Is there a mystical consciousness particularly natural to women? And if so, what role is it playing in the spiritual evolution of our world? To answer these questions, Hilary Hart traveled across the world meeting with contemporary mystics from a variety of traditions including Lakota Sioux, Sufism, Buddhism, and West-African Shamanism. The revelations of feminine wisdom offered from these encounters are not conceptual teachings, but vivid examples of lived spirituality expressed sometimes through simple ways of being, sometimes through profound mystical experiences. Revolutionary and remarkably practical, The Unknown She offers a startling new look at women's unique mystical orientation and its place in the evolution of our universal consciousness.
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Hilary Hart lives in northern California where she works as a writer and editor. After practicing Tibetan Buddhism for a number of years, she met her teacher, a Sufi Sheikh, in 1998. The Unknown She is her first book.From Publishers Weekly:
This book-in which eight practitioners from the world's mystical traditions speak about their understanding and experience of women's spiritual consciousness-is not for beginners. Neither mysticism nor women's religious experience is easy to write about using standard-issue conceptualizations and vocabulary. So Hart, a student of Tibetan Buddhism and Sufism, wisely lets her subjects do their own talking. Whole blocks of speech are transcribed, surrounded by bits of description of the speakers and their settings. This is good insofar as these generally little-known spiritual teachers are given a platform; it is bad when what they say is occasionally so mind-bending that it requires more elaboration than is provided ("I would just have to sit down and the energy would take me," one interviewee says). It's especially remarkable that a number of these women live everyday lives as wives and mothers; indeed, the book's highest achievement is in making domesticity and mysticism compatible. That said, the inclusion of Andrew Harvey to speak about Christian feminine mystic wisdom somewhat undermines the book's method. Harvey may be Oxford-educated and articulate, but he is not able to speak from an experiential perspective, as do the seven women contributors. Still, for serious students of mystical traditions and women's spirituality, this challenging book offers rewards not found in more conventional works.
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