A Personal Library

by The Editor

Contents List:

A Wide-ranging Theme
Personal Responsibility
The List as at 17 November, 2012:
And Finally...

Go to:

Introductory Information
"Campus"
Temple Library

A Wide-ranging Theme

The main theme I hope to develop in this "University" section is the search for a unifying Theory of Everything, i.e. for an intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually satisfying model that will give meaning to our human experience of, and our relationship to, the Universe in which we live and move and have our being, and so help us to live satisfying practical lives in an understandable world.

I originally hoped to do this mainly through presentation and discussion of the lectures of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry as revised by Albert Pike in 1857, and these have indeed provided a firm "backbone" for the project and have helped me to pace the presentation in manageable monthly instalments. To my mind, the culminating Lecture for Degree XXXII is an outstanding example of clarity and conciseness in philosophical exposition.

I introduced the "Hermetic Philosophy" Section based on the works of P D Ouspensky and G I Gurdjieff in order to give appropriate emphasis to the importance of human psychology in the creation of the individual mental "worlds" in which we all live and which serve us well or ill depending on how accurately they reflect the operation of the actual Universe.

The books re-published in the Ardue Library will help to throw additional light on various aspects of the search. However, the sincere student will also wish to read more widely. Many hundreds of books with a bearing on our theme have been published in the last hundred years and most of them are still covered by copyright. Some of these later books are more stimulating or more enlightening than others, and so I offer some suggestions for a short list of books which I have found particularly helpful and which should enable the student of slender means to assemble at least the nucleus of a useful personal library.

My criteria for selection are:
a. relevance to our theme;
b. clarity of presentation;
c. usefulness as sources of reference to other works;
d. stimulus for purposeful action.

Personal Responsibility

I must, however, once more warn the student against treating any book as conveying absolute and incontrovertible truth. The books in the Temple Library, as well those listed below, are rich sources of ideas: but each idea should be considered and tested against the student's personal living experience before it is incorporated into the edifice of a personal philosophy of life.

At the same time, I must advise against rejecting any new idea out of hand. Some of the ideas presented, often symbolically, may seem absurd to those who have all their lives been immersed in a culture of undiluted literal materialism, and it may then be necessary to suspend disbelief and try at least to entertain strange notions long enough to discover whether or not they might be accommodated within a wider mental perspective. So please read critically but tolerantly, and consider whether and how each new idea might fit into a coherent personal system of thought.

I myself have integrated many of the ideas presented in the Ardue Library and in these references into my personal philosophy, but I still have reservations about accepting notions which seem inconsistent with those key ideas upon which my personal philosophy is founded. I am, of course, still learning: and it is quite possible that, given further enlightenment, I may advance to a higher level of consciousness from which some or all of these difficulties will be resolved. There have undoubtedly been occasions on which a stone, once rejected by the builders, has later become a capstone.

My sole intention is to make the sincere seeker for personal truth aware of a few signposts which will help him or her to explore the accessible Universe and establish a satisfying personal relationship with it.

Books M and N were added to the List to coincide with the publication of Music as Meaningful Vibrations in August, 2006.

Books O through T were added to provide students for whom mathematics and physics are not favourite subjects with sufficient "background" to feel comfortable with the scientific approach to cosmology exemplified in Towards a Unified Cosmology. I have added Books U, V, and W to provide different views of the same theme.

Book ZInf, Zero to Infinity, is in a class of its own and is, in my opinion, worthy of mention in the same breath as Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica as marking a significant milestone in human progress towards understanding the physics of the Universe.

If I could afford only one of the books in this List, I should settle for After the Clockwork Universe — as the most comprehensive and understandable guide to the modus operandi of The Holy Spirit and having the greatest potential for all-round expansion of consciousness .

The List

Book A. Conditions of Freedom by John Macmurray

Early in the Summer of 1954, after I had graduated in Pure Science at Edinburgh University and was about to commence study for a Diploma in Education, Professor John Pilley sent each of his prospective students a list of six books he recommended be read before beginning the formal course. One of these books, Conditions of Freedom, by John Macmurray, then Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University, had a profoundly beneficial influence on my subsequent life, and I strongly recommend it to all lovers of liberty. I believe it is still in print.

The book contains the material presented in three lectures delivered at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, in 1949, when the memory of World War 2, fought in defence of liberty against dictatorial usurpation, was still fresh in the minds of his hearers.

Lecture Titles:

  1. Relativity of Freedom.
  2. Contemprary Conflicts
  3. Freedom in Fellowship

Book B. Interpreting the Universe by John Macmurray

As the title implies, this book is directly relevant to the concept of a University as a forum for dispassionate study of the Universe.

The book was re-published by Humanities Press, New Jersey, in 1996. The following is an extract from the publisher's blurb:
"John Macmurray argued that philosophers should learn to think from the standpoint of action, which involves participation in real life, and not from the perspective of the pure thinking self for whom the world is an object. At the heart of all his work was his attempt to reverse modern philosophy's commitment to an 'egocentric' starting-point, with the self understood primarily as thinker withdrawn from action and participation in the world. Macmurray did not reject the work of philosophy as a reflective activity, but he tried to recast its role in the service of more fulfilling and more basic personal communion with the world and, ultimately, with God.

