Explores the origins and significance of angels, symbolic dreams, and near-death experiences, showing how the contemporary interest in them is a basic aspect of humanity
In this commanding and impassioned inquiry, Harold Bloom draws on a lifelong study of religion and, in particular, of Gnosticism, the knowing that God is not an external force but resides within each on of us. Through the ancient literatures of Jewish Kabbalah, Christian Gnosticism, and Muslim Shiite Sufism, he reveals to us the angels not as the kitschy cherubs we know today, but as magnificent, terrifying, sublime beings who have always played a central role in Western culture. He allows us to feel their splendor, and to experience the powerful role that dreams and near-death experiences have held throughout the centuries. And in the dazzling final chapter, he delivers a Gnostic sermon in which he urges us toward transcendence.