I visited Adyar earlier today and while I was there was fortunate enough to pick up a copy of Inner Christianity : A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition and Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism. The first is a Gnositic influenced work and the second … well, that’s a little harder to categorise.
Here are some of the reviews from Amazon:
While the institutional church has frequently set boundaries limiting what ideas, beliefs, and practices could be considered Christian, Smoley, a former editor of Gnosis magazine, reminds readers that adventurous seekers have always borrowed freely from many sources to enhance their inner spiritual knowledge. Smoley collectively labels these disparate voices “inner” (or “esoteric”) Christianity. The writings used to construct this tradition are diverse, ranging from Gnostic gospels and kabbalistic cosmologies, through late medieval alchemical theory, right up to Swedenborgian and New Age teachings. An initial chapter spells out the historical breadth of these traditions, but the bulk of the book offers a contemporary synthesis, providing insight into the deeper, mystical meaning of traditional Christian doctrines. Quotations from the sources are usually more engaging than the synthesis itself, but the author makes the case for listening more closely to an eclectic Christianity’s own esoteric voices. Many readers will filter much of the material through a selective sieve of skepticism, but the book overviews a wide range of material and provides a solid introduction to esoteric Christianity for the general reader. Recommended for all libraries.
Written by an anonymous figure who wished for the book to be published posthumously, Meditations on the Tarot has been translated from the original French by author Robert Powell, who lives in Germany.
“It is simply astonishing. I have never read such a comprehensive account of the ‘perennial philosophy.’ There is hardly a line without some profound significance. To me it is the last word in wisdom.” (Father Bede Griffiths)
“This book, in my view, is the greatest contribution to date toward the rediscovery and renewal of the Christian contemplative tradition of the Fathers of the Church and the High Middle Ages.” (Trappist Abbot Thomas Keating, OCSO)
“Meditations on the Tarot has become instrumental in my thinking and in my understanding of health and disease. The writer-who calls himself ‘Unknown Friend’-seems to be speaking to me directly with endless wisdom and inspiration.” (Gerald Epstein, M.D., author of Healing Visualizations)
“The most beautiful and instructive book of the twentieth century concerning Western esotericism.” (Antoine Faivre, professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Haute-Normany)
“The book begs not only to be studied cover to cover, but also to be savored, meditated upon and assimilated into one’s life.” (Richard W. Kropf, National Catholic Reporter)
Now I must put in a disclaimer that I do not offer unqualified endorsement for either of these works, particular since I haven’t read them yet, but the ground they cover on initial inspection seems quite extensive, so a must read for someone like me.