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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thoroughly Researched and Astonishing Read.
In today's society the fragmentation of populations into various religious encampments is fuelling violence and extremism while extolling adherence to outdated social concepts, superstitious ignorance and unquestioning obedience to faith leaders and the supposedly enlightened.
Apart from the obvious destructive physical consequences of this behaviour there is also a...
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by readerwriter

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars awful book, truly bad.
This book appealed to me as the subject matter is fascinating.The idea that a ruling elite from prehistory may be responsible for much of our modern religious views and many structures throughout the world is not a new one, and has been explored by a number of authors. However, I've not come across any that have presented their arguments in such a way as to make the...
Published 7 months ago by Kristie Macknight


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thoroughly Researched and Astonishing Read., 9 Feb 2012
In today's society the fragmentation of populations into various religious encampments is fuelling violence and extremism while extolling adherence to outdated social concepts, superstitious ignorance and unquestioning obedience to faith leaders and the supposedly enlightened.
Apart from the obvious destructive physical consequences of this behaviour there is also a loss of knowledge and deliberate obscuring of how we arrived at this perilous situation. For most people, especially those who depend upon their `faith' for moral and, indeed, political guidance, the concept of accepting that all religions began as an individualistic and non-dogmatic spirituality is something that creates a sense of vertigo and panic.
To believe that God is found within and doesn't depend on priests and `religion' in the first place has been turned from a liberating and empowering possibility into an isolating and rebellious naivety.

Osborn and Gardiner have spent years searching for the origins of this enlightenment concept and in doing so have discovered what, for some, may be a very controversial truth: almost all religions and secret societies share the same roots.
Although there is a grudging acknowledgement from Christian scholars that a lot of the Old Testament is a replica of earlier Mesopotamian myth, this is usually not general knowledge and the parallels between Noah and Ziusudra, for example, still remain unknown to the vast majority of Christian worshippers.
But where did the Mesopotamian myths originate and what were they trying to say?

As Osborn and Gardiner take us back through history we discover religions that today seem diverse and unrelated, have, through the centuries, through cultural and political effect and `guidance', all deviated from an initial belief system.
The symbolic embedding of this primary source remains, however, and today can still be `decoded' through a grasp of artistic principles, spiritual awakening and an ability to look beyond the surface of religious motifs and ritual.
The language of myth and art is now also the language of mathematics and physics and it is interesting to note the same principles occuring in the descriptions of Nirvana and the Viseca Piscis, for example, as they do in the understanding of zero-point and binary code.
What is fundamental, according to the authors, is to consider the limitations of text in ancient times and to then look again at the symbols and allegories that were used to try and overcome the expressive constrictions of these spiritual travellers. When we allow ourselves to see past language we then discover what they were trying to tell us.

To explain what the authors believe regarding the goal and technique of this original spiritual concept is difficult in such a concise review but Osborn's neutral point theory is an attempt to convey the notion of all things being cyclical and within these cycles are neutral points, where one can become conscious and unconscious at the same time. This hypnagogic state of being is the secret behind the notion of the androgynous symbols of the alchemists, the Shen ring of the Egyptians and the unity of opposites in such symbols as Yin and Yang.
Osborn also connects the state of enlightenment with the practice of Kundalini awakening and the eternal flux of the birth and destruction of all things, and our ultimate quest to become aware and unaware of this ouroboric reality.

In one sense, this book is an overview of the origins of almost all of the worlds major religions and spiritual traditions but it is also an attempt to convey how even the most notorious and reclusive societies and off-shoots have successfully obscured the very same knowledge.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you ready to swallow the red pill?, 21 Jun 2012
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It was only recently that I came across the work of Philip Gardener and after listening to his interview on Red Ice Radio it was apparent that I was listening to an extremely wise man so I decided to read his work. It was a toss up between The Shining Ones and his previous work Gnosis but I decided to go with the most recently written book as I wanted to find out the most cutting edge knowledge first. I was not disappointed! This book contains so much information it is almost overwhelming but it keeps you interested all the way through. After all, thousands of years of history is hard to condense into a few hundred pages, especially when connections need to be made between all of the ancient civilizations and secret societies!

If you have an open mind then this book will be extremely helpful to you in furthering your understanding of the truth. If you are closed minded this book will most likely seem that the Authors are making connections that don't exist or seem to be mere 'coincidences'. History is not complete and the truth is distorted, after all "The winners write history..", but there have been people throughout history who have tried to pass on the ancient wisdom to those who are worthy of attaining it.

The question is, how do you pass on ancient knowledge and wisdom through the ages without it falling into the wrong hands? This book comprehensively answers that question - by creating sufficiently complicated symbology, riddles, ciphers and the all important secret society. What Gardiner and Osborne show in The Shining Ones is quite incredible and the evidence is compelling. At some point we have to realise that life is a puzzle that is waiting to be solved, one piece at a time, and it is far more interesting than most people believe or can even conceive of. We have to accept that the wisest people throughout history have left a trail behind them that can be followed through time to place that is full of wonders and ends in spiritual enlightenment.

