(Feel free to quote my articles, but please acknowledge the source and, if appropriate, create a link.)
On the previous page is a general introduction to the idea of Spirituality in Politics. Below are further introductory articles in which I go into more detail about the possible foundations of a spiritual society. On this page below, they follow each other; you can scroll down in order to read them in the intended order. You can also click on the individual links.
4) Raynor C. Johnson: The Imprisoned Splendour (Johnson is a figure from the past who best sums up everything I’ve been saying in the first three articles.)
1. Metaphysics in a Spiritual Society
A strong, unified, cohesive society should be built on firm metaphysical foundations. Ideally, all citizens would believe the same things; this should lead to complete integration. In practice, however, this is obviously not going to happen. It is important not to be too dogmatic, be inclusive rather, and create an umbrella to contain all the ideas which are moving in the right direction. At the same time, it is important to be clear about the direction towards which we are ultimately heading, the limits beyond which we should not step.
A good starting-point is the Perennial Philosophy, since this claims to be the common truth standing behind all religions, no matter what their apparent surface differences. (See, for example, Aldous Huxley’s book of that name.) The essential idea is that each individual consciousness is a manifestation of the divine, and can expand and reconnect with it. (In modern scientific language we might perhaps say that individual consciousness is a hologram of the divine.) This is probably what was originally meant by the text of Genesis 1:26, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness”, although the idea is expressed more directly and forcefully in the Chandogya Upanishad (VI, viii, 7): “Tat twam asi”, (loosely translated, you are the same as the universal essence). The best-known traditions which express this idea are Hinduism, Sufism, and Buddhism, although it can be found in others. Rather than seek to promote one tradition above others, I suggest that it is better to study all of them and seek out their gems, thus seeking a reconnection with the wisdom of ancient civilisations.
A helpful resource in coming to understand this idea is the famous teaching story of the elephant and the blind men. There are several versions, but the essence is as follows:
Several blind men are instructed to touch different parts of an elephant, and asked to describe what it is they are touching. Given that one is touching the trunk, another a tusk, another a leg, and so on, they all say something different, and start arguing. It is only when a passer-by explains to them that they are only touching a part of the elephant, and that if they could see the whole creature, they would be in agreement, that they realise their error. Thus it is with different religious traditions; they may appear different, but are ultimately the same when one can see the whole picture.
Further inspiration can be derived from various transpersonal psychologies:
a) the ideas of Carl Jung, specifically what he calls the Individuation Process as a spiritual path, especially for Westerners.
b) the life and works of Stanislav Grof, an advocate of the Perennial Philosophy. (See especially his introduction to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science, which is relevant to the whole of this article.)
c) Psychosynthesis, the creation of Roberto Assagioli.
…and ancient mythologies. We are losing touch with their wisdom. The ideas of Joseph Campbell are therefore especially helpful.
Seminal texts are:
Archetypal Cosmology by Keiron Le Grice
Beyond Physicalism by Edward Kelly (and others). (Their previous book Irreducible Mind is also relevant.)
Wholeness and the Implicate Order by David Bohm
Le Grice’s book is primarily an attempt to imagine the nature of a universe which would make astrology possible. This is obviously a highly controversial subject, since astrology is one of the prime targets for ridicule by skeptics. Whether or not you believe in astrology, and ultimately accept his conclusions, the cosmology and metaphysics he develops are nevertheless powerful, and deserve to be taken seriously as a vision for the future. The figures from whom he derives inspiration form an impressive list: Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, David Bohm, Stanislav Grof, Teilhard de Chardin, and others.
Kelly’s group’s books are about the nature of consciousness, which they consider is more fundamental than matter. They stand at the end of a tradition which accepts the reality of spiritual experiences: Frederic Myers, William James etc. They accept reincarnation, out-of-body and near-death experiences. They also accept the reality of parapsychology (ESP).
The group call the metaphysical position which they are adopting evolutionary panentheism, and offer it as a vision for the future. That’s something of a mouthful, but fits well with everything in this article. This means that the material universe is seen as an evolving manifestation of a transcendental spirit (God). In conventional theological language, God is both transcendent and immanent.
David Bohm is the quantum physicist most frequently referred to by spiritually oriented writers. This book is his most relevant in terms of a connection with a spiritual perspective.
A separate goal of a spiritual society would be a reunification of science and religion. It would therefore seek to promote the ideas of new paradigm scientists, those who are moving, either explicitly or implicitly, in a spiritual direction. (An obvious example would be Fritjof Capra’s Tao of Physics).
