Fate Magazine Book Review

The Invisible Temple by Peter Roche de Coppens
Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, Minn., 1987, 276 pgs., $9.95, paperback.

Peter Roche de Coppens' The Invisible Temple is a clear illustration of how ritual magic is designed to promote the transformation (not degeneration) of human consciousness. Subtitled "The Nature and Use of the Group Mind for Spiritual Attainment," de Coppens' book centers on the esoteric aspects of Christianity and Judaism. Hence de Coppens writes at length about the mystical principles behind the Lord's Prayer, the Nicene Creed, the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments. The result is a basic introduction to esotericism, or what Aldous Huxley called the "Perennial Philosophy."

Although The Invisible Temple relies too much on visualization techniques for my taste (it is difficult to know, for instance, where the imagination ends and true mystical transport begins), it does offer a systematic way to get in touch with one's inner faculties and powers. As an introduction to beginning mysticism and magic, it is a good, if simplistic, guide to the psychic arts.

Its one major drawback is that de Coppens does not deal directly with higher spiritual practices which emphasize conscious withdrawal of one's attention from the body-mind complex altogether by means of a real (not imaginary) inner current of light and sound --not merely intonations or affirmations suggesting such an effect. For instance, de Coppens relies too heavily on mind projection and not enough on actual, verifiable "dying while living" --direct perception of transpersonal realities.

The invisible temples that de Coppens writes about at length is not located in the imagination or in the external world as he suggests on page 77. Rather, the inner temple is man's consciousness. Nobody needs to imagine it, project it or write books about it to make it real --it is already the only true reality of man's condition.
--David Christopher Lane