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Williams, M.H. (2010). Axis Mundi by Eric Rhode. Published by Apex One, London, 2008; 208 pp; £19.99 paperback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 26(1):106-109.

(2010). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 26(1):106-109

Axis Mundi by Eric Rhode. Published by Apex One, London, 2008; 208 pp; £19.99 paperback.

Review by:
Meg Harris Williams

In this fascinating and beautifully presented book, richly illustrated with spectacular photographs, Eric Rhode takes Plato's myth of the axis mundi as a starting point for a personal inquiry into the nature of man's relation to the unknowable. In The Republic Plato recounts how those awaiting incarnation are saved from fragmentation by a vision of the rainbow-like axis mundi whose function appears to be to guide them towards a revelation of their future state. This pillar of light links the heavens with the Fates - those ‘daughters of Necessity’ who weave the threads of life - and, ruminating on this from a modern viewpoint, Rhode suggests: ‘I might suppose that an infant under threat from fragmentation might find a similar axial of integration through a gaze, the source of whose light is unknowable’ (p. 9).

Rhode then adopts the term ‘axiality’ to demarcate the knowable from the unknowable, referring to that state of mind which is on the verge of apprehending new ideas or states of being. His exploration of axiality is founded on his long-standing interest in ancient civilizations, together with the more recent acquisition of an extensive knowledge of Eastern religions - in particular, those of ‘monsoon Asia’. Rhode has not merely read about these but also travelled in order to experience on the pulses the impact of sacred sites and ceremonials and their ‘architecture’ - in the shape of both buildings or artworks, and belief systems.

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