• davidlorimer

A Quest for Wisdom

Updated: Mar 11

Inspiring Purpose on the Path of Life


My latest book, A Quest for Wisdom, is a wide-ranging volume which brings together 25 essays. The collection explores philosophy, meaning and spirituality; consciousness, death and transformation; and responsibility, ethics and society. I hope that readers will be inspired, as Dr Albert Schweitzer put it, in our common task 'to become more finely and deeply human.' Below are the endorsements I have received for A Quest for Wisdom.


“For years I have had a personal rule: read anything that David Lorimer writes. I have benefited from David’s insights for decades. A Quest for Wisdom is his latest and most profound contribution, a summing up of accumulated wisdom. Lorimer is a rare cultural treasure. I hope your quest for wisdom includes this great book.”

- Larry Dossey, MD, author of One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters


“What a blessing David Lorimer’s work has been for many fellow seekers over these past several decades. Reading, assimilating, and reviewing countless works at the frontiers of science, philosophy, and spirituality, he has provided his readers year after year with a unique gift, opening up to them horizons that without his intercession might have remained unexplored. Especially important, he combines a wide-ranging, agile intellect with a spiritual foundation that has long grounded his inquiries and deepened his insights. David has made an enduring contribution to our intellectual and spiritual life that I hope will ripple out into the broader culture.”

- Richard Tarnas, Professor of Philosophy and Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies, author of The Passion of the Western Mind and Cosmos and Psyche


“What a wonderful read this collection of essays is from David Lorimer, who has been a curator of seminal thinkers for nearly four decades. Well organised, broad ranging, and filled with penetrating insights, this book is a tour of great minds by a great mind. Highly recommended.”

- Christopher Bache, PhD, author of LSD and the Mind of the Universe


“The range of David Lorimer’s writing is extraordinary. Yet every one of these scholarly essays has a freshness and vigour that inspires the reader from the first sentence to the last. Lorimer’s contribution to the understanding of the spiritual side of our existence is increasingly widely appreciated. He is a wise and humane guide.”

- Alexander McCall Smith, CBE, best-selling author and Emeritus Professor of Medical Law, University of Edinburgh


“Events of the last few decades have revealed an alarming decline of wisdom from the mainstream discussion, calling into question any claims of human progress. Enter David Lorimer with his voluminous knowledge of modern science and spirituality, and his heartfelt reflections on an optimistic reverence for life. This book is a gift to humanity, perfectly attuned to the apparent challenges that will energise our awakening into lives rich with purpose and meaning!”

- Eben Alexander MD, neurosurgeon and author of Living in a Mindful Universe, Proof of Heaven, and The Map of Heaven


“David Lorimer’s far-ranging enquiries have taken him through many realms of science, spirituality and philosophy. He has read more books on these subjects than anyone I know, and knows most of the leading thinkers in these fields. This book brings together some of his reflections, previously scattered in various publications - it is an invaluable resource and a perfect bedside book.”

- Rupert Sheldrake PhD, biologist and author of The Science Delusion


“David Lorimer is just the sort of thinker that is today all too rare: hugely well read, unstuffy, and interested in philosophy in the best sense. In the course of these essays, spanning forty years, he asks most of the big questions about the nature and meaning of life, with an accent on a spiritual understanding, and drawing on a wide range of sources. They are a delight to read; and on this ‘quest for wisdom’, there is many a nugget already there to reward the seeker along the way.”

- Dr Iain McGilchrist, neuroscientist and philosopher, author of The Master and his Emissary


“For the last 40 years, David Lorimer has made an immense contribution to the emerging spiritual worldview of our culture. This book is a marvellously rich and varied collection of his writings, pervaded with a rare combination of acute intellectual insight, spiritual depth and encyclopaedic knowledge. It’s a joy to read, showing how a spiritual perspective can illuminate every aspect of our lives and our culture.”

