Not in His Image: Gnostic Vision, Sacred Ecology, and the Future of Belief

Overview

Not in His Image describes the rich spiritual world of pre-Christian classical Europe - the Pagan Mysteries, the Great Goddess, Gnosis, the myths of Sophia and Gaia - and its future as a force for rebalancing our lives and reconnecting to the earth. In his riveting account of who the Gnostics really were and what they were protesting against, John Lash identifies who we once were, and what has become of our original genius. He describes the decisive arc of history from the dawn of the Christian Era to the present...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $44.45   
  • New (1) from $169.79   
  • Used (2) from $44.44   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$169.79
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(299)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Not in His Image: Gnostic Vision, Sacred Ecology, and the Future of Belief

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - Yes)
$13.99
BN.com price
(Save 43%)$24.95 List Price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.

Overview

Not in His Image describes the rich spiritual world of pre-Christian classical Europe - the Pagan Mysteries, the Great Goddess, Gnosis, the myths of Sophia and Gaia - and its future as a force for rebalancing our lives and reconnecting to the earth. In his riveting account of who the Gnostics really were and what they were protesting against, John Lash identifies who we once were, and what has become of our original genius. He describes the decisive arc of history from the dawn of the Christian Era to the present moment of global terror, a trajectory driven by faith-based violence and fundamentalist politics. No scholar has yet plumbed the depths of the Nag Hammadi Library for the profound cosmological myth of our origins and our intimate bond with Gaia, the living planet.

The Gnostic story of the Wisdom Goddess, Sophia, is directly counterpoised to the one Christianity and other monotheistic religions teach us. It explains why a species made in the image of the Father God cannot live peacefully on earth. In Sophia we discover the true foundations of deep ecology. For those of us perplexed by the state of the world and the plight of the planet, Not in His Image gives us back our true story, a myth to guide us beyond faith-based violence toward a sacred ecological path for the future.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In an eclectic mix of mythology, deep ecology, Tibetan Buddhism, astrology, UFO research, drug mysticism, and speculative science, Lash (Quest for the Zodiac) recommends reviving the cult of the Gnostic earth goddess, Sophia, as a prop to modern environmentalism and as a spiritually healthy alternative to life-denying and oppressive Abrahamic religions. Relying on secondary sources of varying trustworthiness, Lash spins a conspiracy theory in which a rigorist, otherworldly religiosity, "the redeemer complex," was spread through an inner cabal of Jewish priests to the Essenes, where it morphed into Christianity and took over the world, destroying ecofriendly, egalitarian paganism in its wake. He also expounds at length on Gnostic cosmology, which he frankly and accurately describes as "theological science fiction." Lash's history is propagandistic and amateurish; anyone who cites D.H. Lawrence as an authority in religious history can't be taken too seriously. He oversimplifies the heterogeneous Gnostic movement, which at times could be more ascetic and contemptuous of material creation than anything in Western monotheism, and romanticizes paganism by ignoring its own record of religious persecution. Not recommended. Charles Seymour, Wayland Baptist Univ. Lib., Plainview, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"John Lash's Not In His Image presents a fascinating view of meanings in a sacred history long--and wrongly--suppressed. It demands profound correction of what Western civilization has been taught to call religion. It is a book that should be read by everyone."--Barbara G. Walker, author of The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Feminist Fairy Tales, and others.

