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Science and Technology

Jeremy Naydler: Electricity: A Call to Consciousness
Because our experience of it is nearly always indirect, electricity operates for the most part beneath the threshold of our conscious experience. But if we are not fully conscious in relation to it, then we are not fully free in relation to it either. Taking his lead from Goethe, the author argues for a new approach to electricity, building on the qualities and character traits of electrical phenomena that several centuries of investigation have uncovered. Since electricity has now become our constant daily companion, the question we need to ask is not so much what but who this companion really is.
48 pages with 29 illustrations.

Jeremy Naydler: The Advent of the Wearable Computer
The new 'smartwatch', and soon 'smartglasses', will bring about a greater integration of the Internet in our daily lives. These developments are being paralleled by an increasing number of 'intelligent' computer devices embedded in the physical environment, creating a so-called 'Internet of Things'. At the same time, our atmosphere is now saturated with artificially propagated electromagnetic fields at densities far above what is found in nature. As we are swept towards the merger of real and virtual realities, the question arises as to how we can work towards a future in which truly human values can survive.
28 pages with three colour illustrations.

Also available to download as pdf

Jeremy Naydler: The Quest for the Pearl: Technology and the Crisis of Contemporary Culture
2nd edition, with a new introduction 2009
Drawing on an old Gnostic myth, this essay offers a cosmological and metaphysical perspective on alarming trends in modern culture - on the one side towards the abandonment of the physical world for virtual reality, and on the other side towards the undermining of the spiritual integrity of the human being by materialistic science and technology. If we are to realize our true human potential, we need to become conscious of the powerful yet hidden driving forces behind these trends.
26 pages with 8 colour illustrations.

Jeremy Naydler: La Quête de la Perle
French translation of The Quest of the Pearl. Translated by C. and C. Contant.
32 pages. 8 colour illustrations.

Jeremy Naydler: The Struggle for a Human Future
Traditionally, philosophers have argued that what makes human beings distinct from other animals is the possession of reason. With the development of computer technologies, which function strictly in accordance with the rules of logic, we now need to ask what makes humans distinct from machines. This essay revisits the traditional conception of reason as a faculty that extends beyond logical thinking and embraces not only the ability to perceive meanings and values, but also ultimately to contemplate the divine. By developing this innate capacity, we equip ourselves to meet the ever-growing menace of the inhuman in the modern world.
48 pages with 11 black and white illustrations.

Living in the Shadow of the Machine

Along with the benefits that digital technology has brought us, it has also brought certain hazards to the human soul and spirit. This essay considers four of these hazards: addiction, psychic fragmentation, abandoning the real for the virtual, and the merging of mind and machine. It concludes by suggesting ways in which, by strengthening those qualities and values that are truly human, we can both maintain our freedom in relation to the new technologies, and at the same time bring about some kind of redemption for them. 31 pages.
2008 £3.00  

The Inhuman in our Midst

The origins of the computer can be traced back as to the advent of formal logic in ancient Greece. At that time it was noticed that it was not quite human, and needed to be enfolded by human values and goals, and steered by a deeper contemplative thinking. From the 17th century onwards, logic became increasingly separated from the human pursuit of wisdom, and the early calculating machines of that period showed that it was only a question of time before logic itself would be automated. Thus wrested free of the human being, it was destined to become the medium of a purely mechanical intelligence that would present new and radical challenges to the human soul.
26 pages, with 5 black and white illustrations.

The Unquenchable Thirst to Live in Gratitude: Digital Technology and the Afflicted Soul of the Earth

Industrialisation and the massive growth of urban living have given rise to the illusion that nature is a peripheral factor of life, now superseded by our increasingly technologised environment and lifestyles. In the twentieth century, novel industrial and synthetic products, such as aluminium and thermoplastics, contributed to this illusion. The digital revolution, literally encasing itself in aluminium and plastic, has nevertheless occurred at a phenomenal cost to the earth, not least because of the many precious metals that are inside modern digital devices. This poses a dilemma for everyone of good conscience who feels the need to be aware of, and to live in gratitude towards, the natural worlds on which our technologies are in reality dependent.
16 pages with one black and white and two colour illustrations.
Also available to download as pdf

Synthetic Biology: The Assault on the Realm of Life

Synthetic biology is a technology dedicated to the creation of novel living organisms, on the assumption that the essence of life is nothing more than digital information. Notably, synthetic biologists regard living organisms as self-replicating machines or "bio-computers" that can be approached with the same mentality as one approaches the world of computer programming. As it is a mentality that tends towards a purely utilitarian relationship with the world, not only does it constitute an assault on the realm of life but also an assault on fundamental human values.
27 pages
Also available to download as pdf

Jeremy Naydler: The Regeneration of Realism and the Recovery of a Science of Qualities
In the Middle Ages, science was essentially qualitative and conducted within a worldview that regarded nature as sacred. This essay considers the metaphysical principles underlying medieval science and philosophy of nature and argues for the recovery of a science of qualities, based on the pioneering work of Goethe and Rudolf Steiner. The essay is an unedited offprint of an article first published in The International Philosophical Quarterly, in 1983.