"The concern for community, or persons in relation, has become one of the major preoccupations of many of the cutting-edge debates in contemporary philosophy and religion and is inspiring new directions in moral theory within those circles. Indeed, it can be said that Macmurray's work is really a 'philosophy of community'".

This edition of the book carries an introduction by A R C Duncan, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario.

Chapter Headings:

  1. The Universe in Immediate Experience
  2. Thought As Symbolic Interpretation
  3. Interpretation and Verification
  4. Mathematical Thought and Mechanism
  5. Biological Thought and Organism
  6. Psychological Thought and Personality
  7. Logic and Life

Book C. The Great Initiates by Edouard Schurι

Since time immemorial, human beings have contemplated the Universe and sought to understand its meaning and their own place in it. The striving continues, but it is helpful to revue what is known of the living tradition, as well as the history, of the struggle and gain some recognition of the constructive contributions of some of the great names of the past.

Schurι's work, with its Endnotes, casts a particularly helpful light on the Mysteries referred to in some of the Masonic Lectures which form the backbone of the Ardue University course of study.

First published in Paris in 1889, The Great Initiates was republished in English translation by Steinerbooks in 1961. The publisher says:
"The Great Initiates encompasses long centuries of human existence and reflects our great search — the greatest search of all — the quest for the spirit. This book describes the motivation behind external history, the growth of religious striving, the rise and fall of cultures, and indicates their importance for us today. It reflects the lives and deeds of human beings of extraordinary stature. In these pages one witnesses spiritual adventure of a depth and intensity rarely experienced by creative human beings, even in their most exalted moments. This aliveness, this freshness, this excitement of discovery, which breathes through The Great Initiates, may well explain its continuing popularity after over a century."

The 1961 edition of the book carries an introduction by Paul M Allen.

Chapter Headings:

  1. RAMA, The Aryan Cycle
  2. KRISHNA, India and Brahmanic Initiation
  3. HERMES, The Mysteries of Egypt
  4. MOSES, the Mission of Israel
  5. ORPHEUS, The Mysteries of Dionysus
  6. PYTHAGORAS, The Mysteries of Delphi
  7. PLATO, The Mysteries of Eleusis
  8. JESUS, The Mission of Christ

Book D. The Book of Hiram by Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas

First published by Random House in 2003, this book is the fruit of fourteen years' research into the traditions and history of Freemasonry by two men who are themselves Freemasons.

The authors tell a fascinating story ranging widely in space-time and uncovering many links between artefacts and astronomy, religion and ritual, nature and navigation. The book contains much food for contemplation, especially when read in connection with Albert Pike's Lectures.

Part One of the book consists of fourteen chapters constituting a history of the development of Freemasonry. A summary of conclusions at the end of each chapter helps the busy student to identify the main themes and concentrate his attention on those of immediate interest.

Part Two, The Masonic Testament, is a concise re-presentation in sixteen chapters of the history and principles of Freemasonry.

The book ends with a Time-Line, three informative Appendices, a comprehensive Bibliography, and a helpful index.

Book E. The Household of the Grail edited by John Matthews

This book, published by The Aquarian press in 1990, clearly mirrors the overall tenor of this Web site. The following is taken from the publisher's blurb:

"The Holy Grail has become an almost universal symbol of search and aspiration. Derived from the cauldrons of ancient Celtic myth, it later became identified with the cup used by Jesus in the Last Supper and which caught his blood in the Deposition from the Cross.

"The tradition of the Grail has not stood still, but is an evolving one, changing with each succeeding generation of seekers who set out upon the long and often difficult path of discovery. This new collection examines the lives and works of key figures who have changed our understanding of the Grail throughout the ages.

"Beginning with the unknown story-tellers of the Celtic cultures, who first told of the miraculous vessel, and proceeding to three of the greatest medieval writers on the subject — Chrιtien de Troyes, Robert de Boron and Sir Thomas Malory, The Household of the Grail continues by way of Charles Williams, Dion Fortune and Carl Jung, among others, to the modern mythographer Joseph Campbell.

"Each essay sheds light on a different aspect of the Grail, and the whole compilation together forms an extraordinarily varied picture of this magical and fascinating symbol. As well as highlighting the work of some outstanding individuals who have each carried forward the vitality of the Grail tradition, this unique account will illuminate and extend our own understanding of the power and relevance of the Grail in our own world."

Book F. The Holy Grail by Rudolf Steiner

This little book is published in the "Pocket Library of Spiritual Wisdom" series by Sophia Books, an imprint of the Rudolf Steiner Press. It is sub-titled The Quest for the Renewal of the Mysteries, and is a selection from the writings and lectures of Rudolf Steiner edited by Andrew J Welburn.

The publisher writes:
"The wisdom contained in this book is not derived via the usual methods of scholarly and historical research. Neither is it based on theory or speculation. Rudolf Steiner acquired his original contribution to human knowledge from metaphysical dimensions of reality which are hidden to most people — but visible to anybody who is prepared to develop spiritual means of perception.

