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Adriana Koulias talks about her novel Temple of the Grail – Page 4

A reading list for the metaphysical and medieval world...

READERSVOICE.COM: I was wondering which books you might recommend people read to get an introduction to some of the many spiritual, philosophical and scientific concepts discussed in the book by people like the learned Templar knight, Andre, his scribe Chistian de St. Armand, and their ally Eisik.
ADRIANA KOULIAS: Books…books…books! There are so many books!
My favourites are Plato’s Dialogues and Aristotle’s Poetics, Metaphysics and The Art of Rhetoric, not to mention the works of Thomas Aquinas.
These men informed much of the thinking of those times.
Dante’s Divine Comedy is also a very good read and so are Plutarch’s Essays especially his essay entitled, On the Use of Reason by Irrational Animals – very tongue in cheek.
The excellent book called Kabbalah by A.E.White, as well as A Christian Rosencreutz Anthology are both very comprehensive books on the Cabalistic, Gnostic and Alchemical ideas used in Temple of the Grail.
For a general look at medieval customs and life, there is a good book by Joan Evans called Life in Medieval France and another by Jacques Le Goff called The Medieval World.
To learn more about The Templars you can’t look past The New Knighthood by Malcolm Barber and also a book by Piers Paul Read called The Templars.
For a more religious understanding of the monastic orders, Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages by R.W. Southern is very helpful.
For those who want to learn something about the Inquisition there is Bernard Gui’s On the Life of the Albigensians, his work on Inquisitorial Technique and his Manual for Inquisitors and Jacques Fournier of Parmiers’ Inquisitorial Records are also valuable for the purposes of understanding inquisitorial trials.

These are all available at the Labyrinth web site.
A good book on heresy is Medieval Heresy by Malcolm Lambert, and if you can get it The Inquisiton of the Middle Ages by Henry Charles Lea.
If you want to understand the thoughts and emotions of a crusader, A Book of Days by Stephen J Rivelle is certainly worth reading. It is the diary of an unknown crusader knight translated by a relative, Stephen J Rivelle.
It is a personal view of war and conscience that coincides beautifully with history.
I have to warn you, the more you study the more questions you have, because in the words of the great historian William Durant, ‘Enquiry is fatal to certainty.’
RV: Can you list your five favorite books of all time and maybe say a bit about why you liked them, whether fiction or not?
AK: Only five? That is not an easy task but here goes:
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell I read this when I was fifteen and it changed my life.
More than any other writer she inspired me to rejoice in language, in smells and sensations. I was entertained but I also learned that history could be exciting.
I thought, I can write something like this!
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – his legend of the Grand Inquisitor and his description of the Devil – conscience without God – are the works of a human genius and show so clearly the future of Russian culture.
Don Quixote by Cervantes- I began reading it as a gesture to my father and by the time I finished it I wanted to read it again.
It is all the world contained in a drop of rain – I wish I’d written it!
Narcissus and Goldmund by Herman Hess – A fellow musician gave me this book years ago – he was studying philosophy at university.

I was too busy and yes, too young, and I never finished it.
Years later I was in a second hand bookshop, researching Temple of the Grail, and suddenly thought of it.
Luckily they had a copy.
I’ve read it about three times, each time I was transported by its sense of poetry, its fluid descriptions, and its two characters whose destinies touch and diverge.
Hess is the only writer that can describe a corpse as something both beautiful and inspiring and make it believable.
He is capable of showing a moral view of the world without a single judgement.
Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path by Rudolf Steiner – this is not a book for the faint hearted, it’s a hard book to read but once you’ve finished it you realise it has taken your thinking to another level.
RV: These days belief in the spiritual realm seems out of fashion, and is often looked at as irrational, and secularism and materialism is in.
What do you think the future is for spirituality? Will it exist whether people believe in it or not?
AK: I must admit it can be frustrating to look historically at humanity’s struggle for freedom of belief, at the personal sacrifices of so many, and see that at the moment that it has a chance of being achieved, materialism has usurped it.
However in my experience you can find spirituality in the most unexpected places.
There are many, many people who live it every day.
As to whether spirituality will die out if it isn’t believed?
This is my opinion: When you close your eyes you no longer see the world in all its myriad colours, and still it continues to exist – it is patient, it waits for the eyes to open.
-story by Simon Sandall