This Months Top Picks
Our picks this month range from a modern interpretation of the ancient Tao Te Ching, to a mindful kit to declutter your home, via a translation of Jodorowsky’s deeply transformative comics, an uncovering of the psychedelic side to Christianity, and an accessible book on the mystical teachings of Rumi and his mentor, Shams of Tabriz.
The Panic Fables: Mystic Teaching and Initiatory Tales (Alejandro Jodorowsky): Appearing for the first time in English, this book presents all 284 of Jodorowsky’s Panic Fables in full colour, along with an introduction by the author. He reveals how his first comics reflected his pessimism about the future and the meaning of life before realising he needed to show the positivity that he encountered, and thus, he began incorporating Zen teachings, initiatory wisdom, and sacred symbology into his Panic Fables. Through this transformation and the outpouring of support from his devoted readers, many of whom cite the Panic Fables as providing pivotal guidance during their adolescence, Jodo discovered art’s power to heal and elevate consciousness.
The Activist’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for a Modern Revolution (William Martin): Change and anger are in the air. Previously unquestioned institutions are under scrutiny and natural disasters seem to be ever increasing. William Martin turns to the Tao Te Ching and finds that while Taoism is known for its quiet enigmatic wisdom, it can also have the cleansing force of a rushing river and emphasises the “natural virtue” within humans that can help heal the planet. Martin elucidates revolutionary messages condemning power and greed, and reassures that “When injustice is the rule, Justice lies in wait”.
A Little Book of Mystical Secrets: Rumi, Shams of Tabriz and the Path of Ecstasy (Maryam Mafi): At long last, an accessible little book that focuses on the teachings of Rumi’s teacher and inspiration, Shams of Tabriz. Included in this slim, charming volume is a biographical sketch of the great Sufi teacher and mystic and a new translation of 500 of his core teachings that bring into fresh focus the meaning and mysteries of life and love. Rumi lovers, spiritual seekers, and devotees of the mystical path will meet this little book of wisdom and mystical secrets with enthusiasm.
The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity (Jerry B. Brown Phd., and Julie M. Brown M.A.): Throughout medieval Christianity, religious works of art emerged to illustrate the teachings of the Bible for the largely illiterate population. What, then, is the significance of the psychoactive mushrooms hiding in plain sight in the artwork and icons of many European and Middle-Eastern churches? Authors Julie and Jerry Brown question whether Christianity has a psychedelic history as they uncover the relationship between researcher R. Gordon Wasson, the famous “sacred mushroom seeker”, and the Vatican, that led to Wasson’s refusal to pursue his hallucinogen theory into the hallowed halls of Christianity.
The Home Declutter Kit: The Mindful Method to a Stress Free Home (Helen Sanderson): The Home Declutter Kit is an easy way to get organised and clear clutter from your life – fast. A simple step by step guide and 34 beautifully illustrated cards reveal the secrets to a tried and tested method that really works. It will help you sort through clutter in a systematic way, so you can create order from the chaos and let go of things you no longer need. Decluttering will save you time and money, boost your energy levels and increase your sense of wellbeing. As well as having extra room, you’ll create more space to think, opening up possibilities for new relationships, new jobs, new home and new ideas.
Bookshelf, Top picks