Self and Spirit

Robert Bolton

San Rafael, CA: Sophia Perennis, 2005
192 pages
ISBN: 1-59731-056-5
Price: $19.95 US
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ISBN: 1-59731-057-3
Price: $34.95 US
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What is the basis and purpose of esoteric religion, and what is the self? Self and Spirit answers these questions in depth and in a way true to the spirit of traditional wisdom. This book illuminates from a new angle the Non-Dualistic conceptions that have become influential through the work of many modern traditionalists, including René Guénon and Frithjof Schuon, whose influence is evident in Dr Bolton’s treatment of religion and tradition. Here, Gnostic ideas usually taken to support pantheistic religion are shown to be able to provide a foundation for belief in a personal God. Religion is not forced into a preconceived system, because no attempt is made to evaluate all religious doctrines by the standard of one doctrine. Instead, certain profound ideas common to many traditions are invoked, these ideas being of a kind that cannot be identified with any one confessional origin. This in turn sheds new light on the dividing-line between the esoteric and the exoteric, and allows these ideas to combine in ways that are natural and free. The key to this new departure is the true nature of the individual self, a subject largely ignored by Non-Dualist thought. Here it is given its full weight, however, and its impact on all other realities is made clear. The relation of the self to its world is also here connected significantly to the cosmic role of religion, illustrating how a conversion from worldly to spiritual priorities can have consequences far beyond the personal concerns of those involved. Throughout, Bolton’s thinking is daring, yet true to traditional spirituality.

Table of Contents

Introduction—Reflections on the Stone—Dualism and the Soul—Between God and Nature—The Role of Ideas in Free Will—Self and Initiation: Conflicting Ideas—Platonism in Christianity—The Soul and Salvation—Conditions for Mystical Union—Life, Death, and Resurrection

About the Author

Robert Bolton was educated in the sciences, and developed a strong interest in Traditional metaphysics, obtaining from Exeter University the degrees of M.Phil. and Ph.D, with a special interest in the areas of free will, and personal identity and the soul. He is the author of four books, The Order of the Ages: World History in the Light of a Universal CosmogonyKeys of GnosisSelf and Spirit; and The One and the Many—all published by Sophia Perennis. Dr Bolton is also a regular contributor to the journal Sacred Web