An impressive work that brings light to a mysterious ancient culture.

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Egyptian Religion and Mysteries

A collection of insights into the esoteric meanings of ancient Egyptian religious and spiritual practices.

This extraordinary book, the product of extensive research by author and Rosicrucian lecturer de Motte (The Grail Quest, 2003), is ideal for readers who want to go beyond ancient Egypt’s pyramids, artifacts and mummies. Here, in highly readable form, the author presents the broad outlines of the ancient Egyptian spiritual belief system—from the founding cosmology of a watery, amorphous pre-creation mass to the rise of Ra, Osiris, Isis, Horus and Seth, and on to the highly developed use of symbols as keys to mystic truths, comprehended only by a chosen few. Why do ancient Egyptian renderings of human figures have bird heads? The book gives the answer: They depict, among other things, the soul in flight, freed from an earthly cage and able to access other realms of reality. The book also explains how the scarab, an insect that stores balls of dung to feed its offspring, is intimately linked to the mighty sun god Ra, who must successfully pass through the underworld each night. One of the book’s main themes is the notion that, in every age, there’s a body of secret knowledge about life, death and the afterlife known only to initiates and never preached or recorded. That knowledge is passed on exclusively by word of mouth over the millennia, lest it fall into the hands of those who would abuse it. In the Egyptian model, the priestly class served this function in so-called “mystery schools” with elaborate pageantry. Although de Motte’s prose is highly readable, some readers may find this a difficult book to absorb. The author presents a very large amount of information here, and readers not well-acquainted with his topic may find it necessary to re-read it to keep from getting lost. Only bona fide Egyptologists can render scholarly judgment on de Motte’s dazzling pages, but neophytes will appreciate the author’s liberal citation of experts, even when he doesn’t agree with them.

An impressive work that brings light to a mysterious ancient culture.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2013

ISBN: 978-1479761838

Page Count: 148

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2013

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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