Books about Mysticism


New releases on Mysticism

One click to the new releases on Mysticism, Barnes and Noble.



Alchemy & Mysticism - Alexander Roob 2003

Amazon Synopsis: A fantastical journey through the pictorial world of alchemy and mysticism, the Cabbala and magic, freemasons and Rosicrusians. This unique selection of illustrations with commentaries and source texts guides us on a fascinating journey through the representations of the secret arts.


Ancient Egyptian Mysticism and Its Relevance to Today’s Seeker – John Van Auken 1994

Amazon Synopsis: From the creation story to the mythological tales of the gods of Egypt, the author weaves together the wisdom of ancient Egypt with insights from the Edgar Cayce readings. Van Auken explores the secrets of the Great Pyramid and the hidden mysteries of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and recounts the story of Ra Ta (Edgar Cayces earlier life as a high priest of Egypt), including the events that, according to Cayce, led to the building of the Great Pyramid as a place of initiation. Also covered is the expected discovery of the Hall of Records predicted by Cayce.


The Big Book Of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide To Contemplative Spirituality - Carl McColman 2010

Amazon Synopsis: Mysticism is a topic many people associate with eastern spiritual practices such as Zen Buddhism or yoga. But Christianity has its own mystical tradition with a long and rich history that reaches back to the New Testament -- and remains surprisingly relevant today. The Big Book of Christian Mysticism explores this rich tradition and shows how it can be a powerful tool for transformation and the experience of the Divine.

One of the greatest Christian theologians of the twentieth century, Karl Rahner, once said "The Christian of the future will be a mystic or will not exist at all." Such a statement challenges Christians of our day (we live in Rahner's future!) to consider the role of mysticism in the Christian life. The Big Book of Christian Mysticism does just that.

As an introduction to Christian mysticism and an exploration of why mysticism remains relevant in our time, the first part of the book explores the question of what mysticism is, examining its Biblical roots, its paradoxical nature, and how Christian mysticism has evolved over time. The second part of the book considers how mysticism can make a difference in the lives of ordinary Christians today, considering how spiritual practices such as lectio divina, meditation, and contemplative prayer can foster a deeper openness to Divine presence. An extensive list of the greatest Christian mystics, a recommended reading list, and a bibliography round out this in-depth introduction.

Selected as one of the best spiritual books of 2010 by spiritualityandpractice.com, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism has been highly praised by a variety of spiritual teachers and authors.


The Cloud of Unknowing – Anonymous monk

Amazon Synopsis: Written by an anonymous English monk during the late fourteenth century, The Cloud of Unknowing holds an important place in the history of both Western literature and spirituality.

Though originally intended for a select audience, the work's simple, engaging style has won it widespread popularity since its rediscovery more than a century ago. The Cloud puts forth a method of contemplation that stresses the impotence of the understanding to break through the cloud of unknowing that separates God and humanity. Rather, "it is love alone that can reach God in this life".

In his preface to this volume, Simon Tugwell sums up the challenge that the author of The Cloud presents us today: "If we wish to follow him, we must be prepared to be taxed to the limit. But if we have the courage and the ability to follow him, we shall not find that our efforts has been in vain."


The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell - Aldous Huxley 1956

Amazon Synopsis: As only he can, Aldous Huxley explores the mind's remote frontiers and the unmapped areas of human consciousness. These two astounding essays are among the most profound studies of the effects of mind-expanding drugs written in this century.


The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism - Daniel Chanan Matt 1995

Amazon Synopsis: A translation of the Kabbalah for the layperson includes a compact presentation of each primary text and features a practical analysis and vital historical information that offer insight into the various aspects of Jewish mysticism.


Essential Sufism - Robert Frager 1999

 Amazon Synopsis: The first accessible and broad-ranging sourcebook of key Sufi writings, Essential Sufism draws together more than 300 stories, fables, aphorisms, short writings, and poems that reveal the heart of Islamic mysticism. Each selection has been chosen for the beauty and emotional impact that have made the work of Sufi writers such as Rumi so popular. The poets and writers chosen here – including Ibn Arabi, Al-Ghazzali, Hafiz, Attar, Koranic writers, and, of course, Rumi – will fascinate newcomers to Sufism, delight old hands, and provide a matchless overview of a mystical tradition that has touched a dozen cultures and endured for more than 1,500 years.

The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism - Bernard McGinn 2006

Amazon Synopsis: This clear and comprehensive anthology, culled from the vast corpus of Christian mystical literature by the renowned theologian and historian Bernard McGinn, presents nearly one hundred selections, from the writings of Origen of Alexandria in the third century to the work of twentieth-century mystics such as Thomas Merton.


Uniquely organized by subject rather than by author, The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism explores how human life is transformed through the search for direct contact with God. Part one examines the preparation for encountering God through biblical interpretation and prayer; the second part focuses on the mystics’ actual encounters with God; and part three addresses the implications of the mystical life, showing how mystics have been received over time, and how they practice their faith through private contemplation and public actions.

