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Experiential Paradigm
Record Type: Review   ID: 506

In Search of the Primordial Tradition & the Cosmic Christ: Uniting World Religious Experience with a Lost Esoteric Christianity

Rossner, Fr. John

"In this book the reader will be presented with the case for the existence--throughout the ancient world--of a widespread belief in (1) a Primordial Tradition of primal wisdom derived from higher forms of human mystical and psychical experience, and (2) the cult of a universal "God-Man" or pre-existent "Cosmic Christ," based upon visionary and intuitive experiences which helped to stimulate the very birth of Christianity as a world-religion" (p. xiii). Father Rossner says the source of the Primordial Tradition is "to be found--by those who are awakened--deep within the psyche in the "Collective Unconscious" of humanity, in the magical land of primordial archetypes or eternal "models." When touched and activated by what has been called--for lack of better language--the "Spirit of God" (pneuma--Greek; ruah--Hebrew; purusha and shakti--Sanskrit), this source has emptied its contents onto the plane of human vision and thus historicized or incarnated its eternal archetypes, ideas, or forms on the Earth plane in the lives and works of great men and women. The result has been all of the authentic gems that natural or human endeavors has ever known, in the beauties of nature, in the history of all art and science, religion and culture, and in the best moral and spiritual achievements of our race" (p. xiii).

"There are authentic, positive, and indeed universal forms of psychic and mystical experience which ordinary, sane people in many traditions can and do have today. . Recent transculural surveys show that the most common types of psychic and mystical phenomena transcend the doctrinal barriers of religion and culture all over the globe. And whatever they may be in contemporary, limited, "scientific" terms, psychic and mystical experiences involving so-called "paranormal" phenomena are not produced solely by hallucination or cultural conditioning. Such experiences have characteristically led to change in the world-views and cultural values of the persons who have had them, as well as change in the organization of their societies.

It is from such primal and universal psychic and/or mystical experiences that the "cosmogenic" and "soteriological" myths and legends embodying tales of healing, immortality, resurrection, ascension and apotheosis of gods and heroes, or other forms of transcendence of bodily death or transformation of consciousness, have arisen in ancient religions, among them Christianity, and cultures. The Primoridal Tradition is thus not merely an ancient system of belief and practice to be found in its entirety in any one of several historical cultures. It is, rather, a whole set of archetypical realities waiting to be discovered, at the highest reaches of the human consciousness, by all people" (pp. xv-xvi).

Publisher Information:St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1989. 293p. Chap. bibl: 255-271; 36 illus
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