"This remarkable book introduces a Gnostic approach to Sophia-Gaia, the feminine wisdom principle embodied by the earth, vividly soliciting us to embrace Her revival for our survival. When the human race revered the fertility of the earth, the perennial philosophy of human kindness and good sense, as embodied in the common laws of indigenous people the world over, was equally prominent in ancient Europe. Gyncentric societies did not know the taint of sexual apartheid; mystery cults were participatory, experiential and peaceful. The erudition and mindfulness of the Pagan world have been hugely underestimated, since the onslaught of patriarchy, symbolized by the flood, destroyed a much larger civilization than we have been lead to believe. Initiated in antediluvian times with the arrival of misogynic sky gods, it took the three monotheistic religions to achieve the undoing of the sophisticated way of life of our forebears. In Gnostic terms, evil came from outside of the matrix of the earth, from another dimension or parallel universe. Entities of this parallel dimension managed to insinuate themselves into our world. It may come as a shock to many, that the Gnostics held Yahweh to be such an entity, facilitating the promotion of the perpetrator-victim ethos of Salvationism, held to be an abomination and a fateful error. John Lash presents the stark contrast between the tenets of retribution and exploitation - of the feminine ­, and the ethos of illuminism, with its emphasis on personal experience and communion with nature, within the framework of a vast body of knowledge, reaching from the classic authors of antiquity to present-day proponents of eco-science and eco-spirituality. A fascinating read."--Susanne G. Seiler, Gaia Media News. Basel, Switzerland

"Sometimes a book changes the world. Not In His Image is such a book. It is clear, stimulating, well-researched, and sure to outrage the experts. Take it from a scientist: the 'experts' are often wrong. In fact, a hallmark of breakthroughs is that they are usually well-researched and outrage 'experts.' Science shows the importance of trusting clear thinking about direct evidence. This book is full of both. Get it. Improve not just your own life, but civilization's chances for survival." --Roger Payne, Ph.D., MacArthur Fellow, president of Ocean Alliance, author of Among Whales

"John Lamb Lash's Not in His Image is a rare achievement, combining impeccable scholarship with remarkable visionary insight. In a breathtaking tour de force, the author provides a profound analysis of the history of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and their connections to the patriarchal system. He identifies the deep roots of the intrinsic problems of these three religions-- perpetrator-victim emphasis and salvationist ideology--and points out their relationship to the alienation and agony of modern humanity. This book is a must for everybody who is trying to understand the psychospiritual currents underlying the present global crisis." --Stanislav Grof, M.D., author of Psychology of the Future and The Cosmic Game

"Not In His Image is a brilliantly subversive and provocative work of scholarship and passion that overturns everything you ever believed about Christianity. The gnostic mysteries have found a new and eloquent champion in John Lash." --Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods

"An extraordinary and profound book. Not In His Image a blessing, and a warning that we must cease taking the terrible advice of Christianity … and that we must instead re-inhabit our own joyful, painful, mortal, beautiful bodies and fight for our lives and for the lives of those we love. This book points the way home."--Derrick Jensen, from the afterword

"What we know about the divine comes by way of three paths--through the spectacle of nature, through the testimony of spiritual seekers, and through our own inner experience, as in meditation and mystical communion. John Lamb Lash seeks to renew our understanding of all three paths, and thus to renew our sense of the divine. In particular, he challenges the otherworldly creeds that have come down to us in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and to recover the earth-based religions that preceded them. Those ecologically wise religions flourished, he reminds us, not only among the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere but also in ancient Europe. By reclaiming this pagan heritage, he argues, we can begin to cure the pathologies of genocide, war, and environmental degradation that afflict the modern world." --Scott Russell Sanders, author of A Private History of Awe

"Not In His Image is a stunning book. It should cause quite a furor. Lash's historical and anthropological erudition are breathtaking." --Colin Wilson, author of Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals: 100,000 Years of Lost History and The Outsider

"John Lash's heretical book is a precious act of spiritual disobedience that seeks to save the world from Salvationism. Lash opens new ground between myth and ecology, and helps one feel what the planet feels. He proposes direct knowing and moving beyond belief, and advocates animism as a proposition to test. He leaves the future open and in need of human imagination. Humanity is implicated in the future of the living planet, but Lash exercises caution when making suppositions about our role as a species. This book is learned, courageous, and full of insights. Some may find it challenging and even shocking, but it is an important read for those interested in life on earth. It is made for readers to chew on, rather than believe."--Jeremy Narby, anthropologist, author of The Cosmic Serpent, DNA and the Origins of Knowledge and Intelligence in Nature: An Inquiry into Knowledge

Jonathan Kirsch

Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review-
Gnosticism is a label applied to a collection of religious ideas that has long exerted a certain appeal to public intellectuals and controversialists, ranging from the theologian Marcion in the 2nd century AD to literary critic Harold Bloom in our time. What attracts them, I suppose, is the conviction that the highest truths are available only to a small circle of initiates -- the Greek term gnostokoi can be translated as "those who understand divine matters, knowing what the gods know."

