Archive for the ‘Spirituality & Religion’ Category

Book Review – Complete Guide to World Mysticism

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Whoops, I posted Friday’s post on Thursday and thought the week was over :P (so consider this to be Thursday’s post)

There is a great book. You’ve got to read it. It is called “The Complete Guide to World Mysticism” by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy.

Well, at least the first two chapters are great. The rest of the book? Kind of dull. Each of the remaining chapters focuses on a particular brand of mysticism (i.e. Christian mysticism, Sufism, Zen Buddhism, etc). Those chapters are kind of interesting, but if you’re new to mysticism (as I was when I read the book), the first two chapters are the real paradigm-shifters.

A quote:

“There is a Hindu teaching story about a toad who lived in a well, who was one day visited by a toad who lived in the sea.  “How big is your well?” asked the first toad, “Is it as vast as mine?”.  The (sea) toad smiled and tried to explain, “My well is so huge that it has no edges.  It contains so much water that it could never run dry in a million hot summers.  It is so deep that perhaps it has no bottom.”  The (well) toad looked incredulous, “Your are either boasting or your imagination has run away with itself!” he complained.  “Come with me,” said the sea toad, “and I will show you.”

…and that’s what mysticism is all about – knowing the truth through DIRECT EXPERIENCE.

On his website, Timothy Freke does seem to be a bit of a “freak” (with an oversized ego, judging by the oversized pictures of himself flashing all over the place) which detracts from his credibility in my opinion, but it’s still a great book (the first two chapters, that is).  (On a related note, spiritual author Ken Wilber’s website gives him the appearance of an attention-hungry ego fanatic too.  Kind of disconcerting, although his books are great also)

You can find the book on Amazon HERE, but unforutunately it’s out of stock, and looks like it will be for a while.