The Wisdom of the Ancients
The Community of Nasalam is dedicated to basing itself on ancient teachings that have been passed down into modern times. It is not always easy to discriminate which reputed sources are best so here are some suggestions for reading about them.
Essene principles were first established by the High Priest Melchizedek thousands of years ago. While there are no direct written records of that original community, but there are some historical records from later years. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain records of the Essene Community at Qumron, although they are incomplete. The writing of Philo, Josephus and others early in the modern era provide us with a great deal of what is known about the Essenes at that time. That knowledge can be found in many places on the internet or in books like The Essene Heritage by Martin A. Larson.
The books by Edmund Szekeley on the Essenes are quite lovely, though perhaps overly romanticized: The Discovery of the Essene Gospel of Peace, The Essene Gospel of Peace, Books 1-4, From Enoch to the Dead Sea Scrolls, among others.
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Melchizedek also manifested as Zarathustra (Zoroaster). While his teachings are not well known in the west, but it was he who first formulated the need to create spiritual warriors to battle ignorance and it's attempts to destroy humankind's potential. A fine book on Zoroaster is The Zoroastrian Tradition by Farhang Mehr. The most generally accessible books on Zoroaster are those by Edmund Szekeley: Essene Teachings of Zarathustra, The Zend Avesta of Zarathustra, The Essene Book of Asha.
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Eastern teachings will be particularly important at Nasalam, especially Tantric teachings, both Hindu and Buddhist, and the taoist teachings from China.
Here are a few good books to read to help understand the tantric teachings from the Buddhist perspective: The Dawn of Tantra by Herbert V. Guenther and Chogyam Trungpa, The Tantric View of Life by Guenther, The Lion's Roar, by Trungpa, Secret of the Vajra World by Reginal Ray, and The Tantric Path of Purification by Lama Yeshe.There are many more, of course, these are just a few that are in our library.
But tantra is also the foundation of Shivaism in India, particularly the sadhus, and we have a growing collection of books to reflect this source.
Taoist teachings begin with The Tao Te Ching. If one can understand that alone, you have pretty mastered taoist philosophy! There are many books devoted to qigong, the various ways in which taoist philosophy has been applied to human life. This study will be important to Nasalam.
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As a community, an important goal is to harmonize teachings from various sources with our larger goals of creating a new spiritual understanding as we enter a new period of human development. That this is basic to the work of the Order is indicated by the fact that in Melchizedek's incarnation as Mani he incorporated the thoughts of the Buddhists into his own teachings. We have a fairly good library to aid members in their studies and are ready to offer suggestions to those needing help in deciding on a course of study.
One of the more intriguing books about the potential of monastic life is the novel The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg. Another book that has an interesting perspective on the kind of society we would build is portrayed in the fantasy novels of the Wraeththu by Storm Constantine.
We suggest that all new male members read two books that are new, but deal in ancient understandings. The first is The Politics of Lust by John Ince. It deals with the origins of the sex-negative attitudes found in our society. The second book is The Secret of the Golden Phallus by Bruce Grether. This is a wonderful book that covers quite thoroughly the importance of the phallus in the spiritual history of humanity. Every man should read this book.
Other books important to help understand the paradigm embraced by the Order include:
Isaac Asimov - Foundation Trilogy.
Murray Bookchin - Post-Scarcity Anarchism and others
Ernest Callenbach - Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging
Aleister Crowley - Magick in Theory and Practice
Robert Heinlein - Stranger in a Strange Land
Graham Hancock - Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind
Thom Hartman - The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight
John Major Jenkins - Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 and Galactic Alignment
Robert Lawlor - Voices of the First Day (about Australian aborigines)
Ursula LeGuin - The Dispossessed
Charles Mann - 1491 (The Americas before Columbus)
Terrence McKenna - True Hallucinations, Archaic Revival and others
Jeremy Narby - The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge
Daniel Pinchbeck - Breaking Open the Head and 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (adventures in shamanistic cultures)
Malidoma Patrice Some - Ritual: Power, Healing and Community
Starhawk - The Fifth Sacred Thing
Michael Talbot - The Holographic Universe
John Zerzan - Future Primitive and Other Essays
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