Literary Nonfiction. Essays. Classics. Mythology. Foreword Indies Finalist in Philosophy. Traditionally, the mountains are from whence wisdom is found and dispensed, the homes of the gods, places we look up to for aspiration and inspiration. Yet there is another source of insight, which involves a katabasis, from the Ancient Greek, meaning 'to go down', to travel from this world to the underworld. There, the chthonic gods and goddesses are just as real, and maybe just a little bit edgy from being neglected for so long. It is the journey of the initiate, to die before you die, thence to live twice-born: once of the flesh, and again of wisdom. KATABATIC WIND is an inspired collection of essays drawn from the lost unknown sacred tradition of the West. Using the lens of mythology, pre-Socratic Greek thought, and a long essay comparing the West with the Indian tradition through the characters of Hamlet and Arjuna of the Bhagavad Gita, this book illumines how these traditions shadow life lived today. The kernel of these essays is loss, longing for return, and the grief of living in a society without an inkling of its sacred origin story.
"This is the best sort of esoteric work—scholarly yet personal, wide-ranging yet detailed. Fascinating book."—Rachel Pollack
"If the end of the world is at hand, there's no point in reading this book—or any other book. If however there still exists one iota of hope…you have about ten minutes…to start reading this book."—Peter Lamborn Wilson
"Stephen Crimi embraces his life's dedication to primordial traditions with genuine humility, his colloquial essays are unapologetic as he alerts us Americans to our current condition. Taking us on a journey through the cross-fertilization of mystery wisdom cultures, Crimi announces through his informal examples that 'crisis is the spark of friction at the intersection of the sacred and the profane…finding what is best to do in the face of the impossible.' For Crimi, visioning reality through the Western crises is about pulling our sensory awareness together and starting at the place that sparks our own life."—Sabrina Dalla Valle
"We are mistaken when we think of the Apollonian Delphi as luminous. In fact, the Pythia, the vehicle of the Oracle, was located upon a tripod positioned over a steaming and shadowy chasm from which the vapors of the underworld wafted up. Wisdom comes from below. What we call 'insights' really begin in a womb of darkness. The wise are those who have travelled into the shadows of death and returned. The initiates are those who have died before they die. The essays, snippets, poems and short pieces in this collection are very wide-ranging and draw upon diverse traditions—east, west and otherwise—making surprising and often transforming connections. The common theme is the katabatic—the journey into the underworld and the corresponding breath or wind that carries a seemingly cryptic wisdom up from below. Steve Crimi's explorations around this motif invite the reader into the still, silent dark core where our false certainties dissolve and new possibilities—above all the possibility of metamorphosis and renewal—are profound."—Dr. Rodney Blackhirst, author of Primordial Alchemy and Modern Religion
"KATABATIC WIND is an insightful, poetic, as well as a searingly honest analysis of the foundational paradigms beneath our ever-declining and desacralized cultural-scientific worldview. Stephen Crimi fingers with jest, dismay, and at times despair, the most important yet frequently ignored modulators of the befalling darkness. He silhouettes the sanctification of militarism inherited from our Hindu-Greek myths and history. He describes the disguised totalitarian society and education infused in Platonic and Aristotelian doctrines, as well as the intolerant imperialistic ambitions veiled in the religious ideals of Roman Christendom. This work, while severe, is beautifully researched, illustrated and poetically companioned throughout, while keeping in hand both the universal aspects and the deeply personal psychological and spiritual effects of this phase in the eternal play of the embodiment of consciousness."—Robert Lawlor, author of Geometry of the End of Time and Sacred Geometry: Philosophy and Practice
Stephen Crimi has a degree in English literature from Union College, and spent over a decade in traditional Yoga study at Yoga Anand Ashram in Amityville, NY. He's been previously published in Moksha Journal and Journal of Anthroposophy in Australia. He's done time as an editor, estate gardener, cook, massage therapist, and most recently, running a biodynamic garden and fiber farm, Philosophy Farm, for twelve years with his wife of three decades, Krys. They now live in the city of Asheville, in the mountains of North Carolina, where they continue to garden and midwife literature. Stephen was born in Brooklyn, and raised on the streets of Ozone Park, NYC. KATABATIC WIND is his first book.
Author City: ASHEVILLE, NC USA