A Treasury of Mystic Terms (Set of 16 Volumes)

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Item Code: NAK505
Author: John Davidson
Publisher: Science of The Soul Research Centre
Language: English
Edition: 2019
ISBN: 9788190173100
Pages: 8777
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.5 inch x 6.5 inch
Weight 13.88 kg
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Book Description


This book, in several volumes, is a collection, a treasury, a miscellany. Its primary objective is to elucidate the meaning of the essential terms used by the many different spiritual and religious traditions of the world, throughout history. It is not primarily intended as a dictionary or as an encyclopedia, nor is it a definitive treatise on any particular subject or religion. Its purpose is to help the ordinary person understand something of the basics concerning his or her religious background, within the framework of a universal understanding of spirituality.

Among these many pages, the reader will find a mixture. There should be something for everyone, whoever they are and whatever their bent of mind. But in a book of terms? That may sound unappealing, but there is a reason for it. Spiritual, mystical and religious teachings tend to use certain terms with particular meanings. Everyday words are often adopted, acquiring a special meaning in a spiritual context. Consequently, if a person wants to inquire deeply into his own religious background or those of other cultures it is essential that he understands the meaning of these terms. For if the symbols on the map are not understood, how can they be a guide to the destination?

A Treasury of Mystic Terms is therefore oriented around elucidating the meaning of these fundamental terms. But it is also much more than that. Some of the entries are extensive, more like essays. Moreover, the majority of these entries contain quotations that highlight the meaning of the term or group of terms under discussion. Many of these quotations are beautiful and inspiring; or they have a content that can be a guide in life. It is hoped, therefore, that this treasury will be a rich source of inspiration, as well as information.

Many people read books by dipping in here and there, even though the book may have been put together as a progression of ideas, not really designed for 'dipping'. This book is designed for the 'dipper'! And while it is certain that not everything in it will appeal to everyone, there should be something in it that will appeal to everyone. It is a book for browsing. So if the reader alights on something that does not appeal to him or her, he or she need only move on until something else is found that does.

The arrangement of terms by subject has been made after considerable deliberation. As a system, it may have its imperfections, not the least of which is that the terms depicting the universal spiritual principles of life do not always fall easily into neat categories. Sometimes, a term may have meanings that span a number of subject areas. Even keeping the topics as broad as possible, this is bound to happen from time to time. But the advantage is that a reader can browse a particular subject area with great ease. Reviewing the material that has been collected, and considering the kind of readers it is likely to attract, it has seemed clear that the majority of readers will not be looking up the meaning of particular terms so much as wanting to obtain information on a particular subject, or simply to browse at random. The alternative arrangement of terms in a continuous A to Z sequence would pose significant difficulties for the reader wanting to browse or make a comparative study of a particular subject. If anyone wants to look up any particular term, consulting the index should reveal where the term is located.

One of the fascinating aspects of universal spirituality is that its common denominator from a human perspective is not religious beliefs, nor educational systems, nor social structures, nor anything else like that. Its common denominator is people. It is fundamental to people, something present in all human beings. So, while reading about a particular topic as discussed and understood in one tradition, it is interesting to see how much commonality there is in the way that other religions and cultures have understood the same subject. Often, even the same metaphors and examples have been used by mystics with thousands of both years and miles between them. It also becomes evident how one religion borrows from and influences another, especially in its formative years. All this is highlighted by the simple expedient of arranging the terms by subject.

But what is meant by universal spirituality? It is the common ground, present in all religious and spiritual traditions. It is spirituality in the absence of religious creeds and specific belief systems. It is generic, not 'brand-specific'. It is inclusive, not exclusive, acknowledging a common basis to all traditions. It recognizes the existence of a God by whatever name He is given and by whatever concepts He is understood whether as a Supreme Being or Consciousness, a divine Energy, the Essence and Source of all things, a divine Intelligence and Controller, a Creator, an immanent or utterly transcendent power, and so on. It understands that man is separate from the Divine, and it includes the fundamental goal of probably all religions: the quest for a personal relationship with that primal Source. It emphasizes experience over belief and dogma, direct perception over philosophy and theology.

Since one of the intentions of this book has been an attempt to interpret correctly the original meaning of the writers of the many quotations, it may contain errors of interpretation. Certainly, there will be differences of opinion regarding interpretations. This is all to the good. The idea has never been to tell the reader what to think or what is what. If the reader is stimulated to think for himself, then our purpose has been accomplished. Everyone has to make his own journey, and discover Truth for himself. But that Truth will not be found in this book, nor in any other; for the best that books can offer is inspiration, not personal experience. But then, that may also be understood as an opinion. So take it as such, and follow your heart wherever it may lead.


