The Rose Priory Dialogues by Allan Armstrong

Imagier Publishing, 2014
Paperback: pp.216

Condition: New

Joe is invited to attend a discussion on mysticism and spirituality at the mysterious Rose Priory, where he is introduced to the enigmatic Brother Marcus. Little does he realise that this meeting is the beginning of an extraordinary adventure


Additional information

Weight.310 kg

1 review for The Rose Priory Dialogues by Allan Armstrong

  1. Raymond

    Tales of Brother Marcus (Part One) unfolds in the first person narrative of Joe, an Everyman ‘seeker after truth’ who is surprised, in 1981, to find his native cultural and spiritual heritage alive and thriving, walking and talking in the form of a Christian monk, Brother Marcus, of the Rose Priory. Mr Armstrong uses this narrative device to give voice to the questions such seekers must ask (both verbally, and within their own mind) of all who would claim the title of teacher or guide and also to give expression to their always difficult and confounding lived experience as they seek to locate the path of truth. This is very moving in its way, but more importantly it frames the answers Brother Marcus gives to these perennial questions.

    Brother Marcus’ teachings commence as he outlines the principles of spiritual growth beginning with tolerance. From there he unfolds the rest; right thinking, right action, that we are the sum total of our actions, that the self has a triadic form constituted of the conscious, unconscious and the divine and that these verities unfold in a universe created by God that is perfect in every detail (cf. “… the very hairs of your head are all numbered …”). A deceptively straightforward beginning to the journey …

    I first read this book from cover to cover as a once around the block read when it was first published 11 years ago; it was interesting, somewhat familiar (mentions of Egypt, Greece, Hinduism, Mythology, comparative religion, the history of religion) and challenging; my passing familiarity with these ideas was shallow and left me with a limited capacity to process most of the information presented as anything other than a parade of facts. I resolved to revisit the book in order to better absorb Mr Armstrong’s writing; I finally managed this 18 months ago and have been working with it ever since.

    On this second go around I found so much distilled and concentrated knowledge that I had to resort to a spreadsheet in order to even begin to do the author’s purpose justice and to become acquainted with all that is implicit as well as all that is explicit here.

    This book is about Christianity as a living process of purification and elevation of the soul through study, meditation and prayer. It outlines the method of Christian purification, the history of the ideas that are integral to it, the historical unfolding of those ideas and methods and their relationship to other religions, East and West; primarily focusing upon the commonalities between them. There is reference to the nature of the Geocentric (Ptolemaic) model of Creation and its exposition in the number mysticism of the Pythagoreans, the Platonic / Neoplatonic hypostases, the kabbalah, alchemy and myth. The nature of Scripture and its place in the unfolding of the spiritual journey is discussed with a level of sophistication and clarity that is rare; even more so when Brother Marcus explores the place and purpose of allegory and metaphor in the context of Scripture.

    This is not a book about division or separation, fear or judgement, it is a book about reintegration and building. It is about the development of self-knowledge (Socrates’ admonition to “know thyself”) and the reestablishment of our soul consciousness in its divine root. Mr Armstrong delineates what he calls the chemistry of consciousness (our lived experience) as it is manifested in our thoughts, emotions and memories by the agency of our biochemistry (at the level of material and sensory consciousness) and by the agency of its divine source and purpose when we learn to rest therein through prayer and meditation. The book culminates in a poetic exploration of the essential spiritual reality thereby revealed.

    This poetic exploration takes the form of a journey by Joe and his companions, with Brother Marcus as their guide, through a series of chambers and tunnels in the Rose Priory; a journey intended, says Brother Marcus, to give, “… a series of memories that may serve as the basis of fruitful meditations … seeds that if nurtured carefully will grow into beautiful forms full of meaning and rich in spiritual wisdom”. For myself, I feel that the author has succeeded magnificently in this goal; nonetheless, I suspect a third go-around is necessary for me before I move onto the sequel, “Brother Marcus II -The Pilgrimage” for the second time!

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