To those who love the printed word a good book is a real and living encapsulation of mental energy, divine inspiration, passionate creativity coupled with no small amount of perspiration!
To lovers of occult and spiritual books in particular the energy within their pages carries real power and etheric resonance.
Whilst most books are magickal as an extension of their content it is interesting to ponder on whether a book can be created from esoteric principles – formulated deliberately in order to reflect divinity.
The Number of the Book
‘Mala of Love’ happens to be such a book for its authors have rather imaginatively created it in such a way as to reflect spiritual principles and ideas.
The book itself is an anthology of poems about love and drawn together by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt but it has been formulated in such a way as to reflect the construction of the traditional Eastern meditation mandala known as the mala.
The mala contains 108 beads and to reflect this the book contain 108 poems or spiritual commentaries on love.
As the authors explain in the introduction to their book the value of 108 is not an arbitrary value for as they point out
At the highest level, the number 108 refers to Allah, the Divine, God, the Beloved, the Great Spirit, the Light, or the Ultimate Truth.
The value 108 also plays an interesting role in mathematics and science being the product of the powers of one, two and three.
The authors have also honoured the sacredness of the number 108 by organizing the book into twelve poems set within nine sections – each of which relates to the phases of the sun’ passage from dawn to dusk via high noon.
Nathwani and Vogt describe this process as
This metaphor reflects the cycle of love from its initial urges until it quietly arrives home in the self-realization of pure love.
Flowers of Bliss
The poems within this anthology have been drawn from a wide variety of different sources. They include extracts from the teachings of many the greatest mystics within Christianity, Buddhism and the Sufi traditions.
They also include observances from creative individuals, political activists, contemporary singers and songwriters as well as modern poets and essayists.
In its form and content this is a book designed to stimulate, inspire and elevate the spirit. The authors suggest that each piece of work is considered from within a condition of quiet peace and contemplation and even, perhaps, in unison with the mala bead meditations.
As the authors themselves observe.
Every turning of the bead steadies and deepens a connection to the Supreme.
Mala of Love is a delightful and thoughtfully craft publication which works on so many different levels.
As a book in its own right it is beautifully crafted in hardcover form with a charming dust jacket cover made from quality paper.
The contents have been expertly resourced from a rich variety of differing sources. The result is that the poems are each, in their own way, distinctly different from those that both follow and precede them giving the reader a natural sense of time in which to pause and contemplate the wisdom each poem offers.
I also particularly liked the inclusion of the short bios on each contributor. This was really interesting and kind of proves that mankind has indeed been blessed over the centuries with some great minds and equally generous hearts.
Mala of Love is simply a perfect offering to those who seek closer union with the Infinite or who just want a thoughtful and intimate gift for a loved one. In a sense it bridges both these worlds quite beautifully.