The Inner Light: Self-Realization via the Western Esoteric Tradition Paperback – 28 Mar 2014
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P.T. Mistlberger s 'The Inner Light' is a stupendous accomplishment, linking spiritual, psychological, and magical traditions into a coherent whole. Its focus on history is kept fascinating by revealing the interplay and interdependence between the seemingly disparate threads of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions and what has evolved into modern psychological theories and practices. This weaving of systems, combined with practical techniques, will bring new insights to students and practitioners in many fields as well as increasing respect and understanding. --Donald Michael Kraig, Author of 'Modern Magick'.
A mightily impressive work! A comprehensive and easy to follow guide through and around the Western Esoteric Tradition. I learned a lot from it and no doubt shall continue to do so. One to keep by you for constant reference! ~ Gareth Knight, author of A History of White Magic and Experience of the Inner Worlds.
An immensely enjoyable book. This well written and insightful work is a must read for everyone interested in the history and development of the Western Esoteric Tradition and its varied perspectives on spiritual development and their practical applications. ~ Will Parfitt, author of The Complete Guide to the Kabbalah.
An engaging and wide-ranging introduction to esotericism in theory and practice, interwoven with thoughtful psychological commentary. ~ Owen Davies, professor of Social History at the University of Hertfordshire and author of Grimoires: A History of Magic Books.
A comprehensive book, comprising a well-researched and annotated reference text of the history, components, and better-known personalities of the Western Esoteric Tradition...especially impressive is the author's understanding of the interaction between the many streams that merge and flow as the broad river of the Western Esoteric Tradition...I will recommend this book to my students. ~ R.J. Stewart, author of Advanced Magical Arts and The Underworld Initiation.
The Inner Light is a worthy addition to a growing corpus of literature that attempts to bridge the gap between the theoretical elucidation and practical application of the fundamentals of what used to be considered as "rejected knowledge" in Western culture...[this book] will be of value both to those interested in the historical and thematic overview of some major trends in Western esotericism as well as to those who are intent in applying these teachings to practical use. ~ Gordan Djurdjevic, Ph.D., Sessional Instructor, Department of Humanities, Simon Fraser University.
About the Author
P.T. Mistlberger is a transpersonal therapist, meditation teacher, and international transformational workshop facilitator based in Vancouver, Canada.
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On a recent solo canoe route through Ontario's Quetico Provincial Park, I brought this one book along to serve as stimulating company while in camp. Somewhere along that journey, I almost threw this book into the fire - not because the book was bad (it was excellent company!) - but for simply wanting to lighten my pack due to the length and ruggedness of the Quetico's portages. Both the book and I survived the trip. A tremendous amount of information within the 585 pages. The Inner Light is practically an encyclopedia of the West's spiritual traditions and reads very well. I learned a lot and found many more topics to explore and study further. The author has a talent for organizing his research into a fascinating page turner, his insights into the topics are valuable too. If you're reading this review, I suggest you pick this book up and give it a go - it's worth your time and some day will be a classic in the study of the West's Esoteric traditions.
The book is divded into 3 main sections, plus an appendix which should not be skipped over. The 1st section of the book is titled History and Theory. Included in this section are overviews of Esoteric standards such as Alchemy, the Kabbalah, Ritual Magic - but also includes some surprising other schools of thought which fit in perfectly - such as Existentialism Philosophy, Psychotherapy, Christian Science - to name a few. The history and the key figures from each school of thought are explored in a nice overview format that wets the appetite for further study if desired.
The 2nd section of The Inner Light is titled Practice: the Technology of Transformation. Within the author offers 18 meditative (awareness) exercises goaled toward self realization (self-acceptance, empowerment, self-observation) that a layman like myself (and you) can utilize. I enjoyed the description of Gurdjieff's Enneagram system used as a personality typology tool to describe nine major personality types and their spiritual challenges. Also offered are tips to keep our ego (narcissism) in check - the bane of the mind. The section is full of other valuable material as well - mysticism, magic, lucid dreaming, ....
The 3rd section is titled Lore. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein (subtitled The Modern Prometheus) is used as a brilliant metaphor within the chapter The Body of Light. I had not read Shelley's book until now - it is completely different then the cinema versions. Other chapters within this section deal with Witchcraft and it's relationship with the Christian Church, the Rosicrucians, and finally an overview of Assumption of God Forms - including Lycanthropy.
The Appendix includes more historical clarification and is as important as the book's 3 main sections. Gnosticism, Tarot, Hermeticism, and various Grimoires are discussed.
The Inner Light has much more within it then mentioned in a 1 page review. There are gems within the Appendix as well. P.T. Mistlberger does us a great service with this enlightening book. Thank you!
I suspect that when I actually have a chance to read it, I will give it a higher rating; at the moment, I can only say that it is interesting enough that I will keep trying until i can get a non-defective copy.
UPDATE: Amazon has been very good about getting me replacement copies; third time was (as the saying goes) the charm. I am now deep in the book, and hope to be able to post a real review soon, in the form of an update to this one.
He truly 'stands on the shoulders of giants' to provide a wise, well-thought and informed perspective on the current landscape of Western Esotericism, including psychology, high & low magick (including the art of manifestation), psycho-spiritual alchemy, lucid dreaming, Kabbalah, philosophical evolution, and more. (Sidenote: I also really enjoy the almost encyclopedic nature of this text. I can sit down and jump from section to section as I feel called, making it immediately immensely more valuable than a linear read of this size (nearly 600 pages.) Each page is useful.)
At a very convenient time, where the interest of the West in esoterica is increasing, yet only the influences of Eastern tradition are prevalently in reach, "The Inner Light" makes available a lesser known lineage of thought and practice that is tailored to the Western temperament, which is most often ill-served or grossly under-served by Eastern methodologies. A notion popularized by Jung, for example, which Mistlberger touches on early in the reading, is that Westerners have far more deeply entrenched ego systems due to very different conditioning and influence of their relative culture, which has profoundly different values and world views than those in which the various yoga, Bhuddist, and Zen traditions emerged. Therefore a very different approach of the mind and of practice is required of the seeker.
In short, I have never encountered a volume so inclusive and useful!! I highly recommend traversing it's pages from cover to cover.
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