"With his philosophical and scientific training, Steiner brought a new systematic discipline to the field of spiritual research, allowing for fully conscious methods and comprehensive results. A natural seer, he cultivated his spiritual vision to a high degree, enabling him to speak with authority on previously veiled mysteries.

"A sample of his work is to be found in this book of edited texts, which brings together excerpts from his many talks and writings on the theme of The Holy Grail. This volume also features an editorial introduction, commentary and notes."

Steiner's works do not make easy reading for the great majority of present-day readers, but regular visitors to this site will probably include a few who will appreciate the depth of wisdom in this little book in which the editor has done a fine job in selection and presentation.

Contents:

Introduction: The Quest for the Renewal of the Mysteries in Christianity by the Editor.

Part One: THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIANITY:
FROM THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES TO THE HOLY GRAIL

Part Two: THE HIDDEN STREAM

Book G. The Field by Lynne McTaggart

This book was first published by HarperCollins in 2001. The blurb says:
"During the past few decades, science has begun to prove what ancient myth and religion has always espoused: that there may be such a thing as a life force. Frontier scientists all over the globe have produced extraordinary evidence to show that an energy field — the Zero Point Field — connects everything in the universe, and we ourselves are part of this vast dynamic cobweb of energy exchange.

"Lynne McTaggart's book is a highly readable scientific detective story which reveals how the Field is responsible for many of the most profound human mysteries, from alternative medicine and spiritual healing to extra-sensory perception and the collective unconscious."

Contents:

Book H. The Presence of the Past by Rupert Sheldrake

This book was published by William Collins in 1988 and issued in Fontana Paperbacks in 1989. The cover blurb says:
"Why are rabbits rabbit-shaped? Once blue-tits began pecking the tops off milk bottles, why did the habit spread magically across Europe? After Roger Bannister ran the four-minute mile, why did it begin to be broken everywhere?

"In The Presence of the Past Rupert Sheldrake's explosive scientific theory provides a new and radical solution to the conundrums of life. Dr Sheldrake's hypothesis is that memory is inherent in nature — all natural systems from crystals to man inherit a collective memory of their kind. Thus, rabbits are rabbit-shaped not only because nature has a 'morphic field', in their case a rabbit-habit, that informs their growth and instinctive behaviour. According to Dr Sheldrake's theory of 'formative causation', this inherent memory depends on 'morphic resonance', a process that involves action at a distance in both space and time. Far from being stored as material traces within our brains, our own memories result from our tuning in to ourselves in the past."

Contents:

Introduction: The Habits of Nature

  1. Eternity and Evolution
  2. Changeless Laws, Permanent Energy
  3. From Human Progress to Universal Evolution
  4. The Nature of Material Forms
  5. The Mystery of Morphogenesis
  6. Morphogenetic Fields
  7. Fields, Matter, and Morphic Resonance
  8. Biological Inheritance
  9. Animal Memory
  10. Morphic Resonance in Human Learning
  11. Remembering and Forgetting
  12. Minds, Brains, and Memories
  13. The Morphic Fields of Animal Societies
  14. The Fields of Human Societies and Cultures
  15. Myths, Rituals, and the Influence of Tradition
  16. The Evolution of Life
  17. Formative Causation in Cosmic Evolution
  18. Creativity Within a Living World
Epilogue
Notes
Glossary
Research on Morphic Resonance
Index

Book I. In Search of the Miraculous by P D Ouspensky

This is a Harvest Book originally published by Harcourt Inc in 1949. The 2001 edition carries a Foreword by Marianne Williamson. The publisher says: "Since its original publication, this has been hailed as a primer of mystical thought as expressed through the Work, a combination of Eastern philosophies. G I Gurdjieff, the influential spiritual leader, introduced the Work to the West, attracting many students, among them P D Ouspensky, an established mathematician, journalist, and eloquent and persuasive proselyte.

"Ouspensky describes Gurdjieff's teachings in fascinating detail, providing a stellar introduction to the universal view of both student and teacher, and inspiring great thinkers and writers of ensuing spiritual movements. In a new foreword, the highly acclaimed Marianne Williamson shares the influence of the book on her own life, providing a contemporary look at a timeless classic.

"P D Ouspensky was born in Moscow in 1878. A highly respected intellectual, he wrote The Fourth Dimension, Tertium Organum, and A New Model of the Universe, among others. In Search of the Miraculous was posthumously published in 1949, two years after his death."

As the book is written in the form of a narrative recounting the development of Ouspensky's personal relationship with Gurdjieff, the book has to be attentively read in order to discern the full meaning of the ideas discussed therein.

Themes: Among the many themes presented in Gurdjieff's lectures are:

After parting company with his "Master" in 1918, Ouspensky gave talks and lectures expounding the teachings. Verbatim extracts fron the talks and answers to questions given by Ouspensky between 1921 and 1946 are given in The Fourth Way — The Teachings of G I Gurdjieff, published as an Arkana Paperback in 1986.

Book J. The Wisdom of the Overself by Dr Paul Brunton

This book was published by Rider and Company in 1943 and has since been reprinted and re-published many times.

