David Library, Page 2
Index, Orientation 1,  2 )

Introductory content that helps to answer some basic spiritual questions.

Finding the Spirit

Finding the Spirit is an audio selection discussing basic spiritual questions, and their answers as expressed in various sources of the Perennial Philosophy.

 

What is the Spiritual Character of Our Times?

This question is fundamental to an understanding of the unique challenges we have as seekers in the current cosmic cycle, the Hindu Kali Yuga, or Iron Age. Cosmic rhythms and cycles effect the quality and character of existence, our tendencies as human beings, and our spiritual choices.

The books listed here range from secular, non-religious commentary on the character, qualities, and signs of our times to texts that come from a more traditional religious perspective. All of them are helpful to an understanding of of the spiritual context in which we seek meaning.

 

Culture on the Brink, by Gretchen Bender.  A collection of sometimes brilliant essays dealing with contemporary media technology. Very sharp postmoderninst insights into the meaning and transformation of our lives in the information age, a transformation in which "technology replaces human experience," and distance from the sacred which is alone real becomes astronomical. A keen analytical confirmation of the intuition which haunts us all. Yuga: An Anatomy of our Fate, by Marty Glass soberly but compassionately examines the underlying currents of our times. He finds that even as outward ‘progress’ reaches unheard-of heights, something is going very wrong within— nothing less than the loss of our very humanity, the inability to discern, as the Bhagavad Gita says, ‘the nature of what is and what is not.’ Listen to our interview with Marty Glass.

 

E.F. Shumacher, A Guide for the Perplexed. Schumacher writes about man's relation to the world. man has obligations — to other men, to the earth, to progress and technology, but most importantly himself. If man can fulfill these obligations, then and only then can he enjoy a real relationship with the world, then and only then can he know the meaning of living.

 

Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society. Among the most profound analyses of "technique," a French world meaning much more than "technology." There are precious few minds powerful enough to perceive essential structures, not the surface symptoms, of what has happened to us, within and without, what envelops us and by its very ubiquity, its omnipresence, its "normality," tends increasingly towards invisibility: Ellul's is one of those minds.

 

The Reign of Quanity and The Signs of the Times, by René Guénon.  This book is more difficult than some of the others on this introductory page, but we would be neglect not to mention it as one of the most profound and illuminating commentaries on the qualities inherent in our world and our lives. From a traditional perspective, this book may open doors that few others can.

 

Why Religion Matters Huston Smith offers his passionate, vital message about the suffocation of the human spirit in a world dominated by materialism, consumerism, educational elitism, and a governmental and legal system without morality.

 

 Fore more content that speaks to issues of the spiritual character of our times, please browse the website and look for content marked 'David Library' in our Wisdom and Spirituality Today section

 

What are Revelation and Religion?

We read and hear a lot about 'Wisdom Traditions' and the 'Perennial Philosophy', and the associations that we may have with these terms are with the New Age religions and other contemporary uses that connect with the spirituality of the times. In the selections below, we find that the it is illuminating to discover the true and original sources of the knowledge that we search for. We may not even fully believe in God, or belong to a traditional religion, but it is eye-opening to find that in fact our beliefs and spiritual practices are rooted in pure forms of (should we say it?) revelation and religion.

 

A History of God, by Karen Armstrong. This book offers a rich and diverse view of how people throughout the ages have thought about God and practiced religion. A lesson in history in which we are brought into the drama of the unfolding of religion through the lives and struggles of saints and sages. Even people who hesitate to say that there is a God will find meaning in and perspective here. 

 

The World's Religions. Huston Smith gives a clear and penetrating look into the major religions of the world, exploring the theology and philosophy that support each revelation. We are shown both the ideas that are common to each religion, and that which set them apart, and in each religion, we recognize truths that we are familiar with, no matter what our spiritual practice.

 

 Fore more content that discusses revelation and religion, please browse the website and look for content marked 'David Library' in our Faces of the Perennial Philosophy section

 

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