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    Through explorations of the three pillars of Zen--teaching, practice, and enlightenment--Roshi Philip Kapleau presents a comprehensive overview of the history and discipline of Zen Buddhism.  An established classic, this 35th anniversary edition features new illustrations and photographs, as well as a new afterword by Sensei Bodhin Kjolhede, who has succeeded Philip Kapleau as spiritual director of the Rochester Zen Center, one of the oldest and most influential Zen centers in the United States.

    Review
    "The Three Pillars of Zen is still, in my opinion, the best book in English that has been written on Zen Buddhism."--Huston Smith, author of The Worlds' Religions and Forgotten Truth

    "The Three Pillars of Zen heralded the end of armchair Buddhism.  With this practical guide to Zen meditation, Roshi Kapleau ushered in the first wave of American zazen practitioners.  It was extraordinarily inspiring.  It still is."--Helen Tworkov, founding editor of Tricycle:  The Buddhist Review and author of Zen in America

    "For over thirty years Roshi Kapleau's Three Pillars of Zen has been the wellspring of Zen teachings for practitioners in the West, remaining as vital and fresh today as it was when it was originally published.  It truly ranks among the timeless classics of Zen Buddhism."--Roshi John Daido Loori, Abbot, Zen Mountain Monastery

    "For anyone seriously interested in Zen--this book will be invaluable."--Times Literary Supplement (London) MsSVig

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    Description
    Zen Training is a comprehensive handbook for zazen, seated meditation practice, and an authoritative presentation of the Zen path. The book marked a turning point in Zen literature in its critical reevaluation of the enlightenment experience, which the author believes has often been emphasized at the expense of other important aspects of Zen training. In addition, Zen Training goes beyond the first flashes of enlightenment to explore how one lives as well as trains in Zen. The author also draws many significant parallels between Zen and Western philosophy and psychology, comparing traditional Zen concepts with the theories of being and cognition of such thinkers as Heidegger and Husserl.

    Review
    "Written by a lay teacher with 60 years of experience in zazan, this book provides everyone from absolute beginner to experienced student with detailed, progressive information and discussion on breathing, posture, distraction, actions of mind, physiology, mood, laughter, kensho, and samadhi."—Library Journal



    "An extraordinarily important book. It should be on the shelves of all libraries."—Choice



    "[Sekida's] approach is radical in its attempt to define Zen practice in terms of Western physiology and phenomenology."—New Age Journal

    "This book is a valuable work. Though physiologically technical, it remains personal and practical, focusing on the actual experience of zazen practice. Ultimately, however, it is the concentrated and serious spirit of the book that most tellingly establishes its value to those interested in Zen."—Philip Kapleau
    About the Author
    Katsuki Sekida (1893–1987) was by profession a high school teacher of English until his retirement in 1945. Zen, nevertheless, was his lifelong preoccupation. He began his Zen practice in 1915 and trained at Empuku-ji in Kyoto and Ryutaki-ji in Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture. He taught at the Honolulu Zendo and Maui Zendo from 1963 to 1970 and at the London Zen Society from 1970 to 1972. MsSVig

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    Stairway to the Stars: Sufism, Gurdjeff and the Inner Tradition of Mankind

    Back cover description:

    Quote:

    From time immemorial, certain men and women appear to have developed their consciousness far beyond the "normal" level or state which the rest of humanity has taken for granted as "life". These are the mystics. They are of all times and places, of the East as well as the West.

    The true mystics are not culture-bound. They have gone "beyond". They may well have to take into consideration the prevailing culture for purposes of communication.

    But their message is for mankind. Or more accurately, for those human beings who are seeking, those who willlisten. In the words of one mystical master, "those who have ears to hear". It is the ultimate human message, from ultimate human beings. It is the deep calling to the deep in us. If our hearts can but hear!

    MsSVig

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    The six essays in this volume all deal with the relationship of mystical experience to ordinary life. The title essay on "cosmic consciousness" includes the author's account of his own ventures into this inward realm. "Instinct, Intelligence, and Anxiety" is a study of the paradoxes of self-consciousness; "Spiritually and Sensuality," a lively discussion of the false opposition of spirit and matter; and "The New Alchemy," a balanced account of states of consciousness akin to spiritual experience induced by the aid of lysergic acid. The collection also includes the text of Watts' celebrated pamphlet, "Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen."

    Review

    The apparent simplicity of a statement like "This is it" is beautiful, and at the same time it is clear and equivocal. Why would we be dissatisfied with "This is it" as an explanation, proclamation, or celebration? Perhaps because we have been conditioned to expect more before ever being given the chance to appreciate the immanent.

    Aside from theology, no field is more guilty of overlooking the "here and now" than philosophy - overlooking it, or simply missing it. But Alan Watts believes in a philosophy that is true to its spirit, the love of wisdom. "Such philosophy will not preach or advocate practices leading to improvement." As he understands it "the work of the philosopher as artist is to reveal and celebrate the eternal and purposeless background of human life." It may seem presumptuous for Watts to use the word purposeless, but if fact it's the opposite. To begin with, in relationships that involve observation, appreciation, celebration, or interaction with the "here and now," (life) there should be no assumptions made regarding a purpose. Assuming a purpose is already removing oneself from the "here and now" by imposing an impression that only could have been established through time, in the past. In truth, the purpose or lack thereof is not important.

