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Riding with the Lion: In Search of Mystical Christianity Hardcover – 26 Jan 1995

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
A powerful, beautiful book 7 Dec. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was very surprised by the existing reviews about this wonderful book--only two of them, and both very negative. The book really captured me and moved me. I know many more who feel the same way, but for some reason have not spoken here.
We are all in a spiritual path. Some of us choose a more traditional approach, one that has been passed pretty much unchanged down the centuries (e.g., Greek Orthodox Christianity). Others are searching for a more personal, less prescribed way to the Truth.
There are many Paths to God... They all have their shortcomings, as we are all human. This is the part we forget when we pass judgement on alternative ways. In the case of Christianity, the original message was clear and simple: Love is All. Look at what has been added over the years... all kinds of human noise. For instance, we will not talk to each other since you think that the Holy Spirit emanates from Christ as well as the Father, and I say it emanate only from the Father. We will not talk to each other because you think that the Pope is the ultimate authority on theological issues and I do not. It brings tears to my eyes and a shadow over my Heart. Human noise... or evil has found a way to dilute the original message.
Oh, and did I mention that the Buddhist original message is the same? The word used is Compassion instead of Love. I have met Buddhists that are better Christians than most of the Christians I have worshiped with. What a blessing this has been.
In closing, quoting from the book: "When we finally enter a path, ... we will do so in full recognition and respect for the reality of other paths beyond the trees. We will recognize more readily that the infinite love and compassion of the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent personal God, in order to accommodate our great diversity, offered us many paths to the summit. Our modern, secular education made us more aware of this diversity of the human condition and the relativity of all socially and culturally constructed worldviews. Therefore, a thinking person exposed to this diversity cannot but become more understanding and accepting of others who worship God in different, and from our point of view, strange ways."
The Light is in all Forms, the Love is in all Beings. Amen.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Jnana and Bhaki in the West 27 April 2004
By OAKSHAMAN - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You do not have to be familiar with the author's three previous books on the subject to benefit from this volume. Indeed, the first half largely recounts the workings of EREVNA and its teachings. For those who are unfamiliar with the organization, EREVNA is a essentially an organization founded on Cyprus that seeks to realize and internalize the teachings of the perennial Philosophy (but through somewhat of a Hellenic/Christian filter.) The first half also has some good original sections, such as an in depth discussion of corrupt and immoral spiritual teachers, as well as, an examination of "fundamentalist materialism" as expressed in such organizations as the "Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal." Indeed, Markides shows much more fairness and balance in his discussion than such "Skeptical Inquirers."
It is the second half of the book that really gets into an examination of the mystical tradition within the Eastern Orthodox Church. He views organizations such as EREVNA as representing the equivalent of the Hindu tradition of jnana yoga (the wisdom path to Spirit) while Orthodox Spirituality is more analogous to bhaki yoga (the devotional or ecstatic path.) To Erevra's credit its members hold that any mystical practice that leads to Christ consciousness is authentic religion, whether it be Mahayana Buddhism, Sufism, Vedanta, or Christianity. The Orthodox view is not always so charitable. In fact, much of mainstream Orthodoxy seems to be unfamiliar with its own roots having adopted the arid, rationalistic theology of Western pattern in an attempt to "modernize." In any case, the author actually travels to Mount Athos (Agion Oros) to meet and talk with more traditional practioners. He also discovers and briefly discusses the classical spiritual writings known as the Philokalia.
The closing section "Lifting the Veil" is especially good. It deals with the breakthrough of human consciousness in our times, and how we are finally evolving to a point where a significant number of individuals are learning to see beyond the primitive superstition of materialism. He points out that Kenneth Ring calls this the "shamanisation" of society.
This is third time that I've found myself reading this book. If you are primarily interested in the core of the perennial philosophy or tradition I also personally recommend The Only Tradition by Quinn, or Survey of Metaphysics and Esoterism by Schuon.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Very Accurate Depiciton of Eastern Orthodox Spirituality 27 Jun. 2003
By matt - Published on
Format: Paperback
Holiness and wisdom are not reserved only for the monks, but for all those who seek Christ with a pure heart. If it happens to reflect in some ways current New Age mentalities, it is not, believe me, a sign that the Eastern Church has somehow taken their advice! I have the suspicion that those who understand Christianity through Western Protestant eyes would find this work a bit odd to say the least. Monks who are clairvoyant, can change someone else's perception of time, etc are not common in Protestant Christianity. But then again, they have not had the benefit of a 2000-year-old tradition of spirituality and prayer. This is not to put the Protestants down, it is only the observation that there is no need to reinvent the wheel when the East already has a very succinct and proven method of spiritual development that goes much beyond the non-accountable, individualistic spirit of much of the Christian West.
IF you have an interest in the underpinnings of the Eastern approach to Jesus Christ and the Trinity and the Church etc, then you would do well to read "The Orthodox Way" by Kallistos Ware, or, if you want to dig into some deeper theology, "The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church" by Vladimir Lossky is a classic, as is the difficult but rewarding masterpiece "Being As Communion" by Zizioulas. ENJOY!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A superb account about ongoing spiritual awakening 19 July 2002
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
read this book a few years ago, and was deeply moved by it. Now after a second reading, I feel even a deeper impact. Markides is very upfront about his doubts, and non-committal attitude to any specific formula, thus preserving a healthy level of skepticism, as he approaches "unverifiable facts." He lays out his observations in a very balanced fashion, lets the reader arrive at his own conclusions. Without being preachy or pushy, Markides is forceful and challenging, not allowing readers an easy way out from having to examine long-held but often unexamined assumptions about the human condition. An extraordinary work!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Reflected my own bridge to Christianity 24 Dec. 2011
By Elizabeth Markovich - Published on
Format: Paperback
I think i can understand Markeides journey back to Orthodox Christianity. My own journey was similar. I understood very well that this was not a book about pure Orthodox theology but about finding the threads of truth and following them as they led back to early Christian mysticism. K. Markeides was raised in the Church and rediscovered all this while i found it for the first time as an adult. I found myself and my own journey in this book. I think many who have found some attraction and truth in New Age beliefs somewhere along the line will find themselves in this book, especially those also attracted to Christian mysticism.
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