Mysticism and Alchemy Through the Ages : The Quest for by Gary Edson

By Gary Edson

An in-depth inspect the rules of mysticism and alchemy, this ebook describes either actual and non secular points of some of the theories and practices of transformation, with awareness to the ideals of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sufism, Tantrism, Taoism and Yoga. the relationship among early mystical ambitions and the advance of alchemy from old China, India, and Egypt via Moorish Spain and into Latin Europe are illuminated, besides the actions of early alchemists. The booklet, that is seriously illustrated, describes the ideals, experiments, and mystery messages that drew the believers and dreamers of the realm jointly looking for wealth and immortality.

Gary Edson, professor emeritus of museum technological know-how on the heart for complex learn of Museum technological know-how and historical past administration, Museum of Texas Tech college in Lubbock, Texas, was once government director of the Museum for 25 years. the writer of various books and articles on museum practices, he lives and works in Taiwan, R.O.C.

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The motives may not always have been clear to the fools themselves. They simply did what they felt moved to do within the logic of their chosen life. Perhaps it would be correct to say, however, that the primary thrust of their eccentric lives was to maximize the conditions that would allow them to demonstrate and to school themselves in the art of what the great German mystic Eckehart calls geMzenbeit, "letting go. " This is the same attitude that Hinduism celebrates as the "vision of sameness" (sama-darshana): to regard a gold coin and a clump of dirt with the same indifference and equanimity.

First of all, the word "clown" originally meant "clod" or "clot," and, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, made its appearance in the second half of the sixteenth century. A clown is an individual , usually a man, who gives the appearance of being dull or otherworld­ ly but, as in the case of the trickster, possessing a good portion of wit and cunning. The ritual clown is a highly ambiguous and ambiva­ lent figure: He, or more rarely she, is human, yet quite unlike any other human being, inhabiting the threshold between idiocy and saintliness.

Ashamed of his teacher's bizarre behavior, his young disciple apologized to the villagers and advised them to return home since the old man had apparently lost his mind. When the eremite emerged from the water, his disciple asked, "Why did you do that? " Whereupon the old man replied, "That's exactly what I wanted to hear. "13 In the thirteenth century, the respected notary Jacopone da Todi took up the lifestyle of a fool after the death of his beloved wife. One day, during a celebration in the city of Todi, he was grasped by such religious fervor that he stripped off all his clothes and crawled about 15 Holy Madness on all fours, with a saddle strapped to his back and a bit set in his mouth.

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