Cross James Merrill, H. P. Lovecraft, and Carlos Castaneda -each imbued with a twenty-first-century aptitude for quantum theory and existential psychology-and you get the voice of Daniel Pinchbeck. And yet, nothing quite prepares us for the lucidity, rationale, and informed audacity of this seeker, skeptic, and cartographer of hidden realms.
Throughout the 1990s, Pinchbeck had been a member of New York's literary select. He wrote for publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, and Harper's Bazaar. His first book, Breaking Open the Head, was heralded as the most significant on psychedelic experimentation since the work of Terence McKenna.
But slowly something happened: Rather than writing from a journalistic remove, Pinchbeck-his literary powers at their peak-began to participate in the shamanic and metaphysical belief systems he was encountering. As his psyche and body opened to new experience, disparate threads and occurrences made sense like never before: Humanity, every sign pointed, is precariously balanced between greater self-potential and environmental disaster. The Mayan calendar's "end date" of 2012 seems to define our present age: It heralds the end of one way of existence and the return of another, in which the serpent god Quetzalcoatl reigns anew, bringing with him an unimaginably ancient-yet, to us, wholly new-way of living.
A result not just of study but also of participation, 2012 tells the tale of a single man in whose trials we ultimately recognize our own hopes and anxieties about modern life.Learn More$12.49
This classic companion to The World's Religions articulates the remarkable unity that underlies the world's religious traditions. Learn More$12.95
This book is based on talks by Ram Dass at the Menninger Foundation in 1970 and at the Spring Grove Hospital in Maryland in 1972. The text grew out of the interaction between Ram Dass and the spiritual seekers in attendance at these talks. The result of this unique exchange is a useful guide for understanding the nature of consciousness--useful both to other spiritual seekers and to formally trained psychologists. It is also a celebration of the Dance of Life--which, in the words of Ram Dass, is the "only dance there is." Learn More$10.99
So many books have been written about the meditation side of Zen and the everyday, chop wood/carry water side of Zen. But few books have approached Zen the way that most Japanese actually do--through ritualized arts of discipline and beauty--and perhaps that is why Eugen Herrigel's Zen in the Art of Archery is still popular so long after it first publication in 1953. Herrigel, a philosophy professor, spent six years studying archery and flower-arranging in Japan, practicing every day, and struggling with foreign notions such as "eyes that hear and ears that see." In a short, pithy narrative, he brings the heart of Zen to perfect clarity--intuition, imitation, practice, practice, practice, then, boom, wondrous spontaneity fusing self and art, mind, body, and spirit. Herrigel writes with an attention to subtle profundity and relates it with a simple artistry that itself carries the signature of Zen. --Brian Bruya Learn More$10.29