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Prologue: A Kabbalist at Oxford
1 The Light That Governs the Universe 1
2 The Game of Consciousness 19
3 Two against One: The Persistence of Dualism 41
4 Constant Conjunction: The Problem of Causation 63
5 Patterns in Her Garment: The Chain of Associations 87
6 A Just Universe? 115
7 Beyond the Copper Mountain: The Dimensions of Faith 135
8 The Conscious Civilization 157
Permissions Acknowledgments 201
About the Author 213
Posted January 22, 2010
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The Dice Game of Shiva tells the story of the Hindu god Shiva, lord of the universe, and his consort Parvati who learn a game with dice. Interestingly, Parvati wins round after round to the point that she cleans Shiva out... down to his last item of clothing... until he retreats to the wilderness. There is much more to this story, yet it captures an essential core sense of the eternal dance between universal consciousness (Shiva) and experience of the world (Parvati).
Richard Smoley writes with the intelligent voice of the Harvard and Oxford graduate that he is, and better yet as a professor who passionately loves the topic of consciousness as viewed from every philosophical and spiritual lens known to man. Smoley has a rare gift for describing ineffable concepts articulately and elegantly, such as when he writes, "It is this higher love, which Christianity calls agape and I call 'conscious love,' that reflects the insight that the Self at the center of one's own being is exactly the same as the Self that lies at the core of everyone else's as well, human and nonhuman, animate and apparently inanimate."
Smoley explores one of the six "orthodox" darshans of the Hindu sacred texts known as the Vedas, the Samkhya, weaving it together with Western ideas from philosophy, science and religion. Samkyha analyzes reality into its fundamental components, while Yoga is a system of meditative practice for spiritual liberation, and Vedanta is a way to detach ones awareness from physical being to a knowingness that all is as One.
Even as physicists currently seek a "Theory of Everything," humans pursue a comprehensive answer for the true nature of reality, the meaning of life, and the relationship between universal consciousness and worldly experience. The Dice Game of Shiva takes us on a mystical philosophical journey full of fresh new insights into who we truly are.
Posted May 29, 2011
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