    We don't realize how many of these assumptions form the base for all that we experience. Watts pulls a wonderful line from Dostoyevsky: "Man is unhappy because he doesn't know he's happy. It's only that...If anyone finds out he'll become happy at once, that minute." Watts isn't trying to imply that happiness is easy. But we don't make things easier on ourselves by entangling ourselves in webs of assumption, dogma, and rigidity.

    Alan Watts is very intelligent, and very interesting - a combination not found in too many philosophers at all, let alone in the twentieth century. Though he would never claim to be offering any type of assistance or prescription, it is likely that this book will inspire you to see the world from another angle or two.
    By Dr. Lotto Budweiser MsSVig

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    While John Bunyan is most famously known for writing Pilgrim's Progress, his works of Christian literature extend well beyond just one novel. Indeed, Bunyan was a prolific writer and preacher, authoring over fifty books and tracts during his lifetime.

    Like Pilgrim's Progress, The Holy War is an allegorical novel which depicts fictional people and events to illustrate the Christian's spiritual journey. The Holy War is the story of "Mansoul" a perfect town built for the glory of its benevolent creator and leader, King Shaddai. After being deceived by the wicked ruler Diabolus, the town rejects the rule of King Shaddai and falls deep into the mires of sin and despair. As battles rage against good and evil, the redemption of Mansoul is only possible through the victory of Shaddai's son, Prince Emmanuel.

    Bunyan's allegory is full of clever characters and captivating drama. This important Christian classic is both educational and entertaining, so it is a great book for leisure reading or Bible study. MsSVig

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    The Inner Reaches of Outer Space was the last book completed by mythologist Joseph Campbell before his death in 1987.

    In these pages, beloved mythologist Joseph Campbell explores the Space Age. He posits that the newly discovered laws of outer space are actually within us as well, and that a new mythology is implicit in that realization. But what is this new mythology? How can we recognize it? Campbell explores these questions in the concluding essay, “The Way of Art,” in which he demonstrates that metaphor is the language of art and argues that within the psyches of today’s artists are the seeds of tomorrow’s mythologies.

    Campbell writes in his introduction: “My desire and great pleasure in the preparation of this little volume has been as rendering a return gift to the Graces for the transforming insights of these recent years, which...we have been testing out in a broadly shared spiritual adventure.” MsSVig

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    A review of Aleister Crowley:
    "This book has been left entirely unedited by Mr. Theodore Schroeder, with the exception of a very brief explanatory note. I may say that it is one of the most remarkable human documents ever produced, and it should certainly find a regular publisher in book form, The authoress of the Manuscript, claims that she was the wife of an angel. She expounds at the greatest length the philosophy connected with this thesis. Her learning is enormous. She finds traces of similar beliefs in every country in the world, and (having a similar experience of her own) she can hardly be blamed for arguing that one thing confirms the other. Mr. Schroeder is quite logical in calling her paper An Unintentional Contribution to the Erotogenic Interpretation of Religion, but commits the errors of petitio principii and non distributio medii with the most exquisite nonchalance. Only a lawyer could be so shameless. He begs the question with regard to this particular case, assuming that her relation with the angel was pure hallucination, of which he has no evidence whatsoever. He argues that, since one person both loves and is religious, religion is nothing but a morbid manifestation of the sexual instinct. One does not have even to disagree with him to see how worthless is his reasoning. As a matter of fact, I do half agree with him in my calmer moments in a general way, but the conclusion can be carried a step further. When you have proved that God is merely a name for the sex instinct, it appears to me not far to the perception that the sex instinct is God.

    This particular manuscript. is absolutely sane in every line. The fact that the woman committed suicide twelve or fifteen years afterwards is no more against the sanity of the MS. than the suicide of Socrates proves that the Republic is merely the lucubration of a lunatic. I am very far from agreeing with all that this most talented woman sets forth in her paper, but she certainly obtained initiated knowledge of extraordinary depth. She seems to have had access to certain most concealed sanctuaries. I should personally be inclined to attribute her suicide rather to the vengeance of the guardians of those palaces than to any more obvious cause. She has put down statements in plain English which are positively staggering. This book is of incalculable value to every student of occult matters. No Magick library is complete without it." MsSVig

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    Preface:

    The Dhammapada — The Path to Truth — is an excellent book to keep in
    one’s pocket and refer to at leisure. It contains 423 verses in 26 chapters,
    covering all kinds of topics.

    In this edition I have included the Pāḷi text following the Chaṭṭha Saṅgāyana
    Tipiṭaka published by the Vipassanā Research Institute. Variant readings found in
    the Sinhalese edition of the text are annotated.

    The translation is based on Nārada Mahāthera’s, but I have rephrased the
    English to bring it up to date, and added my own footnotes. A few words like
    “Arahant” cannot adequately be translated into English, so they have been left in
    the original Pāḷi. The Pāḷi words “thera” and “therī” have both been translated
    “elder.” The Pāḷi word “Brāhmaṇa” means little to the average reader so I have
    translated it as “Saint,” which best conveys in English the meaning of freedom
    from human failings like lust, anger, jealousy, and so forth. You will find a
    glossary of Pāḷi terms in the Appendices defining some of these difficult words.

