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There are two philosophers I have quoted below, although I'm not sure if the term philosopher is the most appropriate. They were more than just philosophers, too unique to be captured in just a word or two, as you might agree after reading these brief life summaries and selected quotes.
One, Emanuel Swedenborg, was a renowned Swedish scientist and seer, the other, G.I. Gurdjieff, a Russian-Armenian esoteric mystic, and yet both were much, much more.
The Latin phrase TERTIUM ORAGNUM, third logic, seems to apply to both of them. Partly philosophers, scientists, mystics, writers, adventures; they didn't just grunt away analysing words and nuances of meaning, but showing us worlds beyond the worlds we think we know, but don't.
The reason I created this post is that their writings had a great influence on my thinking after studying them several decades ago. I suppose it was only to be expected that their profound insights would resurface as I wrote the Elysium's Passage series. Many of their quotes, I believe are rare glimpses into the meaning of life and the afterlife.
For many, Emanuel Swedenborg and G.I. Gurdjieff have provided the world with unique philosophical, psychological and theological perspectives, although less so within traditional academic circles where little is known about them. My opinion is that the unconventional knowledge and understanding of these two remains far beyond the scope of humanity's general consciousness at this time.
But their ideas and vivid experiences will continue to spread because their lives and words resonate with truth and hope for all seekers of wisdom. And because of that, I believe their perspectives and deep insights into the human experience will continue to ripple throughout the world.
Tell me if you agree with my comment in the section at the end of this post. Thanks. NGM
GEORGES IVANOVICH GURDJIEFF
Gurdjieff lived his early years in the Transcaucasia region which had a rich ethnic mix comprised of Georgians, Armenians, Kurds, Greeks, Turks and Russians.
At the age of fifteen, he set out to wander the world, gleaning whatever ancient wisdom he could in scattered Sufi ashrams, Christian churches, Buddhist temples and assorted mystery schools across central Asia, Egypt, Rome, Iran, Russia and going as far as Tibet.
He later established himself back home in Russia where he taught his esoterica under his own auspices, often in Moscow and St Petersburg. In the first half of the twentieth century, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, his student, brought many ancient esoteric traditions to the Western world such as the Enneagram. He also wrote certain classical scores for piano designed to awaken human consciousness and introduced Sufi whirling dervishes by bringing several to New York to perform.
They escaped the Bolshevik revolution by travelling on foot down through Georgia to Istanbul in 1920. Each established their own institute, Gurdjieff in Paris and Ouspensky in London, as they taught and disseminated their ideas on the nature of consciousness and other arcane philosophies. For example, teachings in the Fourth Way school of thought include concepts such as being present, self-remembering and non-identification, to name just a few.
Unfortunately, concepts dealing with higher consciousness are not well understood or recognized in most universities in the West, since so few know anything about esoteric philosophy. (One notable exception is eminent Philosopher Jacob Needleman from San Francisco State University). Anything written by Gurdjieff, Ouspensky or other students such as Orage, Nicoll, Nott and Bennett are recommended, although certain books can be challenging at times. The Gurdjieff Foundation has several affiliate organizations throughout the world. (For more information, refer to the Gurdjieff Foundation web sites.)
Without self-knowledge, without understanding the working and functions of his machine, man cannot be free, he cannot govern himself and he will always remain a slave.
Conscious faith is freedom. Emotional faith is slavery. Mechanical faith is foolishness.
It is very difficult also to sacrifice one's suffering. A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering.
Awakening is possible only for those who seek it and want it, for those who are ready to struggle with themselves and work on themselves for a very long time and very persistently in order to attain it.
Two things in life are infinite; the stupidity of man and the mercy of God.
I will tell you one thing that will make you rich for life. There are two struggles: an Inner-world struggle and an Outer-world struggle...you must make an intentional contact between these two worlds; then you can crystallize data for the Third World, the World of the Soul.
In order to awaken, first of all, one must realize that one is in a state of sleep. And in order to realize that one is indeed in a state of sleep, one must recognize and fully understand the nature of the forces which operate to keep one in the state of sleep, or hypnosis. It is absurd to think that this can be done by seeking information from the very source which induces the hypnosis.
