When I started this blog over four months ago I had no idea how much my soul hungered for the psychological and spiritual companionship of like-minded travelers, so was somewhat surprised to see how avidly I’ve been lapping up the warmth, wisdom, and compassion revealed in the comments of readers. Making your acquaintance has been a true blessing to me, and I offer you a gift in return: the recommendation of one of the wisest, most soul-satisfying books I’ve ever read written by one of my favorite new internet friends: William Douglas Horden.
Once in a while a book appears that is exactly what the spirit of the times cries out for. The Toltec I Ching, a reworking of an ancient oracle by a contemporary sage, is one of those books. The use of oracles was common in many civilizations of antiquity including the Greeks, Norse, and Egyptians. The most well-known is the Chinese I Ching, or ‘Book of Changes’, a collection of linear signs originating in the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC). Oracles have long had an important role in Tibet and the Dalai Lama still consults one. The Yucatec Mayas consulted the writings of an oracle priest who correctly predicted the disastrous coming of the Spaniards.
Horden’s Toltec I Ching combines the ancient wisdom of the Chinese and Toltecs with the intellect and sensibility of a modern-day spirit person. For example, at the beginning of the 20th century Carl Jung said we each have a masculine and feminine side and repressing either creates psychological, cultural, and spiritual imbalance. Is there anything new about this message? No, spirit persons from every culture have always intuited this truth and devised wonderful teachings to convey it, but advancing civilization keeps forgetting and digging itself into ever-deeper holes. So just when we are waking up to the frightening darkness and depth of our current hole — featuring, among other things, terrorism, economic crises, worldwide violations of human rights, and environmental disasters on a global scale — along comes the Toltec I Ching.
This brilliant and beautiful oracle is written in a series of 64 brief chapters that reads almost like a novel. The main character is the authentic Spirit Warrior. The setting is the dual inner and outer worlds of the would-be warrior’s awakening soul. The plot describes the warrior’s journey through a series of psycho-spiritual tests which develop his/her masculine and feminine sides, strengthen intention, motivate action, guide direction, and create growing awareness. And the theme is the exact same one found in this blog: how to free oneself from ignorance and transcend duality to become a conscious, responsible, enlightened being capable of making healing choices of benefit to the world.
William Douglas Horden’s writing style is clear and masterfully organized logos artfully combined with imaginative, symbolic mythos. And the format? Simply gorgeous! Martha Ramirez-Oropeza has painted 64 extraordinary full-color illustrations in a style as simple as it is profound; the print is plenty large for aging eyes; each page has a sense-satisfying heft; and the cover is as sturdy as a non-hardback book could possibly be.
In short, the team of writer, painter, and Larson Publications has created a work of art worthy to sit on the shelf with the world’s spiritual classics. The only books I’ve underlined more are my King James Bible and the complete works of Carl Jung. If you have not yet added The Toltec I Ching to your spiritual library you’re missing a key to the mystery, and mastery, of your soul.
It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. The very cave