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The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this fascinating book, Richard Smoley examines the roles God has played for us and reconciles them with what we today know through science and reason. In the process, he shows that consciousness is the underlying reality beneath everything in the universe.

In one of Hinduism’s great myths, Shiva plays a dice game with his consort, Parvati, and loses consistently. If he is the greatest god, why does he lose? Through this story, Richard ...
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The Dice Game of Shiva: How Consciousness Creates the Universe

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Overview

In this fascinating book, Richard Smoley examines the roles God has played for us and reconciles them with what we today know through science and reason. In the process, he shows that consciousness is the underlying reality beneath everything in the universe.

In one of Hinduism’s great myths, Shiva plays a dice game with his consort, Parvati, and loses consistently. If he is the greatest god, why does he lose? Through this story, Richard Smoley explores the interplay between consciousness, represented by Shiva, and experience, exemplified by Parvati. He draws on numerous disciplines to offer an illuminating exploration of mind and matter and a provocative understanding of consciousness, the self, and the world.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While the subtitle could imply grandiose theorizing, Smoley (Forbidden Faith), the former editor of the journal Gnosis and a specialist in esoteric religious thought, has written a commendably modest book. In it, the sacred Vedas of Hinduism meet Western philosophers puzzling out causation, God, the nature of reality and other questions that have given philosophers and theologians of the East and West something to think about for the past few millennia. This history of thought predates contemporary neuroscience and its exciting discoveries about the relationship between brain and mind. It also reaches across the West-East spiritual divide (monotheistic, personal religion versus impersonal, nondual religious thought) to look at patterns, associations and categories that different cultures at different times have used to make sense of the world and the challenges offered by events of the world to human needs for justice and orderliness. This is a serious, almost old-fashioned history of ideas about transcendent and human thought rather than a cheesy come-on about how your thoughts can make you rich, beautiful and successful. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781577319177
  • Publisher: New World Library
  • Publication date: 10/5/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 433,183
  • File size: 359 KB

Meet the Author

Richard Smoley is one of the world's leading authorities on the mystical and esoteric teachings of Western civilization. He holds a bachelor's degree magna cum laude in classics from Harvard and a BA and MA from the Honour School of Literae Humaniores (classics and philosophy) at the University of Oxford. Richard served for eight years as editor of Gnosis: A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions. He is the author of six books. Currently he is executive editor of Quest, the members' journal for the Theosophical Society in America. In addition, he is editor of Quest Books, a publisher of books on spirituality and esotericism operated by the Theosophical Society. His website is www.innerchristianity.com.
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Table of Contents

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

Notes 177

Bibliography 191

Permissions Acknowledgments 201

Index 203

About the Author 213

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Eternal Dance of Universal Consciousness & Worldly Experience

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2011

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