By (author) David Lorimer
A comprehensive exploration of spirituality and philosophy
The essays explore philosophy, meaning and spirituality; consciousness, death and transformation; and responsibility, ethics and society. Perceptive and illuminating, they examine the nature of life and death, questions of meaning and purpose, and the challenge of how we can live more harmoniously together.
A Quest for Wisdom is a wide-ranging volume which brings together 25 of David Lorimer's highly acclaimed essays. David hopes that readers will be inspired, as Dr Albert Schweitzer put it, in our common task 'to become more finely and deeply human.'
The range of David Lorimer’s writing is extraordinary. Yet every one of these scholarly essays has a freshness and vigor that inspires the reader from the first sentence to the last. Lorimer’s contribution to the understanding of the spiritual side of our existence is increasingly widely appreciated. He is a wise and humane guide.
Author of "LSD and the Mind of the Universe.
Written in eloquent prose that makes reading a pleasure, this volume of essays by David Lorimer is exceptional in breadth and depth as the author explores some of the deepest and most troubling concerns for the world today.
The three sections, Philosophy, Spirituality and Meaning, Consciousness, Death and Transformation, Taking Responsibility - Ethics and Society, between them cover the most pressing existential questions that face humanity: why are we here, what lies beyond birth and death, and how can our lives individually and together fulfil the spiritual potential of humankind.
Modernity is challenged by a global crisis largely of our own making and the author, with both compassion and scholarship, shows how the solution lies in our hands. Starting with Swedenborg, Lorimer draws with wonderful clarity on some of the great spiritual exemplars in recent history, to which he adds his own sensitive and thoughtful reflections. Notwithstanding the worst excesses of the human species, this book offers a profound message of hope for the future - never more needed than at the present time.
In his Foreword to this book, so full of philosophical and spiritual treasures, Charles Maclean writes that the British have a certain ambivalence about intellectuals. Maybe so, but what they do appreciate and admire are explorers, and this is what David Lorimer has done so diligently over the past fifty years.
The story of his journey and his quest, and the insights and signposts along the way, give an extraordinarily helpful perspective into what I sometimes call ‘a bigger picture’ - a window into what really matters, as humanity continues to evolve. (Jonathan Stedall, documentary film-maker and author of ‘Where on Earth is Heaven
When I was taking my first steps in philosophy at Winchester College, David Lorimer stressed to me the importance of taking into account lived human experience alongside abstract argumentation; if readers of this book benefit from his humaneness as much as I did, they will be lucky indeed.
David Lorimer’s newest offering is a breathtaking tour of his collected essays over the past decades! He is a brilliant scholar and author and this work does not disappoint! His writing is clear and clever, and flows through three sections from philosophical meaning making, to the nature of consciousness and transformation, to ethics and society. Each essay is accompanied by a contextual introduction that serves to set the scene for the topic and help deepen the impact of his exquisite writing. This is a book that is desperately needed in this day and age – it germinates curiosity, promotes compassion, and shows us there is hope for humanity today and beyond!
- J. Kim Penberthy, Ph.D., ABPP, Chester F. Carlson Professor of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA, Author of Living Mindfully Across the Lifespan: An Intergenerational Guide
Deep Dave – that’s what they called David Lorimer at school. But when I met him, it wasn’t so much his deepness that struck me, though, certainly, as soon as we did finally start talking, our conversation went down to the deepest profundities of life, as if we were two scuba-divers exploring the deepest depths. What struck me, though, was how easy the swimming felt. He is such a wonderfully kind and clear-eyed guide. His interest in ideas, his affection for the thinkers, his lucidity - they light the way. And reading these marvellous essays brought back how influential he has always been. Opening the book, I read first his fascinating pieces on Swedenborg and Beinsa Douno, but then I wanted to read about everyone that Lorimer has enjoyed. I shall! This is a book that I shall swim in often!
Andrew Clover, writer and former scholar, Winchester College
David Lorimer’s far-ranging enquiries have taken him through many realms of science, spirituality and philosophy. He has read more books on these subjects than anyone I know, and knows most of the leading thinkers in these fields. This book brings together some of his reflections, previously scattered in various publications - it is an invaluable resource and a perfect bedside book.
