic it has caused, affecting the health and livelihoods of untold millions of people? What are the deeper, spiritual realities behind COVID-19 and the global turmoil it has left in its trail? In an effort to answer these queries and many others put to her at the start of the pandemic, Judith von Halle composed two letters in March 2020, based on her own spiritual-scientific research. Published in this book together with an additional essay, she addresses questions such as: * Which entities stand behind the virus? * How and why does it affect human beings? * What measures can be taken for prevention and therapy? * What does the crisis mean to individuals and what possibilities does it offer for personal development? The author suggests that, apart from the material havoc triggered by coronavirus, the spiritual causes behind it are extremely serious and - if the present pandemic is not to be the first in a series of catastrophes - humanity is called upon to respond in a radically transformative way. In an additional article von Halle tackles the controversial issues relating to government lockdowns and the protest movements that have sprung up in opposition to them. How do these events point to real questions of individual freedom and, most importantly, how do they relate to the central event of our time - an event that, tragically, remains largely unknown? Revealing unexpected perspectives to the COVID-19 pandemic, Judith von Halle asks urgent and difficult questions and offers shattering insights for humanity's further development.
'It is a Lord of the Flies parable with Bhagwan as lord. The book is a fascinating social history, with many celebrities, from Diana Ross to Prince Charles. - Helen Rumbelow, The Times This is the story of a Englishman who gave up a job in journalism to spend fourteen years with the controversial Indian mystic Osho, also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and frequently referred to as 'the sex guru'. His guru was always controversial with his teachings on sex and spirituality, rumours of orgies and because he owned ninety-three Rolls Royces. Early in 1976, Subhuti travelled to India to meet Rajneesh in his ashram in Pune, became initiated as his disciple and immediately began to have mystical experiences, which he attributed to the powerful energy field surrounding the guru. He stayed for six months, participating in the ashram's notorious Encounter Group and other therapies designed to release suppressed emotions and awaken sexual energy Subhuti would stay to live and work on his master's ashrams for fourteen years, first as his press officer in Pune, India, then as editor of the community's weekly newspaper when Bhagwan and his followers shifted to Oregon, USA, and built a whole new town on the massive Big Muddy Ranch. There Subhuti was a first-hand witness to the scandals and hullabaloo that accompanied the guru, including tales of broken bones in no-holds-barred therapy groups and Tantra groups that encouraged total sexual freedom, and the increasing hostility with the locals which would lead to Bhagwan's attempt to flee America, his arrest and imprisonment. . He was on the Oregon Ranch when Rajneesh's secretary, Ma Anand Sheela, plotted against rival cliques within the ashram as well as a range of murderous crimes against state and federal officials which feature in hit Netflix series Wild Wild Country. Yet, amidst it all, Subhuti could see the profound revolution in spirituality that Bhagwan was creating, leaving a lasting impact on our ideas about society, religion, meditation and personal transformation. According to the author's understanding, it was the controversy itself, plus Bhagwan's refusal to tread the path of a spiritual saint, that became the stepping stone to a new vision of what it means to be a spiritual seeker.
This volume is an all-in-one publication introducing students and teachers at all levels of Theology to almost the entire spectrum of theologies and hermeneutics in Africa and the western world. Although a strong emphasis is placed on the contribution of Africa to Christian Theology there is no hidden agenda to tell the reader what the only 'sound' theology is. Contributors had total freedom to expand on their fields of specialization and readers can make up their own minds.
In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and
Sam Harris's recent bestseller, The End of Faith, Christopher
Hitchens makes the ultimate case
'This book is a masterpiece. I haven't been this excited or awakened by a book for a decade. This is what it looks like when an artist follows her heart and her passion instead of the crowd.' - Glennon Doyle From the author of REVEAL and How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People) comes a shocking new exploration of the long-lost Gospel of Mary Magdalene. A gospel, as old and authentic as any that now make up the Bible, was buried deep in the Egyptian desert after an edict was sent out in the 4th century to have all copies of it destroyed. Fortunately, some rebel monks refused, and thanks to their disobedience we have several ancient manuscripts of the only gospel that was written in the name of a woman: The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. It speaks of a message quite different from the one that has been spread by Christian leaders for the past two millennia. Mary Magdalene's gospel says that we are not sinful, but that humans too, are made of the divine - and that divinity is not something you can receive through confession or absolution, but by turning inward and tuning in to the radical presence of love within.
What do you get an atheist for Christmas?