Jeremy Naydler: Furiously Missing the Point: Reflections on Richard Dawkins: The God Delusion
Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion divides its readers into those who either love it or hate it, but one of its great merits is that it encourages us to work out what we really think about science and rationality, God and the world of spirit. This short essay critically analyses Dawkins's arguments and the assumptions on which they rest.

Plato, Aristotle and Dante

Jeremy Naydler: The Inner Beloved
This essay explores the numinous inner figure to whom Dante gave the name Beatrice, or “the bringer of blessings”. Like Ibn ’Arabi before him, Dante knew the Inner Beloved both as a real human being and also as an archetypal power mediating the divine presence. Although needing to be encountered in the flesh in order fully to be experienced, ultimately the Inner Beloved dwells in the innermost recesses of the soul, there commanding our most ardent devotion and stimulating our deepest creative energies.
25 pages with 14 illustrations

Jeremy Naydler: Dante: Prophet of Love
The prophet is often thought of as someone who is able to see into the future, and prophecy as the prediction of events that have yet to happen. But this is a drastically reduced understanding of both prophets and prophecy. Within the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the prophet is one who is divinely inspired and for whom the veils separating us from the world of spirit are drawn aside, enabling a higher revelation to be received and then communicated to others. Dante was steeped in the Bible and self-consciously drew on the rich repository of images belonging to the Biblical prophetic tradition. But he also drew on other images not found in the Bible, nor available in any other external sources during his lifetime. These images presented themselves to Dante’s inner visionary eye, and reveal the depth of his attunement to the archetype of the divine feminine.
48 pages with 18 illustrations

Jeremy Naydler: Plato, Aristotle and the Union of Opposites
The philosophies of Plato or Aristotle need not be seen as irreconcilably opposed to each other, yet Platonists and Aristotelians have often regarded each other with antagonism. Today, it is important that these streams of thought be united, not only for the sake of the greater truth that their reconciliation allows us to embrace, but also because their union empowers us to meet the challenge of a materialism that threatens to sweep us all up in its wake. 35 pages with 5 line drawings and 2 colour illustrations.

Jeremy Naydler: Plato, Shamanism and Ancient Egypt
Were Plato and other early Greek scholars influenced by shamanism, and, if so, did this influence stem from the north as E.R. Dodds famously suggested? This essay explores the possibility of a southern influence emanating from ancient Egypt, and the implication that key aspects of the Egyptian priestly wisdom are transmitted in Plato's philosophy. 46 pages with 12 black and white illustrations.

Nature and Gardening

Jeremy Naydler: Coming to Earth
All of life depends on the earth. The plants draw sustenance from the soil. Animals draw sustenance from the plants. Like other creatures, we humans belong to the earth, but unlike them we are prone to spurn, neglect and abuse the earth that is our home, instead of cherishing and caring for it. This essay is based on a talk given in the greenhouse at Worton Organic Garden in October 2018, as a contribution to the Oxford Chamber Music Festival.
34 pages with 19 illustrations
2018 £5.00  

Jeremy Naydler: Gardening as a Sacred Art (2009)
This title is no longer available from Abzu Press, as it has now been published in a revised and expanded version by Floris Books (2011).
Now available from www.amazon.co.uk

Jeremy Naydler: In Defence of the Flower Garden
When Monet tore out the kitchen garden at Giverny, his friends stood aghast. Had he gone mad? No! Monet understood that useless but beautiful flowers are worth more in the greater scheme of things than all the extremely useful vegetables and fruits he could grow. And so the wonderful flower garden at Giverny was born.
Today, we live at a time when utilitarian values everywhere predominate, and any reasonably sized garden is regarded as a potential building plot, never mind a vegetable plot. Just as Shelley, in an age of rationalism and literalism, felt the need to write A Defence of Poetry, so today in an age of secularism and utilitarianism we all need to rise up in defence of the flower garden.
16 pages
2011 £2.50  

Jeremy Naydler: How Caterpillars Acquire Wings
An exploration of the many parallels between insect metamorphosis and esoteric teachings on spiritual transformation in the human being, drawing on ancient mystery religions, alchemy and mythology.
52 pages with 12 colour and 23 black and white illustrations

Jeremy Naydler: The Education of Hermes
Wishing to know the secret of how to find the pathways through heaven and all the universe, Hermes descends from his home amongst the stars and comes down to the Earth. Here he journeys through the elements, taking on different forms and learning profound truths from gnomes, undines, sylphs and salamanders.

