books by james n. powell aka jim powell

The Tao Symbols

How to transcend the limits of our symbolism
(with a prelude by Annie Dillard)

Symbols have cast a spell over us. Useful for communication, symbols nevertheless place limits on how we think and even act. Yet, how can we over come this symbol-spell? After all--whenever we begin to inquire into the nature of that spell--we immediately find ourselves held captive, for it is with symbols themselves that we must conduct our inquiry. Thus we are forced to wonder what sort of knowledge symbols are capable of yielding about themselves. Are we eternally confined to the futile activity of thinking about thoughts, verbalizing about words, and theorizing about theories? Or is there in the very nature of, or what we might call the Tao, of symbols a vision so immediate, so intimate, and so bright that we are blind to it?

In this cross-cultural study, James Powell reveals in text and illustrations how people all over the world have attempted to emancipate their thought. Citing Zen Buddhism, the Druids, T.S. Eliot, Saint John of the Cross, sacred writings of the India, Chinese seers, the Hopi Indians, and other diverse examples, he shows how various societies have sought to transcend the confines of their symbolic codes.

Publisher: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

List Price: US $12.95
Amazon Book Price : US $11.65
ISBN: 0-688-01354-6

[ Order this Book | HOME | E-Mail | The Author ]