Most spiritual impulses today can be traced back to the nineteenth-century explosion of esotericism. In The Transcendental Universe, one of the most enigmatic and thought-provoking works of the period, a mysterious and unknown figure--C.G. Harrison--examines theosophy from an esoteric Christian perspective. He identifies true gnosis and, with great courage, makes public much esoteric knowledge that had remained hidden within occult orders.
One afternoon in 1836 the Transcendental Club held its first meeting in Boston. The membership was noteworthy not only for the list of impressive personages, headed by Emerson, but for the general youthfulness of the group (Thoreau was only twenty-two) and for the fact (unusual for the day) that several women were invited to attend. The club consisted mainly of "bright young Unitarians seeking to find meaning, pattern, and purpose in a universe no longer managed by a genteel and amiable Unitarian God." The club met irregularly for three years and then passed into oblivion. The intellectual activity it engendered continues to affect American thought and values even today. The transcendentalists concerned themselves with problems of law, truth, individuality, theology, mysticism, pantheism, and personality, to mention only a few. Moreover, they were prolific writers and produced reams of letters, essays, poems, sketches, and memoirs. Historian Paul Boller traces the movement from its earliest stirrings through its height as a powerful movement to its decline in the aftermath of the Civil War. Whenever possible, he lets the transcendentalists speak for themselves. He sorts the permanent from the transient and demonstrates the immeasurable importance of a body of ideas which still live a century and a half after their inception.--From publisher description.
Subjectivity and Lifeworld in Transcendental Phenomenology
In this landmark work, Paul Kurtz examines the reasons why people accept supernatural and paranormal belief systems in spite of substantial evidence to the contrary. According to Kurtz, it is because there is within the human species a deeply rooted tendency toward magical thinking—the “transcendental temptation”—which undermines critical judgment and paves the way for willful beliefs. Kurtz explores in detail the three major monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—finding striking psychological and sociological parallels between these religions, the spiritualism of the nineteenth century, and the paranormal belief systems of today. This acclaimed and controversial book includes sections on mysticism, belief in the afterlife, the existence of God, reincarnation, astrology, and ufology. Kurtz concludes by explaining and advocating rational skepticism as an antidote to belief in the transcendental.