- Steve Taylor PhD, author of Spiritual Science and The Leap


“David Lorimer’s newest offering is a breathtaking tour of his collected essays over the past decades! His writing is clear and clever, and flows through three sections from philosophical meaning making, to the nature of consciousness and transformation, to ethics and society. Each essay is accompanied by a contextual introduction that serves to set the scene for the topic and help deepen the impact of his exquisite writing. This is a book that sorely needed in this day and age – it germinates curiosity, promotes compassion, and shows us there is hope for humanity today and beyond! “

- J. Kim Penberthy, Ph.D., ABPP, Chester F. Carlson Professor of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA, Author of Living Mindfully Across the Lifespan: An Intergenerational Guide


“Seated within the Scots “generalist” intellectual tradition of rounded knowledge, David Lorimer braids a guiding thread of philosophy, psychology and politics. Like Jung, he understands the ways in which the outer life of the times draws its drive and meaning from inner spiritual currents. Neither does he flinch from searching out empirical evidence of that psychospiritual reality. These are grounding essays of the past half century that transcend the hustling bustle of a frenzied world.

- Professor Alastair McIntosh, author of Soil and Soul and Poacher’s Pilgrimage


“The quest is of paramount importance, the substance of it as presented in this book is fascinating and meaningful — and the book as a whole is great and even essential reading in our critical times.”

- Ervin Laszlo, PhD, Founder, Club of Budapest, author of The Wisdom Principles: A Handbook for our Time

“There is too much information and a lot of knowledge in our contemporary world, but sadly very little wisdom. David Lorimer’s book helps to fill that void. A Quest for Wisdom distils the profound thoughts and insights of many philosophers and prophets of our time. It is a handy guide to navigate through the confusions and illusions of the modern materialistic paradigm and shows us the way leading to a more holistic culture. A Quest for Wisdom is a most accessible and deeply inspiring book. If you are searching for meaning in your life then this book will certainly prove to be a wonderful companion in that search.”

- Satish Kumar, Editor Emeritus, Resurgence & Ecologist


In an age of consumerist reading, where we read something quickly in order to harvest a few ideas and then move on, it seems to me that a deeper and more thoughtful practice of reading has been lost, in which the text is seen as our wise teacher and friend. David Lorimer’s A Quest for Wisdom is a book that invites us to read in this deeper and more humble way. As I savoured these essays, I discovered leitmotifs throughout the book that continue to play in my mind, taking me deeper and deeper into my contemplation of love, wisdom and truth.

- Professor Marjorie Woollacott, Emeritus Professor of Neuroscience and Human Physiology, University of Oregon, author, Infinite Awareness


“I am delighted to follow David Lorimer’s search over decades for Truth, Love and Beauty - usual epithets of the One which remains a Mystery beyond description--without restrictions of the West or the East, or of science and religion, modern and ancient, or of this and that. It is amazing to learn about the number of books he has read, reviewed and assimilated. Each essay in the book is worth staying with and pondering, questioning and learning from. Every searcher will find this book stimulating, encouraging, delightful and full of insights in their journey towards eternal wisdom which of necessity includes taking care of our world with compassion and kindness. I highly recommend David’s book A Quest for Wisdom but with a caution: find a quiet place and enough time because if you pick up this book you won’t be able to put it down.”

- Ravi Ravindra, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Comparative Religion, Dalhousie University


“These wise and wonderful essays offer a penetrating survey of human thought from Heraclitus, Anaxagoras and Plato to Albert Schweitzer, Carl Jung and Peter Deunov. Reading them is a revelatory experience in itself. The brilliance, intelligence and lucidity with which complex ideas are explored and evaluated for their contribution to the enlightenment of humanity is extraordinary; the commitment to this task from the age of 21 prodigious. The critique of materialist science that has cut us off from the universe and dispensed with both God and the soul is both timely and necessary. But most of all, these essays reflect the ideas and values which have informed the author’s lifelong quest for wisdom: ideas and values that he has imbibed and assimilated from great teachers and which are totally missing in today’s world. They can be summed up by the words Reverence for Life. A truly outstanding gift to us from a man who lives the role of philosopher-king in an era sorely in need of one.”