Paul Brunton, PhD, 1898-1981, was widely recognised as an authority on Eastern mystical philosophy. This book is the culmination of many years of research, study, and self-discipline. The author writes:
"It may well be that these pages will appeal only to those who have the perseverance to get over their first fright at unfamiliar forms of thought and who are prepared to force their way, however slowly, through a subtle metaphysic to the subtler truth about this God-dreamed universe which it seeks to express. For the intellectual study of the way to what transcends intellectual experience cannot be an easy activity, But if any cannot comprehend this teaching in all its completeness, let not this fact depress them. Its profundities and difficulties exist and are admitted but its surfaces and simplicities also exist and are within their grasp. Let them take the latter therefore and leave the rest unworriedly for future growth, whether it be within the present incarnation or a later one. Even their faith and interest will alone suffice to bear good fruit. And even those who feel they have neither the external conditions nor the internal inclination to undertake such a quest may feel heartened merely to know that the Overself is, that life is significant, that the world makes a rational whole, and that righteous conduct is worth while."

Contents:

Book K. Same Soul, Many Bodies by Dr Brian Weiss

First published in the USA in 2004 by FREE Press and in the UK in 2004 by Piatkus Books Ltd., this book is listed here not only because it gives an account of past-life regression under hypnosis but also suggests that hypnosis may also offer glimpses into future lives.

The following is an extract from the publisher's blurb:
"In Same Soul, Many Bodies, the bestselling author of Many Lives, Many Masters has not only regressed his patients into the past, but also progressed them into the future. He has discovered that our futures are variable — the choices we make now will determine the quality of our life when we return.

"For the first time, Dr Weiss takes patients into the future in a responsible, healing way. Using dozens of case histories, he demonstrates the therapeutic benefits of progression therapy, just as he has shown that journeys into our past lives can cure physical or emotional wounds in the present."

Book L. How to Know Higher Worlds by Rudolf Steiner

Regular readers of the Ardue site would be surprised and disappointed if this list did not include a source of guidance on how individuals might train themselves to be better mystics. Good books on this subject are scarce — because attempting to express mystical concepts in language designed by and for a narrowly physical world can be both misleading and psychologically dangerous. Book 2 in the Temple Library is too "advanced" for beginners, and the works of Dr Paul Brunton are insufficiently concise to appeal to the busy persons practical mystics are almost certain to be.

Rudolf Steiner's work (translated by Christopher Bamford and published by the Anthroposophic Press) can safely be recommended. It is clear, comprehensive, and practical, thus making it particularly helpful to the student who works alone without the help of a school.

Contents:

  • Book M. Sacred Geometry — Philosophy and Practice by Robert Lawlor
  • This book, published by Thames and Hudson, London, will prove a most valuable aid to the student who is interested in Hermetic Philosophy. The publisher's blurb rightly says: "This is an introduction to the geometry which, as modern science now confirms, underlies the structure of the Universe. The thinkers of ancient Egypt, Greece and India recognised that numbers governed much of what they saw in their world and hence provided an approach to the divine creator. Robert Lawlor sets out the system that determines the dimension and form of both man-made and natural structures, from Gothic cathedrals to flowers, from music to the human body. By also involving the reader in practical work (for which only a straight-edge, a pair of compasses and graph paper are needed) he leads with ease from simple principles to a grasp of the logarithmic spiral, the Golden Proportions, the squaring of the circle, and other ubiquitous ratios and proportions."

    Chapter VIII, entitled Mediation: Geometry becomes Music, is an essential introduction to the "science of mediation" and the relationship between form and sound.

  • Book N. Redioscovering Sacred Science edited by Christopher Bamford
  • This book, published by Floris Books, Edinburgh, is a collection of essays representing a fresh understanding of Pythagorean and Platonic traditions. It will appeal to minds liberated by quantum physics from the tyranny of material form and mechanism.

    The chapter headings are:

    1. Introduction: Homage to Pythagoras by Christopher Bamford
    2. Ancient Temple Architecture by Robert Lawlor
    3. The Platonic Tradition on the Nature of Proportion by Keith Critchlow
    4. What is Sacred in Architecture? by Keith Critchlow
    5. Twelve Criteria for Sacred Architecture by Keith Critchlow
    6. Pythagorean Number as Form, Colour, and Light by Robert Lawlor
    7. The Two Lights by Arthur Zajonc
    8. Apollo: The Pythagorean Definition of God by Anne Macaulay
    9. Blake, Yeats and Pythagoras by Kathleen Raine
    10. Notes on the Contributors.

  • Book O. Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction by Peter Coles
  • Through its "A Very Short Introduction" series, Oxford University Press offers inexpensive, accessible, but authoritative introductions to over 200 subjects of academic interest, and the list keeps growing. For more information, see OUP (Internet).

    Peter Coles, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Nottingham, has written an admirably clear and concise introduction to "the ideas, methods, and results of scientific cosmology", and I expect to refer to it quite frequently in my attempts to encourage readers of the Ardue Web Site to form their own ideas of "holistic" cosmology rather than merely rest content with "scientific" pronouncements on the purely "physical" aspects of the subject.