If you're an atheist, you don't believe in the three wise men, so this Christmas, we bring you not three, but forty-two wise men and women, bearing gifts of comedy, science, philosophy, the arts, and knowledge. What does it feel like to be born on Christmas day? How can you most effectively use lights to make your house visible from space? And where can you listen to the echoes of the Big Bang on December 25? The Atheist's Guide to Christmas answers all these questions and more: Richard Dawkins tells an original Christmas story.Phil Plait fact-checks the Star of Bethlehem.Neal Pollack teaches his family a lesson on holiday spirit.Simon Singh offers a very special scientific experiment.Simon le Bon loses his faith (but keeps church music).AC Grayling explains how to have a truly happy Christmas.
Plus thirty-six other brilliant, funny, free-thinking pieces perfect for anyone who doesn't think of holidays as holy days.
All author advances and royalties for The Atheist's Guide to Christmas will go to Terrence Higgins Trust.
Eric Voegelin, one of today's leading political theorists and author of the contemporary classic "The New Science of Politics," here contends that certain modern movements, including Positivism, Hegelianism, Marxism and the "God is Dead" movement, are variants of the Gnostic tradition of antiquity. He attempts to resolve the intellectual confusion that has resulted from the dominance of gnostic thought by clarifying the distinction between political gnosticism and the philosophy of politics. Highly provocative, this book is essential reading for students of modern politics, philosophy, and religion.
In this inspiring lecture, addressed primarily to the anthroposophic movement, Prokofieff gives an overview of how the spiritual hierarchies and Christ, the Lord of Karma, work in the ordering of human karma. We are led to the karma and mission of the Anthroposophical Society, with indications as to what needs to happen before that karmic mission can be fulfilled. Prokofieff explains why true modern Christian research into karma does not arise out of intellectual speculation, curiosity or nebulous mystical experiences. The process of karmic research based on spiritual science should lead to a fundamental transformation of human nature, leading to a full experience of the cosmos.
First Published in 1986. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
In conducting his research into the mysteries of antiquity, Frank Teichmann made a series of discoveries that connect directly to contemporary events and the tasks of the present-day. Whilst scholarly in nature and based on extensive documentation of historical sites, Teichmann's work is no dry academic study. In The Origins of the Anthroposophical Society, he offers incisive new insights into Rudolf Steiner's seminal esoteric deed - the refounding of the Anthroposophical Society at the Christmas Conference of 1923-24 - and considers how it impacts us today. The Conference itself, says Teichmann, '...did not just appear out of nowhere, nor did it happen merely as the result of a decision on Rudolf Steiner's part. It was prepared for long beforehand.' In the emergence of the anthroposophical movement, Teichmann reveals a conscious recapitulation and renewal by Rudolf Steiner of three types of primordial mystery. He states: '... the whole anthroposophical movement together with the Anthroposophical Society as it was re-founded at the Christmas Conference of 1923, was planned and prepared for in primordial times... All [Steiner's] deeds, no matter how original they may appear in the foreground, have a deep esoteric background that contains the entire spiritual history of humanity.' This renewal had been systematically prepared by Rudolf Steiner in three phases: through the evolution and intensification of thinking via the 'mysteries of light' in Greece; experiencing the spiritual through art via the 'mysteries of space' in Egypt; and, involving the 'tasks of civilization', the 'northern' or 'earth mysteries'. Teichmann's groundbreaking book - featuring dozens of images including his own original photos of British mystery landmarks - is published here for the first time in English translation.
In Cyberhenge, Douglas E. Cowan brings together two fascinating and virually unavoidable phenomena of the postmodern world - the electronic environment of the Internet and the emerging world of contemporary Neopaganism - Wiccans and other witches, Druids, Goddess-worshipers and ceremonial magicians - the Internet provides an environment alive with possibilities for invention, innovation and imagination. Neopagans are not only using the Net to provide information and as a vehicle to develop and expand the frontiers of their religious experience. From online Sabbath rituals to an algorithmic I Ching for which one pays with electronically banked Karma Coins, from e-covens and cyber-groves where neophytes can learn everything from the Wiccan Rede to spellworking, to arguments over the validity of online ritual and the authenticity of one's magical lineage, neopaganism on the Internet is an ongoing experiment in the creation and recreation of postmodern religious traditions.
