‘Queen Maeve and the Táin Stories is not just a lucid account of the stories that are fundamental to our identity, it carries us back to the source of our evolution as a Celtic nation and makes us wonder at an art form we are in danger of losing: our gift of storytelling.’ – Frank Ryan, Archaeologist
“I have to say from the outset I was very taken by this book because it was about the ancient craft of storytelling. I think there is nothing quite like a good story. Long before writing was introduced as a method of communication there was storytelling.
If you can imagine, people have been living in this country for the last 10,000 years but it is only in the last 1500 years that the written word is being used here. Before that people had to remember what was told to them and so poets and storytellers were highly regarded in society because they recorded the history and retold it. We learn from the book how Celtic storytelling was most likely introduced into this country.
Pauline’s extensive knowledge of ancient Greek society allowed her to see a connection between the myths and legends of ancient Greece in the late bronze age and those of Ireland where the story telling we know of was introduced by the Celts round about the time of Christ if not before. That is not to say there wasn’t storytelling before the Celts arrived – there must have been. But it is the stories that were subsequently written down in the early Christian period which were the myths and legends of that period that have come down to us. At the time word of mouth was the only way of handing down historical facts through the generations in an illiterate society. And although they can and do become embellished every time the story is told, nonetheless they are based on events that did occur in the past. I was astonished to learn that there are 650 sagas and tales surviving in manuscript form.
But there is much more to this book. We learn about the classification of ancient Irish literature into four main groups or cycles.
- Not alone are the most famous stories described but
- The oral tradition that nurtured these stories is very well explained
- As well as the society of the Celts and
- The impact of religious change on Celtic Ireland.
This is a very comprehensive book on the sagas and on the society that preserved them and I want to congratulate Pauline on the mammoth task she has undertaken with such success.”Frank Ryan, Archaeologist
“In her exciting, insightful and timely book Beyond Reason: Evolving Consciousness, Pauline McDermott has wonderfully achieved her aim: to synthesize many threads of research and knowledge with her own personal journey of discovery to arrive at an all-inclusive cosmic vision. At this pivotal time for humanity and Gaia, its important message of a revolutionary new awareness of an integrated and conscious Cosmos – and crucially our place as co-creators – is told with an immediacy and accessibility that I hope will attract, enlighten and empower very many people.” Dr. Jude Currivan, Cosmologist, Healer and Author of HOPE – Healing Our People & Earth.
Address by Peter Hynes, Mayo County Manager, at the launch of Beyond Reason: Evolving Consciousness on Sat., 23rd March, 2013.
“Beyond Reason: Evolving Consciousness is an extraordinary book that gives pleasure, challenges and inspires. It is an extraordinary book for many reasons. It is beautifully written, clear and attention grabbing. The topic is not the lightest. However, it is a real page turner, enjoyable and uplifting written in the narrative of a ‘who done it?’ It is intelligible, meaningful and relevant to the 21st century.
It is a book about journeys, Pauline’s own journey of self-discovery from innocent teenager to adulthood; to motherhood; to the West of Ireland; to world explorer; to philosopher; to energy healer; to complex centred person; told with clarity and honesty.
It is a Journey of global discovery, challenging the enlightenment mechanistic view of the world. It is a tour of the many ways in which the human family looks at the world; the Ancient Greeks, religions of the Orient, value systems of the Celts and aboriginal Americans and the world view of the Mayans, the Aztecs and others.
It is a journey through science, psychology and related fields, taking us on a tour through some of the most influential movements of the past three centuries, psychoanalysis, humanistic psychology, to consciousness and planetary consciousness. It demonstrates clearly just how connected we all are as expressed in the African proverb ‘I am because you are’. It also demonstrates just how artificial the dualistic divide between science/technology and religion/faith systems really is.
Final it is a journey of reclamation and redemption, reclaiming the mind, body and spirit, seeing humans as self-evolving dynamic systems with more control, more potential within ourselves than we know or even dream possible. On this leg of the journey Pauline takes us on a search for meaning that explores the ideas of the thought leaders of the very recent past from the New Age Movement to Spiritualism, Theosophy, re-emergence of the Goddess (Celtic tradition/feminism) through spiritual healing and past life therapy, which is clearly explained and woven into an intriguing pattern celebrating a new dawn.
In summary this is a most extraordinary piece of work. It is at once honest, informative, engaging, challenging and inspirational. Above all it is life affirming and a source of considerable hope and joy.” – Peter Hynes, Mayo County Manager
“Beyond Reason: Evolving Consciousness details the history of mankind’s evolving consciousness through different philosophies, religions and cultures. It explains how ancient spiritual practices confirmed by modern cutting edge science can help further our desire to reach our potential as individuals and as a society. It is a very interesting and informative read.”Ray Naughton