  • Book P. Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction by Timothy Gowers
  • There have been many new developments in mathematics since I last studied the subject in the early 1950s and, although I was formally qualified to teach science and mathematics, I had bever heard of, e.g., "Hilbert spaces". I therefore found this little book an accessible, enlightening, and entertaining account of the relationships between space and numbers.

    In his Preface, the author, who is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, writes:

    "If this book can be said to have a message, it is that one should learn to think abstractly, because by so doing many philosophical difficulties simply disappear. I explain what I mean by the abstract method in Chapter 2. Chapter 1 concerns a more familiar, and related, kind of abstraction: the process of distilling the essential features from a real-world problem, and thereby turning it into a mathematical one. These two chapters, and Chapter 3, in which I discuss what is meant by a rigorous proof, are about mathematics in general. Thereafter I discuss more specific topics.

    Very little prior knowledge is needed to read this book ... but I do presuppose some interest on the part of the reader rather than trying to drum it up myself."

  • Book Q. Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction by John Polkinghorne
  • I found this book a most helpful aid to updating my own ideas about the relationships between mind, matter, and mathematics.

    In his Preface, the author, a former Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Cambridge, writes:

    "The discovery of modern quantum theory in the mid-1920s brought about the greatest revision in our thinking since the days of Isaac Newton. What had been considered to be the area of clear and determinate processes was found to be, at its subatomic roots, cloudy and fitful in its behaviour. Compared with this revolutionary change, the great discoveries of special and general relativity seem not much more than interesting variations on classical themes. ... It is no exaggeration to regard quantum theory as being one of the most outstanding intellectual achievements of the 20th century and its discovery as constituting a real revolution in our understanding of physical process.

    "That being so, the enjoyment of quantum ideas should not be the sole preserve of theoretical physicists. Although the full articulation of the theory requires the use of its natural language, mathematics, many of its basic concepts can be made accessible to the general reader who is prepared to take a little trouble in following through a tale of remarkable discovery. This little book was written with such a reader in mind. Its main text does not contain any mathematics at all. A short appendix outlines some simple mathematical insights that will give extra illumination to those able to stomach somewhat stronger meat....

    "It is certainly the case that, though we know how to do the sums, we do not understand the theory as fully as we should. ... Important issues remain unresolved. They will demand for their eventual settlement not only physical insight but also metaphysical decision."

  • Book R. Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction by Frank Close
  • As indicated by the title, this book by a Professor of Physics at Oxford University is written from an exclusively materialistic point of view.

    The author's Foreword begins:

    "We are made of atoms. Within each breath we inhale a million billion billion atoms of oxygen, which gives some idea of how small each one is. All of them, together with the carbon atoms in your skin, and indeed everything else on Earth, were cooked in a star some 5 billion years ago. So you are made of stuff that is as old as the planet, one-third as old as the Universe, though this is the first time that those atoms have been gathered together such that they think they are you.

    Particle physics is the subject that has shown how matter is built and which is beginning to explain where it all came from...."

    This book deserves to be read carefully by readers of the Ardue Web site if only to highlight the weaknesses inherent in all attempts to explain the Universe from a purely physical standpoint.

    The particles "described" by Professor Coles are so tiny and separated so far from each other that a vivid imagination is needed to build up the humanly observable "matter" which supposedly results from aggregating countless billions of them by means of "forces" which supposedly link them together. When I reflect that the "high-resolution microscope" referred to on page 5 must itself be composed of particles much larger than the quarks it is supposed to observe, I cannot help but wonder how much of the subject is genuine inference and how much mere speculation — like the "big Bang" which is supposed to have unaccountably started everything we think we know.

    The strain this subject puts on the imagination makes "particle physics" seem more akin to theology or psychology than the hard physics Dr Johnson understood simply by kicking a stone.

  • Book S. Chaos: A Very Short Introduction by Leonard Smith
  • Having learned as a weather forecaster in the Royal Navy that practical meteorology is part science and part mystical art, I welcome this book as a down-to-earth introduction to a subject whose very name tends to discourage close acquaintance.

    The author is described as a "Senior Research Fellow in Mathematics at Pembroke College, Oxford, Professor in Statistics at the London School of Economics, and Director of the LSE's Centre for the Analysis of Time Series (www.lsecats.org)."

    The author's Preface begins:

    "The 'chaos' introduced in the following pages reflects phenomena in mathematics and the sciences, systems where (without cheating) small differences in the way things are now have huge consequences in the way things will be in the future. It would be cheating, of course, if things just happened randomly, or if everything continually exploded forever. This book traces out the remarkable richness that follows from three simple constraints, which we will call sensitivity, determinism, and recurrence. These constraints allow mathematical chaos: behaviour that looks random, but is not random. When allowed a bit of uncertainty, presumed to be the active ingredient of forecasting, chaos has reignited a centuries-old debate on the nature of the world.

    The book is self-contained, defining these terms as they are encountered. My aim is to show the what, where, and how of chaos, sidestepping any topics of 'why' which require an advanced mathematical background. Luckily, the description of chaos and forecasting lends itself to a visual, geometric understanding; our examination of chaos will take us to the coalface of predictability without equations, revealing open questions of active scientific research into the weather, climate, and other real-world phenomena of interest."