    The meaning of the verses is greatly clarified by the stories from the
    commentaries, which put them into context. I have relied on this context to give
    the most appropriate translation rather than trying to ensure word for word
    consistency. The long narrative of the commentary fleshes out the characters,
    which is fine for story-telling, but it adds little for the modern reader, so I have
    condensed them substantially, though I have included more than just a synopsis.
    The full translation of the commentary by Burlingame for the Pāḷi Text Society
    runs to three volumes, while this edition would comfortably fit a single volume.

    I am aware that this first edition has many defects, but I am sure that the
    readers will gain some benefit. Improved editions may follow later if I find time.
    This map of India shows the Ganges valley, where the Buddha mostly lived
    and taught, and the adjacent countries to which missionary monks went and from
    which pilgrims came to visit the Buddha. The Four Holy Sites are marked

    where the Bodhisatta was born, where the Buddha gained Enlightenment, where
    he started teaching the Dhamma, and where he passed away by attaining the final
    nibbāna (parinibbāna). After the Buddha’s demise, his body was cremated at
    Kusināra, and his relics were enshrined in ten funereal mounds (cetiya or stūpa).
    His relics were divided into eight portions by the Brahmin Doṇa who
    diplomatically prevented the various kings from fighting over the Buddha’s
    remains. He was given the jewel-encrusted funeral urn, over which he built a
    ninth cetiya, and the Moriyās of Pippalivana, who arrived too late to obtain a
    share of the relics, erected a cetiya over the ashes of the funeral pyre at
    Pippalivana.

    To understand the Dhamma properly we need to see it in context. It is a
    practical teaching that is best understood through practice, rather than mere
    study. (cf. Dhp vv 19, 20) Nevertheless, it is a detailed teaching that needs careful
    study. If we don’t know the teaching well enough, then we won’t be able to
    practise it correctly. (cf. Dhp v 152) Study, practice, and realisation are all
    important. Realisation is the goal, practice is the method, and study is the map
    showing the right way. MsSVig

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    This book is about the Yezidi cult and their practices.

    From wikipedia:
    The Yazidi (also Yezidi, Kurdish: ئێزیدی or Êzidî) are a Kurdish religious group, who represent an ancient religious sect linked to Zoroastranism and Sufism. They currently live primarily in the Nineveh Province of northern Iraq. Additional communities in Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, and Syria have been in decline since the 1990s, their members having emigrated to Europe, especially to Germany. Their religion is seen as a highly syncretic complex of local Kurdish beliefs that contains Zoroastrian elements and Islamic Sufi doctrine introduced to the area by Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir in the 12th century. The Yazidi believe in God as creator of the world, which he placed under the care of seven holy beings or angels, the chief of whom is Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel.

    From the Prelude:
    "...In a book I wrote eighteen years ago, I repeated many tales about the Yazidis
    current amongst their neighbours, and others have taken their material from
    similar sources, and sometimes borrowed from my chapter. At all these
    legends, reports and current tales I look now with the utmost caution and
    suspicion. Years spent in studying another minority and another secret
    religion have taught me how unreliable hearsay evidence is, and in this book,
    therefore, I repeat only what I gather from Arabic-speaking Yazidis
    themselves, or that which I myself witnessed.

    The Yazidis are spoken of as Devil-Worshippers. Apart from the fact that
    Shaikh ‘Adi bin Musafir, their principal saint, was recognized in his time as
    an orthodox Moslem, my personal impressions are contradictory of this. I
    cannot believe that they worship the Devil or even propitiate the Spirit of
    Evil. Although the chief of the Seven Angels, who according to their
    nebulous doctrines are charged with the rule of the universe, is one whom
    they name Taw'us Melké, the PEACOCK ANGEL, he is a Spirit of Light
    rather than a Spirit of Darkness.

    "They say of us wrongly," said a qawwâl to me one evening, "that we
    worship one who is evil."

    Indeed, it is possibly the Yazidis themselves themselves, by tabooing all mention of the
    name Shaitan, or Satan, as a libel upon this angel, who have fostered the idea
    that the Peacock Angel is identical with the dark fallen angel whom men call
    the Tempter. In one of the holy books of the Mandaeans the Peacock Angel,
    called by them Malka Tausa, is portrayed as a spirit concerned with the
    destinies of this world, a prince of the world of light who, because of a
    divinely appointed destiny, plunged into the darkness of matter. I talked of
    this with the head of the qawwâls in Baashika who, honest man, was not very
    clear himself about the point, for one of the charms of the Yazidis is that they
    are never positive about theology. It seemed probable to me, after this talk,
    that the Peacock Angel is, in a manner, a symbol of Man himself, a divine
    principle of light experiencing an avatar of darkness, which is matter and the
    material world. The evil comes from man himself, or rather from his errors,
    stumblings and obstinate turnings down blind alleys upon the steep path of
    being. In repeated incarnations he sheds his earthliness, his evil, or else, if
    hopelessly linked to the material, he perishes like the dross and illusion
    that he is.

