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The Wisdom of Hypatia: Ancient Spiritual Practices for a More Meaningful Life [Paperback]

Bruce J. MacLennan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 Jan 2014
Hypatia was the most famous female spiritual teacher of ancient Alexandria. The mix of classical philosophies she taught to Pagans, Jews, and Christians in the fourth century forms the very foundation of Western magic and mysticism as we know it today. The Wisdom of Hypatia offers a progressive, nine-month program based on the teachings of this inspiring Pagan Neoplatonic philosopher. Discover how to bring purpose, tranquility, and spiritual depth to your life through exercises and techniques divided into three stages of wisdom: Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Neoplatonism. This virtual course in philosophy, well-being, and divine union is an essential and practical introduction to the ancient wisdom of the West.

Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications,U.S. (15 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073873599X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738735993
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 18.8 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 745,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Bruce J. MacLennan is a university professor of computer science. For more than forty years, he has been a student of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and religion. He has also studied the relationship between Neoplatonic spiritual practices, Jungian psychology, and neurotheology and has published journal articles and book chapters on these topics. MacLennan is invited regularly to give international presentations and offers regular workshops on Neoplatonic spiritual practice, Pythagoreanism, theurgy, and related subjects.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ancient Wisdom that is as relevant today! 30 Jan 2014
Any modern day Pagan, Wiccan or Occultists might not necessarily find themselves gravitating towards the Greek philosophers as an area of research or insight. However, as 'The Wisdom of Hypatia' points out there is a great deal that the modern spirituality movement owes to the ideas of the founding fathers of esoteric thought.

This is a great book and is one that offers so much to the spiritual-seeker as well as to those who find the stress, rush and pressure of modern society too great at times. It centres its core principles around ancient philosophical ideas but applies them to regular practical application using disciplines over a nine month period.

I found it a thoroughly fascinating read - not only because of the historical insights it offers but also because it thoroughly grounds and gives a longer term perspective on the nature of life, the spirituality of the human psyche and the way that as humans we interpret the world around us.

I thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for a fresh perspective from our current tired and lifeless popular self-help and pseudo-spiritual genre of transformative publications.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ancient philosophy was not some abstract way of thinking but a way of living 30 April 2014
By K. Williams - Published on
The Wisdom of Hypatia: Ancient Spiritual Practices for a More Meaningful Life by Bruce J. MacLennan illustrates that ancient philosophy was not some abstract way of thinking but an actual way to live. The great philosophers we read about: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Hypatia, Marcus Aurelius, they all lived what they taught. Philosophies were born to help people understand how to navigate the material world while striving for the spiritual. It was the original psychology, self-help, a way to evolve human consciousness.

Hypatia was a preeminent philosopher in the fourth century CE. Students from all over the world came to study with her. Unfortunately she got caught up in a political conflict in Alexandria at the time and was murdered in 415 CE. Hypatia’s philosophy is particularly relevant to our times, according to the author, because “it teaches a system of spiritual development especially suited to contemporary Western culture.” Philosophy is a practice that can evolve as we evolve and is a great combination of science and spirituality.

It is a method to live a life of spiritual fulfillment, but it is not a religion. It is compatible with all faiths or a lack thereof. “It...has some interesting similarities to Eastern thought...and it flows like a subterranean river from ancient Paganism through the heart of Western religions, but it is a philosophy of life and a system of spiritual growth independent of them all.” It is even compatible with the scientifically-oriented. “Though ancient, it is not primitive; indeed it is more compatible with contemporary understanding of nature and human nature than many younger systems of spiritual practice.”

The book focuses primarily on three philosophies, corresponding with the three degrees of wisdom. The first degree of wisdom focuses on the Epicurean way of life. The second degree of wisdom approaches life from the Stoic perspective. The third degree of wisdom uses the philosophy of Hypatia, Neoplatonism. Neoplatonism was the philosophy taught by Plato but taken in a new direction in the third century CE by Plotinus. Taken together, the three philosophies provide a comprehensive guide for navigating your way through the ups and downs of life.

I learned techniques and gained insights from The Wisdom of Hypatia. Though I have always loved philosophy, I will admit that at times it can be hard to read, much less understand and put to practical use in your life. But The Wisdom of Hypatia is different. Not only is it an engaging read, but I believe it will change people’s view of what philosophy is. It breathes new life into an ancient practice that has been languishing in intellectual obscurity in our modern times. I would recommend this book to anyone who is deeply interested in spiritual evolution, as it will aid the seeker after Truth.

Find this review and more at New Consciousness Review.
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening and enjoyable study of Ancient Philosophy. 23 Aug 2014
By Crixus460 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enjoyable book that teaches a life plan that can make you a better human being. Gives you a perspective at looking at the world and yourself that gives balance when your going thru life's trials. The Ancient Philosophy is just as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. Our science and technology have changed. But people, our basic humanness, has not. Young or older you will get benefit from this course in Philosophy.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely Lovely Book 15 April 2014
By saturday mourning - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have not read it the whole way through, as I am in university at the moment, and have many other books to read. But from what I've read so far, its everything I expected it to be and more. I cannot wait to delve further into her teachings.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great source of history, truth, and wisdom 21 Feb 2014
By LaStregoneGrigria - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Personally, I would've given this book five stars, had I not thought of this book as to "textbook" in nature. The writing is clear and precise, and I found the relationship between Paganism, Christianity, and Judaism, to be a great refresher from my earlier days, but the book does have to flaw of "keeping you hooked!" Other than that, a true masterpiece!
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