The latest to unfurl the banner of Gnosticism is John Lamb Lash, who describes the Gnostics of the ancient world as "the elite of Pagan intellectuals" and declares that their writings are "the explosive charge that can blow the institution of the Faith off its foundations, for good and all." By "the Faith," he means the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition in its entirety, and he intends to do nothing less than convert his readers into latter-day Gnostics.

Lash, whose publisher describes him as "an exponent of the practice of mythology," rejects much of the contemporary scholarship on Gnosticism. For example, he dismisses the work of Princeton historian Elaine Pagels, author of The Gnostic Gospels, because she places the texts discovered at the Egyptian archeological site of Nag Hammadi within the context of early Christianity. Such an approach, he insists, "has hampered understanding of who the Gnostics were, and why they protest so vehemently against the rise of Christianity."

Lash seeks to rescue Gnosticism from the dustbin of Christian history and restore it to its rightful place amid the splendors of pagan antiquity. To signal his admiration for the fecund religious imagination of paganism, he capitalizes the word "Pagan" as if it were a single faith rather than a phantasmagorical assortment of beliefs and practices. But he does point out that Gnosticism itself shouldn't be described as a religion or even a sect, if only because gnostokos was "the generic term for any person learned in divine matters." Above all, he insists that Gnosticism represents the path toward "spiritual deep ecology," symbolized by today's adherents of the Greek earth goddess Gaia.

Not in His Image is perhaps best compared to Robert Graves' The White Goddess, an earlier and only slightly less eccentric effort to find and explain the linkages among the fantastic variety of religious experiences in the ancient world. Like Graves, Lash is a self-invented scholar who has read widely and thought deeply. (He is the author of Quest for the Zodiac, The Hero and The Seeker's Handbook, and the co-founder of metahistory.org with a former wife, Joanna Harcourt-Smith, who lived with Timothy Leary in the 1970s. And he is general executor of the estate of Jack Kerouac's daughter, Jan, to whom he also was once married.) He confidently issues pronouncements about what he calls "the wholesale genocide of Pagan culture" and prescriptions for the spiritual salvation of the world.

Lash offers this work as a corrective to the "scholarly specialization" that condemns the Gnostics to "an obscure and uncertain place on the margins of the history of religion." Along the way, he seeks to repudiate what he sees as the pigheadedness of the academic establishment. Thus, for example, he condemns biblical scholars who do not see the continuities that Lash detects between the early Christians and the religious community at Qumran. He calls them "Zaddikites," but they are better known to the lay reader as the custodians of the Dead Sea Scrolls: "They fail to realize that the message of love in the charming miracle tales of the New Testament is a sugar coating on the bitter cyanide of Zaddikite ravings."

But Lash is not concerned merely with scolding biblical scholars. His goal is to melt down the religious and philosophical ideas of antiquity and recast them as a serviceable faith for our world. In place of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, which he links to "the religious schizophrenia of the ancient Hebrews" and which he flatly condemns as "annihilation theology," he proposes that we embrace Gnosticism and what he dubs "Gaian ethics," which he describes as "not a call to faith in God, but faith in the human species."

Lash is capable of explaining the mind-bending concepts of Gnosticism and pagan mystery cults with bracing clarity and startling insight. At moments, however, he slips into a kind of New Age rant as baffling as any mystical text. "What we seek in 'Gaia theory' is a live imaginal dimension," he writes in one such passage, "not a scaffolding of cybernetic general systems cogitation." Or: "Gnosis, taken as a path of experimental mysticism, and the Sophianic vision, taken as a guiding narrative for co-evolution, can provide the spiritual dimension for deep ecology independently of the three mainstream religions derived from the Abrahamic tradition."

