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Vectors of the Counter-Initiation: The Course and Destiny of Inverted Spirituality Paperback – June 16, 2012

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Vectors of the Counter-Initiation: The Course and Destiny of Inverted Spirituality + The System of Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age + Who is the Earth? How To See God in the Natural World
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Sophia Perennis (June 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597311324
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597311328
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,191,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Upton, born in San Francisco, California in 1948, is a poet (a protégée of the Beats), a veteran of the peace movement and the psychedelic/New Age counterculture, an activist, and a lifelong student of metaphysics and world religion. His entire formal education, from nursery school through high school, was provided by the Catholic Church. He has published four books of poetry and fifteen in the genres of metaphysics, mythopoetic exegesis, spiritual psychology, Islam, Sufism and "metaphysics and social criticism". In the 1980's he participated (as a Christian) in the movement against U.S. intervention in Central America and the church-based sanctuary movement for Central American refugees. In 1988 he entered Islam and joined a Persian Sufi order. Also in the late 80s, he became involved with the "Traditionalist" or "Perennialist" school of writers on comparative religion and traditional metaphysics. In the 1990's he spent two years working with the homeless in Marin County, California, his home for most of his life till he moved with his wife, Jennifer Doane Upton, to Lexington, Kentucky in 2004. In 2010, after the death of his first shaykh, he joined a second Sufi order (Sunni). He is co-editor of The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of the World by Dr. John Andrew Morrow [Angelico, 2013], and conceiver of the Covenants Initiative based on it, an international movement of Muslims to protect persecuted Christians.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Halifax Student Account on September 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm half way through this and I'm really impressed. Saying that this book is heavy is an understatement. David Icke fans need not apply here, Charles Upton is a grown up and he has something vital to communicate to our spiritually broken and mechanically ordered lives. I highly recommend this book to all!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Avery Morrow on September 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like the blog Vigilant Citizen, this book will be awesome for you, so ignore this review and buy it.

The main problem I had with this book is actually the reason I bought it. I thought this would be some sort of exposition on how to distinguish truth from heresy in a Traditionalist perspective. If a literal "tradition" in the common sense can be anti-Traditional in the Guenonian sense, for example Mormonism, what is life going to be like for a Mormon? Unfortunately that problem is not what the book is about at all, and it doesn't address that problem. Upton assumes we are all on the same page with regards to a basic trans-religious theology even though he insists he is not being syncretic, which constantly leaves me confused, with nothing to check his assertions against other than my own knowledge of religious traditions. Sometimes the author knows what he is talking about, other times he clearly doesn't. But for the majority of the book you don't know whether what he is saying is true, because he is not grounding himself in any specific tradition, but exploits the language of Nonaffiliated Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism for his own purposes. (Jewish and Buddhist statements are properly cited. His rare reference to Shinto was uncited, inaccurate, and even at odds with Schuon.) Without a clearly definition of sacred and profane in Upton's world we are forced to rely on his examples: C.S. Lewis was orthodox, for example, but the current Pope is possibly heretical; the idea that Jesus Christ could have traveled to Faerie and influenced the fair folk is apparently Traditional even though Upton clearly made it up. Got it.

That being said, this book does have some entertainment value.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on September 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Charles Upton is a Traditionalist writer, i.e. a follower (or creative interpreter?) of the school of thought associated with René Guénon, Frithjof Schuon, Titus Burckhardt, etc. He is also a convert to Islam and a member of a traditional Sufi order.

Upton's most well-known book is titled "System of the Anti-Christ". Unfortunately, I haven't read it although I did read "Cracks in the Great Wall", apparently an excerpt from the Anti-Christ book. "Vectors of the Counter-Initiation" is intended to be a sequel to Upton's magnum opus.

The book is very in-house and probably of little interest to anyone except other Traditionalists. It's not a single text, but rather a collection of articles, letters and reflections on everything from conspiracy theory and UFOs to psychedelic drugs and the fall of Lucifer. Its main purpose is to bring together the metaphysical or spiritual perspective of Traditionalism with modern conspiracy theory. His favourite conspiracist is Peter Levenda, author of the trilogy "Sinister Forces" (one of Levenda's books deals with The Nine, whom we met before - see my review of "The Stargate Conspiracy").

Upton hopes that conspiracy theorists will read his book and gain an additional metaphysical perspective on the character of the conspiracy (and the world at large). Personally, I think the heavy character of "Vectors" will keep the readership small, and the author's occasional attempts to mimic the style of René Guénon doesn't help either.

I find this book extremely difficult to review, since my own perspective on most things is *very* far removed from that of the author.
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