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Robe of Light: An Esoteric Christian Cosmology Paperback – January 26, 2017
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About the Author
Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri) is the founder and director of the Light of the Spirit Monastery (Atma Jyoti Ashram) in Cedar Crest, New Mexico, USA.
In his many pilgrimages to India, he had the opportunity of meeting some of India's greatest spiritual figures, including Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh and Anandamayi Ma. During his first trip to India he was made a member of the ancient Swami Order by Swami Vidyananda Giri, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, who had himself been given sannyas by the Shankaracharya of Puri, Jagadguru Bharati Krishna Tirtha.
In the United States he also encountered various Christian saints, including Saint John Maximovich of San Francisco and Saint Philaret Voznesensky of New York. He was ordained in the Liberal Catholic Church (International) to the priesthood on January 25, 1974, and consecrated a bishop on August 23, 1975.
For many years Abbot George has researched the identity of Jesus Christ and his teachings with India and Sanatana Dharma, including Yoga. It is his conclusion that Jesus lived in India for most of his life, and was a yogi and Sanatana Dharma missionary to the West. After his resurrection he returned to India and lived the rest of his life in the Himalayas.
He is the author of a number of books on meditation and practical spiritual life, including Om Yoga Meditation: Its Theory and Practice, The Dhammapada for Awakening, The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening, May a Christian Believe in Reincarnation?, and The Christ of India: The Story of Saint Thomas Christianity.
He has written extensively on these and other topics at OCOY.org/
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I have enjoyed several of Abbot Burke’s past books, most noteably the ones on St. Thomas Christianity and the Gospel of Thomas, and this is an interesting presentation again. My one issue is that, although sources are given for many of the ideas and quotes, there are stretches of text where no cites are given. As a theologian I’d like to be able to trace all of the concepts back to their sources, but for the general reader this should present no problems.
At the end, he answers the question of what this “un-Orthodox” theology means for the average person, the ascending path that leads back to a correct relationship of “God in man and man in God,” the end of the karmic cycle. In his descriptions it is much easier to see the eastern origins of Christianity reflected than it is with most western theology. I recommend “Robe of Light” to anyone interested in exploring different perspectives in Judeo-Christian understanding.
In this concept, Adam and Eve are the eternal souls, who in succumbing to temptation, shed and lost their robes of light. Yet as the souls evolve through the human spectrum on earth, the struggle to regain the spiritual cloak is the goal the soul truly seeks. This idea continues through the Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception (as the eternal soul of Eve) with Adam (the eternal soul) reborn through Christ and both having then redeemed their tresspasses and re-donned their robes of light.
Burke’s explanation of this theory lends much sense to the Genesis creation story giving Adam and Eve a much stronger spiritual foundation while offering the seeker a deeper understanding of not only man’s beginning but that of the eternal soul as well. Burke also goes on to describe the idea of the various levels of the soul’s evolution onto angels and beyond. The linking of Adam to Christ also deepens and makes sense of the ancient Hebrew prophesies of a savior and the continuation of the line, possibly both genetically and spiritually.
“Robe of Light,” is a deeper look into an age-old story of which we have only the Bible and various Judaic writings on which to go. This exploration of these worldly archetypes is a thought-provoking and enlightening account of the possibilities of which our shared soul is capable. From Adam to Christ, from Eve to Mary, and to each of us within, the soul seeks to evolve, to grow, to redeem and to at last return home wearing its true “robe of light.”
Personally, I highly enjoyed the details lent to the stories of which we know so little whether cited from some ancient text or derived from a mix of Burke’s obvious studious devotion or intuitive relation with the God-source. Another must-have read for the student of the spirit, written with Burke’s down-to-earth ease and manner, in terms we can all process and understand. An idea either resonates or it does not. We find the truth where we may. An exploration of the soul by a holy man of faith who is willing to share and explain his findings to make the seeker’s journey a little more easily understandable.
The book provides a sense of urgency, for humans to take up a more conscious role in their spiritual evolution and look to the unique role of Jesus as spiritual guide for salvation. Man must do more than believe, he must rise, and climb up the ladder of Divinity.
Great book for Christians and Non-Christian's alike to re-evaluate their outlook on the Universe and to question their own role in it.
I highly recommend this to anyone interested in esoteric Christianity and Gnosticism, or to those who may be from more Orthodox traditions and perhaps desire a "fresh look" at the subject. It would be well worth you time and attention.
On a more personal note, I must admit that upon my first reading of Robe of Light (actually read it through twice) I was thrilled at what the book disclosed to me. I found myself drawn closer to God in realization of what was accomplished through Jesus Christ and Mother Mary and His divine will for my own participation in the unfolding of His purpose for our world.