If your experience of Greek philosophy is of sombre university lecturers, wearing academic hats, flowing gowns and covered in chalk dust, ‘The Wisdom of Hypatia’ might just change your opinion about a subject that is often seen as terminally tedious and utterly irrelevant to our modern technological age.
Hypatia (c.400BC) was something of a rarity in an orthodox and masculine line of Greek philosophers that started with Pythagoras around 55BC and drew to a close, around 1000 years later, with Dionysius.
Sadly, her radical Pagan philosophy eventually brought about her tragic and violent death at the hands of those she challenged with her ideas.
In the first part of The Wisdom of Hypatia Bruce J MacLennan PhD examines the documentary evidence of this young woman. He reveals her radical ideas about life, religion and the Universe and considers them in the context of other great philosophers, such as Plato and Pythagorus.
Later in the book, he presents the psycho-spiritual and practical daily uses of Hypatia’s ideas.
These include a nine-month program of spiritual practice. If you complete it, you are rewarded with a renewed spiritual focus on life and a re-orientation toward the powers that govern life and your inner world.
The book closes with an endnotes section, additional reading recommendations, a glossary and an index.
The Wisdom of Hypatia is a radical and far-reaching study that reintegrates our modern spiritual modality with its more philosophical roots.
It is not an easy read—nor is it meant to be. The modern tendency to write and publish books geared toward armchair-spirituality and which, invariably, promote the idea that spiritual transformation is easy and immediate is one that we need to confront.
This book cuts across Pagan/non-Pagan, Polytheistic/Monotheistic, religious/spiritual divides. It offers deeply rewarding insights into the eternal structure of the human psyche. At the same time though, revealing the true roots of deep spiritual transformation.
As a piece of writing, it is a masterful example of investigative research. It reaches deeper into important areas of spiritual philosophy than most of today’s popularist self-development books.
As a consequence, it offers a refreshing and rewarding experience that will resonate with deep-thinkers and spiritual activists alike.
And while it is a fascinating historical treatise in its own right, the book’s greatest impacti is the opportunity it presents to agnostics of all schools who are seeking a more meaningful philosophical framework to life.
The world might be some 1500 years older but, as this book demonstrates, the core philosophy of Hypatia is as relevant today as it ever was.
We also need it more than ever before.
The Wisdom of Hypatia is a well-crafted publication and a thoroughly recommended read!