At the same time, a spiritual society would challenge and oppose the errors of modern scientific physicalism, which is inspired by atheism. The most significant of these are:
a) consciousness is a byproduct (epiphenomenon) of the brain, and therefore the self is an illusion.
b) life can be explained by Darwinian evolutionary theory, specifically the neo-Darwinian synthesis.
c) the universe is purposeless.
There is also reason to doubt the Big Bang hypothesis as the origin of the universe. While accepting that this is the (almost) overwhelming view of physicists/cosmologists, and we perhaps have to defer to their superior knowledge, there are nevertheless significant unresolved issues remaining, (not least the objection that the theory is based on some dodgy science). The spiritual objection is that its advocates often assume a physicalist starting-point (problems with the understanding of the original Singularity notwithstanding); a spiritual perspective might indeed help to resolve some of the outstanding problems.
2. The Spirit of Guidance
I introduced this term on a previous page. Here I will expand a little on what I mean by it.
The essential point is that what we experience as our ego-consciousness is not our only self, and not even our true self. Some of the terms used to describe the deeper, usually hidden, self are:
the Self (Jung) (sometimes written lower case, the self)
the Higher Self (Psychosynthesis)
the Subliminal Self (Frederic Myers, see footnote 1)
the soul (a term used by various spiritual/religious traditions)
the Daemon (originally a term used by the ancient Greeks, for example Plato, Socrates, and Epictetus) (see footnote 2)
These concepts are not necessarily understood in the same way, but refer to something similar; they all suggest a deeper level of our individual consciousness. There is an alternative explanation, however, since some experiences suggest consciousnesses apparently other in some way, perhaps what is sometimes called a spirit guide, or other helpful being.
We are souls (individual pure consciousnesses) on a spiritual journey in the material world, where the ego is, so to speak, the representative of the deeper self. There is a plan for each incarnation, to help us grow and develop appropriately on this journey. Connecting with this plan gives our lives their ultimate purpose and meaning. This is known by the deeper self, but the ego-self can, and usually does, lose its way in its life-journey. If this plan was conceived before our birth, as some traditions believe, then this suggests that consciousness forgets during the process of incarnation. As Wordsworth said: “Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting” (2). The ancient Greeks believed, using a striking metaphor, that reincarnating souls drink from the river of oblivion, Lethe; this would explain why they have no recollection of their past lives, nor of this plan for the current incarnation.
Thus we have fallen asleep, and need to awaken. The ego needs to reconnect with and be guided by this source of higher knowledge and wisdom. It can then seek to manifest the will of the deeper self in the world. This is an alternative approach to spirituality, different from meditation and other practices. In Hinduism it is called Karma Yoga, described variously as the path of selfless action, following one’s destiny, or the surrender of the ego to the divine (thus becoming its tool).
How then do we reconnect with this higher consciousness? The following methods have been meaningful to me: dream interpretation, synchronistic events, divination (including Tarot readings, I Ching consultations), powerful intuitions, and so-called Freudian slips.
1) Dreams are the most obvious and most available source of guidance. Many authors have written on this subject. Perhaps the most important is Carl Jung, who placed dream interpretation at the centre of his therapeutic system. He said ‘we have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions’ (3).
A book I especially like is Arthur Bernard’s, God Has No Edges, Dreams Have No Boundaries. His experience is that no matter what you (your ego-consciousness) may think, your ‘dreams say think again’. That is a clear expression of the idea I expressed above, that the conscious ego has lost its way, and needs guidance from a higher source of wisdom.
Dream interpretation is not just an aspect of Western psychology. It can also fit in with:
a) Hinduism. See, for example, Realities of the Dreaming Mind, by Swami Sivananda Radha, a western woman initiated into the Hindu tradition. She has created a “Dream Yoga”, and talks about the “Guru within”.
b) Sufism. I once was privileged to attend the daily meetings hosted by the Sufi teacher, Irina Tweedie. Each one began with a session of dream sharing and interpretation.
c) Ancient tribal traditions. See, for example, Patricia Garfield’s chapter in Creative Dreaming on Native Americans. She says that all tribes assign special importance to dreams.
The problem, of course, is that in modern times many people have lost the ability to think symbolically, and are not encouraged by our education system to think in this way. Dreams, therefore, may seem incomprehensible. This is highly regrettable, and steps should be taken to remedy this unfortunate development.
