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The Essential Mystics : Selections from the World's Great Wisdom Traditions Paperback – March 21, 1997
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The section on Tribal and Aboriginal mysticism is extremely insightful on the ideas of animism and respect for nature.
Hinduism is my second favorite section. It is by this book I was introduced to the wonderful insights of Sri Aurobindo Ghose. The little excerpts I read opened my mind to this giant of Vedantic thought. After this, I purchased the Life Divine and Savitri, which have been among the most impactful pieces of literature on my life's view.
The sections on Buddhism, Taoism, Greek Religion, and Islam were deeply insightful. I was also introduced to the Sufi mystic Ibn Arabi who has also been an inspiration in my life.
Judaism in this book is more focused on the idea of rabbinic traditions, also including Kabbalah. The selections were adequate to gain a grasp of the concepts of the mystical tradition but are rather lacking.
The section on Christianity is my personal favorite with the variety of content. One can see how the idea of a personal relationship with God emerge and evolve over the history of the Church and more recent movements. The selection from John Ruusbroec is very deep. Usual mystics such as St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross were prevalent. Some protestant mystics were included, along with some quotes of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and also Bede Griffiths on the uniformity of mystical experience between faiths.
Nevertheless the book is a great buy, not too expensive but a great start for those interested in approaching some mystical path. There is a bibliography included for the original and/or related texts of those presented in the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Why did I read this book? Because my professor told me to. That being said, it was interesting material presented in an engaging way.Published 13 months ago by Nate
if I know more about all of the wisdom traditions, it probably have helped me more to understand some of itPublished on September 2, 2013 by Butterfly27
I have been reading a lot about mysticism over the past year or two. Living in Thailand, it's hard to avoid the Buddhist tradition of attaining Nirvana through meditation. Read morePublished on February 3, 2011 by Geoff Puterbaugh