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The Secret History of Western Sexual Mysticism

The Secret History of Western Sexual Mysticism PDF Author: Arthur Versluis
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1594779864
Category : Body, Mind & Spirit
Languages : en
Pages : 176
Book Description
The first book to reveal the history of Western sexual mysticism • Reveals the secret sexual practices that have been used since ancient Greece to achieve mystical union with God • Details the sects and individuals who transmitted the radical sexual practices that orthodox Christianity never completely silenced • Distinguishes between sexual magic and sexual mysticism Beginning with the ancient Greek Mystery traditions, Gnosticism, and the practices in early Christianity, Arthur Versluis uncovers the secret line of Western sexual mysticism that, like the Tantra of the East, seeks transcendence or union with God through sexual practices. Throughout antiquity, and right into the present day, sexuality has played an important, if largely hidden, role in religious traditions and practices. This includes not only Christian but also kabbalistic and hermetic alchemical currents of sexual mysticism, many discussed together here for the first time. In the Mystery tradition of hieros gamos (sacred marriage) and the Gnostic tradition of spiritual marriage, we see the possibility of divine union in which sexual union is the principal sign or symbol. Key to these practices is the inner or archetypal union of above and below, the intermingling of the revelatory divine world with the mundane earthly one. Versluis shows that these secret currents of sexual mysticism helped fuel the rise of the troubadours and their erotic doctrine, the esoteric teachings of Jacob Böhme in the late 16th century, the 19th-century utopian communities of John Humphrey Noyes and Thomas Lake Harris, the free love movement of the 20th century, and the modern writings of Denis de Rougemont and Alan Watts.

The Secret History of Western Sexual Mysticism

The Secret History of Western Sexual Mysticism PDF Author: Arthur Versluis
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1594779864
Category : Body, Mind & Spirit
Languages : en
Pages : 176
Book Description
The first book to reveal the history of Western sexual mysticism • Reveals the secret sexual practices that have been used since ancient Greece to achieve mystical union with God • Details the sects and individuals who transmitted the radical sexual practices that orthodox Christianity never completely silenced • Distinguishes between sexual magic and sexual mysticism Beginning with the ancient Greek Mystery traditions, Gnosticism, and the practices in early Christianity, Arthur Versluis uncovers the secret line of Western sexual mysticism that, like the Tantra of the East, seeks transcendence or union with God through sexual practices. Throughout antiquity, and right into the present day, sexuality has played an important, if largely hidden, role in religious traditions and practices. This includes not only Christian but also kabbalistic and hermetic alchemical currents of sexual mysticism, many discussed together here for the first time. In the Mystery tradition of hieros gamos (sacred marriage) and the Gnostic tradition of spiritual marriage, we see the possibility of divine union in which sexual union is the principal sign or symbol. Key to these practices is the inner or archetypal union of above and below, the intermingling of the revelatory divine world with the mundane earthly one. Versluis shows that these secret currents of sexual mysticism helped fuel the rise of the troubadours and their erotic doctrine, the esoteric teachings of Jacob Böhme in the late 16th century, the 19th-century utopian communities of John Humphrey Noyes and Thomas Lake Harris, the free love movement of the 20th century, and the modern writings of Denis de Rougemont and Alan Watts.

The Secret History of Western Sexual Mysticism

The Secret History of Western Sexual Mysticism PDF Author: Arthur Versluis
Publisher: Destiny Books
ISBN: 9781594772122
Category : Body, Mind & Spirit
Languages : en
Pages : 176
Book Description
The first book to reveal the history of Western sexual mysticism • Reveals the secret sexual practices that have been used since ancient Greece to achieve mystical union with God • Details the sects and individuals who transmitted the radical sexual practices that orthodox Christianity never completely silenced • Distinguishes between sexual magic and sexual mysticism Beginning with the ancient Greek Mystery traditions, Gnosticism, and the practices in early Christianity, Arthur Versluis uncovers the secret line of Western sexual mysticism that, like the Tantra of the East, seeks transcendence or union with God through sexual practices. Throughout antiquity, and right into the present day, sexuality has played an important, if largely hidden, role in religious traditions and practices. This includes not only Christian but also kabbalistic and hermetic alchemical currents of sexual mysticism, many discussed together here for the first time. In the Mystery tradition of hieros gamos (sacred marriage) and the Gnostic tradition of spiritual marriage, we see the possibility of divine union in which sexual union is the principal sign or symbol. Key to these practices is the inner or archetypal union of above and below, the intermingling of the revelatory divine world with the mundane earthly one. Versluis shows that these secret currents of sexual mysticism helped fuel the rise of the troubadours and their erotic doctrine, the esoteric teachings of Jacob Böhme in the late 16th century, the 19th-century utopian communities of John Humphrey Noyes and Thomas Lake Harris, the free love movement of the 20th century, and the modern writings of Denis de Rougemont and Alan Watts.

