Back Books Of The Month - Non Fiction Forward

December 2006

Night Journey to Buddh Gaia

by John Moriarty

Hardback; 40 Euro / 50 USD / 32 UK; 620 pages

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In this book, John Moriarty like Gulliver is a traveller to exotic places: ancient Egypt, Sumeria, Babylonia, Canaan, Judea, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment and modern Europe, ending in the Waste Land of our own making. Calling them psychles (as distinct from the cycles) of Western history, and seeking to mend them as he does so, he leads us on an exodus through them. Emerging, he concludes that our cultural pasts still sponsor ecological havoc, and calling for a Naissance not a Renaissance. In other words, he believes that we must be radically original - to the extent of refounding city and psyche, the one a sacramental simulacrum of the other. Not only that, much as the ancient Egyptians enacted a night journey through their underworld to Sunrise, this book charts a night journey through the darkness of nature and culture to Earthrise. Seeing our planet coming up over a lunar horizon, Moriarty, believing that he has good reason to do so, names it Buddh Gaia, a compound of Sanscrit and Greek, suggesting enlightenment not just now and from now on, but all the was back through the geological ages. "Night Journey to Buddh Gaia", we suggest, could be usefully read by Europeans who, but with little vision so far, are currently seeking to re-imagine themselves. It might even be seen as a possible preamble to a European constitution.

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