Based on direct communications with his eight spirit guides, Dr Bob Woodward confirms that we have all lived in spirit worlds before our birth - and that we will enter these same realms again after our material deaths. In a very real sense, these higher spirit worlds are actually our true home, he says, rather than our present physical existence, which is only a temporary abode. In consultation with his spirit guides - including a Tibetan Lama, a Jewish Rabbi, a Native American and his personal guardian angel - Bob Woodward gives a detailed survey of our lives in spirit worlds before birth and after death, our relationships there with friends, family and even pets, and our connections with both good and evil spiritual beings. He also gives a commentary on a range of subjects such as reincarnation and climate change. In a final extensive and moving interview, Woodward finds and speaks with the soul of his deceased father, who offers enlightening glimpses of life after death. Whilst the author's knowledge is grounded in decades of study of the work of Rudolf Steiner - with which he compares the results of his own extrasensory perceptions - Knowledge of Spirit Worlds is not intended as a dry philosophical study. Rather, it has a warm, experiential quality - based as it is on personal interaction with spirit entities - and emphasizes the love that connects all worlds and beings together.
Steiner has been able to clarify the historical reality behind the Rosicrucian story, with all its aura of glamour and fantasy. That effected, he points to the enormity of its vision for the future evolution of ideas...' - Dr Andrew Welburn (from the Introduction) In the immediate aftermath of the 'Mystery-act' of the Christmas Foundation Conference, Rudolf Steiner chose to speak on the subject of 'Rosicrucianism and Modern Initiation Mystery Centres of the Middle Ages'. Clearly connected to the events that had just taken place in Dornach - in which he not only refounded the Anthroposophical Society but took a formal position within it - Steiner begins by exploring the intellectual life of the Middle Ages and the role that Mystery culture played within it. He throws new light on the foundations of Rosicrucianism, its principles of initiation and its inherent impulse for freedom. Steiner also discusses the secret teachings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the dawn of the age of the Archangel Michael. In the second series of lectures, entitled 'The Easter Festival and the History of the Mysteries' (April 1924), Steiner describes how festivals grew out of the Mysteries themselves. He speaks of Mysteries connected to Spring and Autumn, Adonis and Ephesus, and the significance of Sun and Moon. Throughout the volume he discusses the roles of Alexander the Great and Aristotle in world history and the significance of Aristotle's 'Categories'. Published for the first time as a single volume, the freshly revised text is complemented with an extensive introduction by Dr Andrew Welburn, detailed notes and appendices by Professor Frederick Amrine and an index. (Ten lectures, Jan. and April 1924, GA 233a)
The relationship between The Christian Community and the Anthroposophical Society is complex and often misunderstood. Christian Community priests work out of an understanding of anthroposophy, and it was undoubtedly Steiner's theological lecture courses which led to the formation of the movement. Nonetheless questions remain, which Peter Selg examines closely in this unique book. -- Steiner's work emphasises the importance of finding the spiritual in everyday life. So why did he help found a 'Sunday church'? -- In his lectures, Steiner spoke about a 'spiritual communion' without physical matter. So why is there any need for a sacramental communion with real bread and wine, as practiced in The Christian Community? -- In a much-quoted lecture after the founding of The Christian Community, Steiner said that anthroposophists should have no need of the new religious movement. But on another occasion he said he wished greatly that the movement should succeed. How can these be understood and reconciled? This long-overdue book is a significant exploration of Steiner's legacy which should have far-reaching implications for mutual understanding and cooperation between The Christian Community and the wider anthroposophical world.
Comparing and evaluating modern theories of myth, this book offers an overview of explanations of myth from the social sciences and the humanities. This ambitious collection of essays uses the viewpoints of a variety of disciplines - psychology, anthropology, sociology, politics, philosophy, religious studies, and literature. Each discipline advocates a generalization about the origin, the function, and the subject matter of myth. The subject is always not what makes any myth distinct but what makes all myths "myth". The book is divided into five sections, covering topics such as myth and psychoanalysis, hero myths, myth and science, myth and politics, and myth and the physical world. Chapters engage with an array of theorists--among them, Freud, Jung, Campbell, Rank, Winnicott, Tylor, Frazer, Malinowski, Levy-Bruhl, Levi-Strauss, Harrison, and Burkert. The book considers whether myth still plays a role in our lives is one of the issues considered, showing that myths arise anything but spontaneously. They are the result of a specific need, which varies from theory to theory. This is a fascinating survey by a leading voice in the study of myth. As such, it will be of much interest to scholars of myth and how it interacts with Sociology, Anthropology, Politics and Economics.