    I say that this seems to me a probable conception, but I have no scrap of
    evidence that it is the Yazidi theory, no documentary proof, no dictum from
    the Baba Shaikh, who is the living religious head of the nation. One Yazidi
    propounded to me the curious theory that the accumulated experiences of
    various earthly lives was, on the Day of Resurrection, gathered into one oversoul,
    but that the individuals who had once lived those lives continued as
    separate entities, but how this was possible he did not explain.

    However, as I have already intimated, I am not concerned here with Yazidi
    creeds, but with themselves and the shape of their daily life as I saw it.
    Whatever may be the vague beliefs of their religious chiefs, their practised
    religion is a mystical pantheism. The name of God, Khuda, is ever on their
    lips. God for them is omnipresent, but especially reverenced in the sun, the
    planets, the pure mountain spring, the green and living tree, and even in
    cavern and sacred Bethel stone some of the mystery and miracle of the divine
    lie hidden.

    As for propitiation of evil, I can say sincerely that I found less amongst them
    than their neighbours. Moslems and Christians wear three amulets to the
    Yazidi one, and though a Yazidi is not averse to wearing a charm against the
    Evil Eye, many so-called devil-worshipping children go without, though few
    Moslem or Christian mothers would dare to take their babies abroad without
    sewing their clothes over with blue buttons, cowries, and scraps of Holy writ,
    either Qur'an or Bible."

    MsSVig

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    Books 1-7 of Emile Brehier's  History of Philosophy, in french. Published between 1926 and 1932

    The first part is a recount of Hellenic age, about Plato and Aristotle and the Presocratics

    The Hellenistic and Roman Age is the second part of Bréhier's great Histoire de la philosophie, originally published in the 1920's and '30's. Following The Hellenic Age, it completes Bréhier's account of the classical philosophers.
    The third book is about philosophy in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
    Fourth book: 17th century philosophy
    5th Book: 18th century philosophy
    6th book: 19th century philosophy from 1800 to 1850
    7th book: 19th century philosophy from 1850 to when the book  is written.

    Historien de la philosophie et philosophe français, né le 12 avril 1876 à Bar-le-Duc, mort le 3 février 1952 à Paris. Issu d’une famille d’universitaires, frère de l’historien Louis Bréhier, c’est à la Faculté des Lettres de Paris où il eut pour maîtres Victor Brochard et Lucien Lévy-Bruhl qu’il fit ses études supérieures de philosophie. Après avoir été professeur de lycée jusqu’en 1909, il enseigna la philosophie et l’histoire de la philosophie successivement aux Universités de Rennes, de Bordeaux et de Paris où il demeura en poste jusqu’en 1946.

    Son œuvre la plus importante est cette monumentale Histoire de la philosophie en sept volumes, publiée de 1926 à 1932, qui a toujours constitué, depuis sa parution, un ouvrage de référence en la matière. Tous les systèmes et les courants de la pensée occidentale, depuis ses origines jusqu’au premier quart du xxe siècle, s’y trouvent présentés et étudiés en profondeur selon une perspective qui doit autant à la philosophie elle-même qu’à l’histoire proprement dite. Si Émile Bréhier s’est ainsi attaché à donner la vision la plus complète et la plus détaillée qui soit de l’ensemble de la philosophie occidentale, deux thèmes essentiels ont constitué néanmoins le domaine privilégié de sa recherche : la philosophie grecque tout d’abord, et plus spécialement la doctrine stoïcienne et la philosophie néo-platonicienne auxquelles il consacra de nombreuses études (notamment sur Chrysippe, Philon d’Alexandrie et Plotin) la philosophie allemande ensuite, dont il entreprit de restituer l’histoire sous une forme synthétique, après avoir publié auparavant un important ouvrage sur Schelling. MsSVig

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    Rudolph Christoph Eucken is a german philosopher and winner of the 1908 Noble Prize for Literature

    Editor's Preface:
    EDITOR'S PREFACE
    With three exceptions {The Statics of Religion in Germany,
    Are the Germans still Thinkers? and The Problem of Immortality
    — the translation of which I am not responsible) the essays
    included in this volume have not hitherto appeared in English.
    The lighter and more popular articles
    —in the early portion—
    will be found to throw a variety of interesting sidelights on the
    philosophy of Rudolf Eucken ; while the heavier essays provide
    a material addition to our knowledge of the distinguished
    thinker's work.

    In spite of the diversity of its contents this work acquires
    a certain unity by virtue of the convictions which permeate the
    whole. As is well known, Professor Eucken's Activism is based
    upon the recognition of an independent spiritual life (Geistesleben)
    as the ultimate basis of the whole of reality, and as the sole
    principle capable of explaining the sum of our human experience.

    This life sustains the entire structure of the universe, from
    inanimate matter up to the highest manifestations of man's
    intelligence and personality. Logic, mathematics, science, art,
    law, morality and religion arc all modes of manifestation of this
    central life. Man is essentially a spiritual being, and a partaker
    in the originative and eternal reality ; yet at the same time ho
    is largely immersed in the life of nature (which is looked upon
    as a lower and unevolved stage of reality), and in order to
    realise his own being he must endeavour to ascend towards the
    higher levels of reality. But this cannot be done without effort
    and activity, without a pressing forward and an overcoming of
    resistance. Hence the term Activism.