In addition to his illuminating Introduction, Bernard McGinn provides accessible headnotes for each section, as well as numerous biographical sketches and a selected bibliography.


Exploring Mysticism – Frits Staal

Amazon Synopsis: Until less than a century ago, the two prevailing views of dreams as well as of souls were that they are inconsequential (the scientific view) or of divine origin (the religious view). In either case it was assumed that they cannot be objects of rational inquiry. Similar views still prevail regarding mystical experiences and mysticism in general. Modern Western opinion, whether friendly or hostile, holds that the mystical falls squarely within the domain of the irrational.

Mr. Staal argues that mysticism can be studied rationally, and that without such study no theory of mind is complete. He exposes the grounds for the belief that mysticism cannot be studied, and shows them to be prejudices issuing from a particular historical development. While his contention has unflattering implications for the contemporary study of the humanities in general, it reveals in particular that existing academic approaches to the study of mysticism, even those that appear sound, are in fact inadequate. This conclusion applies to a variety of dogmatic inquiries and, as becomes clear in these pages, to philological, historical, phenomenological, sociological, physiological, and psychological ones as well.

The illustrations in Exploring Mysticism are drawn mainly from Indian forms of mysticism such as Yoga, supplemented with Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim and Christian examples.


The Foundations of Mysticism: Presence of God:A History of Western Christian Mysticism, Vol 1 - Bernard McGinn 2004

Amazon Synopsis: In this first volume of the highly-acclaimed Presence of God series, Bernard McGinn explores the origins of Christian mysticism, from early Jewish apocalyptic writings to pre-Christian Greek contemplative thought; the New Testament witnesses; early Greek Patristic thought; and the contribution of early monastic practice. In Part 2, McGinn discusses Western Christian mysticism proper, with special attention to Augustine of Hippo. Of special interest is the now-influential appendix, which reviews various theoretical approaches to mysticism.


The Garden of Truth: The Vision and Promise of Sufism, Islam's Mystical Tradition - Seyyed Hossein Nasr 2008

Amazon Synopsis: The headlines are filled with the politics of Islam, but there is another side to the world's fastest-growing religion. Sufism is the poetry and mysticism of Islam. This mystical movement from the early ninth century rejects worship motivated by the desire for heavenly reward or the fear of punishment, insisting rather on the love of God as the only valid form of adoration. Sufism has made significant contributions to Islamic civilization in music and philosophy, dance and literature. The Sufi poet Rumi is the bestselling poet in America. But in recent centuries Sufism has been a target for some extremist Islamic movements as well as many modernists. The Garden of Truth presents the beliefs and vision of the mystical heart of Islam, along with a history of Sufi saints and schools of thought.

In a world threatened by religious wars, depleting natural resources, a crumbling ecosystem, and alienation and isolation, what has happened to our humanity? Who are we and what are we doing here? The Sufi path offers a journey toward truth, to a knowledge that transcends our mundane concerns, selfish desires, and fears. In Sufism we find a wisdom that brings peace and a relationship with God that nurtures the best in us and in others.

Noted scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr helps you learn the secret wisdom tradition of Islam and enter what the ancient mystics call the "garden of truth." Here, liberate your mind, experience peace, discover your purpose, fall in love with the Divine, and find your true, best self.


The Imitation of Christ - Thomas à Kempis 1426

Amazon Synopsis: The spiritual classic by à Kempis, the second most widely read spiritual book after the Bible, has had an astonishing impact on the spiritual lives of countless saints, peasants, and popes for centuries. Even today, the soul-searching words of the fifteenth-century cleric Thomas à Kempis continue to resonate, unbounded by time or geography. Drawing on the Bible, the Fathers of the early Church and medieval mysticism, his four-part treatise shrugs off the allure of the material world, blending beauty and bluntness in a supremely spiritual call-to-arms. This beautiful translation by Ronald Knox and Michael Oakley is considered by many teachers, writers, and readers to be the best English translation ever, and one that greatly enhances the life-changing insights of Thomas à Kempis.

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Inner Life - Inayat Khan 1997

Amazon Synopsis: The Indian Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882–1927) was the first teacher to bring Sufism—Islamic mysticism—to the Western world. His teaching was noted for its stirring beauty and power, as well as for its applicability to all people, regardless of religious or philosophical background. This book gathers together three of Inayat Khan's most beloved essays on the spiritual life from among the fourteen volumes of his collected works:

  • "The Inner Life": Inayat Kahn's sublime portrait of the person whose life is a radiant reflection of the Divine
  • "Sufi Mysticism": in which the author identifies and shatters the common misconceptions about mysticism to reveal its true meaning
  • "The Path of Initiation and Discipleship": What it means to set out on the spiritual path and how to find and maintain the right relationship with a teacher


Kabbalah - Gershom Scholem 1978

A book on the Kabbalah from a professor and scholar at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.


