The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West
Two powerful motives weave beneath the surface of our spiritual history: the desire to know and the desire to love. The secret history of the West is the story of saints, mystics, alchemists, poets, and philosophers trying to unite these two streams and celebrate—in the world and in their own persons—the sacred marriage of Logos and Sophia, Word and Wisdom.
This book, an impressionistic history of the Western spiritual tradition, follows the traces—from ancient Greece into modern times—of those who sought to know the world and themselves, while realizing that they must overcome themselves to love the world and each other.
There are chapters on Pythagoras, Sophia, Celtic Christianity, the Troubadours, the Grail, the Rose Cross, Renaissance spirituality, Romanticism, nineteenth-century occultism, and twentieth-century esotericism. Inspirational interludes place the whole within an atmosphere of Christian mysticism. Tracking this endless trace of our evolving relationship with each other, God, and nature, we begin to understand how human consciousness has changed and evolved and what humanity’s task is now.
With an introduction by Philip Zaleski, editor of The Best Spiritual Writing Series.