    Author's Preface
    The following essays treat of widely different subjects ; and it
    may at first be thought that many of them show no very
    immediate connection with the life of the English-speaking
    world. But although the problems in question are handled from
    the German standpoint, they are, in themselves, of universal
    human interest ; while the personalities dealt with belong to the
    literature of the whole world. Moreover, in spite of the variety
    of the subject-matter, all the essays give expression to a single
    fundamental conviction and are thus inwardly united. In conclusion,
    I may voice the hope that the English-speaking public
    will bestow upon this book the same friendly goodwill for
    which I have been so sincerely grateful in the case of preceding
    translations of my works.

    MsSVig

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    The Cults of the Greek States
    Lewis Richard Farnell’s five-volume The Cults of the Greek States, first
    published between 1896 and 1909, disentangles classical Greek mythology
    and religion, since the latter had often been overlooked by nineteenthcentury
    English scholars. Farnell describes the cults of the most significant
    Greek gods in order to establish their zones of influence, and outlines the
    personality, monuments, and ideal types associated with each deity. He also
    resolutely avoids the question of divine origins and focuses instead on the
    culture surrounding each cult, a position which initially drew some criticism,
    but which allowed him more space to analyse the religious practices
    themselves. Written to facilitate a comparative approach to Greek gods, his
    work is still regularly cited today for its impressive collection of data about
    the worship of the most popular deities.

    Volume 1 covers the Aniconic age, the Iconic age, and the cults of Cronos, Zeus, Hera and Athena. MsSVig

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    The Cults of the Greek States
    Lewis Richard Farnell’s five-volume The Cults of the Greek States, first
    published between 1896 and 1909, disentangles classical Greek mythology
    and religion, since the latter had often been overlooked by nineteenth century
    English scholars. Farnell describes the cults of the most significant
    Greek gods in order to establish their zones of influence, and outlines the
    personality, monuments, and ideal types associated with each deity. He also
    resolutely avoids the question of divine origins and focuses instead on the
    culture surrounding each cult, a position which initially drew some criticism,
    but which allowed him more space to analyse the religious practices
    themselves. Written to facilitate a comparative approach to Greek gods, his
    work is still regularly cited today for its impressive collection of data about
    the worship of the most popular deities.

    Volume 4 focuses on the cults of Poseidon and Apollo. MsSVig

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    In Attempt at a Critique of All Revelation (1792), J. G. Fichte extends Kant's practical philosophy to a consideration of revealed religion: its justification, its use, and the limits of what it can claim. Kant had warranted our practical faith in God and immortality in his Critique of Practical Reason (1788), but Fichte was the first to explain the implications of this approach for religion, predating even Kant's own Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason (1793).

    This edition of Attempt at a Critique of All Revelation uses an already existing translation by Garrett Green, which was published by Cambridge in 1978, along with a newly commissioned introduction by Allen Wood, who is best known for his first-rate scholarship on Kant and Hegel. Wood's introduction provides a brief biography of Fichte, compares Kant's and Fichte's philosophies of religion, and makes a case for Fichte's importance in the history of modern and contemporary philosophy. Wood also explains the concept of volition in Fichte's work and his "synthetic method," both of which stake out new philosophical territory for post-Kantian idealism. Fichte conceives of self-determination in terms of the unity of the agent, but such a unity can only be achieved by relating the moral motive of respect to empirical impulses. By envisioning a life whose projects are all informed by an overarching moral vocation, Fichte relates morality and happiness in a way that challenges Kant's sharp distinction between these two kinds of goodness and that anticipates themes in Fichte's later work. In addition, Fichte's synthetic method extends Kant's claim that metaphysical speculation leads to a conflict of reason with itself that must be resolved. Fichte adopts this as a more general argument strategy whereby immediately certain propositions, such as consciousness is of one's own activity, lead to seemingly contradictory propositions that are synthesized by a new concept. Wood does a good job of explaining these ideas clearly and concisely. Although he is a bit hyperbolic -- e.g., "Fichte is the key to the entire tradition of modern continental philosophy" (xxvii) -- Wood makes a strong case for Fichte's philosophical importance.

    Attempt at a Critique of All Revelation is Fichte's first published book. Kant himself encouraged Fichte to publish it, and Kant recommended it to his own publisher. When the book appeared anonymously in 1792, many people thought that Kant had written it. Subsequently, Kant wrote a public letter identifying Fichte as the author, and Fichte became widely known as the next great Kantian philosopher. On the strength of this work, Fichte was appointed chair of philosophy at the University of Jena in 1794, where he would develop his own philosophy, the Wissenschaftslehre, and write a series of books that are only now being fully appreciated in the English-speaking world. MsSVig

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    Contained herein is the catalyst of all human mystical, religious, and spiritual thought that eventually evolved into the mystery schools, such as Freemasonry, Theosophy and Rosicrucianism.

    Contents:
    Vol1:
    Tree Worship;
    Serpent and Phallic Worship;
    Fire Worship;
    Sun Worship;

    Vol 2:
    Ancestor Worship; Early Faiths of Western Asia;
    Faiths of Western Aborigines in Europe and Adjacent Countries;
    Faiths of Eastern Aborigines, Non-Aryan, Aryan and Shemitik.  See http://theoccult.bz/details.php?id=45418 for vol 2

    No other source work describes in this magnificent detail our great spiritual heritage.