The Future of the Ancient World

The following booklets by Jeremy Naydler are no longer available from Abzu Press, as they are now published in one volume by Inner Traditions under the title The Future of the Ancient World: Essays on the History of Consciousness.

Click here to see the book on Amazon

1) The Restitution of the Ear
2) Perceptions of the Divine in Nature, Part One: The Heart of the Lily
3) Perceptions of the Divine in Nature, Part Two: Baal Hadad at Bracknell
4) The Future of the Ancient World
5) Christ and the Gods
6) On the Divinity of the Gods
7) Pathways into the Future from the Deep Past
8) Ancient Egypt and the Soul of the West
9) The Reality That is Not There: Reflections on Non-Locational Space
10) Ancient Egypt and Modern Esotericism
11) The Artist as Priest: Reflections on the Sacred Art and Culture of Ancient Egypt
12) Being Ancient In A Modern Way: Divination in the Light of the History of Consciousness


George Burnett-Stuart: Towards the Redemption of Science from Bondage to Materialism
The concept of Matter has been central to modern science from the time of Descartes until now. In this essay, George Burnett-Stuart traces the history of the concept of Matter from ancient times, and argues that the twentieth-century discovery of the 'quantum' compels Matter to give up its central position in science, in favour of the experience of the subject. He urges us to consider how the possibilities of Matter can and must be re-visioned as possibilities of experience.
39 pages with 14 black and white figures
2012 £3.00  

Prue Conradi: The Hare's Bride
This deceptively simple yet compelling Grimm's fairy tale yields a surprising number of central themes that arise in the individuation process: the relationship between spirit and instinct, the meaning of redemption, the encounter with the Trickster and the centrality and significance of sacrifice. It contains many clues about the possible transformation of unredeemed instinct into spiritual value. 41 pages with 12 illustrations.

Angela Voss: Father Time and Orpheus
An exploration of Marsilio Ficino's astrological invocations in 15th century Florence. Influenced by ancient Egyptian magic, Platonic philosophy and contemporary music, Ficino developed a theory and method of ritual performance which drew on the imagination and the desire of the human being for union with the divine powers of the cosmos.

Anne Baring: C.G. Jung's Seven Sermons to the Dead
An incisive and passionate introduction to the Seven Sermons, which Jung wrote in three evenings during the summer of 1916. Jung risked insanity to open the door to a normally ignored dimension of the soul, and his Seven Sermons are testimony to his determination to devote himself to the exploration of the psyche - to listen to its voice, decipher its language and to be receptive to its attempts to communicate with the conscious mind. 17 pages.

Louanne Richards: Journey into Nagaland
A moving account of the author's journey to visit her father's grave in Nagaland, weaving her own story of loss with the tragic story of the loss of autonomy and cultural identity of the Naga people. Nagaland today is a country under occupation by the Indian army.

Barry Cottrell: The Quest for Power: Shamanism and The New Age
In this sequel to Thresholds Between Worlds, Barry Cottrell continues his exploration of contemporary shamanism, questioning whether shamanic practices, imported from ancient times and from indigenous peoples, are appropriate for our non-shamanic modern world. In particular, he draws attention to the moral dimension in the practice of neo-shamanism, and advocates the 'search for freedom' rather than the 'quest for power'.

Barry Cottrell: Thresholds Between Worlds
This lucid introduction to the key ideas and practices of shamanism considers themes such as the shamanic journey, the power animal, reality for the shaman, the shamanic concept of illness and soul retrieval in relation to psychotherapy. Above all Thresholds Between Worlds examines the question “What role can shamanism play in our daily lives?” Since shamanism lies at the very roots of human spirituality, this is an important question for anyone concerned with the spiritual death and rebirth of our civilization.

Emilios Bouratinos: Homeopathy of the Mind: How the Greeks Defeated Rationality
In both ancient Egyptian and early Greek religion, open religious explication was avoided in favour of the use of symbol, myth and ritual to cure the objectifying mind of its tendency to view the world in a fragmentary way. Although he used different methods, Socrates' aim was identical: to lead people towards an unrestricted awareness of reality. Through his philosophy, Socrates links us to the ancient homeopathic religious practices which we so badly need to recover today, if we are to successfully meet the crisis our civilization is now facing.

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