    Later, he says: "Some scientists still dislike problems whose results are expected to be irreproducible even in theory. The solutions that chaos requires have only recently become widely acceptable in scientific circles, and the public enjoyed the 'I told you so' glee usually claimed by the 'experts'. This also suggests why chaos, while widely nurtured in mathematics and the sciences, took root within applied sciences like meteorology and astronomy. The applied sciences are driven by a desire to understand and predict reality, a desire that overcame the niceties of the formal mathematics of the day. This required rare individuals who could span the divide between our models of the world and the world as it is without convoluting the two; who could distinguish the mathematics from the reality and thereby extend the mathematics."

    Well put, Sir!

    I hope a few such "rare individuals" will happen upon these pages and find help herein — not least in Leonard Smith's book.

    Book T. The Secret of the Creative Vacuum by John Davidson M.A. (Cantab)

    The sub-title of this book is Man and the Energy Dance — which pretty well summarises our relationship to the Universe of which we are part and in which we live.

    The book was first published in 1989 by the C.W. Daniel Company Limited, ISBN 0 85207 202 3, and reprinted in 1994.

    The publisher's blurb reads, in part:

    "Modern man has sought answers to life's deepest questions through an increasingly detailed analysis of matter. Yet results have proved elusive, pointing as much, if not more, to the importance of the seeker's own mind as to matter itself.

    "Mystics, on the other hand, have sought answers to the same questions through an inverse process: a 'turning within', studying mind and consciousness through specific meditational practices.

    "But both have reached the same conclusion: that mind and matter, energy and consciousness, are too intimately entwined to be separately understood."

    Regular readers of the Ardue pages will find much in this book to interest and inspire them.

    Book U. The Quark and the Jaguar by Murray Gell-Mann

    This book, by a Nobel prize-winning Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, is sub-titled Adventures in the Simple and the Complex. It is a "highly personal vision of the connections between the basic laws of physics and the complexity and diversity of the natural world".

    Book V. The Lightness of Being by Frank Wilczek

    Frank Wilczek won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004 for work he did as a student. Here, he asks: "What's the meaning of it all? Or, rather: what exactly is 'it'?" He examines the very nature of reality itself, showing how almost everything we think we know is wrong.

    This is a clearly and humorously written, easily accessible, and most informative introduction to quantum chromodynamics (QCD) or, as the author says, "quantum electrodynamics on steroids". The book contains explanatory appendices, comprehensive glossary, and helpful notes. It is highly recommended, partly because it reinforces my personal conviction that the ultimate "It" is what I call "The Holy Spirit". The book was published in 2008 by Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, London. ISBN 978-1-846-1425-1. An associated website is at Its from Bits.

    Book W. Does It Matter? by Graham Dunstan-Martin

    Sub-titled The Unsustainable World of the Materialists, this book is published by Floris Books, Edinburgh, ISBN 0-86315-353-2.

    The publisher's blurb reads:

    "Materialists claim that the mind, consciousness, life, evolution, and the Universe can be explained as the purposeless dance of unconscious particles governed by chance. This book asks, "Does materialism makes sense?".

    "Graham Dunstan-Martin delves into areas as diverse as quantum physics, cosmology, artificial intelligence, brain science, biology, mysticism, and philosophy, to assess the probabilities that the materialists are right. Are we, he asks, living souls? Does our Universe in fact have a Designer?

    "He concludes that computers will never become conscious; that the mind is not the same as the brain; that we genuinely and creatively possess free will; and that our experience of diverse levels of consciousness simply cannot be explained by materialism.

    Book X. The Vortex — Key to Future Science by David Ash and Peter Hewitt

    This book is published by Gateway Books, The Hollies, Wellow, Bath, England, BA2 8QJ. ISBN 1-85860-019-7. Despite its immodest title, I include it because it is written in a style that makes it accessible to the lay reader and provides a great deal of nourishing food for digestion by the creative imagination. It is therefore a valuable complement to the more technical publications in the List.

    The publisher's blurb reads: "This remarkable book is a step into another dimension. The authors' rediscovery of the forgotten vision of an outstanding Scottish scientist [Lord Kelvin, 1834-1907. — Ed.] promises a revolution which could change our thinking about everything. Pointing to a bridge between the physical and non-physical worlds, it opens the frontiers of science to the supernatural [I dislike that word! — Ed.] in a way never before possible. It also demonstrates the immense powers available through nature to those working on subtle energy levels.

    "This important book was first published under the title of Science of the Gods. It offers new support for the reality of the supernatural, paranormal, and psychic. It brings man's traditional beliefs — in miracles, unseen worlds, and life after death — into a credible framework. Many otherwise mysterious and inexplicable phenomena become reasonable. Compulsive reading for anyone interested in the interface between science, religion, and spirituality."

  • Book Y. Atlantis — The Fate of a Lost land and its Secret Knowledge by Rudolf Steiner
  • This little book is published by Sophia Books, an imprint of Rudolf Steiner Press.

