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New World Library Unshelved

New World Library Unshelved

Positive news and inspiring views from the New World Library community


Friday, February 22, 2013
It's the Perennial Philosophy (Or, There's Nothing New in the New Age)
 

I was asked to write a blog about the latest trends in mind, body, spirit publishing. It got me thinking, first about the word trends and then about our publishing program in general. Something in the word trends implies things that come and go, things — whether fashions or ideas or whatever — that are popular for a while and then fade a bit.

I remember something my old (dear and departed) friend Hal Kramer said when asked about trends in publishing (he founded Celestial Arts Publishing and then went on to start H J Kramer). He said, “We don’t follow trends, we make trends.”

Yes, at New World Library we innovate in our publishing, and sometimes we even make trends. But the core of our publishing is something much deeper than the latest trend; it’s what Aldous Huxley famously described as the Perennial Philosophy. The roots of our publishing program go back to the earliest written words ever recorded.

Since the early days of humanity, people have had great, deep questions about it all. Humans have always wanted to make their lives better — more satisfying, more fulfilling. It’s encoded somehow in our DNA; Martha Graham called it our “divine discontent” — our drive to expand in some way, improve our lives, and even realize a great potential we all sense we have, even if that sense is buried deep somewhere in our subconscious minds.

One of the first books ever written was the Bhagavad Gita — the “Divine Song.” We published a beautiful prose version of it called The Bhagavad Gita: A Walkthrough for Westerners. The Gita is over 5,000 years old, and it still speaks to us in the 21st century with depth and power and love. It is still as important and relevant and potentially life changing as The Power of Now and a great many other books we have published recently at New World Library. Here’s one of my favorite quotes worth pondering from the Gita:

Even in the knocks of life we can find great gifts.

Another book that changed my life as well as those of countless others, As You Think by James Allen (originally titled As a Man Thinketh) was written in 1904. When I first read that book, I put several quotes from it in big letters up on my wall, and stared at them until I memorized them:

You will become as great as your dominant aspiration. . . .
If you cherish a vision, a lofty ideal in your heart
you will realize it.

Words like these never go out of fashion. Words like these have changed my life. So many other books that we’ve published have been read and treasured for many, many years. The Art of True Healing by Israel Regardie was first written in 1932, and it still blows me away with its powerful and profound insights into the nature of healing and the law of attraction. Joseph Campbell was born in 1904; his work has been out for many decades now. So has the work of Mother Teresa and Alan Watts, and it’s still as vital today as it was when it was written.

We don’t follow trends. We publish books that are timeless. I have no doubt that hundreds of years in the future, people driven by their divine discontent will still be reading Eckhart Tolle, Shakti Gawain, and many other authors we love and are gratified to be able to present to the world.


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