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Bespreking van...

… Ina Cüsters-van Bergen, The Temple of High Magic: Hermetic Initiations in the Western Mystery Tradition, [ Gareth Knight (Foreword), ] Rochester (Destiny Books) 2010, 400pp.;
het is een Engelse vertaling van: De weg naar de oude mysterien: inleiding tot de westerse mysterietraditie, Eeserveen (Akasha) 2009, 384pp.

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I read this book already nearly a year ago in Dutch language (so I can’t judge the English translation). This book made a deep impression on me. First because my wife had found it and transferred it to me, whose intuition I trust very much (from experience). But this was very unusual (I am a historian in the field of spirituality, particularly spiritual texts, its history and function) because most of the time I find a lot of books and texts myself.
I have to say I was stunned by this book. Not so much that I forgot everything while reading it, it was just that everything – line by line, piece by piece, page by page, chapter by chapter – seemed to fit in with each other as well as with my knowledge of history and of the ‘function’ of spiritual traditions. And not only that, this book also conquered me, in a way, step by step. By letting me feel that steps could be taken, that they worked for the practician, and that meaning not only could but also was being found. And not only meaning, but also direction and perspective, not only theoretically but practically as well.

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Indeed the book is well organized. Everything is clearly explained from the beginning, and built up in sequence. As regards the content I can confirm that the author combines the best knowledge of Western magical traditions (as well as of the main subjects of exoteric – outward religious – and esoteric – inward spiritual – traditions within which they were suppressed viz. practiced) with sound knowledge of modern imagination techniques (which of course have very old examples and sources). Her practice is built up from the Kabbalistic Tree, which serves as a model on which all theoretical and practical phenomena of the most different traditions can find their own place. This happens through the practice of the students themselves who learn to know themselves and at the same time build up a ‘place’ in which they can live spiritually as well as practically.

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Stunning and astounding I found the book particularly because of the quality of its language as expression of the very trustworthy content, letting the reader free in her / his own decisions but at the same time giving thorough information and even warnings – all from many years of experience, which the author here shares with the reader, thankfully. She delivers as well very illuminative images and illustrations with the text.
Those who valuate the worth of this book, will agree that the quality of this book is not just its extreme practicability but also the very sound, deeply trustworthy experience and (also theoretical, also psychological and ‘didactical’) insights in and behind it.
For me she made for the first time clear how the tradition of Dion Fortune and Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, from which she – although now having and leading her own school now – stems, is deeply correlated with very deep layers of our Western culture (and the author by the way also knows about Eastern and New Age traditions with which she makes comparisons). This however will not come to the reader by reading alone: she or he really has to discover the magic within life, existence, society, nature, cosmos, anew and by her- or himself as she / he uniquely is. The book gives the instruments to that as well. One of them: learn to be – including to have – a very, very trustworthy character in all respects! (So going this way will not always be easy …)

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To finish

This is a very rich book, a chance to be guided into and through many new worlds and practices in an way suited for everyone who values the spiritual worlds and practices of the Western traditions, including of course the Jewish and Christian ones insofar as they do not suppress the ways of magic (= practical ‘religious’ psychology). This book is not in the first place about influencing the outside world or other people for one’s own concrete goals, but about influencing oneself by coming in tune with the divine world which we are all in contact with, and which wants the best with us. By raising consciousness and behaving in accordance with that. Step by step, in doing. Enjoy, if you want. Enjoy much! 🙂 🙁 :-).

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© Boudewijn Koole – be free to cite and copy but please refer to this page or to www.bk-books.eu
URL: www.bk-books.eu/bespreking/the-temple-of-high-magic-de-weg-naar-de-oude-mysterien | Version 2.001 (version 1.1: 8 April 2010)

Gepubliceerd door

Boudewijn K. ⃝

--- In 1947 werd ik geboren in Sint Laurens als zoon van Suzan Huibregtse en Leen Koole (mijn zus en broers zijn Jopie, Wibo en † Rien). In 1969 trouwden Nel Knip en ik met elkaar en vormden een gezin waarin Heleen (moeder van Valerie en Michelle) en Hermen (getrouwd met Hanneke; samen vader en moeder van Manou en Tristan) werden geboren. Na Amsterdam woonden wij in Tiel en Driebergen. --- Vanaf 1965 studeerde ik in Amsterdam theologie (was student-assistent bij † prof. Harry Kuitert, VU) en filosofie (hoofdvak metafysica bij prof. Otto Duintjer, UvA; mijn afstudeeronderwerp was de eenheid van de tegenstellingen in de westerse dialectiek speciaal bij Marx en zijn voorlopers). --- Onder leiding van † prof. Gilles Quispel (UvUtr) promoveerde ik op de visie op de ‘eenheid van man en vrouw’ in het christendom (bij onder meer Jacob Böhme). Ik schreef een aantal boeken (zie in kolom links). --- Terugkerende thema's vormden de relatie tussen taal, denken en werkelijkheid (filosofisch onder meer bij Wittgenstein, Boehme en het oosterse non-dualisme) en de directe verbanden hiervan met de visies op de man-vrouw-verhouding en alle andere dualiteiten of liever non-dualiteiten via het concept van de eenheid van tegenstellingen in West en Oost, met andere woorden een universeel thema dat ik deels al eerder had ontmoet als onderwerp van mijn doctoraalscriptie. --- Mijn recente publicaties betreffen de vertaling met commentaar van Jacob Böhmes "Theoscopia" (verlichting; het zien als God), 2019, en de nieuwe inleiding in het denken van Jacob Böhme "Eenvoud en diepgang in en voorbij alle tegenstellingen", 2020. --- Tegelijk is mijn aandacht verschoven ofwel uitgebreid van het hanteren én begrijpen van woorden naar subtiele andere 'tekens' en hun be-teken-is. Of liever naar hoe wij inclusief onze wereld(en) - vice versa - 'ons' vormen en ont-vormen (opkomen, blinken en verzinken) en daarbij tegelijk zowel geheel als tegengestelden zijn, zowel verschillen tonen als de eenheid of eenheden die het zien en vergelijken van 'alles' inclusief onszelf mogelijk maken. Of met de moderne term: wat 'inclusiviteit' en 'inclusief zijn' in [kunnen] houden.