American Indian Ways, Health for Scholars and the Art of Dying

• Our latest library addition is an exclusive and generous audio recorded interview with Chief James Trosper, Sun Dance Chief of the Shoshone people in Wyoming, who tells us about Native American spirituality, history and perspectives:

There is a lot of good blessings that have come to our people through this way of praying. It has been a really good way for us to get the help that we need, and also to be able to get close to Him, to be able to understand Him, to be able to learn and to become more like Him.

Click here to listen to or download several podcasts totalling more than 100 minutes recording.

• Socrates famously and poignantly said in the Phaedo that philosophers really pursue nothing other than “dying and being dead.” Jeremy Taylor, sometimes called the “Shakespeare of Divines,” wrote the classic English treatise on the Christian theory and discipline of Ars Moriendi (“the art of dying”).

We shall find that the computations of a man’s life are busy as the tables of sines and tangents, and intricate as the accounts of eastern merchants; and therefore it were but reason we should sum up our accounts at the foot of every page, I mean that we call ourselves to scrutiny every night, when we compose ourselves to the little images of death.

• From the Florentine Platonist and priest Marsilio Ficino, we bring excerpts of his very original work Three Books on Life (De vita libri tres), conceived as a medical companion for scholars, full of salutary advice within the framework of the ancient Greek and Hermetic tradition.

If lovers of truth ought to care for the corporeal spirit with such great efforts lest it either prove a hindrance in their pursuit of truth, or else serve them inadequately, then no doubt they must try still harder to cultivate with the teachings of moral philosophy the incorporeal
spirit, the intellect by which alone truth, being itself incorporeal, is apprehended.

• We would finally like to bring to your attention a book launch taking place in Cambridge on the 30th October: Michael Sugich, an American writer who was initiated into a traditional Sufi order over forty years ago has authored a unique eye-witness narrative of a mystical tradition that today hides in plain sight, a book based on the realization that for so many people the idea of sainthood is remote, historical and almost mythical. “I wanted to show a contemporary audience that these people are among us and what the transaction between a seeker and a saint looks like in our time.” Please follow this link for more details.