    Chapter headings are:

    • Introduction — Atlantis and Prehistory — A Modern Perspective, by Andrew J Welburn.
    • The Continent of Atlantis: The moving continents.
    • The History of Atlantis: The earliest civilizations; The beginnings of thought.
    • Etheric Technology: Atlantean 'Magic' Powers; Twilight of the magicians.
    • The Divine Messengers.
    • Atlantean Secret Knowledge: Its betrayal and subsequent fate; The origins of the Mysteries.
    • Concluding Survey: Atlantis and Spiritual Evolution.

    There are also Notes, Sources, Suggested Further Reading, and a Note regarding Rudolf Steiner's Lectures.

  • Book Z. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  • This book is published by Transworld Publishers, ISBN 9780593054277.

    Regular readers may be surprised to find an out-and-out thriller in this list, but life is full of surprises and there may be some interesting ones in this book. If you feel doubtful, borrow a copy from a public library before you buy.

    It will also be an acceptable Christmas present for many bookworms.

  • Book AtoZ. Ponder on This
  • This book was compiled by a student from the writings of Alice A Bailey and the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul. It is published by the Lucis Publishing Company, New York and by Lucis Press Ltd, London. ISBN 0-85330-131-X.

    The subject headings of the 185 articles in the book are arranged in alphabetical order, making this a veritable encyclopedia of Eastern mystical thought. Readers will find plenty to ponder upon.

  • Book ZI. Zero to Infinity by Peter Rowlands
  • Sub-titled The Foundations of Physics and published by World Scientific (www.worldscientific.com) in 2007, this book is written primarily for mathematical physicists and is included here mainly to facilitate reference because it contains many ideas and allusions potentially of great interest to non-specialists like myself. It may well come to be recognised as the most significant contribution to scientific literature since the Principia of Sir Isaac Newton.

    The author, Peter Rowland of the Oliver Lodge Laboratory, University of Liverpool, is generous in acknowledging the help of many specialists in fields as diverse as biology, computing, cosmology, mathematics, and physics.

    The publisher writes:
    "Unique in its field, this book uses a methodology that is entirely new, creating the simplest and most abstract foundation for physics to date. The author proposes a fundamental description of process in a universal computational rewrite system leading to an irreducible form of relativistic quantum mechanics from a single operator. The methodology finds immediate applications in particle physics, theoretical physics, and theoretical computing. In addition, taking the rewrite structure more generally as a description of process, the book shows how it can be applied to large-scale structures beyond the realm of fundamental physics."

    In other words, the book describes what may well be a successful attempt to build a computer model of the modus operandi of the Holy Spirit. For me, it represents a significant step towards unification of the various educational, philosophical, and religious disciplines. All further additions to this List will contribute to this holistic theme.

  • Book ACU. After the Clockwork Universe by S J Goerner
  • Sub-titled The Emerging Science and Culture of Integral Society and published by Floris Books of Edinburgh, this book makes an admirable companion to the Ardue Web Site.

    The publisher writes:

    "This book explains why great change is simmering in all facets of our civilization, from economics and politics to science and spirituality.

    "Our inherited concept of a machine world — the clockwork universe — is giving way and the vision of a web is rising to take its place. Goerner explains the new and profound rethinking across modern science, from anthropology to physics. Interdependence is now seen as central to understanding organization and change at all levels from chemical networks and living cells to ecosystems, cities, and economies.

    "The author weaves current realities and new scientific insights into a fascinating vision of history and science progressing through upheavals and rebirths up to the present day. Humankind, too, is bound into the patterns and processes of this web world, and Goerner describes the already visible signs of an emerging integral Society in which head, heart, and soul need no longer be at odds.

    "Integral culture has the potential to build a more sustainable and peaceful civilization. Yet, all great change comes as a result of pressure and the author warns that our present social and economic systems are already becoming unstable. If we do not integrate the core lessons of the web world — learning, collaboration, and intricacy — into our ways of life, we face the spectre of collapse.

    "Dr Goerner's book is fascinating and amazing in scope. This is the current human condition, socially and scientifically laid out for all to see."

    I heartily concur.

  • Book CTL. Catching the Light by Arthur Zajonc
  • Most appropriately sub-titled The Entwined History of Light and Mind, this book published by Transworld Publishers makes an admirable companion for quiet meditation on the contents of this Web site.

    Oliver W Sacks writes: "Catching the Light is an extraordinary work, a multi-levelled history about virtually everything that human beings have thought about light and seeing in the last three thousand years. Zajonc ... carries his enormous erudition with such grace, such ease and naturalness, that one feels nothing but intellectual delight and excitement as one reads. Catching the Light is both an amazing synthesis and a joy to read — I have not enjoyed a book so much for a long time."

    Roger Penrose writes: "In Catching the Light, Arthur Zajonc provides us with a wonderful cross-cultural study of the mysteries of light, sweeping masterfully from the poetic and historical to the profundities of the modern scientific viewpoint."

  • Book PWM. The Passion of the Western Mind by Richard Tarnas
  • This book is published by Pimlico, an inprint of Random House, London.