2) Synchronistic events (meaningful coincidences). The term was introduced by Jung. They appear to have a tendency towards growth, healing, positive change. The best known example is the case of a client of his and the scarab beetle, as described by him in Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle (4). Such occurrences sometimes have extraordinary psychological/spiritual power. The Jungian writer Marie-Louise von Franz talks about shaking experiences (5). Robert Aziz talks about ‘the force of a full-scale conversion experience’ (6). They can seem so strongly meaningful that they led Robert Perry to call his book on the subject Signs: a New Approach to Coincidence, Synchronicity, Guidance, Life Purpose, and God’s Plan.
3) Divination. This topic is complicated enough to require a separate article, (see below).
4) Strong intuitions. I have had some experiences of this, the details of which would take too long to go into here. In general terms, the ego-consciousness is suddenly gripped by what seems to be an overwhelmingly powerful idea, something irresistible. You know that it will not let go until you have performed what it demands, and when you have done this, the outcome is positive.
An outstanding example of this phenomenon with material already in the public domain is Rosalind Heywood, who talks about receiving “orders”. A powerful example occurred one afternoon when she was told by this inner voice to meet the 3 o’clock train at Wimbledon station. In order to do this, she had to borrow a neighbour’s car, which shows how important it was to her to obey such instructions. By following this “order” she managed to save the life of her husband, who had suffered a heart attack (7).
It is reasonable to assume that the source of these “orders” is the hidden, deeper self, although it could obviously be something else (a spirit-guide/guardian “angel”?).
5) Freudian slip. This is now a term in common usage. Freud’s book The Psychopathology of Everyday Life introduced the world to the idea. His most powerful example, so extraordinary that it is almost impossible to believe, tells of a woman who, seeing a man in the street, fails to remember that she had recently married him. He reports that the marriage came ‘to a most unhappy end’ (8).
What does the phenomenon of the Freudian slip mean? In general terms, we can say that the ego tends to lie, be prone to self-deception, yet something inside wants the truth to be recognised. There is thus a hidden intelligence which somehow forces the ego to make a mistake in speech or action, revealing what it is trying to conceal. Again I assume that this other consciousness is the Higher or Subliminal Self mentioned above. Freud’s example seems to be a clear message from this hidden self, which wants the woman to recognise the terrible mistake she has made.
1. If you haven’t heard of him, he is the inspiration for one of my seminal texts Beyond Physicalism by Edward Kelly et al. He was one of the founders of the Society for Psychical Research in 1882, and has been described by Guy Lyon Playfair as the outstanding psychical researcher of all time (This House is Haunted, White Crow Books, 2011, p209). His best known publication is Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death, available free as an online download.
2. For an interesting exploration of this concept and its appearance throughout history in different cultures, see Anthony Peake’s The Daemon: A Guide to Your Extraordinary Secret Self, Arcturus Publishing, 2012.
3. Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
4. Man and His Symbols, Picador, 1978, p92.
5. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972 reprinted 1977 p30-31.
6. Meaning and Order, in Jung in Modern Perspective, Wildwood House, 1984, p272.
7. C. G. Jung’s Psychology of Religion and Synchronicity, State University of New York Press, 1990, p30.
8. Described by Lawrence LeShan in A New Science of the Paranormal, Quest Books, 2009, p30. Rosalind Heywood and “orders” are also discussed by Colin Wilson in Afterlife, Grafton Books, 1987 – the whole book is a great read. Her autobiography is called The Infinite Hive.
9. Penguin, 1991 p261.
Before I discuss this topic, let me put my cards on the table and say that I believe unequivocally in divination. The two most powerful methods in my experience are Tarot readings, and I Ching consultations [see footnote 1]. Having said that, I have also had interesting experiences with the book Fortune Telling by Dice by David and Julia Line (2). The Tarot and I Ching, whatever doubts you may have about them, at the very least are ancient traditions, and have survived the test of time. By contrast, throwing dice and looking up readings in a book may seem to those who have never tried it nothing more than an entertaining party game, but the results have each time been meaningful, and on one occasion very powerful, in my experience.
Such statements are obviously controversial, and are likely to attract ridicule. Divination is supposed to be something foolish that our ignorant, superstitious ancestors believed in, something impossible to contemplate in the modern scientific world. There is something to be said for this point of view, for it is hard to understand how, to take the Tarot as an example, a meaningful reading can be possible, if the questioner (querent) chooses the cards when they are face down. The I Ching is even harder to understand since coins are thrown into the air and land apparently randomly. How can that lead to something meaningful?
