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The Awakening Ground: A Guide to Contemplative Mysticism (New)
by Smith, David Chaim
Publisher: Inner Traditions / Bear & Company
Binding: Hardcover with dust jacket
Book ID: 9781620555330, 1620555336
Usually available in 3-5 days
Contemplation begins with intellectual understanding. As contemplation deepens, the mind shifts from the accumulation of data to the unfolding of direct gnostic apprehension. This dissolves the idea that outer and inner or personal and cosmic distinctions exist, allowing phenomena to return to its basis as a single, uninterrupted continuum. As the mind becomes dwarfed by the sheer immensity of this vast wholeness, the character of meaning begins to change. Meaning s fullness shapes the mind rather than the mind s reflexes and habits shaping meaning. Meaning passes beyond the experiences that an individual uses to define themselves in the world, yet it arises nowhere else but from those experiences. This is the paradox of gnostic awakening.
Offering a step-by-step guide to the practice of mystical contemplation and direct ecstatic revelation, David Chaim Smith explores how to ride the razor s edge of the paradox of gnostic awakening and coax the mind from the sleep of habituation into nonconceptual gnosis. He sets the process within the symbology of the kabbalah, introducing six stages or gates of contemplation, each illustrated by original works of art that elaborate the stage s main tendency, kabbalistic implications, and symbolic functioning.
Drawing upon the 13th-century kabbalistic text "The Fountain of Wisdom," 17th-century alchemical texts, and writings of Isaac the Blind and other kabbalistic masters, the author reveals how meaning never remains static--its nature is to move, transmit, and display--yet its precious potential becomes buried under layers of mental constructs. He explains how the mind s habits and reflexes impose structures of containment to make sense out of phenomena, but these very structures obscure the essential nature of all phenomena. Smith s experiential path to gnostic awakening reveals how, in the wake of the lesser concerns of the contained mind, the primordial purity of creativity shines, great resonances of poetic beauty arise spontaneously, and a sensibility of wonder, awe, and delight is cultivated."
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