If you have ever seen a tracker on TV, perhaps hunting down a wounded animal through the forest or savannah, you will appreciate how amazing it is. A barely visible paw print there, a broken twig a hundreds of meters down the trail followed buy an overturned leaf and a drop of blood which eventually leads them to their prey. Essentially this is what Gardiner and Osborne do in this book, but through the history of mankind and thankfully they give us an idea of what lays at the end - Gnosis, Enlightenment and the Ultimate Truth.

I guess only one question remains: Are Philip Gardiner and Gary Osborn Shining Ones?

They definitely helped light the way for me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating study in symbology, 23 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Shining Ones (Paperback)
This book filled several gaps in my knowledge about the interpretation of symbols, and the conclusions drawn are plausible and clear. It also makes a strong point for the theory that all religions and beliefs derive from a common source, i.e. the realm of the spiritual, which is capable of being accessed by those adepts who are prepared to undergo the kind of training to make such a contact possible.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Informative......., 28 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Shining Ones (Paperback)
A lot of fact and data but well written and illustrated with plenty of useful knowledge!...........well worth reading and many will benefit from reading this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 6 Dec 2006
More great work again, albeit numbed slightly by the kundalini references which were not needed. The work is erudite and towards the end I was engrossed in the tales of modern secret societies and why they do and did what they have. Fascinating work of detective excellence and I didn't spot any code, nor have I seen the author draw attention to it? Is this a malicious inference from those who don't like what is written? Who knows, but nothing in this book will upset too many people. Gardiner's other work such as Secrets of the Serpent go much further and I enjoyed that one and Gnosis more. But this is a great book all the same.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gary Osborn's contribution is immense, 19 Oct 2008
This is a completely different book from the The Shining Ones put out by Gardiner in 2002. Gary Osborn's contribution has been immense, he has virtually rewritten it, so much so that it should not have used the same title, it is a completely different work, albeit on a similar theme. Osborn and Gardiner no longer work together, their writing partnership split up around the time this book was published, the fact that Osborn did not get full recognition for his input no doubt being an influential factor.
I give this 4 stars for Gary Osborn's contribution alone, he is emerging as one of the most forward thinking writers of a new generation. His current work on 23.5 degrees, The Axis of God, will hopefully lead to a solo book soon. Visit his websites for more.
I disagree with the other reviewer that the Kundalini references are not needed. They are relevant and this comment betrays the reviewer's lack of understanding of the Enlightenment Experience. Ever considered how odd it is that the reviewer "Rosicrucian" consistently gives Gardiner's works 5 star ratings, I wonder who he might be ......
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars awful book, truly bad., 11 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Shining Ones (Paperback)
This book appealed to me as the subject matter is fascinating.The idea that a ruling elite from prehistory may be responsible for much of our modern religious views and many structures throughout the world is not a new one, and has been explored by a number of authors. However, I've not come across any that have presented their arguments in such a way as to make the reading of a book so frustrating.

The authors make many bold claims about ancient shamanic practices, megalithic sites, ancient cultures and even the Roman Catholic Church, but none are backed up with good reliable references or explanations. In fact the lack of referencing merely gave the impression that they were making the whole thing up as they went along. The arrogance with which they declare their ideas as true facts is amazing, for example:

"soon the male-oriented christian church would change the ritual menstrual blood to Christ's blood........This symbolism is now clear and brushes all other interpretations aside"

I'm pretty sick of reading about some kind of ancient mother Goddess religion crushed by a male dominated christian concept. No one can ever know what the ancients did in their religious practices, it seems more likely to me ( just a personal view) that both male and female were honored equally. Before the Romans under Constantine embraced Christianity, they were pagan, and women were'nt in charge. Changes in beliefs and religious practices go hand in hand with other social changes, and quite frankly there are still many places in the world that non mainstream religions are practiced (tribal peoples etc) and women still do'nt appear to have the upper hand. And, a world dominated by women would be just as imbalanced as a world dominated by men.

The authors show evidence of not checking their resources thoroughly. They make several statements about the Druids such as claiming that the oak tree was important to them. Had they read actual history books by scholars (such as the excellent work of Ronald Hutton) they would know that much of the druid myth was created in the Georgian and Victorian periods and that actually nothing is known about them. Likewise, Wicca is a modern invention. These points may be trivial but they add to the feeling that the authors don't actually know anything at all.

I'm also fed up with the constant attacks on the Catholic church, which, for all it's faults has survived and is responsible for the preservation of a great many ancient customs and beliefs in its rituals and practices. Yes, they may have no doubt amalgamated pagan customs into their practices, but to me that doesn't make it less valid as all religions do this. In fact, it helps us to understand our roots. Without the Catholic church we wouldn't have our modern Bible which holds clues to ancient beliefs. There is a photo in the book of one of the authors looking smug outside of the Vatican. I hardly think that His Holiness will be quaking in his slippers.

All in all I found the book to be juvenile in tone, patronizing to the reader and arrogant.
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The Shining Ones by Gary Osborn (Paperback - 8 July 2010)
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