Prime History of Mysticism: The Unchanging Testament –

A contemporary American mystic and scholar tells the story of man s recurrent experience of enlightenment throughout the ages, and presents in an historical context the lives and words of over forty famous mystics from both Eastern and Western religious traditions He reveals the antiquity and endurance of the one Great Mystical Tradition and the unity underlying the diversity of its manifold expressions It is not only a history and compendium or the rare works of the greatest mystics, but is an every new source of encouragement and inspiration to all students of enlightenment, both novices and seasoned scholars Originally published under the author s own imprint, ATMA books, this book is already considered a classic It was a QPB Book Club and One Spirit Book Club Selection Core reading for anyone interested in the subject The recurrent experience of enlightenment through the ages from Rumi to St John of the Cross and from Meister Eckhart to Lao Tzu to Jesus Reading it is a profound experience. i was relieved when my book finally arrived dip into as required, thank you Brilliant service 10 10 I believe that everything that Abhayananda writes is very much worth reading He is a writer of the greatest importance for the present age History of Mysticism is, at this time, his magnum and a major work in the field we are longing for now in the curriculum, a comprehensive, non sectarian, unified theology, or technically, theological semantics, the study of divinely given meaning which leads to insight into the Truth This study, as Abhayanada reminds us, with eloquence and unswerving devotion to his subject, is what has been called mysticism that solitary path of the uncompromising Truth Seeker, trod by a hardy few, either by will or destiny or both, but touching us all Abhayanada s claim, which he cogently delineates in these pages, is that the major revelatory insights of the ages, regardless of tradition or context, have basically expressed the same vision the appearance of this ever changing universe in which we live and die, in which all life forms are transient, subject to mortality, and which we call our reality is but the exponential emanation, manifestation if you will, of the one imperishable, unchanging, eternal, transcendent Supreme Self, which pervades and sustains all being.I searched for a chronologically arranged study of the major statements of mysticism or the perennial philosophy as Aldous Huxley calls it in his good, but not overwhelming, anthology of citations from this universally acknowledged tradition for much of my life I find it in this book History of Mysticism is state of the art Although, for a comprehensive view of the emerging field of what might be directly called Truth Studies, additionally recommended, for different reasons, is the related work of Sanderson Beck in moral history and peace studies Along with Abhayanada s considerable philosophic acumen in being able to derive and sustain a clearly consistent line of argument throughout the texts of perhaps twelve millennia revelations of the whole Mahayuga , but at least the past three, he appears to be divinely guided in his choice of citation, and uncannily discovers the most memorably poetic and appropriate translations for each of the multitude of contexts discussed.At this point, I would like to list the mystic sources examined in the book copied from the front cover of the second edition , to give prospective readers an idea of the scope and precision which makes the book de riguer for any serious student The Vedic Hymnists, The Psalmist, The Upanishadic Seers, Kapila, Lao Tze, Chaung Tze, The Buddha, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Socrates, Zeno, Philo Judaeus, Jesus, The Gnostics, The Hermetics, The Early Christians, Plotinus, Dionysius, Narada, The Tantrics, Shankara, Dattatreya, Milarepa, The Zen Buddhists, The Sufis, al Hallaj, Ibn Gabirol, The Kabbalists, Ibn Arabi, Iraqi, Rumi, Jnaneshvar, Meister Eckhart, Thomas a Kempis, Nicholas of Cusa, Juan de la Cruz, Kabir, Dadu, Ramakrishna.But this list in only partial Further, the focused depth of the discussions is notable.The book has my highest recommendation One of my favorite questions as raised in the book by Iraqi, a 13th century Sufi When shall you and I divorce ourselves So that You and I are gone, and only God remains