One thing alone is certain, that man's slavery grows and increases. Man is becoming a willing slave. He no longer needs chains. He begins to grow fond of his slavery, to be proud of it. And this is the most terrible thing that can happen to a man.
If you want to lose your faith, make friends with a priest.
Remember you come here having already understood the necessity of struggling with yourself — only with yourself. Therefore thank everyone who gives you the opportunity.
Better to die than live in sleep.
What is possible for individual man is impossible for the masses.
What is nearest to us is man, and you are the nearest of all men to yourself. Begin with the study of yourself; remember the saying 'Know thyself.'
The only type of sexual relations possible are those with someone who is as advanced and capable as oneself.
You are in prison. If you wish to get out of prison, the first thing you must do is realize that you are in prison. If you think you are free, you can't escape.
Life is real only then, when "I am".
Modern civilization is based on violence and slavery and fine words.
The one great art is that of making a complete human being of oneself.
The crowd neither wants nor seeks knowledge and the leaders of the crowd, in their own interests, try to strengthen its fear and dislike of everything new and unknown. The slavery in which mankind lives is based upon this fear.
Never will he understand the sufferings of another, who has not experienced them himself, though he has divine Reason Man such as we know him, is a machine.
Only help him who is not an idler.
Don't judge a man by the tales of others.
By teaching others you will learn yourself.
In speaking of evolution it is necessary to understand from the outset that no mechanical evolution is possible. The evolution of man is the evolution of his consciousness.
Man such as we know him, the "man-machine," the man who cannot "do," and with whom and through whom everything "happens," cannot have a permanent and single I.
He changes as quickly as his thoughts, feelings and moods, and he makes a profound mistake in considering himself always one and the same person; in reality, he is always a different person, not the one he was a moment ago.
In literature, science, art, philosophy, religion, in individual and above all in social and political life, we can observe how the line of the development of forces deviates from its original direction and goes, after a certain time, in a diametrically opposite direction, still preserving its former name.
A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake.
The sole means now for the saving of the beings of the planet Earth would be to implant again into their presences a new organ … of such properties that every one of these unfortunates during the process of existence should constantly sense and be cognizant of the inevitability of his own death as well as the death of everyone upon whom his eyes or attention rests. Only such a sensation and such a cognizance can now destroy the egoism completely crystallized in them.
It is very difficult to explain what takes place in me when I see or hear anything majestic which allows no doubt that it proceeds from the actualization of Our Maker Creator. Each time, my tears flow of themselves. I weep, that is to say, it weeps in me, not from grief, no, but as if from tenderness.
Swedenborg was a highly regarded scientist in Europe in the eighteenth century and was closely associated with Sweden’s royalty as a friend and administrator (Royal Assessor of Mines).
In 1741, at the age of 53, much of his life changed when he became exposed to the spirit dimension. First beginning with dreams, a few years later he reported his soul’s heavenly visitations that continued for the remaining twenty-eight years of his earthly life. This he described as his spiritual awakening. From then on he recorded his celestial visits that included speaking with hundreds of spiritual entities, not all in the higher realms.
He wrote several books of theological concern, with over eighteen works published in Latin. Most of his works are deeply profound, and for some, perhaps difficult to read. His most popular and arguably easiest to comprehend is Heaven and Hell (1758); a popular introductory summary of his experiences and conclusions.
Given the nature of his experiences and how remote his spiritual discourses were from conventional life, some considered his works insane. But this was largely mitigated by his impeccable reputation as a scholar and scientist with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He was also part in the Swedish House of Nobility (the Swedish Riddarhuset) and Parliament (Riksdag).
On a personal level, he was characterized as being a very pious and warm-hearted man, speaking easily and naturally. Many literary luminaries became devoted readers of his works including, Jorge Luis Borges, Daniel Burnham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Y.B Yeats, John Flaxman, George Inness, Henry James Sr., William Blake, Carl Jung, Immanuel Kant, Honore de Balzac, Arthur Conan Doyle, Helen Keller, Czeslaw Milosz, August Strindberg and D.T. Suzuki.
