The Future of the Ancient World: Essays on the History of Consciousness

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-07-24
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions
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In The Future of the Ancient World Jeremy Naydler examines the evolution of human consciousness over the past five thousand years, revealing how we lost our ability to connect with the invisible world of gods, spirits and ancestors, and how we can find our way back.

Author Biography

Jeremy Naydler, Ph.D., is a philosopher who specializes in the religious life of ancient cultures. He is a Fellow of the Temenos Academy and author of Temple of the Cosmos, Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts, and Goethe on Science. He lives in Oxford, England.

Table of Contents


Part One
Beyond What the Eyes Can See

1    The Restitution of the Ear
In Quest of the Mind’s Ear
The Rise of the Eye
Visual Totalitarianism
Rehabilitating the Ear

2    The Heart of the Lily
The Depiction of Plants in the Middle Ages
The Scientific Perception of the Lily
The Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness
The Lily as Epiphany
The Heart of the Lily

   The Soul of the Weather
An Epistemological Prelude
The Wind Spirits of Antiquity
Esoteric Meteorology of the Renaissance
Measuring the Gods
The Demise of the Visionary Faculty
The Weather Abstracted
Return to Experience

4    The Reality That Is Not There
Locational Space
The Kingdom We Do Not See
Nonlocational Space
Space in Premodern Cosmologies
Space in Modern Cosmology
Pathways into Nonlocational Space

Part Two
Deepening Our Foundations: The Gods and Ancient Egypt

5    Ancient Egypt and the Soul of the West
The Inward Migration to Ancient Egypt
The Drive to Solidify the World
A New Alignment

6    On the Divinity of the Gods
The New Dawn of Polytheism
God and the Gods
Gods and Humans
Soul and Spirit

7    The Artist as Priest
Reflections on the Sacred Art and Culture of Ancient Egypt
Isfet and Maat
The Art of Animating Images
Art and Magic
Portraying the Imaginal
The Artist as Priest
The Responsibility of the Artist

8    Ancient Egypt and Modern Esotericism
The Fascination with Ancient Egypt
The Imaginary versus the Imaginal
The Hidden Realm
The Three Tasks

Part Three
The Path of Consciousness

9     Being Ancient in a Modern Way
Divination in the Light of the History of Consciousness
The Yearning to Reconnect
Extispicy in Ancient Mesopotamia
Extispicy in Ancient Greece and Rome
The Decline of the Divinatory Consciousness The Rise of the Autonomous Moral Agent
Being Ancient in a Modern Way

10    The Future of the Ancient World
Meaning in History
Gods in the Psyche
Gods in Nature
Ancient Consciousness of the Gods
The Soul Comes of Age
Future Return

11    Christ and the Gods
Between Polytheism and Monotheism
The Gods and the Psyche
The Judaic Path to Monotheism
The Greek Retreat from the Gods
The Logos Incarnate
Polytheistic Perspectives on Christ
Gods and Angels
Return to Source

12    Pathways into the Future from the Deep Past
The Cosmological Context: Reflections on an Old Hindu Myth
Ancient Star Wisdom: The Path to Cosmic Union
Commitment to the Earth: Aristotle, Christ, and Modern Spirituality



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