The point, line, plane and solid objects represent the first three dimensions, but a kind of reversal of space is involved in the ascent to a fourth dimension. Steiner leads us to the brink of this new perspective-as nearly as it can be done with words, diagrams, analogies, and examples of many kinds. In doing so, he continues his lifelong project of demonstrating that our objective, everyday thinking is the lowest rung of a ladder that reaches up to literally infinite heights. The talks in this series and the selections from the question-and-answer sessions on many mathematical topics over the years are translated into English for the first time in THE FOURTH DIMENSION. They bring us to tantalizing new horizons of awareness where Steiner hoped to lead his listeners: Topics include: * The relationship between geometric studies and developing direct perception of spiritual realities * How to construct a fourth-dimensional hypercube * The six dimensions of the self-aware human being * Problems with the theory of relativity * The Trinity and angelic hierarchies and their relationship to physical space * The dimensional aspect of the spiritual being encountered by Moses on Mt. Sinai
Growing into the daily use of these meditative prayers makes us conscious of how we stand in great world rhythms. We learn to follow the alternation of waking and sleeping, the ordering of the seven days of the week, and the course of the seasons, as gifts of heavenly powers gradually become known to us. This is a small, elegant guide to aid meditation.
Mental and emotional disorders have reached epidemic levels in Western societies. Self-doubt, panic-attacks, anxiety disorders and personal fears of all kinds present major challenges to contemporary medical science. Rudolf Steiner's spiritual research offers a startlingly original and complementary contribution to the problem. True insight into psychological issues requires knowledge of the influences of spiritual beings, he suggests. In everyday life we are all confronted with metaphysical entities that can hinder or progress our development. Many forms of anxiety and self-doubt derive from such meetings on the border - or threshold - of our consciousness. Further, these `threshold experiences' are exacerbated today by a general loosening of the subtle bodies and components of the human soul. As these constitutional changes persist, says Rudolf Steiner, a condition of `dissociation' becomes increasingly common. A healthy emotional life will only be possible if individuals engage in a conscious practice of personal growth, strengthening their constitution through the action of the `I' or self. The expertly selected and collated texts in Self-Doubt offer numerous cognitive and practical ideas for the improvement of everyday mental and emotional health. Chapters include: The origin of error, fear, and nervousness; Crossing the threshold in the development of humanity and the individual; The polarity of shame and fear; The polarity of doubt and terrifying disorientation; The polarity of scepticism and claustrophobia, astraphobia, and agoraphobia; The origin of panic; Anxiety; The multilayered nature of terrifying disorientation; Healing aspects of the anthroposophical path of training; The spiritual-scientific qualities of fear compared with standardized diagnostic terms and as a basis for therapy.
Are you finding it difficult to understand your child? Do you feel frustrated because you often end up in an argument but not sure about how you got there? Authentic Parenting can help. By gaining insight into how your temperament and your child's temperament could be in conflict with each other, you can lean how to work with both yourself and your child to head off misunderstandings, explosive emotions, and sulking. With descriptions of how to identify your child's temperament, tips for tailoring disciplinary techniques so your child really hears you, as well as suggestions for helping your boy or girl feel safe and secure, Authentic Parenting is a valuable resource for bringing our the best in both our children and ourselves. The authors have provided an invaluable resource for all parents and educators.
'I wrote this book out of the needs I see at the present time. I see diseases being translocated to others - humans or animals - despite the good intentions of many therapists or doctors. The diseases are translocated because they do not exist in energetic patterns, but as expressions of spiritual beings. Energy and energy-patterns only exist in the physical world, but in the spiritual world there are only spiritual beings.' From ancient times, all cultures have known of the spiritual phenomenon of 'translocation' - the movement of a pathological entity from one human being to another, or from a human being to an animal. These pathological entities are spiritual beings, known as 'demons' in common parlance. Their translocation, says Are Thoresen, can take place as a result of conventional Western medicine, but also from the application of 'alternative' therapies such as homeopathy, acupuncture and herbal medicine. In order to have a positive therapeutic impact, Thoresen advises that practitioners, doctors and veterinarians need to acquire a deep understanding of the function and laws of pathological demonic entities and the means to influence them. Using the Middle Point or Christ-force, it is possible to transform - instead of simply translocating - the negative spiritual aspects that are at work in contemporary society. As the author states: 'I have written this book to try to investigate these possibilities, and to give my fellow travellers in spirit the insights, tools and ability to make such a change.'
Conventional medicine focuses on the body's physical symptoms. But more and more patients are questioning the limitations of this approach and are exploring holistic approaches, such as anthroposophic medicine, which also addresses the human soul -- our individual thinking, will and feelings -- and the human spirit, our self-awareness and essence. Anthroposophic medicine is an extension of, not a replacement to, conventional medicine. This comprehensive book introduces and explores the philosophy and practice of anthroposophic medicine, which is based on principles developed by Rudolf Steiner. It discusses many alternative therapies and areas of health including artistic therapies, massage, childhood illnesses, cancer and psychiatry. Healing for Body, Soul and Spirit will inform and engage a general reader, with no medical background, who is interested in alternative and holistic approaches to human health.
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