There are several books written on him and his works, many of which can be accessed online. The following quotes are a small representation of some of my favourites.
This I can declare: things that are in heaven are more real than things that are in the world.
Heaven is not located on high, but where the good of love is, and this resides within a person, wherever he or she might be.
We are all spirits inwardly. This is what's alive in the body, not the body on its own.
Such as the love is, such is the wisdom, consequently such is the man In a word, to grow old in heaven is to grow young.
Happiness is in service, from service, and according to service.
Love in its essence is spiritual fire. Man knows that there is love, but he does not know what love is.
A man after death is not a natural but a spiritual man; nevertheless, he still appears in all respects like himself.
The inner self is as distinct from the outer self as heaven is from earth. We do need to realize, though, that it is the quality of our love that determines the quality of this life.
Love comes into being through useful service to others.
We are, because God is.
Man, before he is being regenerated, does not even know that any internal man exists, much less is he acquainted with its nature and quality.
In the spiritual body moreover, man appears such as he is with respect to love and faith, for everyone in the spiritual world is the effigy of his own love, not only as to the face and the body, but also as to the speech and the actions.
People who have intended and loved what is evil in the world intend and love what is evil in the other life, and then they no longer allow themselves to be led away from it. This is why people who are absorbed in evil are connected to hell and actually are there in spirit; and after death they crave above all to be where their evil is.
Man, when he is re-born, passes through the ages as he who is born; and the preceding state is always as an egg in respect to the subsequent one, thus he is continually conceived and born: and this not only when he lives in the world, but also when he comes into another life to eternity: and still when he cannot be further perfected, then to be as an egg to those things which remain to be manifested, which are indefinite.
For heaven is within us, and people who have heaven within them come into heaven. The heaven within us is our acknowledgment of the Divine and our being led by the Divine.
Love consists in desiring to give what is our own to another and feeling his delight as our own. The nature of heaven is to provide a place there for all who lead good lives, no matter what their religion may be.
The activity of love and faith is what makes heaven. A life of faith without love is like sunlight without warmth—the type of light that occurs in winter, when nothing grows and everything droops and dies.
Faith rising out of love, on the contrary, is like light from the sun in spring, when everything grows and flourishes. For every man’s soul is in a spiritual body after it has cast off the material coverings which it carried about in the world.
When the topic of religion comes up, materialists start to debate about it with one another and with other groups. The ensuing proposition and debate rarely results in an affirmation of the faith that God exists.
Materialists associate more and more with the evil, because only from God can one do something good with a love for what is good. Every man is received in heaven who receives heaven in himself while in the world, and he is excluded who does not.
Goodness and love mould the form into their own image, and cause the joy and beauty of love to shine forth from every part of the face.
Heaven is such that all who have lived well, of whatever religion, have a place there.
What a man thinks in his spirit in the world, that he does after his departure from the world when he becomes a spirit.
The more one is absorbed in so-called philosophy, the greater one's delusion and blindness.
He who is in evil, is also in the punishment of evil. Such as the love is, such is the wisdom, consequently such is the man.
If you wish to read about the series' intriguing Back Story, I invite you to email me at email@example.com and I will send you the free ebook How it Came.
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SUMMARY OF ELYSIUM'S PASSAGE SERIES
Elysium's Passage is a series of seven novels regarding a young British philosopher named James Phillips who finds himself living in an altered state of reality while still remaining on earth.
After experiencing a near-fatal fall while climbing to the summit of a remote mountain in the Andes, James awakens in a new dimension. He soon encounters two mysterious beings who provide him with a very different perspective on the nature of his existence. Over the next year, before his body recovers from the coma, he is challenged to re-examine his understanding of life’s meaning and purpose far beyond anything he previously believed or could believe.
An engaging and sometimes surreal adventure with intimations of impending romance, the narrative explores the most important questions about life, death, reality and our ultimate destiny.
The Plains of Elysium (Champs-Élysées) was described by Homer, Hesiod, Virgil and many other poets as the paradisiac afterlife realm reserved for heroes. As the title suggests, this is about a journey through a passage that leads towards Elysium’s exciting realm of existence.
