Eurotopia, Intentional Communities and Ecovillages in Europe, edition 2005, 410 pages, pb, €20.00, www.eurotopia.de, ISBN 3-00-015401-9.
The most comprehensive and up-to-date book about “Living in Community” in Europe! Intentional communities report about their visions, experiments and experiences – about vivid utopias in Europe. The book includes: articles on “Living in Intentional Communities”, a listing of more than 300 intentional communities and ecovillages, more than 600 addresses.
The Rivers North of the Future, The Testament of Ivan Illich, as told to David Cayley, House of Anansi Press, Toronto, 2005. 252 pages, pb, $19.95 US. ISBN 0-88784-714-5.
Ivan Illich was an iconoclast who urged a fundamental rethinking of modern institutions. He believed that Western civilization can only be understood properly as a corruption of the New Testament. Based on a series of interviews with David Cayley in the late 1990s, Illich explores this theme—characterised by the saying “The corruption of the best in the worst”. Illich left it until just before his death to speak on this issue. It puts all his earlier work into perspective.
The Rites of Brigid, Goddess and Saint, by Seán Ó Duinn OSB, The Columba Press, Dublin, 2005. 236 pages, pb, €14.99. ISBN 1-85607-483-8.
February 1st was the feast of Imbolg in the old Celtic year and it marked the beginning of Spring. It was Christianised eventually and adapted as the Feast of St Brigid. A large variety of customs and traditions are still associated with the feast. Sean Ó Duinn collects these rites and rituals, describes them and shows their relevance.
Living in the Cracks, A Look at Rural Social Enterprises in Britain and the Czech Republic, by Nadia Johanisova, published by Feasta, www.feasta.org, 2005. 133 pages, pb. ISBN 1-903998-52-2.
Living – and often thriving – in the cracks between the business world and the state system is an amazing variety of organisations. Their goal is not to make profit but to meet social and environmental needs. Based on interviews with people who have set up and run these organisations, this book shows how their struggle to carry their ideals forward has led to lives with more joy, fulfilment and satisfaction than is normally found in commercial life or the civil service.
The Mystic Mind, The Psychology of Medieval Mystics and Ascetics, by Jerome Kroll and Bernard Bachrach, Routledge, New York and London, 2005. 276 pages, pb, ISBN 0-415-34051-9.
The Mystic Mind is the result of a fascinating collaboration between a medieval historian and a professor of psychiatry, applying modern biological and psychological research findings to the lives of medieval mystics and saints. This illuminating study examines the relationship between medieval mystical experiences, and the religious practices of mortification of the body. Laceration of the flesh, sleep deprivation and extreme starvation brought about altered states of consciousness. The authors demonstrate how heroic asceticism could be used to obtain a desired mystical state.
The Lotus That Blossoms On The Camino, a spiritual and therapeutic journey to Santiago de Compostela through the chakras, by Lawrence Body, WalktheSnake Books, www.santiagochakras.com, 2004. 166 pages, pb. €12.00. ISBN 84-932889-8-5.
The pilgrimage route from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela can be compared to a voyage to one’s inner essence whose purpose is to awaken the coiled serpent of Kundalini, or in other words, to guide the sleeping soul towards enlightenment. The book explains the relationship between the chakras and the Way of St James and delves into the mysticism of many faiths to do so.
The Bible’s Hidden Cosmology by Gordon Strachan, www.Floris Books.co.uk, Edinburgh, 2005. 208 pages, hardback, St£14.99. ISBN 0-86315-479-4.
Apocalyptic Christianity has become a powerful political force in the USA. It influences people like George W. Bush who use it to justify war, imperialism and environmental irresponsibility. Gordon Strachan negates this interpretation and reveals the true cosmology of the biblical writers – what connects Jesus to the Age of Pisces, how the Book of Revelation is predicting the end of the Cosmic Age, what clues within the Bible alert us to the coming of the Age of Aquarius. This book explains some of the fundamental ideas behind The Da Vinci Code written by Dan Brown.
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