Professor Richard Wiseman devotes the first chapter of his book Paranormality, Why We Believe the Impossible (3) to trying to explain why Tarot readings are illusory. He introduces us to a Mr. D., who has explained to him how he manages to achieve apparently successful psychic readings. There are six techniques which are collectively called “cold reading”; this can be summed up as a series of psychological techniques (con-tricks), which fool the querent into thinking the reader has psychic powers.
Prof. Wiseman says that any impression that a successful reading is achieved via psychic means is an illusion (p54). He wants us to conclude that because Mr. D., and others, are successful in deceiving their clients, that this is how all readers operate. Now, while I am more than willing to accept that such cheating exists and may be common practice, I can also testify that this is not always the case; I have given (apparently) successful Tarot readings, and have never used any of these cold reading techniques in the way described.
Here is a brief outline of my involvement with the Tarot. My first significant experience was at a friends’ annual barbecue party, where the hostess’s daughter was offering readings in a tent. Normally one would have to seek out a reading, but in these circumstances it was just there available, so anyone at the party could ask. I went in, had a reading, and was amazed by the accuracy and relevance of what she said (possible cold reading notwithstanding).
I was so impressed that I decided to explore and study the Tarot myself. I was lucky that, when I asked, this woman was willing to give me some lessons to get me started (I already knew her). I also studied the cards and read some books. I was then keen to try out reading, and therefore asked if I could become the resident reader at these annual barbecues, which was agreed. I had absolutely no idea how successful I would be. I understand that some more advanced readers supplement their understanding of the cards with clairvoyance, but I am unable to do this, relying completely on the meaning of the cards, and whatever comes to mind when I see their combinations. I am therefore at the mercy of whatever mysterious forces lie behind the Tarot; every time I did a reading, I took the risk of looking like a complete idiot.
Nevertheless, from the outset people were coming out, going to the host to say how impressed they were. He told me about all the “favourable reports” he was getting. Over the years people were using words like “spooky”, “uncanny”. One woman was so impressed that on a subsequent occasion she brought her daughter. So my experience was that “meaningful answers are the rule”, to use Jung’s words about the I Ching (4). People consistently chose cards which accurately fitted their life-situation. I’ll give some examples:
a) A woman I had never met asked for a general reading (i.e. not a specific question). In such circumstances I use a spread called the Triangle, the first two cards of which refer to the current situation. For one of these she chose the Three of Cups. Some of the standard interpretations of this card are: a celebration, a joyful occasion, commitment in a relationship after the first phase of infatuation. So I asked “you haven’t by any chance just got engaged?” She told me she had in fact got engaged the previous week.
b) I gave a reading to a young man – I think he was somewhat unwilling, but was put up to it by some of his friends. It was a strange experience, since he was like a statue throughout, totally rigid, no bodily movements, no facial expressions. In the conversation that followed, he told me that he assumed that successful readings were achieved through picking up visual clues and so on (thus the cold-reading techniques mentioned above). He was therefore determined not to give anything away. He didn’t need to, however, because he gave it away in the cards he chose. In the same Triangle spread mentioned above, he chose as one of his current situation cards the Four of Swords. Some of the standard meanings are: calm after a storm, putting one’s life back together after a difficult time, a specific situation being a recovery after separation/divorce. He looked young (early twenties), so I said something along the lines of “You look too young to be divorced, but I’m guessing you are recovering from a painful separation”. He agreed that this was in fact the case.
c) At a time when my mother-in-law had been recently widowed, I gave her a reading using the Celtic Cross spread, which is used in response to a specific question. The fifth card (out of ten) chosen refers to the recent past. She chose the 10 of Swords, which refers to a death or a disaster, the only card of the 78 which has that meaning.
I hope it is clear from these examples that if a reading is accurate, it is not because of any trickery, but is a result of the querent’s choice of (I repeat face-down) cards. So what are the implications of this? If all this is not just coincidence, and readings are indeed meaningful, there must be a hidden, unconscious intelligence which knows which cards are which, and guides the querent to choose the appropriate ones to enable the reader to give a meaningful reading. If this is the case, I would suggest that this hidden intelligence is the higher, subliminal Self, as described in the previous article above. (When I offer suggestions to first-time people, I say that one of the face-down cards may suddenly seem appealing, stand out in some way. When I am being given a reading myself, I notice that this is in fact the case – something that I can only loosely call intuition makes one card stand out.)