To read a sample press review at: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15515775.htm
PENDING PUBLICATIONS IN THE SERIES
With the exception of the last novel, the other three have been written but still require more editing before publication.
The following titles in the Elysium's Passage series are projected to be released as follows:
THE ASCENT fall 2021
THE SUMMIT fall 2021
QUANTUM LEAPS 2022
SURREAL ADVENTURES 2022
MYSTICAL ROMANCE f2023
HE ELIXIR 2023
THE RETURN 2024/5
The following comments are among the first Amazon reviews of Elysium’s Passage: The Summit. All are Five Stars! Other reader reviews are included below, along with excerpts from two professional reviews. To read full reviews, go to READER REVIEWS on www.elysiumspassage.com
"Quietly, gently, and without imposition, the Author unfolds the pages, creating an intricate, interlocking bridge spanning the chasm between mind and heart. Renewing, refreshing, restoring. In my bereavement, it was vigil and light…"
"A delightful mix of fantasy, reality, conjecture and humour; Mr Meyers draws the reader into the story with a gentle narrative that captures the imagination, leaving one anxious to get to the next page drawing you into his exceptional world.”
“Excellently written with an exceedingly deep understanding of this world and the next. The characters are very well written and engaging. I can't wait to complete this book!"
“Takes the reader on both a philosophical and spiritual journey, a journey that at times is both disquieting and tranquil. James, a British Philosopher can be irreverent and caustic, traits that should have left me cringing, but instead made me laugh out loud. Elysium’s Passage is a fun, enlightening and remarkable book.”
“This is a masterful fantasy, becoming a real possibility, as the reader is drawn into the story. The Summit leaves you anxious for the next book in the series, yet also leaves you totally satisfied with the world you have just visited. Genius! An exciting, yet calming, experience that is not to be missed."
"There was hardly a page on which I did not find at least one sentence worthy of hi-lighting for future reference. In addition, I thoroughly enjoyed the main character, James, whose personality and passionate verbal exchanges with the other characters, kept me coming back for more. I am reading the book for a second time while I wait for the next one in this series to be made available."
“N.G. Meyers has clearly put a great deal of research and thought into what the afterlife may look like and I like his perspective. It’s an altogether welcoming and exciting vision. The book gives one a great deal to think about and a reassuring confidence that the end of our lives is truly the beginning of life in the next. I highly recommend it."
“The humour interjected into a serious discussion makes me laugh out loud. Totally unexpected....l may be in the presence of at least a master, if not a genius. A fair ride into reality... seeking that which is unseen, yet absolutely real.”
“An engaging story of adventure embracing man's deepest desire to search for meaning and purpose, N.G. Meyers takes the reader on an adventurous thought-provoking journey. This book has substance. It is a perfect blend of adventure and fantasy combined with spiritual philosophy. It ignited my imagination. The author magically weaves a good story laced with wit and humour together with deep philosophical wisdom. This book has it all!”
“An evolution in thought is triggered by many fresh philosophical themes which could inspire readers to re-think their reality and former ideologies that have dictated their lives… the author fires readers’ imaginations to view what could be possible when spirit vacates the body.”
“This is the book spiritual seekers have been waiting for. For me, it granted a great read as well as increased inspiration to live every day with a heightened sense of purpose. I highly recommend it.
“The Summit is capable of hooking readers and luring them to search for Book 2 to discover more about Dr. Philip’s surreal trek into the mysterious unknown universe. This thick book is well worth the read and to share…”
“Mind-blowing statements and speculation (‘…everyone is a non-physical thought form conceived in the Mind of God, preserved for all eternity because God’s thoughts never die…’). Many will find Meyers’ journey up the Mountain intriguing—and possibly even life-changing.” (BLUEINK REVIEW)
“In its effort to grapple with fundamental questions about the meaning of life, it raises questions that have echoed throughout the ages, including about where we come from, where we are going, who we are.” (CLARION REVIEW)
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Sample press review: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15515775.htm