    From genealogyreligion.net:
    "The esoteric and erotic are sometimes linked, though not often do we find them together in a work of comparative religion. In 1883, James Forlong published a large tome with an equally large title: Rivers of Life, or Sources and Streams of the Faiths of Man in All Lands; Showing the Evolution of Faiths from the Rudest Symbolisms to the Latest Spiritual Developments. Forlong belonged to the “phallicist school of religious anthropology,” a group whose work loosely and lasciviously read religious history as an evolutionary unfolding that, after 10,000 years of maturation, exploded into modern faiths. Forlong’s seminal ideas are encapsulated in a detailed and colorful chart, Rivers of Life or Faiths of Man in All Lands. Despite Forlong’s prodigious and erudite efforts, he gets nearly everything wrong.

    Forlong is the strange sort of character that the British Empire regularly threw up in its mission to colonize the world. It’s too bad we don’t have a biography of him because despite being wrong about nearly every aspect of religious history, he seems to have been the kind of crank that everyone can know and love. The working title of such a biography might be The Man Who Would Be Phallic King; God of the Fertile Groves — Interpreting Religious History Through Lord Forlong’s Sexual Lens. Or something like that. Those interested can find volume two of his massive work here. Forlong is not, unsurprisingly, a figure much studied in the anthropology of religion." MsSVig

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    Contained herein is the catalyst of all human mystical, religious, and spiritual thought that eventually evolved into the mystery schools, such as Freemasonry, Theosophy and Rosicrucianism.

    Contents:

    Vol. 1:
    Tree Worship;
    Serpent and Phallic Worship;
    Fire Worship;
    Sun Worship;
    Ancestor Worship;  see http://theoccult.bz/details.php?id=45417 for vol 1

    Vol. 2:
    Early Faiths of Western Asia;
    Faiths of Western Aborigines in Europe and Adjacent Countries;
    Faiths of Eastern Aborigines, Non-Aryan, Aryan and Shemitik.

    No other source work describes in this magnificent detail our great spiritual heritage.

    From genealogyreligion.net:

    "The esoteric and erotic are sometimes linked, though not often do we find them together in a work of comparative religion. In 1883, James Forlong published a large tome with an equally large title: Rivers of Life, or Sources and Streams of the Faiths of Man in All Lands; Showing the Evolution of Faiths from the Rudest Symbolisms to the Latest Spiritual Developments. Forlong belonged to the “phallicist school of religious anthropology,” a group whose work loosely and lasciviously read religious history as an evolutionary unfolding that, after 10,000 years of maturation, exploded into modern faiths. Forlong’s seminal ideas are encapsulated in a detailed and colorful chart, Rivers of Life or Faiths of Man in All Lands. Despite Forlong’s prodigious and erudite efforts, he gets nearly everything wrong.

    Forlong is the strange sort of character that the British Empire regularly threw up in its mission to colonize the world. It’s too bad we don’t have a biography of him because despite being wrong about nearly every aspect of religious history, he seems to have been the kind of crank that everyone can know and love. The working title of such a biography might be The Man Who Would Be Phallic King; God of the Fertile Groves — Interpreting Religious History Through Lord Forlong’s Sexual Lens. Or something like that. Those interested can find volume two of his massive work here. Forlong is not, unsurprisingly, a figure much studied in the anthropology of religion." MsSVig

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    The so-called Atheist is often a widely read, pious, and thoughtful man, who has cast aside as absurd the so-called "Religions," and even the theory of the Theist, as untenable. He sees no solution in terms of human consciousness for any questions as to god-worship; and he finds even a statement of the problem of god-hood quite beyond utterance, or thought. It seems to him a setting out to find what you know not, through a process that you cannot grasp... -from "Atheism"

    This 1906 classic of comparative literature, hard to find in print today, was the first English-language project to approach the world's religions from an anthropological perspective. The work of thirty years for Scottish author JAMES G. R. FORLONG (1824-1904), it was originally published under the now-antiquated title A Cyclopedia of Religions and produced at the author's own expense, so strongly did he feel about the need for it despite the reluctance of the publishing houses of the day to produce it. A road engineer by trade, Forlong traveled the world, learning seven languages and becoming an avid amateur student of native culture-his labor of love was gathering, in this three-volume set, a comprehensive, academic knowledge of the totality of human religious belief.

    Volume I: A-D includes entries on such gods, peoples, places, practices, symbols, and concepts as: Adamites, ambrosia, and Aphrodite baptism, Bast, and bean China, Christmas, and conscience Dagon, dead, and Dhamma-pada and much more.

    Volume II: E-M includes entries on such gods, peoples, places, practices, symbols, and concepts as: Easter Isle, eggs, fear, and fetish gipsies, gorgons, Helene, and horse incubi, inspiration, Jacob, and Japan Kadesh, Kant, lion, and logos Maia, Maimonides, and Mennonites and much more.

    Volume III: N-Z includes entries on such gods, peoples, places, practices, symbols, and concepts as: • Na'aman, naga, oaths, and Odin • pagoda, Pantheism, and Quakers • Ra, runes, Shin-to, and Sophists • talisman, Tertullian, unicorn, and Upanishads • vana, wells, Yggdrasil, and Zeus • and much more. MsSVig

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    Preface:

    The following work is a translation of the "Lexicon Manuale Hebraicum et Chaldaicum in Veteris Testamenti Libros," of Dr. William Gesenius, late professor at Halle.

