The Philosopher's Secret Fire

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9780738743134: The Philosopher's Secret Fire

Is there any place for the ancient myths of our ancestors in modern times? Could their shadowy presence in our common imagination be more influential than we realize?

Across the globe many societies still believe in an Otherworld of spirits, gods and daimons, which the West has banished to the unconscious mind and now only visits in dreams. Yet this visionary tradition continues to subvert the rational universe, erupting out of the shadows in times of intense religious and philosophical transition.

In his dazzling history of the imagination, Patrick Harpur links together fields as far apart as Greek philosophy and depth psychology, Renaissance magic and tribal ritual, Romantic poetry and the ecstasy of the shaman, to trace how myths have been used to make sense of the world. He uncovers that tradition which alchemists imagined as a Golden Chain of initiates, who passed their mysterious ‘secret fire’ down through the ages.

As this inspiring book shows, the secret of this perennial wisdom is of an imaginative insight: a simple way of seeing that re-enchants our existence and restores us to our own true selves.

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About the Author:

Blue Angel is a boutique independent publishing house with a strong following of fans around the globe. Founded as a specialist bookstore and art gallery in 1997, in 2001 Blue Angel evolved into a publishing company with its first oracle decks, books, and CDs.

From Booklist:

British writer Harpur, author of Daimonic Reality (1994), is a passionate explorer of the vast, varied, and vital Otherworld, the realm of spirit, soul, archetype, and the imagination, and he begins this fluent, wildly inclusive, and exponentially thought-provoking tour of the wellspring of myths (which by his bold definition include folktales, religion, and science) by introducing an assortment of the realm's magical denizens, beings who mediate between the human and the divine, such as fairies, jinn, and mythological heroes. But Harpur's main mission is to trace the course of Western civilization's effort to turn "the Otherworld into an intellectual abstraction," and relocate in our psyches what was for eons envisioned as an integral aspect of nature. A learned and holistic thinker, Harpur excavates the "root metaphors" in everything from shamans' dreams to Plato's concept of the soul of the world, the Kabbalah, Greek myths, Jungian psychology, and the theories of evolution and particle physics. Whatever readers may make of Harpur's intriguing, even daring interpretations, the truth that emerges is while myths change, the great mysteries remain the same. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Patricia Harpur
ISBN 10: 0738743135 ISBN 13: 9780738743134
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