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The editors of Gnosis magazine present a fascinating primer on Western religious traditions. Since the early 20th century, seekers in America "were seized with a passion for the lore of mystic Asia," the authors explain in their introduction. Meanwhile, Western traditions seemed to slip out of vogue, especially in the recent realm of New Age spiritualism. But there is much magic and wisdom to be found in Western traditions, claim Smoley and Kinney, who have embarked on an ambitious mission: breaking down the fundamental differences between Eastern and Western traditions and then extracting the best of the West for today's seekers.
Because the editors are diligent about keeping the narrative accessible, clean, and intelligent (they are magazine editors, after all), this weighty material reads exceptionally smoothly. Starting with "Jung and the Discovery of the Unconscious," each chapter delves into the intriguing--and often little-understood--mysteries of the West, including Shamans, Alchemy, Hermetism, and Sufism. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
For many years, spiritual seekers have turned East in search of the wisdom of Buddhism, Hinduism and other Eastern religious traditions. Smolley and Kinney, editors of Gnosis magazine, contend that the wisdom so eagerly sought from these Eastern traditions has been readily available in Western esoteric traditions. In their introduction, the authors note that "esoteric traditions are concerned with transcendence.... [E]sotericists say it may be possible not only to reach God in the next life, but to experience him in this one." These traditions emphasize self-awakening to inner wisdom. According to the authors, esoteric spirituality teaches that such an awakening brings great clarity and insight into the meanings of dreams, myths and symbols. The opening chapter explores how Jung's idea of the collective unconscious and his discussions of alchemy spurred new interest in Western esotericism. In subsequent chapters, Smolley and Kinney offer engaging and lively histories of esoteric movements, ranging from Kabbalism, magic, Wicca and neopaganism to shamanism, alchemy, hermeticism and Sufism. Each chapter provides a historical overview, an introduction to the major beliefs and practices of the movement and comments on the reasons spiritual seekers might find that particular esoteric tradition attractive, closing with an annotated bibliography. Smolley and Kinney's handbook provides a useful introduction to the many varieties of Western esotericism.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Smoley is one of the clearest and coherent writers on the Western Esoteric tradition and one can not pick a better introductory text than this, even for one familiar with the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by clay
A wonderful book. Well written, thoughtful, well researched. Smoley, the former editor of the magazine, Gnosis,has written an excellent introductory overview of some of the main... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Gerald Porter
I must say, for the most part "Hidden Wisdom," is an excellent book. This review is based on the Audiobook, and the reader's voice is above average. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jay
I allready was a fan from Richard Smoley and this book affirms it. The book is clearly written, contains beautiful conclusions and asks questions that make you think.Published on June 17, 2013 by Herman de Roos
For anyone interested in the unseen world, theology and the people who traverse and write
about it all, this book is the ticket.. Read more
This is a review of Hidden Wisdom by Smoley and Kinney. The subtitle of the book is A Guide to the Western Inner Traditions. Read morePublished on April 10, 2012 by C. Richard
Writer Jay Kinney did a better job of writing than Smoley in this book, but the book overall is informative, well written and very interesting. Read morePublished on June 22, 2011 by G. Porter