Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review # 79: The Sacred Sphere by Paul D. Burley

     The Sacred Sphere documents the historical importance of sacred spherical symbols used by civilizations for the last ~2 million years. The book delves into world mythologies, philosophies, ethnographies, and geometries in relation to the circular patterns and symbols representing both ancient and current sacred relationships and rituals. 
     Being no stranger to scientific papers and college textbooks, I gladly accepted the challenge of reading Paul D. Burley's The Sacred Sphere- Exploring sacred concepts and cosmic consciousness through universal symbolism; although, I admit the ~500 page length was intimidating at first glance. Fortunately, the author did not write this book like a textbook, but as an easy to read/ understand guidebook, full of enjoyable myths and stories as well as b&w and color photos. I have taken anthropology classes, so I know firsthand what the textbooks are like, long-winded, detail-filled, and sleep-inducing, but this book wasn't like that. I actually learned more about specific cultures and their use of symbolism from reading The Sacred Sphere than I did in a fifteen-week semester of anthropology. If my professor had included this book in the curriculum, some of the concepts and depictions would have definitely been easier to comprehend, which is what I told my professor. I especially liked the sections on "Pillars of Ancient Egypt", "The Mechanics of Space" and "Time: Temporal yet Eternal, Linear or Circular?" which sparked a lot of my interest. The book is very well-researched and written, with a well-thought-out order and progression of the "timeline" it followed. The pictures, diagrams, and tables were wonderful aides in understanding and visualizing the material presented, and I found Paul D. Burley's conclusions quite fascinating. There were a few words/phrases that I had to look-up, as well as a couple of myths that I wanted a more in-depth look at, but that is expected with any scientific or historical book of this length. Overall, I felt that the book was very enjoyable and thorough, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in anthropology, archaeology, sociology, or symbolism, or those taking a class like I did.

Rating: On the Run (4/5)

*** I received this book from the author (Bostick Communications) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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