Eric-Jan Verwey
Eric-Jan Verwey

Eric-Jan Verwey is a natural-born traveler. His first trip to India was in 1989 at the age of 18. He has made a further twenty trips to this country over the span of the last twenty-four years, accruing to a total of five years of pilgrimages to various temples, studying the myths and deities connected to them.
While India is the country in which he has spent the longest amounts of time, he has also traveled widely to other places with strong religious, mythological and/or spiritual traditions. In 2000 he toured Ethiopia, specifically the northern part where the oldest Christian practices can be found. He hiked to Mount Kailash, the most significant mountain in a number of religions including Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, in 1996, taking him three months over the high desert plateaus of Tibet. Several Islamic countries were a significant part of his overland journey from Holland to Pakistan in 1994.
After his ninth trip to India and a year-long recovery from TB, in 1999 he began a formal study of Jewish mysticism. The decision to embark on this academic path was the result of strong resemblances he found between the mystical tendencies of Hinduism and those of Judaism. With the importance of the mystically tinted experiences he had had in India in the back of his mind (and filling his heart), but feeling that Jewish mysticism could at this point offer him more in the way of spiritual development, he undertook his studies. He commenced his Masters Degree in Semitic Languages and Cultures at The University of Amsterdam, which included a year of study at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel as a visiting graduate student.
He found it important to try and incorporate his own experiences in his final thesis of his MA, and due to the nature of the thesis he was able to address some of the concepts connected to his experiences. But because of the acedemic criteria set by universities in general concerning the proof of theories and experiences offered in a thesis, he couldn’t relate all he had realised about the relationship between Hinduism and Judaism.
So upon completion of his MA he was left feeling unfulfilled; dissatisfaction from which the urge to tell his story in a different form arose.
He backs personal experiences up with theories from existing mystical texts giving his novels a scholarly edge, while the absence of too rigid terminology and the often overwhelming amount of information present in Jewish mystical texts make them both comprehensive and slightly challenging, reading material. Because of these qualities his novels meet the demand of both people interested in the so-called New Age conception of spirituality and people with a more orthodox attitude towards religion. He lives in the Netherlands.

More information about the basics of Jewish mysticism and Eric-Jan's books can be found on www.tokailashandbeyond.com.


Books by Eric-Jan Verwey

Swayambhu

Conversations with death

Mar 2013

A beautiful myth asserting the importance of death as a mystical concept within the text of the Hebrew Bible.

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