Preface to Part II

More than a decade has elapsed since the publication of Part I of this treasury in 2003. During this time, the team of contributors has not been idle. In fact, the six volumes that were originally projected to make up the second and final part of the Treasury have grown beyond all original expectations. So much material has been gathered concerning the word’s spiritual traditions that it seems as if it will occupy at least a further sixteen volumes, followed by a single volume containing a full bibliography, glossary, indices, cross-references, etc. These volumes have been divided into three parts, according to subject area, and we are now presenting the four volumes of a new Part II. The remaining twelve volumes comprising Part III and IV are already in an advanced stage of preparation, and it should be possible to bring them to publication within the next few years.

The primary intention behind the treasury has not changed. Our goal remains that of presenting the spiritual and mystical aspects of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions in such a way that their universal aspects become evident. The innermost essence, consciousness or spirit of all human beings is fundamentally the same. Cultural and religious colour and texture will always be there, and the minds of human beings themselves provide a rich and varied tapestry, no two the same. Yet we are all a part of one universal ocean of spirit – spiritual beings dwelling for some time in a material world. It we could only realize something of that oneness, then the majority of human problems – personal and global – would evaporate in the light of love and true spiritual wisdom.




  VOLUME 1 The Universe of Spirituality  
  Acknowledgements xiii
  Preface xxi
  A Request for Help xxiv
  Editorial Notes xxv
  Languages and Transliteration Systems xxviii
  Abbreviations xxxiii
  The Universe of Spirituality 1
1.1 Mysticism 3
1.2 Sumerian and Mesopotamian Spirituality 5
1.3 Zarathushtra and Zoroastrianism 11
1.4 Judaism 21
  The Hebrew Bible and Other Texts 21
  Early Jewish Mysticism 22
  The Rabbinic Tradition 27
  Jewish Mystics and the Sufis 29
  The Kabbalah 30
  Hasidism 33
  The Essenes 35
1.5 Christianity 38
  John's Gospel 39
  The Synoptic Gospels 42
  Jesus' Teaching in the Gospels 45
  Paul 49
  Other New Testament Letters 55
  Revelations 57
  Apocryphal Sources 59
  Traditional Christian Mysticism 63
1.6 Gnosticism 67
1.7 The Mandaeans 72
1.8 Mani and the Manichaeans 74
1.9 Greek Mystics and Philosophers 79
  Orpheus 79
  Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans 83
  Socrates and Plato 89
  Plotinus and the Neo-Platonists 92
  Hermetic Literature 95
1.1 Islam 98
  The Islamic Way of Life 99
  Muhammad 101
  The Qur'an 105
  The Night Journey (al-Mi 'raj) 109
  Marriages 112
  The Death of Muhammad 113
  Sufism 115
  Sufi Orders and Teachings 117
  The Sufis 125
1.11 Indian Traditions 131
  The Vedas and Upanishads 131
  The Six Schools 134
  1. Nyaya 135
  2. Vaisheshika 136
  3.Sankhya 136
  4. Yoga 137
  5. Purva Mimamsa 138
  6. Vedanta 139
  The Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita 145
  The Sant Tradition 146
  Sikhism 148
  After the Gurus 178
  The Afghan Wars 178
  The Mystic Teachings of the Adi Granth 182
1.12 Buddhism 186
1.13 Taoism 193
1.14 Native Cultures 198
  Native North American Spirituality 199
  Patterns of Belief 200
  Some Recent Native Americans 206
  Distortion of Native American Traditions 212
  The Nahua of Central America 213
  The South American Guaranf 214
  Australian Aboriginal Spirituality 218
1.15 The Perennial Philosophy 221
  Notes 222
  Biographic and Bibliographic Glossary 231
  Bibliography 443
  Index of Headwords 503
  VOLUME 2 The Divine Eternity  
2.1 God and Eternity 3
2.2 The Absolute and the Relative 291
  VOLUME 3 The Divine Creative Power  
3.1 The Creative Power 3
3.2 Divine Music 405
  VOLUME 4 The Hierarchy of Creation  
4.1 The Realms of Creation 3
4.2 Deities, Rulers, Archons and Angels 269
  VOLUME 5 Man and the Cosmos  
5.1 The Nature of Man 3
5.2 Cosmic Principles 285
  VOLUME 6 The Soul in Exile  
6.1 Evil, the Devil and the Negative Power 3
6.2 The Veil of the Physical 119
6.3 Reincarnation, Destiny, and the Law of Cause and Effect 305




  VOLUME 7  
  Acknowledgements xi
  Preface to Part I xv
  Preface to Part II xviii
  Editorial Notes xix
  Languages and Transliteration systems xxii
  Abbreviations xxvii
7.1 Guide and Practitioners (ab - imam) 1
  Bibliography 473
  Index of Headwords 521
  VOLUME 8  
7.1 Guides and Practitioners (incarnation - sayah) 1
  VOLUME 9  
7.1 Guides and Practitioners (scribes - zu) 1
7.2 The Inner Guide, the Inner Beloved 377
  VOLUME 10  
7.3 Powers, Attributes, characteristics 1
7.4 Baptism, Initiation, Mysteries 183
7.5 Spiritual Association 309


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