Near and Distant Horizons

In Search of the Primary Sources of Knowledge

John Herlihy

Hillsdale, NY: Sophia Perennis, 2005.
196 pages
ISBN: 1-59731-002-6
Price: $19.95 US
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ISBN: 1-59731-008-5
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With originality and insight, the author makes a compelling case for the need to identify the sources of a traditional knowledge that still has the power to enrich people’s lives in today’s materialistic and anti-spiritual world. What are the true sources of knowledge? Are there headwaters for the universal laws of nature? Is there a source so transcendent that it can resolve the perennial mystery concerning the origin of life and the creation of man? Is there a wellspring of knowledge that can neutralize the duality of the world by offering a unified vision of the Whole?

This work reflects in particular upon the significance of three principal sources of knowledge in the Islamic Traditions. They are Revelation as the expression of the supreme mind of God, Nature as the universal body of God, and Man as the human image of God. The book’s absorbing inquiry and reflective style throw light on the dark mysteries that still confront people today, and will appeal to readers interested in an alternative to the theories of modern science, taking them on an inward journey whose destination lies far beyond the horizon of our time.

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Question of Primary Sources


First Origin and Final Source—The Knowledge of a True Beginning—The Mystic Pen and the Guarded Tablet


Man Against the Last Horizons—Inside the World of Nature—Reading the Messages of Natural Symbols


The Symbolic Image of Man: Human Revelation and Living Source of Knowledge—Man's True Nature: Man's Spiritual Identity and His Human Role on Earth—Behind the Face of Man: Inside the Well of Human Consciousness—Afterword: Notes from the Edge

About the Author

John Herlihy was born into an Irish-American family in Boston, Massachusetts. He completed studies at a Paulist seminary and currently works as a lecturer in English in several Near and Far Eastern countries. In the early 1970s, he made the acquaintance of a Kashmiri Indian whom he now fondly remembers as 'the laughing Sufi'. In his book The Seeker and the Way he explains that his conversion was a raw and unexpected awakening that pulled him back from the abyss and set for him a new direction in coming to terms with the purpose and meaning of his life. Twenty years after his conversion and with a life-long interest in writing, he began to explore through words the complex nature of his relationship with this and the 'other' world. In addition to writing for such traditional journals as Sacred Web and Sophia, his publications include In Search of the TruthVeils and Keys to Enlightenment,Modern Man at the CrossroadsNear and Distant Horizons, and Borderlands of the Spirit: Reflections on a Sacred Science of Mind, all of which reflect upon the disparity between modernity and tradition and the pursuit of spirituality in today's anti-spiritual world.