Obviously this hypothesis will seem totally ridiculous to rationalists, and will be completely unacceptable to them. That’s just unfortunate; I’ll have to live with it!
The I Ching coin consultations do not require significant further discussion, since the principle is broadly similar to the Tarot. The interesting difference is that with the Tarot the querent does actually choose the cards, which allows the possibility of some involvement of the hidden self. When the coins are thrown, however, the person has no control of how they land, so it seems that one would have to ascribe this to “chance”. (Can the hidden self control how coins land?) Yet meaningful answers are the rule!
Some physicists assure us that everything can be explained by a combination of the four fundamental forces of the universe. The I Ching consultation suggests otherwise. Their assumption would be that if one took into account the starting-positions of the coins in the hand, and knew the exact force used when throwing them into the air, and so on, then one could predict how they would land. This is probably true. That the way they land leads to meaningful readings from an oracle book suggests that some mysterious intelligence is at work, that mind (of some kind) is another type of force to be taken into account. In this context, Jung notes, while offering his own alternative explanation, that the traditional Chinese view is that “spiritual agencies” are at work, “acting in a mysterious way” (5). He also notes that the book “purports to be animated” (6). Whether true or not, that is certainly how it seems. The latest, growing trend among contemporary physicists and philosophers is to consider consciousness/mind as more fundamental than matter. Here is some evidence that they might be right!
1. For my songs about the Tarot (called The Way), and the I Ching (called 6×3=?), check out my youtube
2. Parragon, 1997
3. Pan Books, 2012
4. Foreward to Routledge & Kegan Paul edition, 1968 (1978 reprint), Pxxix. The whole foreward is essential reading for anyone interested in the mystery of the I Ching.
5. Ibid. Pxxv
4. Raynor C. Johnson: The Imprisoned Splendour
If the contents of my articles so far could be found united in one person, my choice would be the late Raynor C. Johnson. He wrote several books about spirituality and mysticism, with a strong interest in parapsychology. Here I will focus on just two of them, The Imprisoned Splendour and The Spiritual Path, (henceforward IS and SP when referred to quotes).
Before I go on to discuss him, I would like to share a personal anecdote. In my article The Spirit of Guidance above, I mentioned the idea of strong intuitions, which Rosalind Heywood called “orders”. I said there that I have had some experiences of this but did not go into details there. Here is one example.
One day while travelling on a bus on the way home from work, something very insistent was making me know that in my local library there was a book that I had to read. It is hard to put into words exactly how I experienced this. It was not an inner voice speaking, but as if that were the case; something was gripping me, filling me with this certain knowledge. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before, so I experienced a certain reluctance to obey, thinking that it seemed like a crazy idea. However, I felt sure that this prompting was not going to let go, and I had nothing to lose by going to the library to find out (apart from discovering that the whole experience was in fact crazy, if no book was there). So I went. I had recently gone through a period of intense experiences which, taken together, could be called a religious conversion. So it seemed highly likely that this book would be something on that theme. I went to the religion section, and perused the books there. One title jumped out, Johnson’s The Spiritual Path. The epigram at the front, taken from John Bunyan’s poem The Pilgrim, hinted, given my state of mind at that time, that this might be the intended book, but then something much more extraordinary happened.
The central event in my “conversion” was a synchronicity in which the external element involved a church and a quotation from the Bible. That doesn’t sound much when put into words, but it was a truly shattering experience. That experience led me a little later to read the four gospels for the first time. That was very interesting; I found lots of material that I would not have expected. Subsequently, I wanted to collect my thoughts on what I was reading, so I made some notes, started writing what might become later essays/articles. That was the situation when I was standing in the library, looking at this book. I then opened it to a random page and, to my amazement, I saw a paragraph which closely reflected something that I had written myself, sometimes using almost the same words, just a few days previously. That was the decisive factor which let me know that this was the book that was intended by these “orders”.
What do I understand by all this? Obviously it seemed that the Spirit of Guidance wanted me to be aware of this book, was offering it to me as a textbook for understanding life, religion and, as the title states, the Spiritual Path. There is a further extraordinary implication, however. We tend to think that we make decisions, that we have free will to a certain extent, (despite the attempts of some neuroscientists to persuade us otherwise). When I was writing those notes on the gospels, I assumed I was doing it to clarify, make a record of my ideas. In retrospect, it seemed that actually my hidden self was controlling my ego to write those words, in preparation for the later experience in the library. If true, this is significant evidence that our ego can sometimes be the unconscious ambassador of the hidden self.