    The attainments of Gesenius in Oriental literature are well known. This is not the place to dwell on them; it is more to our purpose to notice his lexicographical labours in the Hebrew language: this will inform the reader as to the original of the present work, and also what has been undertaken by the translator.

    His first work in this department was the "Hebräisch-deutsches Handwörterbuch des Alten Testaments," 2 vols. 8vo., Leipzig, 1810—12.

    Next appeared the "Neues Hebräisch-deutsches Handwörterbuch; ein für Schulen umgearbeiteter Auszug," etc., 8vo., Leipzig, 1815. Of this work a greatly-improved edition was published at Leipzig in 1823. Prefixed to it there is an Essay on the Sources of Hebrew Lexicography, to which Gesenius refers in others of his works. Another and yet further improved edition appeared in 1828.

    In 1827, the printing commenced of a much more extensive work, his "Thesaurus Philologicus Criticus Linguæ Hebrææ et Chaldææ Veteris Testamenti." The first part of this work was published in 1829: the second part did not appear till 1835 (other philological labours, which will presently be noticed, having occupied a considerable portion of the intervening years). The third part of the "Thesaurus" appeared in 1839; a fourth in 1840; and a fifth in 1842; bringing the work down as far as the root . On the 23rd of October, 1842, Gesenius died in his fifty-seventh year. His MSS., etc., were entrusted to his friend, Prof. Rödiger, in order to the completion of the work. Three years, however, have passed away without any further progress having been announced.1

    Between the publication of the first and second parts of the "Thesaurus," appeared the "Lexicon Manuale," in Latin, of which the present work is a translation; and also (in 1834), an edition of his German Lexicon, conformed to the "Lexicon Manuale."2

    Of several of the above works translations have been made into English. In 1824, Josiah W. Gibbs, A.M., put forth a translation of the second of the afore-mentioned Lexicons, at Andover, in North America. This translation has also been twice reprinted in London.

    The first of these Lexicons was translated by Christopher Leo, and published at Cambridge, in 2 vols. 4to., the former of which appeared in 1825.

    In 1836 there was a translation published in America of the "Lexicon Manuale," by Edward Robinson, D.D.

    This work of Dr. Robinson, as well as the translations of Gibbs, had become very scarce in England, and the want of a good "Hebrew and English Lexicon," really adapted to students, was felt by many.

    The question arose, Whether a simple reprint of one of the existing translations would not sufficiently meet the want? It did not appear so to the present translator; and that on various grounds: Gibbs's work, having been based upon the earlier publications of Gesenius, was in a manner superseded by the author's later works; while, as regards the translation of Dr. Robinson, considerable difficulty was felt, owing to the manner in which the rationalist views, unhappily held by Gesenius, not only appeared in the work without correction, but also from the distinct statement of the translator's preface, that no remark was required on any theological views which the work might contain. Marks of evident haste and oversight were also very traceable through the work; and these considerations combined led to the present undertaking.

    This translation was conducted on the following plan:—Each root was taken as it stands in the "Thesaurus," and the "Lexicon Manuale" was compared with it; such corrections or additions being made as seemed needful: the root and derivatives were at once translated, every scripture reference being verified, and, when needful, corrected. A faithful adherence to this plan must insure, it is manifested, not only correctness in the work, but also much of the value of the "Thesaurus," in addition to the "Lexicon Manuale."

    Every word has been further compared, and that carefully, with Professor Lee's Hebrew Lexicon; and when he questions statements made by Gesenius, the best authorities have been consulted. In Arabic roots, etc., Freytag's Lexicon has been used for verifying the statements of Gesenius which have been thus questioned. Winer's "Simonis" and other authorities were also compared.

    In the situations and particulars of places mentioned in the Old Testament, many additions have been made from Robinson's "Biblical Researchers." The "Monumenta Phœnicia" of Gesenius (which was published between the second and third parts of his "Thesaurus") has been used for the comparison of various subjects which it illustrates. It is a work of considerable importance to the Hebrew student; and it would be desirable that all the remains of the Phœnician language therein contained be published separately, so as to exhibit all the genuine ancient Hebrew which exists besides that contained in the Old Testament.3 A few articles omitted by Gesenius have been added; these consist chiefly of proper names. The forms in which the proper names appear in the authorised English translation have been added throughout.