The Occult World

The Occult World PDF Author: Christopher Partridge
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317596765
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 780
Book Description
This volume presents students and scholars with a comprehensive overview of the fascinating world of the occult. It explores the history of Western occultism, from ancient and medieval sources via the Renaissance, right up to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and contemporary occultism. Written by a distinguished team of contributors, the essays consider key figures, beliefs and practices as well as popular culture.

A History of the Swedenborg Society 1810-2010

A History of the Swedenborg Society 1810-2010 PDF Author: Richard Lines
Publisher: Lulu.com
ISBN: 1471012743
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 250
Book Description
The Swedenborg Society was founded in London ... [in] 1810 to translate, publish and sell the works of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). This book tells the story of how a society founded with just forty members grew into a body with nearly one thousand members worldwide, continuously commissioning new translations over the years and thus keeping Swedenborg's works in print and ideas alive. It is also the story of the men and women who founded the Society and who sustained it over two centuries. -- Book jacket.

The Cambridge Handbook of Western Mysticism and Esotericism

The Cambridge Handbook of Western Mysticism and Esotericism PDF Author: Glenn Alexander Magee
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316679357
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages :
Book Description
Mysticism and esotericism are two intimately related strands of the Western tradition. Despite their close connections, however, scholars tend to treat them separately. Whereas the study of Western mysticism enjoys a long and established history, Western esotericism is a young field. The Cambridge Handbook of Western Mysticism and Esotericism examines both of these traditions together. The volume demonstrates that the roots of esotericism almost always lead back to mystical traditions, while the work of mystics was bound up with esoteric or occult preoccupations. It also shows why mysticism and esotericism must be examined together if either is to be understood fully. Including contributions by leading scholars, this volume features essays on such topics as alchemy, astrology, magic, Neoplatonism, Kabbalism, Renaissance Hermetism, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, numerology, Christian theosophy, spiritualism, and much more. This handbook serves as both a capstone of contemporary scholarship and a cornerstone of future research.

Marcel Duchamp and the Art of Life

Marcel Duchamp and the Art of Life PDF Author: Jacquelynn Baas
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262042746
Category : Art
Languages : en
Pages : 400
Book Description
A groundbreaking reading of Duchamp's work as informed by Asian “esoterism, ” energetic spiritual practices identifying creative energy with the erotic impulse. Considered by many to be the most important artist of the twentieth century, the object of intensive critical scrutiny and extensive theorizing, Marcel Duchamp remains an enigma. He may be the most intellectual artist of all time; and yet, toward the end of his life, he said, “If you wish, my art would be that of living: each second, each breath is a work which is inscribed nowhere, which is neither visual or cerebral.” In Marcel Duchamp and the Art of Life, Jacquelynn Baas offers a groundbreaking new reading of Duchamp, arguing in particular that his work may have been informed by Asian “esoterism, ” energetic spiritual practices that identify creative energy with the erotic impulse. Duchamp drew on a wide range of sources for his art, from science and mathematics to alchemy. Largely overlooked, until now, have been Asian spiritual practices, including Indo-Tibetan tantra. Baas presents evidence that Duchamp's version of artistic realization was grounded in a western interpretation of Asian mind training and body energetics designed to transform erotic energy into mental and spiritual liberation. She offers close readings of many Duchamp works, beginning and ending with his final work, the mysterious, shockingly explicit Étant donnés: 1° la chute d'eau 2° le gaz d'éclairage, (Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas). Generously illustrated, with many images in color, Marcel Duchamp and the Art of Life speculates that Duchamp viewed art making as part of an esoteric continuum grounded in Eros. It asks us to unlearn what we think we know, about both art and life, in order to be open to experience.

