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History of Mysticism by Swami Abhayananda

Strictly scholarly works on mysticism are of course necessary and useful, but it is still a relief to come upon a history of mysticism written by someone where Spirit has awakened to itself. It gives it a freshness, immediacy and clarity that is often lost in the more scholarly works.

History of Mysticism: The Unchanging Testament by Swami Abhayananda (Stan Trout), is one of these books.

In going through the history of mysticism, from prehistoric to more recent times, he touches upon some of the highlights from many traditions, showing how they all describe the same realization of Spirit as emptiness and form.

(Brahman and Maya, Purusha and Prakrti, Shiva and Shakti, Sat and Asat, Vishnu and Lakshmi, Theos and Logos, Tathata and Samsara, Tao and Teh, the unspeakable Tao and the speakable Tao, El and Elat, Baal and Asherah, Yahweh and Chokmah, Haqq and Khalq, yang and yin, masculine and feminine, and so on.)

This lens gives the book a clear focus and message: there is one theme with minor variations from culture, tradition and personal flavor. It takes all the flavors of icecream and shows that it is all icecream. (If there is a minor drawback with the book, it is that it becomes somewhat predictable after a while, and that some of the interesting variations are downplayed.)

Still, highly recommended for its clarity, for its excellent overview of the history of mysticism, for its clear theme, and for its ability to inspire.

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  • Blogger Swami Abhayananda says so:
    2/15/2008 10:26:00 AM  

    I thought you did an excellent job of encapsulating the book. However, as you may have noticed, it is no longer available on amazon.com, as it is Out of Print. The good news is that I am offering History of Mysticism (with some additional text in the Chapter on Gnosticism)as a FREE Ebook in PDF format on my website at: www.swami-abhayananda.com. Check it out. And, if possible, please publicise its availability.
    Best wishes,
    Swami Abhayananda (Stan Trout) top

  • Anonymous Swami Abhayananda says so:
    3/15/2010 10:00:00 AM  

    Swami Abhayananda again: The website address for me you are listing on your website has been changed. It is now www.themysticsvision.com. And I am still offering the free ebook of History of Mysticism. You can also access my latest book, Plotinus Revisited. Many thanks.
    Swami Abhayananda top

  • Anonymous Swami Abhayananda says so:
    3/15/2010 10:04:00 AM  

    Swami Abhayananda again: My website address has changed; it is now www.themysticsvision.com. I am still offering a free ebook of History of Mysticism, and you can also access my latest book, Plotinus Revisited. Many thanks.
    Swami Abhayananda (Stan Trout) top

  • Anonymous Swami Abhayananda says so:
    3/02/2015 11:38:00 AM  

    For the past couple of years, my website's address has been www.themysticsvision.weebly.com. All my books and articles may be freely downloaded at this site. Thanks.

    Swami Abhayananda top