Transcendent Philosophy Volume 3.  Number 4.  December  2002

Book Reviews

Abdul Lathief, Philosophical Reflections

Mulberry Publications, Keralam, India: 2002.

In the authorís words, Part I consists of "a humble attempt to analyze some of the metaphysical and philosophical problems." He begins his discussion with his own classification of the different levels of being, starting with Absolute Existence, which exists prior to space and time. The author briefly traces the three aspects or Logoi of this Absolute Existence (essential existence, self-consciousness and spiritual existence) and then discusses, in an emanationist manner, how the universe of space and time arises from Absolute Existence. According to the author, the world of space and time manifests itself as four levels of existence: spiritual, mental, astral and material. After delineating the four levels, the author proceeds to discuss each levelís subdivisions of existence. The author concludes Part I with brief presentations of creative and conscious evolution and the uniqueness of the human spirit within the cosmos. He notes that complete self-expression of the human spirit can only be realized when one comes to know the truth of his essential nature, whose necessary, albeit not sufficient condition, is the contemplation of the "the master," the "perfect man." Although total self-realization depends upon contemplation of the perfect man, it is ultimately a spontaneous happening.

Composed of the authorís own ideas, this reviewer deems Part I, though sometimes difficult to follow, the most worthy part of the work. The authorís combining metaphysical reflection with insights from cosmology, modern physics, and religious traditions primarily interested the reviewer. For example, the author takes the reader from the three Logoi of Absolute Existence, which are identified with Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma and the higher triads from Pythagoreanism, Sufism and Kabbalism, through the manifestation of the physical universe of space and time. The author holds that the physical universe arises after the formation of leptons and quarks from the initial Big Bang point of singularity. This leads to the four forces, which exist as spiritual, mental, astral and material manifestations. He then links these manifestations with the lower Tetrad from Kabbala, Pythagoreanism, and the four Archangels from the Semitic religions.

The authorís own sketches and his brief analyses of Western and Eastern philosophies, human psychology, religious philosophy and mysticism comprise the remaining four parts of the work. Although many of these sketches serve as a helpful outline to the divisions within Eastern and Western philosophies and religions, the sketches themselves are often too cursory to contribute to the overall work. In addition, the author rarely attempts to link his own philosophical-metaphysical viewpoints with those schools of thought and religion he outlines in the remaining parts of his work. The result is that Part I, the authorís ideas, seems to stands alone, while the remainder of the work amounts to little more than superficial sketches, of little benefit to advanced students of philosophy and religion.


Brian Thomas

Cincinnati, USA