Rupert Sheldrake PhD, biologist and author of The Science Delusion
A QUEST FOR WISDOM
What would a lifelong quest for wisdom look like? These essays by David Lorimer are highly literate evidence of the author’s breadth of reference and intellectual energy: they seem to me to fulfill the dictum, “the idealists and dreamers have important work to do in every human culture”. Not every essay is equally accessible to the general reader. However, what is not immediately accessible may be, and often is, a stimulating guide to further exploration. One example will have to serve: Lorimer’s introductory essays here bring our attention to the spiritual teacher, Beinsa Douno (Peter Deunov). To explore more deeply one can go to David Lorimer’s “Prophet for our Times: the Life and Teachings of Peter Deunov”, and thence to the extensive writings of this remarkable, wise, Bulgarian theologian and mystic.
I strongly recommend this collection to anyone engaged in, or beginning, a quest for wisdom in our troubled times.
John Maxwell Kerr
Former Warden, The Society of Ordained Scientists
I very much like the idea of someone publishing a collection of the thoughts and explorations of their lifetime, and this one is rich in its coverage and depth. The references, the topics and the arguments show David Lorimer’s passage through time, shifting and deepening, with love, Divine Love appearing everywhere. Fascinating, full of wonderful quotes, and worth taking slowly.
David Cadman, Harmony Professor of Practice at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Harmony Advisor to The Prince's Foundation.
“These wise and wonderful essays offer a penetrating survey of human thought from Heraclitus, Anaxagoras and Plato to Albert Schweitzer, Carl Jung and Peter Deunov. Reading them is a revelatory experience in itself. The brilliance, intelligence and lucidity with which complex ideas are explored and evaluated for their contribution to the enlightenment of humanity is extraordinary; the commitment to this task from the age of 21 prodigious. The critique of materialist science that has cut us off from the universe and dispensed with both God and the soul is both timely and necessary. But most of all, these essays reflect the ideas and values which have informed the author’s lifelong quest for wisdom: ideas and values that he has imbibed and assimilated from great teachers and which are totally missing in today’s world. They can be summed up by the words Reverence for Life. A truly outstanding gift to us from a man who lives the role of philosopher-king in an era sorely in need of one.”
Events of the last few decades have revealed an alarming decline of wisdom from the mainstream discussion, calling into question any claims of human progress. Enter David Lorimer with his voluminous knowledge of modern science and spirituality, and his heartfelt reflections on an optimistic reverence for life. His writing facilitates a much closer sense of alignment and purpose with the Universe for any true seeker. This book is a gift to humanity, perfectly attuned to the apparent challenges that will energise our awakening into lives rich with purpose and meaning. Highly recommended!
Eben Alexander MD, neurosurgeon and author of Living in a Mindful Universe, Proof of Heaven, and The Map of Heaven
These wise and wonderful essays offer a penetrating survey of human thought from Heraclitus, Anaxagoras and Plato to Albert Schweitzer, Carl Jung and Peter Deunov. Reading them is a revelatory experience in itself. The brilliance, intelligence and lucidity with which complex ideas are explored and evaluated for their contribution to the enlightenment of humanity is extraordinary; the commitment to this task from the age of 21 prodigious. The critique of materialist science that has cut us off from the universe and dispensed with both God and the soul is both timely and necessary. But most of all, these essays reflect the ideas and values which have informed the author’s lifelong quest for wisdom: ideas and values that he has imbibed and assimilated from great teachers and which are totally missing in today’s world. They can be summed up by the words Reverence for Life. A truly outstanding gift to us from a man who lives the role of philosopher-king in an era sorely in need of one.
What a wonderful read this collection of essays is from David Lorimer, who has been a curator of seminal thinkers for nearly four decades. Well organised, broad ranging, and filled with penetrating insights, this book is a tour of great minds by a great mind. Highly recommended.
“David Lorimer is just the sort of thinker that is today all too rare: hugely well read, unstuffy, and interested in philosophy in the best sense. In the course of these essays, spanning forty years, he asks most of the big questions about the nature and meaning of life, with an accent on a spiritual understanding, and drawing on a wide range of sources. They are a delight to read; and on this ‘quest for wisdom’, there is many a nugget already there to reward the seeker along the way.”