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Soul Images in Hindu Traditions: Patterns East & West

William J. Jackson (Author)
Synopsis The following passage from the last chapter of Hindu Soul Traditions by william J. Jackson expresses one of the book's main themes: "To explore evolution, cultural viability, the longevity of tradition, fitness in the universe, not avoiding dominant paradigms of our age, seems necessary now. The alternative, to pretend we are independent of a matrix, to act as if we’re not interwoven in the universe, seems false and foolish, Science and wisdom call out to each other; at some points they even converge. We need authentic initiations to the past and future both. If one is not initiated into ancient enduring patterns there is danger of life’s trivialization; if one is not initiated into the best of emerging patterns there is danger of mind's ossification. We need to try out new ideas." The Book soul Image in Hindu Traditions is about some of those new ideas, reflecting on topics of enduring interest. The science of recent decades in much different from the science of a century ago, and out view of the universe should reflect that fact. Recent research in physics, cosmology, biology and ecology reveals that the universe in much more dynamic, interrelated, complex, and less static had been thought by earlier scientific thought. To learn about the nature of the universe helps us to think in new ways about spiritual matters and religious traditions. All the great the great traditions have lessons to teach us, so it would be foolish to say to religions, as some modern people do, “A Plague on all your houses!” Concepts from various disciplines can help us to better understand the creative process in individuals and cultures and also to appreciate the importance of wisdom. Such concepts may aid us in realizing the possibilities of renewal in traditions and may help us in facing new challenges.
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About the author

William J. Jackson

University-Purdue University at Indian Polis where he has taught courses in Asian traditions and in the Comparative Religion since 1985. He received his B.A. at Lynodon State College in Vermont in 1975, and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in the Comparative Study of Religion in 1984. He lived in India for about four years, if you add up all his stays there, especially doing research in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. He studies culturally creative figures of South India and has published several books about them, including Tyagaraja, Life and Lyrics, and Songs of Three Great South Indian Saints (Oxford University Press). He is publishing a novel about America (Diving for Carlos) with Creative Arts Publishing in Barkeley, California. Jackson has a passion for the arts, and a strong interest in recent developments in science including fractal geometry and dynamical systems theory in relation to the humanities. He was a research fellow at the Bellagio Research Center in Italy in 2000, working on his fractals in the humanities project. He has published poetry and fiction in “the Northeast Kingdom” of Vermont, where he worked as a forest fire tower watchman for the State of Vermont of Bald Mountain. He still owns and regularly returns to the house he built in the mountains in Vermont.

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Bibliographic information

Title Soul Images in Hindu Traditions: Patterns East & West
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 817646323X
length xiv+361p., Figures; Index