Even he acknowledges that his book can be "a long haul and a lot to follow" and that his line of reasoning "demands exceptional concentration from the likes of us, many of whom cannot stay in the moment for three minutes at a time."

Lash's arguments are often lively and entertaining, even when they aren't convincing. When he contends that Celtic civilization spread to the far corners of the ancient world -- "An apocryphal legend claims that John the Baptist was a Celt," he writes, "and Mary Magdalene was Circassian, half Celt, half Jewish" -- he is reduced to citing the film "Lawrence of Arabia" to support the proposition that "Celtic half-breeds survived in the Levant down into the early twentieth century."

And when he considers what he calls the "sci-fi theology" of the ancient Gnostics, he comes uncomfortably close to affirming that the otherworldly "Archons" of Gnostic myth were authentic extraterrestrials.

"It is worth noting that the first great UFO wave of the twentieth century occurred in the summer and fall of 1947 when Jean Doresse was in Cairo examining the Nag Hammadi Codices, at the very moment the first Dead Sea Scrolls were found," Lash writes. "This was also the year that the CIA was founded, with the dual intention (according to UFO conspiracy buffs) to co-opt alien technology and cut a deal with the aliens, allowing them to experiment covertly on human subjects.... In fact, a CIA agent named Miles Copeland was dispatched to Damascus to examine and photograph some of the first scroll fragments to be unearthed."

At one telling moment at the outset of his book, Lash describes how his life was transformed when, in early adolescence, he was reading a copy of Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra in the back seat of the family car on the way back from an orthodontist's appointment in upstate New York. "I swore to finish what Nietzsche had begun," he declares. "I vowed to think through and live out his critique of Christianity to the end."

With Not in His Image he keeps that vow. But when Lash invites us to embrace the "high strangeness" of what he calls the "ET/Archon" hypothesis "with the Gnostic theory of alien intrusion" -- "the stranger it gets, the more sense it makes," he insists -- he passes wholly through the looking glass.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933392400
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/30/2006
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John Lamb Lash is the foremost exponent of the practice of mythology, a true heir to Joseph Campbell. He is a co-founder and principal author of the Marion Institute’s website www.metahistory.org, an inquiry about the contemporary meaning of humanity’s myths and beliefs. He has written a number of books, including The Seeker’s Handbook, Twins and the Double, The Hero - Manhood and Power, and Quest for the Zodiac. The author lives in Europe.

Derrick Jensen is the author of A Language Older Than Words,Walking on Water, and The Culture of Make Believe. He writes for The New York Times Magazine, Audubon, and The Sun among many others.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    wonderful book!

    Say what you want about this author, but he doesn't mess around--he gets right to the point, no matter how disturbing the topic might be to the reader (or himself for that matter)! I have recommended this book to many friends in the esoteric community!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    THE WAY TO SPIRITUAL GODLINESS WAS LOST OVER THE CENTURIES

    Faith-based violence and fundamentalism are explained by this author in terms of the historical view and the path civilization has taken to reach the third millennium where people kill in the name of God, Allah, or whatever their religious group dictates. This destructive social chaos has gradually taken hold of our world even thought the earliest spiritual groups were actually nature aligned and even included the Great Goddess myths of Sophia and Gaia. Today of course the world has no respect for nature and especially very little respect for women. The material here is well researched and useful for understanding how we got to this day when everyone hates and kills. Certainly the original Christians saw the way Christ treated nature, women, lepers, etc. Seems that path was trampled upon by those who wanted power more than spiritual godliness.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Reading, but...

    Why isn't there an E-book version of it available? I don't know how to request one but, it needs to be addressed!!! There should be as many means of reading this book as possible. Some people in this day and age don't want to carry around bulky books, so we are hindering them from this books knowledge. This book is great!!!! Everyone needs to read it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)