How to Read Raimon Panikkar

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John O'Neill:

"I would say that the first book which comes to mind as relevant to your project is The Cosmotheandric Experience, which is a standalone book, as well as being included in Volume VIII of his Opera Omnia ( his 17 book All Works) , along with a book on The Trinity and World Religions.

Of special interest would be his chapters on The Three Kairological Moments of Consciousness, as well as his ones on The Threefold Structure of Human Time- Consciousness. His Cosmotheandric Intuition and Experience are of course central to and provide hermeneutical keys to all his work.

The next two books would be the ones on Cultures and Religions in Dialogue, Volume VI. They are, respectively , on Pluralism and Interculturality, and on Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue. There is much good stuff here on pluralism and dialogical dialogue, much needed in these times.

His Volume IX, again with 2 books, on Mystery and Hermeneutics is very good, especially the first book, which includes stuff on Myth , Symbol and on Sacred Secularity and Ritual His Volume II, on Religion and Religions, is also very good on those topics.

For the more mystically and spiritually minded, his first volume, on Mysticism and Spirituality, again with 2 books, is also incredibly rich and profound.

Of course , he has several books on individual religions, including a couple on Christianity, including Christophany, the best book on Christ, which I have ever read. His survey of Hinduism , including a huge book, translating, with interpretative commentary, the Vedas, is magnificent. He obviously knew and lived his Hindu religion deeply, from within the tradition.

He also has a very wise one on Buddhism, showing his depth of understanding of that tradition .

His magnum opus, his great work, the last one published while he was alive, is his Rhythm of Being, which started out as the 1989 Gifford Lectures , took 20 years to write and is really his last philosophical will and testament, summarizing all his work , with an emphasis on a new understanding of the Mystery, the Divine and sacred secularity, with a need for a civilizational new mythos. The last part of the book speaks more about our current predicament, ecosophy, a new Kosmology, the need for transformation , etc., He died in 2010, 9 months after this came out.

I am coming more and more to see and appreciate him as a great integral philosopher, whose work is becoming more relevant to our times.

There are advantages, for those who have the passion, the patience, the time and the commitment, to read his Opera Omnia through , in the order in which he has deliberately and pedagogically laid the books out, with the series in that form mostly rolled out after his death. He has an introduction to each volume and has chosen the books, the articles and their order, himself. That is clearly how he wants his books to be studied and understood. It is a big undertaking, though, which is keeping me going over a period of years.

I am currently reading his latest one to come out , Volume X, Part Two, on Philosophical and Theological Thought.

The last two books in the series, one on Sacred Secularity and one on Space, Time and Science , are due to be published in English in December 2022. I am eagerly waiting for those to come out.

These are not all his books and papers by any means but are the ones he considered most important and representative."