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In this classic work, often described as "The History of the Rise, Decline, and Fall of the Love Affair," Denis de Rougemont explores the psychology of love from the legend of Tristan and Isolde to Hollywood. At the heart of his ever-relevant inquiry is the inescapable conflict in the West between marriage and passion--the first associated with social and religious responsiblity and the second with anarchic, unappeasable love as celebrated by the troubadours of medieval Provence. These early poets, according to de Rougemont, spoke the words of an Eros-centered theology, and it was through this "heresy" that a European vocabulary of mysticism flourished and that Western literature took on a new direction. Bringing together historical, religious, philosophical, and cultural dimensions, the author traces the evolution of Western romantic love from its literary beginnings as an awe-inspiring secret to its commercialization in the cinema. He seeks to restore the myth of love to its original integrity and concludes with a philosophical perspective on modern marriage.
This epic study unveils the esoteric masters who have covertly impacted the intellectual development of the West, from Pythagoras and Zoroaster to the little-known modern icons Jean Gebser and Schwaller de Lubicz. Running alongside the mainstream of Western intellectual history there is another current which, in a very real sense, should take pride of place, but which for the last few centuries has occupied a shadowy, inferior position, somewhere underground. This "other" stream forms the subject of Gary Lachman’s epic history and analysis, The Secret Teachers of the Western World. In this clarifying, accessible, and fascinating study, the acclaimed historian explores the Western esoteric tradition – a thought movement with ancient roots and modern expressions, which, in a broad sense, regards the cosmos as a living, spiritual, meaningful being and humankind as having a unique obligation and responsibility in it. The historical roots of our “counter tradition,” as Lachman explores, have their beginning in Alexandria around the time of Christ. It was then that we find the first written accounts of the ancient tradition, which had earlier been passed on orally. Here, in this remarkable city, filled with teachers, philosophers, and mystics from Egypt, Greece, Asia, and other parts of the world, in a multi-cultural, multi-faith, and pluralistic society, a synthesis took place, a creative blending of different ideas and visions, which gave the hidden tradition the eclectic character it retains today. The history of our esoteric tradition roughly forms three parts: Part One: After looking back at the earliest roots of the esoteric tradition in ancient Egypt and Greece, the historical narrative opens in Alexandria in the first centuries of the Christian era. Over the following centuries, it traces our “other” tradition through such agents as the Hermeticists; Kabbalists; Gnostics; Neoplatonists; and early Church fathers, among many others. We examine the reemergence of the lost Hermetic books in the Renaissance and their influence on the emerging modern mind. Part Two begins with the fall of Hermeticism in the late Renaissance and the beginning of “the esoteric counterculture.” In 1614, the same year that the Hermetic teachings fell from grace, a strange document appeared in Kassel, Germany announcing the existence of a mysterious fraternity: the Rosicrucians. Part two charts the impact of the Rosicrucians and the esoteric currents that followed, such as the Romance movement and the European occult revival of the late nineteenth century, including Madame Blavatsky and the opening of the western mind to the wisdom of the East, and the fin-de-siècle occultism of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Part Three chronicles the rise of “modern esotericism,” as seen in the influence of Rudolf Steiner, Gurdjieff, Annie Besant, Krishnamurti, Aleister Crowley, R. A Schwaller de Lubicz, and many others. Central is the life and work of C.G. Jung, perhaps the most important figure in the development of modern spirituality. The book looks at the occult revival of the “mystic sixties” and our own New Age, and how this itself has given birth to a more critical, rigorous investigation of the ancient wisdom. With many detours and dead ends, we now seem to be slowly moving into a watershed. It has become clear that the dominant, left-brain, reductionist view, once so liberating and exciting, has run out of steam, and the promise of that much-sought-after “paradigm change” seems possible. We may be on the brink of a culminating moment of the esoteric intellectual tradition of the West. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Traces the history of Western art from its classical roots up to the present day, and integrates the works of each period with the history, values, and ideals that gave birth to them
In this comprehensive book, Lama Surya Das provides a bridge between East and West, past, present and future, making sacred and profound Tibetan teachings clear and easily accessible for anyone who wants to lead a more enlightened and sane life. Utilizing the unique Buddhist guidelines embodied in the Noble Eight Fold Path and the traditional Three Enlightenment Trainings of Virtue, Meditation and Wisdom, he elucidates the tried and true path of spiritual transformation - including key principles such as karma, rebirth and mind-training, as well as the highest, most secret teaching of Tibet, Dzogchen. In this wonderful marriage of the practical and the profound, Lama Surya Das reveals how sacred wisdom can be integrated into our busy lives. He offers a unique approach to the comprehensive wisdom of ancient Tibetan teachings on conscious living and dying and shows that the power of the Buddha is resting within us all. Drawing on Buddhist spirituality and wisdom, this is a view of the world written for Western seekers.
The Routledge History of Childhood in the Western World provides an important overview of the main themes surrounding the history of childhood in the West from antiquity to the present day. By broadly incorporating the research in the field of Childhood Studies, the book explores the major advances that have taken place in the past few decades in this crucial field.
Considered by many the greatest war novel of all time, All Quiet on the Western Front is Erich Maria Remarque’s masterpiece of the German experience during World War I. I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. . . . This is the testament of Paul Bäumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army during World War I. They become soldiers with youthful enthusiasm. But the world of duty, culture, and progress they had been taught breaks in pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. Through years of vivid horror, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principle of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another . . . if only he can come out of the war alive. Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. “The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure.”—The New York Times Book Review From the Trade Paperback edition.

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