I was initially attracted to this book because of its physical beauty. It was lying on the counter at Field's Metaphysical Bookstore and it captured mI was initially attracted to this book because of its physical beauty. It was lying on the counter at Field's Metaphysical Bookstore and it captured my eye, then secured my purchase as soon as I picked it up. Its a true pleasure to hold.
The text itself is equally as beautiful. Its an essay about mysticism, dreams, and initiation, as its title suggests. It is the most intelligent treatment of dreams I have read since Jung. In fact, it was almost too intelligent for me, I needed to look up several words and I'll have to read it again before I can fully express what it conveyed.
Luckily for me, it also sketches out a history of mystical dreams at the same time as expounding its theory, which is still above my head. The history was illuminating and surprisingly complete for such a small book. Strictly as a collection of references and a bibliography, this book is outstanding. ...more
One of the unfortunate things about being interested in lucid dreaming is the lack of literature on the topic. Actually, the lack of intelligent, thouOne of the unfortunate things about being interested in lucid dreaming is the lack of literature on the topic. Actually, the lack of intelligent, thought out, and well written literature. On a whole, lucid dreaming books have too much of the author's own opinion and not enough research, in addition to mediocre writing. What I want is a well researched, well written, and scholarly book that doesn't read like the author's dream journal.
This book almost fulfills my wish. It is well written. The author is scholarly and has spent years researching the subject. There are more examples of other people's dreams than the author's. I read it all the way through.
However, it doesn't break free of my stereotype of lucid dreaming books. While its the best I've encountered in its class, it is still in that class. It is not scholarly, nor is it well researched, even though the author himself is those things. It is more like a conversation with a smart and knowledgable person on the subject, rather than a treatise.
Wikipedia shares more information on the subject in a more concise fashion. If you're interested in the facts and history of lucid dreaming, go there. However, if you're interested in the opinions and impressions of an intelligent, well-read, and experienced lucid dreamer, then read this book....more
Most enjoyable bit of Gnostic literature I have read in a while, also, the most incomprehensible. You probably need a straight edge and compass to keeMost enjoyable bit of Gnostic literature I have read in a while, also, the most incomprehensible. You probably need a straight edge and compass to keep track of the cosmos....more
I picked this up because of Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
It is very, very interesting. Based on Blake's criticism of the work, I expected a borI picked this up because of Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
It is very, very interesting. Based on Blake's criticism of the work, I expected a boring work of scholarly theology. It definitely is not.
Swedenborg claims to have spoken with the angels and visited the many levels of heaven and hell. He claims that he was given this privilege because people on earth have forgotten the spiritual realms and we need to remember them.
These are big claims. The book comes through in a big way. It is coherent and well written. Swedenborg know his theology and is able to eloquently tie his experiences with theological concepts. If you pick up the work and read it, you'll see its not a work of fiction. He definitely experienced what he expressed.
I was willing to write this off as, perhaps, a hallucination until I recognized the similarity between Swedenborg's methods and Jung's 'active imagination'. Its clear they're both tapping into the same reality.
That's whats interesting about this work. Swedenborg is tapping into the same level of reality as Jung in his Red Book or Blake in any number of his poems. They just describe it differently. Blake can criticizes Swedenborg for being too good and for letting his morality get in the way of his visions.