    When this work was ready for the press, a second edition of Dr. Robinson's translation appeared: this is greatly superior to the first; and it has also, in the earlier parts, various additions and corrections from the MSS. of Gesenius. The publication of this new edition led the translator to question whether it would not be sufficient for the wants of the Hebrew student: a little examination, however, proved that it was liable to various objections, especially on the ground of its neology, scarcely a passage having been noted by Dr. Robinson as containing anything unsound. This was decisive: but further, the alterations and omissions are of a very arbitrary kind, and amount in several places to the whole or half of a column. It was thus apparent that the publication of the new American translation was in no sense a reason why this should be withheld. The translator has, however, availed himself of the advantage which that work afforded; his MS. has been carefully examined with it, and the additions, etc., of Gesenius have been cited from thence. This obligation to that work is thankfully and cheerfully acknowledged.4

    It has been a special object with the translator, to note the interpretations of Gesenius which manifested neologian tendencies, in order that by a remark, or by querying a statement, the reader may be put on his guard. And if any passages should remain unmarked, in which doubt is cast upon scripture inspiration, or in which the New and Old Testaments are spoken of as discrepant, or in which mistakes and ignorance are charged upon the "holy men of God who wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,"—if any perchance remain in which these or any other neologian tendencies be left unnoticed—the translator wishes it distinctly to be understood that it is the effect of inadvertence alone, and not of design. This is a matter on which he feels it needful to be most explicit and decided.

    The translator cannot dismiss this subject without the acknowledgment of his obligations to the Rev. Thomas Boys, M.A., for the material aid he has afforded him in those passages were the rationalism of Gesenius may be traced. For this, Mr. Boys was peculiarly adapted, from his long familiarity with Hebrew literature, especially with the works of Gesenius, both while engaged in Hebrew tuition, and whilst occupied in the Portuguese translation of the scriptures.

    All additions to the "Lexicon Manuale" have been enclosed between brackets []: those additions which are taken from the "Thesaurus," or any correction, etc., of the author, are marked with inverted commas also “ ”.

    Nothing further seems necessary to add to the above remarks; they will inform the student as to the nature of the present work,—why it was undertaken,—and the mode in which it was executed. It has been the translator's especial desire and object that it might aid the student in acquiring a knowledge of the language in which God saw fit to give forth so large a portion of those "Holy scriptures which are able to make wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus." To him be glory for ever and ever! Amen. MsSVig

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    Endymion, Pelops, Daedalus, Pygmalion -- we recognize the names, but what are the stories behind these and other familiar gods from the Greek pantheon -- names that recur throughout the history of European culture?

    Drawing on an enormous range of sources, Robert Graves has brought together elements of these myths in simple narrative form. He retells the adventures of the most important gods and heroes of the ancient Greeks. His work has become the reference for the serious scholar as well as the casual inquirer.

    Robert Graves has no equal in retelling the myths and fables of the ancient world. He possesses the ability of a story teller, the language sense of a poet and an encyclopedic mind for detail. He gives us the whole Greek pantheon from tales of the major figures like the goddess Athene to the many variations on the life and loves of Zeus to minor characters like Garamas and Nestor. When a classical education is spoke of, this book is one very good place to begin--and return to over and over again. Graves gives readers and scholars all that they could expect from one volume. Each paragraph is referenced, and some are cross-referenced. The index is thirty-five pages with notes. The wonder of this book is the readability and authority together in one text. Definitive is not a word used casually in the world of classical literature, but in Greek Myths, we have just that. Both volumes are included in this one volume edition. MsSVig

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    The tales told of Orpheus are legion. He is said to have been an Argonaut--and to have saved Jason's life. Rivers are reported to have stopped their flow to listen to the sounds of his lyre and his voice. Plato cites his poetry and Herodotus refers to "practices that are called Orphic." Did Orpheus, in fact, exist? His influence on Greek thought is undeniable, but his disciples left little of substance behind them. Indeed, their Orphic precepts have been lost to time.

    W.K.C. Guthrie attempts to uncover and define Orphism by following its circuitous path through ancient history. He tackles this daunting task with the determination of a detective and the analytical rigor of a classical scholar. He ferries his readers with him on a singular voyage of discovery.

    A review of the book on amazon:
    "Guthrie's tentative exploration of one of the most influential mysteries of the Ancient World, together with Eleusis, is very revealing.

    The author situates the origin of Orphism with a Thracean hero/singer who was adopted as founder/teacher by mystical sects and whose songs became sacred texts. Although this sects contained only a small group of devotees, some aspects of their philosophical message were taken over by Plato and influenced indirectly Christian belief.

    Like many other religions, Orphism's basis was man's aspiration of immortality.
    The sacred texts included dogmas and precepts. Dogmas were a belief in a god as a creator and supreme ruler of the universe, man's original sin, a belief that purity of life and observance of the rites would be rewarded by perfect divinity (immortality) eventually after a cycle of rebirths and that punishment awaited the uninitiated and impure.
    The precepts were directed towards eradication of sin through ascetism and prohibitions (e.g. meat-eating).
    Life was considered as a period of trial and a practise for death. It was seen as a punishment for the soul for previous sins, wherefore the soul was fettered to a body. The body was seen as a source of evil.
    Other important characteristics were the emphasis on free will and personal responsibility as well as misogynism.
    Each individual had a divine part and a part prone to sin. He had to make a choice between them.

    Guthrie explains clearly the crucial differences with Christianism. Orphism excluded the possibility of the resurrection of the body. It had no social ethic. It was selfish for one could save only his own soul.
    He also shows the difference with the Eleusian Mysteries. The latter were only a ritual, whereas Orphism was a way of life.

    This is a very rich book which treats also other important aspects of religion (e.g. syncretism).
    It contains excellent illustrations and a very interesting introduction by Larry J. Alderink.
    This book is an essential read for the understanding of a very influential Ancient Mystery." MsSVig

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