 

Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism - Gershom Scholem 1929

Amazon Synopsis: A collection of lectures on the features of the movement of mysticism that began in antiquity and continues in Hasidism today.


The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World's Religions - Wayne Teasdale & The Dalai Lama 2001

Amazon Synopsis: Drawing on experience as an interreligious monk, Brother Wayne Teasdale reveals the power of spirituality and its practical elements. He combines a profound Christian faith with an intimate understanding of ancient religious traditions.


Mysticism – Evelyn Underhill 1911

Amazon Synopsis: In this classic introduction to mysticism, Underhill draws on hundreds of sources to present a unique study of the mystical experience.  Read online


The Mysticism of Sound and Music - Inayat Khan 1996

Amazon Synopsis: Music, according to Sufi teaching, is really a small expression of the overwhelming and perfect harmony of the whole universe—and that is the secret of its amazing power to move us. The Indian Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882–1927), the first teacher to bring the Islamic mystical tradition to the West, was an accomplished musician himself. His lucid exposition of music's divine nature has become a modern classic, beloved only by those interested in Sufism but by musicians of all kinds.


The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See - Richard Rohr 2009

Amazon Synopsis: For Christians seeking a way of thinking outside of strict dualities, this guide explores methods for letting go of division and living in the present. Drawn from the Gospels, Jesus, Paul, and the great Christian contemplatives, this examination reveals how many of the hidden truths of Christianity have been misunderstood or lost and how to read them with the eyes of the mystics rather than interpreting them through rational thought. Filled with sayings, stories, quotations, and appeals to the heart, specific methods for identifying dualistic thinking are presented with simple practices for stripping away ego and the fear of dwelling in the present.


Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation - Mitch Horowitz 2009

Amazon Synopsis: From its earliest days, America served as an arena for the revolutions in alternative spirituality that eventually swept the globe. Esoteric philosophies and personas—from Freemasonry to Spiritualism, from Madame H. P. Blavatsky to Edgar Cayce—dramatically altered the nation’s culture, politics, and religion. Yet the mystical roots of our identity are often ignored or overlooked. Opening a new window on the past, Occult America presents a dramatic, pioneering study of the esoteric undercurrents of our history and their profound impact across modern life.


Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics: Lifestyles for Self-Discovery - Marsha Sinetar 1986

Amazon Synopsis: An organizational psychologist looks at the stories of ordinary people who choose a solitary lifestyle to find wholeness and self actualization.



Practical Mysticism: A Little Book for Normal People – Evelyn Underhill 1948

Book Jacket: A mystic herself, Christian philosopher Evelyn Underhill reintroduced British Protestants to the mysteries and wonders of medieval Christian spirituality through her many works exploring and celebrating the sacred. Here, she lead readers through "practical" concepts of mysticism that are no mere spiritual playthings but concrete and useful lessons for coping with the hardships and stresses of the modern world.

First published in Britain in 1914, just as England was thrown into the turmoil of the Great War, this serene, contemplative little work is as refreshing today as it must have been then, a reminder of the joys and benefits of the examined life even amidst a world in chaos.

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Secret Teachings of All Ages – Manly P. Hall 2011

Amazon Synopsis: Within the pages of Manly Palmer Hall s celebrated 20th century tome, readers delight in discussions about ancient symbolism, rituals, and mythology. Often hailed as an encyclopedia for all things hidden, ancient, and arcane, The Secret Teachings of All Ages explores a vast array of topics, from secret societies and the Zodiac to Mystic Christianity and William Shakespeare s identity. Despite some of the outdated and controversial ideas it poses now in the 21st century, The Secret Teachings of All Ages continues to fascinate students of the cryptic and mysterious.  Read online


The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance - Dorothee Soelle 2001

Amazon Synopsis: Exploring the religious impulse known as mysticism - the "silent cry" at the heart of all the world's religions. Mysticism, in the sense of a "longing for God," has been present in all times, cultures, and religions. But Soelle believes it has never been more important than in this age of materialism and fundamentalism. The antiauthoritarian mystical element in each religion leads to community of free spirits and resistance to the death-dealing aspects of our contemporary culture.

Religion in the third millennium, Soelle argues, either will be mystical or it will be dead. Therefore, Soelle identifies strongly with the hunger of New Age searchers, but laments the religious fast food they devour. Today, a kind of "democratized mysticism" of those without much religious background flourishes. This mystical experience is not drawn so much of the tradition as out of contemporary experiences. In that sense, each of us is a mystic, and Soelle's work seeks to give theological depth, clarity, and direction. This, her magnum opus, conjoins Soelle's deep religious knowledge and wisdom with her passion for social justice into a work destined to be a classic of religious literature.


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