In Conversation with the Mystic – Barkha Dutt with Sadhguru


Yogi, mystic and visionary, Sadhguru is a spiritual master with a difference. An arresting blend of profundity and pragmatism, his life and work serves as a reminder that yoga is a contemporary science, vitally relevant to our times.

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Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence by Karen Armstrong (Author)

From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God, a sweeping exploration of religion and the history of human violence.

For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in American. Some analysts have cited as cause a post-9/11perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and divisiveness—something bad for society. But how accurate is that view? With deep learning and sympathetic understanding, Karen Armstrong sets out to discover the truth about religion and violence in each of the world’s great traditions, taking us on an astonishing journey from prehistoric times to the present.

While many historians have looked at violence in connection with particular religious manifestations (jihad in Islam or Christianity’s Crusades), Armstrong looks at each faith—not only Christianity and Islam, but also Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Judaism—in its totality over time. As she describes, each arose in an agrarian society with plenty powerful landowners brutalizing peasants while also warring among themselves over land, then the only real source of wealth. In this world, religion was not the discrete and personal matter it would become for us but rather something that permeated all aspects of society. And so it was that agrarian aggression, and the warrior ethos it begot, became bound up with observances of the sacred.

In each tradition, however, a counterbalance to the warrior code also developed. Around sages, prophets, and mystics there grew up communities protesting the injustice and bloodshed endemic to agrarian society, the violence to which religion had become heir. And so by the time the great confessional faiths came of age, all understood themselves as ultimately devoted to peace, equality, and reconciliation, whatever the acts of violence perpetrated in their name.

Industrialization and modernity have ushered in an epoch of spectacular and unexampled violence, although, as Armstrong explains, relatively little of it can be ascribed directly to religion. Nevertheless, she shows us how and in what measure religions, in their relative maturity, came to absorb modern belligerence—and what hope there might be for peace among believers of different creeds in our time.

At a moment of rising geopolitical chaos, the imperative of mutual understanding between nations and faith communities has never been more urgent, the dangers of action based on misunderstanding never greater. Informed by Armstrong’s sweeping erudition and personal commitment to the promotion of compassion, Fields of Blood makes vividly clear that religion is not the problem.

Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous other books on religious affairs-including A History of God, The Battle for God, Holy War, Islam, Buddha, and The Great Transformation-and two memoirs, Through the Narrow Gate and The Spiral Staircase.

Her work has been translated into forty-five languages. She has addressed members of the U.S. Congress on three occasions; lectured to policy makers at the U.S. State Department; participated in the World Economic Forum in New York, Jordan, and Davos; addressed the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington and New York; is increasingly invited to speak in Muslim countries; and is now an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations. In February 2008 she was awarded the TED Prize and is currently working with TED on a major international project to launch and propagate a Charter for Compassion, created online by the general public and crafted by leading thinkers in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, to be signed in the fall of 2009 by a thousand religious and secular leaders. She lives in London.

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Karen Armstrong “Fields of Blood”

In her latest comparative study, Fields of Blood, Armstrong, one of today’s leading historians of religion, and author of The Case for God, considers the roles violence has played in different faiths. Tracing the roots of Crusades, Jihads, and various non-violent practices, Armstrong looks back to humanity’s earliest societies and shows how notions of the sacred were accommodated to or supplanted the warrior ethos.

Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics & Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics & Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at http://www.politics-prose.com/

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (Author), Alan R. Clarke (Translator)

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired.

Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.


The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO is considered one of the most influential authors of our times. His books have sold more than 165 million copies worldwide, have been released in 170 countries and been translated into 80 languages.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1947, he soon discovered his vocation for writing. He worked as a director, theater actor, songwriter and journalist. His collaboration with Brazilian composer and singer Raúl Seixas gave some of the greatest classic rock songs in Brazil. In 1986, a special meeting led him to make the pilgrimage to Saint James Compostela (in Spain). The Road to Santiago was not only a common pilgrimage but a turning point in his existence. A year later, he wrote ‘The Pilgrimage’, an autobiographical novel that is considered the beginning of his career.

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The Alchemist – By Paulo Coelho (Full)

Published on Jan 29, 2013

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The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography by Alejandro Jodorowsky (Author)

A glimpse into the mind and life of one of the most creative and enigmatic visionaries of our time, filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky

• Retraces the spiritual and mystical path Jodorowsky has followed since childhood, vividly repainting events from the perspective of an unleashed imagination

• Explores the development of the author’s psychomagic and metagenealogy practices via his realization that all problems are rooted in the family tree

• Includes photos from Jodorowsky’s appearance at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and from the film based on this book, which debuted at Cannes

Retracing the spiritual and mystical path he has followed since childhood, Alejandro Jodorowsky re-creates the incredible adventure of his life as an artist, filmmaker, writer, and therapist–all stages on his quest to push back the boundaries of both imagination and reason.

Not a traditional autobiography composed of a chronological recounting of memories, The Dance of Reality repaints events from Jodorowsky’s life from the perspective of an unleashed imagination. Like the psychomagic and metagenealogy therapies he created, this autobiography exposes the mythic models and family templates upon which the events of everyday life are founded. It reveals the development of Jodorowsky’s realization that all problems are rooted in the family tree and explains, through vivid examples from his own life, particularly interactions with his father and mother, how the individual’s road to true fulfillment means casting off the phantoms projected by parents on their children.

The Dance of Reality is autobiography as an act of healing. Through the retelling of his own life, the author shows we do not start off with our own personalities, they are given to us by one or more members of our family tree. To be born into a family, Jodorowsky says, is to be possessed. To peer back into our past is equivalent to digging into our own souls. If we can dig deep enough, beyond familial projections, we shall find an inner light–a light that can help us through life’s most difficult tests.

Offering a glimpse into the mind and life of one of the most creative and enigmatic visionaries of our time, The Dance of Reality is the book upon which Jodorowsky’s critically acclaimed 2013 Cannes Film Festival film of the same name was based.

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a filmmaker who made the legendary cult films El Topo and The Holy Mountain. His most recent film, The Dance of Reality, debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. He is the author of more than 20 books, including Psychomagic, The Way of Tarot, and Metagenealogy. He lives in Paris.

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A Conversation With Alejandro Jodorowsky (Full Session) | Film 2014 | SXSW

One of the legends of ’70s cinema, a vanguard of the midnight movie, and just as famous for films he didn’t make as the films he did, Jodorowsky is not an artist whose body of work can be easily described. Cineastes around the world have been waiting for something new since the release of “Santa Sangre” in 1989, and in celebration of his new feature, “The Dance Of Reality,” SXSW proudly presents an hour-long conversation with one of the masters of surrealist cinema, Alejandro Jodorowsky. The conversation will be moderated by HitFix’s Drew McWeeny.

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