The Heresy of Jacob Frank

The Heresy of Jacob Frank PDF Author: Jay Michaelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019753063X
Category : Jewish messianic movements
Languages : en
Pages : 273
Book Description
The Heresy of Jacob Frank is the first monograph length study on the religious philosophy of Jacob Frank (1726-1791), who, in the wake of false messiah Sabbetai Zevi, led the largest mass apostasy in Jewish history. Based on close readings of Frank's late teachings, recorded in 1784 and 1790, this book challenges scholarly presentations of Frank that depict him as a sex-crazed "degenerate," and presents Frank as an original and prescient figure at the crossroads of tradition and modernity, reason and magic, Kabbalah and Western Esotericism. Frank's worldview combines a skeptical rejection of religious law as ineffectual and repressive with a supernatural, esoteric myth of immortal beings, material magic, and worldly power. With close readings of the theological and narrative passages of Frank's teachings, Michaelson shows how the Frankist sect evolved from its Sabbatean roots and the infamous 1757-59 disputations before the Catholic Church, into a Western Esoteric society based on alchemy, secrecy, and sexual liberation. Sexual ritual, apparently tightly limited and controlled by the sect, was not a libertine bacchanal but an enactment of the messianic reality, a corporealization of what would later become known as spirituality. While Frank was undoubtedly a manipulative, even abusive leader whose sect mostly disappeared from history, Michaelson suggests that his ideology anticipated themes that would become predominant in the Haskalah, Early Hasidism, and even contemporary 'New Age' Judaism. In an inversion of traditional religious values, Frank's antinomian theology held personal flourishing to be a religious virtue, affirmed only the material, and transferred messianic eros into social, sexual, and political reality.

The Missing Girls and Women of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

The Missing Girls and Women of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan PDF Author: Hua-Lun Huang
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 0786488344
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 242
Book Description
In the past century, tens of millions of women and girls have disappeared in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. There are many reasons: the women variously were sold as “foreign spouses”; imprisoned for their political beliefs; taken to night clubs or massage parlors to work as “escorts”; provided as “comfort women” to soldiers; or murdered by female corpse dealers and sold as “ghost brides” to families looking to give their deceased sons wives in the afterlife. The youngest girls fell victim to infanticide, the tragic result of a “one child” law in a male-dominated society. As a result of the gender imbalance these disappearances created, countless young males now suffer from the “marriage squeeze,” remaining single without families of their own. This sociological study explores the institutional factors, develops a typology for these populations, and lays a foundation for the examination of lost populations in the future.

Secrecy

Secrecy PDF Author: Hugh B. Urban
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022674678X
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 264
Book Description
The powers of political secrecy and social spectacle have been taken to surreal extremes recently. Witness the twin terrors of a president who refuses to disclose dealings with foreign powers while the private data of ordinary citizens is stolen and marketed in order to manipulate consumer preferences and voting outcomes. We have become accustomed to thinking about secrecy in political terms and personal privacy terms. In this bracing, new work, Hugh Urban wants us to focus these same powers of observation on the role of secrecy in religion. With Secrecy, Urban investigates several revealing instances of the power of secrecy in religion, including nineteenth-century Scottish Rite Freemasonry, the sexual magic of a Russian-born Parisian mystic; the white supremacist BrüderSchweigen or “Silent Brotherhood” movement of the 1980s, the Five Percenters, and the Church of Scientology. An electrifying read, Secrecy is the culmination of decades of Urban’s reflections on a vexed, ever-present subject.

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Secrecy

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Secrecy PDF Author: Hugh B. Urban
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1000556182
Category : Religion
Languages : en
Pages : 488
Book Description
Secrecy is a central and integral component of all religious traditions. Not limited simply to religious groups that engage in clandestine activities such as hidden rites of initiation or terrorism, secrecy is inherent in the very fabric of religion itself. Its importance has perhaps never been more acutely relevant than in our own historical moment. In the wake of 9/11 and other acts of religious violence, we see the rise of invasive national security states that target religious minorities and pose profound challenges to the ideals of privacy and religious freedom, accompanied by the resistance by many communities to such efforts. As such, questions of secrecy, privacy, surveillance, and security are among the most central and contested issues of twenty-first century religious life. The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Secrecy is the definitive reference source for the key topics, problems, and debates in this crucial field and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising twenty-nine chapters by a team of international contributors, the Handbook is divided into five parts: Configurations of Religious Secrecy: Conceptual and Comparative Frameworks Secrecy as Religious Practice Secrecy and the Politics of the Present Secrecy and Social Resistance Secrecy, Terrorism, and Surveillance. This cutting-edge volume discusses secrecy in relation to major categories of religious experience and individual religious practices while also examining the transformations of secrecy in the modern period, including the rise of fraternal orders, the ongoing wars on terror, the rise of far-right white supremacist groups, increasing concerns over religious freedom and privacy, the role of the internet in the spread and surveillance of such groups, and the resistance to surveillance by many indigenous and diasporic communities. The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Secrecy is essential reading for students and researchers in religious studies, comparative religion, new religious movements, and religion and politics. It will be equally central to debates in the related disciplines of sociology, anthropology, political science, security studies and cultural studies.