- Anne Baring, author of The Dream of the Cosmos: A Quest for the Soul


“When I was taking my first steps in philosophy at Winchester College, David Lorimer stressed to me the importance of taking into account lived human experience alongside abstract argumentation; if readers of this book benefit from his humaneness as much as I did, they will be lucky indeed.”

- Benjamin Morison DPhil, Chair of Classical Philosophy, Princeton University, former scholar, Winchester College


“A gifted, original and inspirational teacher, David Lorimer is also a writer who compels the attention – and whose passionate quest for wisdom comes through on every page.”

- Harry Bingham, best-selling author, and Chairman, Jericho Writers, former scholar, Winchester College


“Deep Dave – that’s what they called David Lorimer at school. But when I met him, it wasn’t so much his deepness that struck me, though, certainly, as soon as we did finally start talking, our conversation went down to the deepest profundities of life, as if we were two swimmers. What struck me was how easy the swimming felt. He was such a wonderfully kind and clear-eyed guide. His interest in ideas, his affection for the thinkers, his lucidity - they light the way. And reading these marvellous essays brought back how influential he has been. I read first his fascinating pieces on Swedenborg and Beinsa Douno, but then I wanted to read about everyone that David has enjoyed. I shall! This is a book that I shall swim in often!”

- Andrew Clover, writer, teacher, actor, director, comedian and former scholar, Winchester College


“Written in eloquent prose that makes reading a pleasure, this volume of essays by David Lorimer is exceptional in breadth and depth as the author explores some of the deepest and most troubling concerns for the world today. The three sections, Philosophy, Spirituality and Meaning, Consciousness, Death and Transformation, Taking Responsibility - Ethics and Society, between them cover the most pressing existential questions that face humanity: why are we here, what lies beyond birth and death, and how can our lives individually and together fulfil the spiritual potential of humankind. Modernity is challenged by a global crisis largely of our own making and the author, with both compassion and scholarship, shows how the solution lies in our hands. Starting with Swedenborg, Lorimer draws with wonderful clarity on some of the great spiritual exemplars in recent history, to which he adds his own sensitive and thoughtful reflections. Notwithstanding the worst excesses of the human species, this book offers a profound message of hope for the future - never more needed than at the present time.” - Dr Andrew Powell, Founding Chair, Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group, Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK, author of The Ways of the Soul, Conversations with the Soul


“I very much like the idea of someone publishing a collection of the thoughts and explorations of their lifetime, and this one is rich in its coverage and depth. The references, the topics and the arguments show David Lorimer’s passage through time, shifting and deepening, with love, Divine Love appearing everywhere. Fascinating, full of wonderful quotes, and worth taking slowly.”

- Prof David Cadman, Harmony Adviser to The Prince’s Foundation and author of Love and the Divine Feminine


“In his Foreword to this book, so full of philosophical and spiritual treasures, Charles Maclean writes that the British have a certain ambivalence about intellectuals. Maybe so, but what they do appreciate and admire are explorers, and this is what David Lorimer has done so diligently over the past fifty years. The story of his journey and his quest, and the insights and signposts along the way, give an extraordinarily helpful perspective into what I sometimes call ‘a bigger picture’ - a window into what really matters, as humanity continues to evolve.”

- Jonathan Stedall, documentary film-maker and author of ‘Where on Earth is Heaven?


“What would a lifelong quest for wisdom look like? These essays by David Lorimer are highly literate evidence of the author’s breadth of reference and intellectual energy: they seem to me to fulfil the dictum, “the idealists and dreamers have important work to do in every human culture”. I strongly recommend this collection to anyone engaged in, or beginning, a quest for wisdom in our troubled times.”

- John Maxwell Kerr, SOSc, Former Warden, The Society of Ordained Scientists



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