    I cannot improve on the publisher's words: "Here are the great minds of Western civilization and their pivotal ideas, from Plato to Hegel, from Augustine to Nietzsche, from Copernicus to Freud. Richard Tarnas performs the near miracle of describing profound philosophical concepta simply but without simplifying them. Ten years in the making and already hailed as a classic, The Passion of the Western Mind is a complete liberal education in a single volume."

  • Book CAP. Cosmos and Psyche by Richard Tarnas
  • A Viking publication by the Penguin Group, I was privileged to attend its launch in London in July, 2006, during which the author confided that The Passion of the Western Mind was essential preparation for writing this book. I am glad to be proud owner of a dedicated copy.

    The publisher writes: "Based on thirty years of research, Cosmos and Psyche is the first book by a widely respected scholar to demonstrate the existence of a direct connection between planetary movements and the archetypal patterns of human experience. The book examines such famous epochs of cultural rebellion as the 1960s and the French Revolution, as well as periods of historical crisis such as the world wars and September 11 and its aftermath. Tarnas also explores comparable patterns and planetary correlations in the lives of many individuals from Darwin, Nietzsche, and Freud to Martin Luther King, Betty Friedan, and John Lennon.

    "Cosmos and Psyche sheds new light on the unforlding drama of human history and our own critical age. It also suggests a new possibility for reuniting religion and science, soul and intellect, ancient wisdom and modern reason in the quest to understand the past and create the future."

  • Book GOC. Genesis of the Cosmos by Paul A. LaViolette, Ph.D.
  • This book, published by Bear & Company, Rochester, Vermont. and sub-titled The Ancient Science of Continuous Creation, not only complements Ron Pearson's Lecture 53 in the Hermetic Philosophy series but also, by adopting a systematic historical approach to the study of transmission of knowledge, serves to unify the contents of the Ardue Web Site in a new way. This work deserves a place in the library of any student who seeks a well-rounded education.

    The publisher says:
    "Recent developments in theoretical physics, including system theory and chaos theory, are challenging long-held mechanistic views of the Universe. Many thinkers have speculated that the remnants of an ancient science survive today in mythology and esoteric lore, but until now the scientific basis for this belief has remained cloaked in mystery. Paul LaViolette reveals the remarkable parallels between the cutting edge of scientific thought and creation myths from the dawn of civilization. With a scientific sophistication rare among mythologists, LaViolette deciphers the forgotten cosmology of ancient lore in a groundbreaking scientific tour de force. In direct, nontechnical language, he shows how these myths encode a theory of cosmology in which matter is continually growing from seeds of order that emerge spontaneously from the surrounding subquantum chaos.

    "Exposing the contradictions that bedevil the big bang theory, LaViolette offers both the specialist and the general reader a controversial and highly-stimulating critique of prevailing misconceptions about the seldom-questioned superiority of modern science over ancient cosmology. By restoring and reanimating the ancient scientific worldview, Genesis of the Cosmos leads us beyond the restrictive metaphors of modern science and into a new science for the 21st century.

    "Paul A. LaViolette, Ph.D., holds degrees in physics and systems science and has conducted original research in general systems theory, theoretical physics, astronomy, geology, climatology, and cosmology. He lectures internationally and his work has been published in numerous professional journals."

    For specialists, this author has also written Subquantum Physics — A Systems Approach to Physics and Cosmology.

    Book MOT. Meditations on the Tarot by an anonymous author

    Paul LaViolette uses the symbology of Astrology and the Tarot to help convey an understanding of the mystery of the Genesis of the Cosmos. There is An Introduction to Astrology in the "University" section of this site and there are two books on Astrology in the Ardue Library. This book of Meditations can help the sincere student reach new depths of understanding of the Tarot, the Cosmos, and the Self.

    This is a cry from the heart: if you can manage to study only one of the books in this list, please make it this one! I know of no other work which approaches the profundity of this study of mysticism under the guise of the card game which was designed to ensure the longevity of the underlying wisdom. Astrology has been represented in the Ardue library as being worthy of study; this book makes the Tarot more readily accessible than astrology and is probably more likely to appeal to "lost" souls in twenty-first century circumstances.

    Book SK. Subquantum Kinetics by Paul A. LaViolette This is a more technical exposition of the material presented in Genesis of the Cosmos. It is published by Starline Publication, and I concur with the publisher's assertion that it presents "a novel systems approach to physics that has far reaching implications for field theory, astronomy, and cosmology". I am tempted to add "mysticism" to the list. For the mathematically inclined, I think LaViolette's books make admirable companions for ZERO to Infinity.

    Book ITSP. Intuitive Thinking As A Spiritual Path by Rudolf Steiner.

    Sub-titled "A Philosophy of Freedom", translated by Michael Lipson, and published by Anthroposophic Press, I "stumbled across" this book while browsing Amazon's Kindle offerings, and it forced itself on my attention as a source of such "deep" wisdom that I simply must draw it to the attention of readers of the Ardue site while I am still able to do so.

    And Finally...

    I have found Wikipedia, which may be consulted freely via the Web, to be a useful and fairly reliable source of detailed information about anything you care to think of. Point your browser at Wikipedia Main Page