Who is Raynor Johnson? Biographical details can easily be found online, so here I’ll be very brief. He has very strong intellectual credentials: he won a scholarship to Oxford University, obtained BA, MA and PhD degrees, then went on to have a distinguished career in science (physics) and university education. He is therefore a formidable figure.
I’ll now list the reasons that led me to make the statement at the beginning of this article (I concede, in the light of the above, that his ideas may have had some influence on my thinking, although on the whole what I have said in earlier articles is based on my own experiences.):
a) Although he does not mention the term Perennial Philosophy (except in the bibliography of suggestions for further reading, where Aldous Huxley’s book is found), he is deeply steeped in its ideas and traditions. His ideas seem closest to Hinduism (he quotes the Bhagavad Gita, which is sometimes described as the foremost expression of the Perennial Philosophy). At the same time, he is very comfortable with Christianity, Buddhism and philosophers like Plato, thus a figure who wants to synthesize, not promote one tradition over another.
b) He is a significant precursor of Kelly’s group’s Beyond Physicalism, although he is mentioned only briefly there. The title Imprisoned Splendour, which is a term taken from Robert Browning’s poem Paracelsus, suggests that something very special (the soul) has been trapped within something which limits it (the body/brain). This fits in neatly with the transmission model of William James, which is one of the core beliefs of Kelly’s group. This states that consciousness pre-exists the brain, which serves as an organ to limit, restrict it, thus to be in a position to transmit or permit ‘expressions of mind, consciousness, feelings, willings, imaginings, and so forth’ (1).
Johnson doesn’t use Kelly’s term “evolutionary panentheism”, yet a statement like this strongly suggests it: ‘Our conception of the significance of evolution is, then, of Mind seeking development – which means ever-increasing potentiality of awareness for the consciousness which lies behind Mind. It awakens from its dreaming state to its true growth or becoming by its downward plunge into the world of matter’ (2).
He was involved with the Society for Psychical Research in London, a student of and believer in ESP and the paranormal, like the Kelly group.
c) He is very interested in the ideas of Jung, and accepts his Individuation Process as the Spiritual Path (3). It is no surprise therefore that he believes strongly in the importance of dreams (4).
d) He is a figure who reunifies science and religion. As I said above, he was a distinguished physicist. He is very aware of the implications of quantum mechanics for our understanding of reality (5), which coincides with the worldview expressed by Eastern religions. He sees absolutely no conflict between proper science and religion/mysticism. At the same time, he is aware of the limitations of the scientific method. He thinks that intuition may be superior to the rational mind and, somewhat remarkably for a scientist, is willing to accept the writings of poets, specifically the Romantics, as a source of authority at least equal to, if not above, the theories of scientists. Several of them are quoted in The Imprisoned Splendour.
e) He thinks of the ego in the same way as I described in my Spirit of Guidance article. He says: ‘We shall regard the Ego as the lower self – an outpost or ambassador of the higher Self which in its true nature is essentially divine and rests beyond the flux and change of time and form’ (6).
He concurs with what I said previously about there being a plan for each new incarnation: ‘Before birth is undertaken, the soul has a preview of its new situation, and it sees the possibilities contained within it for the soul’s progress’ (7).
He is an advocate of Karma Yoga as one spiritual path. He says:’action in the right spirit is one way’ (8).
So I highly recommend these two books for anyone interested in seeking answers to life’s big questions. The Spiritual Path seems timeless. In the case of The Imprisoned Splendour, the reader has to remember the date of writing, 1953. Some of Johnson’s scientific statements in his non-specialist subjects might now benefit from knowledge of later developments. Yet it remains a comprehensive investigation, and reveals a profound understanding of the multi-levelled universe.
Johnson, Raynor C.:
The Imprisoned Splendour, Pelegrin Trust 1989, (originally Hodder & Stoughton, 1953)
The Spiritual Path, Hodder & Stoughton, 1972
Kelly, Edward et al.:
Beyond Physicalism, Rowman & Littlefield, 2015
1. Beyond Physicalism, chapter 3. The quote is on p80.
2. IS, p71-72
3. SP, p20f see also p188
4. SP, ch 18
5. IS, p297f see also p96, p99f,
6. IS, p298
7. SP, p65, p92
8. See IS, p353 and SP, p172. The quote is in IS, p407.