By Mouni Sadhu (George Allen and Unwin Ltd., London. 30 sh.).

Literature on Theugy is quite formidable, but most of it is theoretical and pedantic. Mouni Sadhu's "Theurgy" is different in that it is both thoughtful and lucid, and like his other works "Samadhi", "Concentration", etc. remains unexcelled in the literature of practical philosophy for Western readers. The present work is in a sense a complementary, an extension, of the author's earlier book, "The Tarot", which deals with the theoretical aspects of occult Theurgy.

To the followers of Pythogoras and Plotinus in the ancient Graego-Roman world "theurgy" signified a means for entering into contact with celestial powers and nature spirits and for obtaining desired results through worship and propitiation of the Gods, while the "theurgy" of later times entertained loftier conceptions and aims, including the highest spiritual attainment of men. "Instead of a multitude of factors and powers - such as gods, spirits and natural forces - acting upon man, the great central concept of the One-without-a-second arises in the theurgy of our own day." "All the operations of theurgy are directed to the One Source", declares the author "it is the Supreme Being, the absolute ruling and creative Power, which we call God." The enlightened man in his supremem ecstacy "strives directly towards the Highest, forsaking intermediate paths". This call for a living faith as the primary prerequisite of all theurgic action. Faith is the "cardinal virtue" of theurgic practice and God the "cardinal concept" of theurgic science.

Of the three basic laws of theurgy listed by the author the first is the law of Karma. "Every incarnate being forges its own destiny by its deeds, feelings- and thoughts." "Our behaviour prepares our rewards." That particular part of the whole human karma of an individual, "which has to be paid or rewarded in this incarnation, is called Prarabdha Karma", explains the au- thor. It is our "current destiny", "the cup we have to drain in this life". This does not mean that everyting is "firmly predestined for us" in the sense that even theurgic influence would be totally useless. Quoting masters of theurgy like M. Andreas, the author assures us that human intercession addressed to the Supreme may and does help in the alleviation of suffering, from which We pray for delivery: "Heaven may alter the form of repayment". Not every prayer may be granted, for "we have a lot of debts, and our difficulties may be a payment for them which has already commenced in the form of suffering". "Good prayers are like sowing of valuable seeds"; says the author, "they will grow, but the time they take is dependent on circumstances too numerous to mention. And prayers are not always articulate appeals. "Open your heart in silence, and listen; let Him speak, not you." That is superior prayer.

The author quotes form the Holy Bible to explain the Christian theurgic tradition and from the Hindu Gayatri to illustrate Vedantic theurgy. His book carries a "theurgic version" of the Lord's Prayer, which has a universal appeal, and he presents the "initiatery inner sense" of the Last Supper, which is highly elevating, and he interprets the Christian mass from the theurgic point of view, discussing briefly the role of ritual and paraphernalia as aids to concentration. Mouni Sadhu's work is bound to be of interest to an ever widening circle of readers both in the East and in the West.

K. Seshardi