Shadow of the Rose

The Esoterism of the Romantic Tradition

Charles Upton

San Rafael, CA: Sophia Perennis, 2008.
184 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59731-079-6
Price: $15.75 US
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Charles Upton: Human love has fallen on hard times; it has been ‘officially discredited.’ Even liberal humanitarianism is not what it used to be; how then can romantic love, which in its origins is essentially aristocratic (in Meister Eckhart’s sense when he said ‘the soul is an aristocrat’) find any place in today’s world? The truth is, it cannot. The world is too small for it. The place of romantic love is nowhere in this world; its place is in the human soul, whose own proper place is in the eternal self-knowledge of God.

Jennifer Doane Upton: The love of God is always secret. For most of us it is so secret that we are not even aware of it. All manifestations that appear around this love are false in a sense, and tend to mis-direct us. To look for the love of God itself within manifest conditions is always to go astray. We spend our time in the world being attracted to this and repulsed by that, and all the while we are blind to this one secret love.

Table of Contents



Love in the Kali-Yuga—The Nine Mirrors of Romance—On Courtesy—Chivalry, East and West—The Knights Templars and the Holy Grail—The End of Romance—To My Wife


High Romance and the Spiritual Path—Divine Beauty: A Meditation—A Fable—I: Another Life—II: Flood of Death—III: The People of Paradise—IV: Mansions of Love—V: Young Man—VI: The Meeting—VII: Three Views of Paradise—Reflections on St. Xenia of St. Petersburg—On Love and Wisdom—The Stones of Men—The Mountains—The Call—The Massacre—The Meeting with God—The Return—The Rain in the Desert—Speech and Silence

About the Author

Charles Upton, poet, author, activist, and veteran of the counter-culture, developed an interest in metaphysics 'via mythopoeia' and, having survived the social upheavals of the Sixties, and the psychic allures of New Age occultism, awakened at the end of the Eighties to the esoteric teachings of the traditionalists, eventually becoming initiated into Sufism. His critique of New Age occultism and modernism is his best-known work and is published under the title, The System of Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age (2001). Sophia Perennis has published many other books by Charles Upton. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, in Lexington, Kentucky.

Jennifer Doane Upton, author and scholar of Christian mysticism, was guided by Alvin Moore to embrace patristic Christianity in its Greek Orthodox form. One of the fruits of this relationship was her book Dark Way to Paradise: Dante's Inferno in Light of the Spiritual Path (Sophia Perennis, 2005), an exegesis of the Inferno according to Schuon, Burckhardt, Lings, Guénon and the Church fathers. She lives with her husband, Charles Upton, in Lexington, Kentucky.