Books Reviews



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Author: Samuel Morningstar (@)
Title: Shadow Kingdom
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Lulu
Distributor: Lulu
Rated: *****

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Samuel Morningstar (rocker, mystic, author), has finally released a novel that has been highly anticipated by those who knew this was coming and what it might be about. Shadow Kingdom combines elements of a psychological thriller, crime investigation, horror, esoteric mysticism, and "sci-fi" to create the world which contains the events which unfold in his tale. The characters are humans, rock stars, soldiers, martial artists, cops, angels & demons, monsters, and extraterrestrials to name a few. The story begins with a private investigator hired to research the brutal ritual murder of an exotic dancer and takes us into a realm of wonders and nightmares beyond the realm of sanity and into conspiracies involving ancient immortals. Buth this sort of thing could never happen in "reality" as this is just a creative work of fiction right, or could it? Samuel created his dark fiction from the real life research of minds like David Icke, Whitley Strieber, and William Henry. I've never in my life read a fiction novel with so much truth and so many questions. I say truth because the esoteric principles conveyed within are the same as those taught in mystery schools the world over and throughout history. Samuel Morningstar is an intellect of unusual talent that makes great story tellers like Clive Barker look like child's play! He's also a talent in the music industry and member of the band Eternal Twilight and knows the rock scene well. This book will appeal to anyone interested in Ancient History, Mythology, Esoteric Mysticism, UFOlogy, Conspiracy Theories, Rock-n-Roll (including the Goth subcultrure), Martial Arts, Meditation, "Energy" Work, Dark Fiction, and Horror - a thinking person's fiction.

Erich Neumann: The Origins and History of Consciousness

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Mythology (Babylonian, Celtic, Mythic Studies, Norse, Sumerian, Welsch)
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Feb 10 2004
cover
Author: Erich Neumann
Title: The Origins and History of Consciousness
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Rated: *****

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This is one of the first of Erich's works to be translated into English. As a student of Carl Jung, with an introduction by the same featured in the book, it is obvious that not only did Erich manage to fully grasp the concepts of Jungian depth psychology but Jung himself declares that his student has surpassed and compiled his works. This book is broken up into two main sections in which we first step through the evolution of 'myth' utilizing the archetypes contained therin. Erich makes it very clear that he utilizes multi-cultural aspects from various world myths from differing timeframes. However one can easily see the basic development of myth that is used throughout all of mythology. The second portion of the text takes us again through the same basic steps only this time we are tracing the evolution of consciousness and the ego. One begins to readily understand how mythology works as a symbol to understand our own conscious development not only individually from the womb but also as a collective consciousness and culture in general. While some may view the Jungian perspectives as be patriarchal I personally find anyone who does so to be limited in their thinking and trivial as it is obvious that while we are speaking of a collective we can see the obvious turn our world's religions and cultural societies have taken toward patriarchy. I believe the growth will continue and turn toward feminism again. Not only that but if you think Erich is patriarchal in his views then why would he have even taken the time to write The Great Mother. About a year ago this month I was reviewing Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth. In reading books like Neumann's Origins.. it becomes very easy to see where mythologists like Campbell get their ideas from. Jung is recommended and practically required reading for anyone interested in the study or elevation of consciousness regardless of the method used. You will find many modern metaphysical works with obvious influences from Jungian depth psychology as well. Neumann can simply save one a lot of time reading all the collective works of Jung with his summation and extensions.

Joseph Campbell: The Power of Myth

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Mythology (Babylonian, Celtic, Mythic Studies, Norse, Sumerian, Welsch)
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Feb 10 2004
cover
Author: Joseph Campbell
Title: The Power of Myth
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Anchor Books/Doubleday
Rated: *****

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Based on a six-part PBS television series hosted by Bill Moyers in which Moyers interviews with mythologist Joseph Campbell and asks many questions regarding his life's study and writings regarding world myths and their meaning and influence on the human experience. My own impression was that this book (and the series of interviews) are very revealing of the human psyche and our search for the meaning of our existence, how myth is the root of all the world's religions and that mythic symbolism is the same throughout. If you wish to have a much broader understanding of world mythologies and religions then I highly suggest you first read this book. It is a true eye-opener! Campbell has a unique way of bringing the knowledge and mythology of ancient cultures into perspective for modern minds and can just as easily help the common laymen understand mythic symbols in ancient Sumerian culture as he can in George Lucus' Star Wars epic. Through the medium of mythic symbols Campbell helps display how all world religions are connected and that they are all attempting to portray an understanding of the human spiritual existence and the nature of the world around us. In other words myth portrays the unseen and sometimes 'unknown' around us but that is all part of universal or cosmic law and structure. With this understanding one realizes that all religions are valid and all religions are flawed to some extent as well. True spirituality seekers will learn to read beyond the religious dogma or mythic stories of the ages and see the universal Truths held within them all. "The main motifs of the myths are the same, and they have always been the same. If you want to find your own mythology, the key is with what society do you associate?...The only mythology that is valid today is the mythology of hte planet" If nothing else we can all learn to at least follow these words of Joseph Campbell to help improve our own quality of life, "Follow your bliss". "Are you going to be a person of heart and humanity--because that's where the life is, from the heart...". He also makes some interesting statements regarding such ancient traditions as ritual and magic which help shed some light on these subjects which remain severely clouded by those individuals in our society who are unfamiliar with it's practices. He also defines ritual as the enactment of a myth. In the following passage he discusses how these traditions differ from fundamentalist religions today in their relationship with nature. "In the nineteenth century, scholars thought of mythology and ritual as an attempt to control nature. But that is magic, not mythology or religion. Nature religions are not attempts to control nature but to help you put yourself in accord with it. But when nature is thought of as evil, you don't put yourself in accord with it, you control it, or try to, and hence the tension, the anxiety, the cutting down of forests, the annihilation of native people. And the accent here separates us from nature." There are many other aspects of the book which could keep anyone discussing the topics for ages. He discusses everything from Jungian philosophy to the Gaia Principle, Christianity to Paganism, The human psyche and the unconscious mind, various symbols and myths worldwide and how they have affected our culture both in the past and the present. You will also find much discussion about sacredness, vision quests, shamanism, and many other aspects of our human quest for the divine.

Joseph Campbell: The Hero With A Thousand

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Mythology (Babylonian, Celtic, Mythic Studies, Norse, Sumerian, Welsch)
 Edit (1091)
Feb 10 2004
cover
Author: Joseph Campbell
Title: The Hero With A Thousand
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Rated: *****

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With this book Joseph Campbell takes the reader on a journey which deciphers the ancient archetypes of myth to make them more understandable and bring to light the spiritual Truths within. Using comparisons from various world mythologies one begins to comprehend the meaning behind the stories and their relevance to mankind from all ages past and present. It seems that recent studies in psychology have helped to uncover the archetypes of the subconscious mind through methods such as dream therapy. These are the same archetypes of mythology worldwide. This book goes much further in depth than The Power of Myth and it becomes easy to see a larger scale picture of ancient spiritual practices and beliefs, their relevance, and how modern man can utilize this to rebuild part of the missing psyche of today and why many of us have the issues we do. One can easily see that all world religions and myths hold the Truths of spirituality of mankind and that they are the same basic concepts for all systems. I would consider this a must read for anyone interested in studies in consciousness, meditation, mythology, spirituality or ritual.


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