Home/Main Menu     Site Map

Ways of Knowing
Record Type: Review   ID: 873

The New Gnosis: Heidegger, Hillman, and Angels

Avens, Roberts

 Philosopher Avens writes about gnosis as exemplified in the works of Heidegger and James Hillman, rather than their thinking as such. By gnosis Avens means a kind of "knowledge or thinking that is inseparable from being" (p. 3). Gnosis also has to do with cultivation of the soul which itself is a source of knowledge, with imagination or inner vision mediating between reason and belief/faith. Third, Avens quotes Henry Corbin, who wrote that gnosis is "knowledge that changes and transforms the knowing subject" (p. 4). At base, Avens says, gnosis "is a recollection, a remembering of a worldly soul and of an ensouled world" (p. 9). Accordingly, the first chapter, "Soul and World," is about overcoming dualism. As Avens puts it, "the whole of nature works through each thing, and each thing is a reflection of the whole" (p. 26). The second chapter is on phenomena, images, and angels. According to Heidegger's phenomenology, "we do not dictate reality, reality dictates us" (p. 29). The third chapter is on the "thought of the heart." He quotes Jacob Needleman, who refers to that which must be awakened in human beings "that is both highly individual yet at the same time free from mere subjectivity, something both my own and yet free from ego" (p. 43). This is the capacity that exceptional human experience can engender, if encouraged. Avens concludes that "we know the world because our personal soul is from the very outset related to the world soul" (p. 48). In a chapter on "Language, Poetry, Art," Avens discusses the overcoming of dualism in these disciplines. In Chapter V, "Play and Earth," he attempts to show that Being is grounded not in reason but in the mystery of play, which "is neither subjective or objective but belongs to itself" (p. 95). The act of letting-be is described in the next chapter, "Releasement." Avens shows how Hillman's and Heidegger's gnosis "culminates in a therapeutic sort of injunction to pay attention to things (images) so as to let them be what they are" (p. 97). Releasement he defines as "a suspension of all teological attitudes accompanied by openness to the mystery of the Play" (pp. 102-103). He concludes, in "While the Music Lasts," that Christianity may need "pagan polytheism as the condition of its own survival" (p. 129).
Publisher Information:Dallas, TX: Spring Publications, 1984. 155p. Bibl: 155; Chap. notes: 131-154
Previous Record Previous
in this

List All Titles in This Category (37)

Book Reviews Menu
in this

Click a section below to move around the EHEN website.
Home/Menu       About EHEs      EHE Autobiographies      EHE Book Reviews      EHE FAQ      EHE Network      Email Talk      Experiences Library      Info/Contact      Join Us!      Living EHEs      Parapsychology      Rhea White      Web Links      Web Talk      What's New     

All website graphics, materials and content copyright © 1997-2003
by EHE Network. All rights reserved. For permissions
please contact EHEN's Executive Director, Rhea A. White.

Web Media Management by Palyne Gaenir of ScienceHorizon.

Exceptional Human Experience Network
Exceptional Human Experience Network