The Philosophers' Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination

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Blue Angel Gallery, 2007 - Imagination (Philosophy) - 384 pages
3 Reviews
Is there any place for the ancient myths of our ancestors in modern times? Could their shadowy presence in our common imagination be more influential than we realise? Across the globe many societies still believe in an Otherworld of spirits, gods and daimons, which the West has banished to the unconscious mind and now only visits in dreams. Yet this visionary tradition continues to subvert the rational universe, erupting out of the shadows in times of intense religious and philosophical transition. In his dazzling history of the imagination, Patrick Harpur links together fields as far apart as Greek philosophy and depth psychology, Renaissance magic and tribal ritual, Romantic poetry and the ecstasy of the shaman, to trace how myths have been used to make sense of the world. He uncovers that tradition which alchemists imagined as a Golden Chain of initiates, who passed their mysterious 'secret fire' down through the ages. As this inspiring book shows, the secret of this perennial wisdom is of an imaginative insight: a simple way of seeing that re-enchants our existence and restores us to our own true selves.
 

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User Review  - erika357 - LibraryThing

In his history of the imagination, Harpur shows how paradigms have a mythical structure. Our sense of the world, our meaning of life has always been determined by the myths we live with, we live in. A very inspiring book with mindboggling insights. Read full review

The Philosopher's Secret Fire: A History of the Imagination

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This fascinating book provides a historical look at the expressions of human imagination and how ideas of reality have been shaped over time. Harpur (Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
9
The SealWomans Skin
25
The Fate of the Reverend Kirk Changelings The Bokos Jars
38
The Soul of the World
53
In Search of TirnanOg How the Unconscious Began
70
How Natives Think
83
The Daimons Tales
93
History and Myth The Metaphorical and the Literal
107
The Weight of the World
203
The Myths of Machinery
221
Coleridge Leaps the Gate A Passion of Awe
237
Boehme and Blake
251
The Still Sad Music of Humanity
269
Syzygies
285
The Nightmare LifeinDeath was She
307
Ungodly Messiahs
323

Darwins Nausea The Imbecile Stepmother
123
The Composition of the Magi
139
The Boar from the Underworld
161
The Philosophers Retorts
181
The Kore in the Underworld The Virus of Imagination
338
Epilogue
351
Index
368
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About the author (2007)

Blue Angel is a boutique independent publishing house with a strong following of fans around the globe. Founded as a specialist bookstore and art gallery in 1997, in 2001 Blue Angel evolved into a publishing company with its first oracle decks, books, and CDs.

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