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With fifteen headed cycles of aphoristic philosophy, 'The Kingdom of the Soul' is a further advance in John O'Loughlin's metaphysics, as a variety of dualities or antitheses are examined in relation to the overall elemental structures of the ideological philosophy of Social Transcendentalism, examples of which include state and church, conservatism and libertarianism, work and play. There is also an insightful critique of Being, both in relation to ontology and to actually being philosophical. All in all, 'The Kingdom of the Soul' is a work one would be glad to have read if one is a dedicated devotee of Truth. The cover shows a distant view of Galway Cathedral, taken by the author himself.

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The poetic sequel to 'Stressing the Essential', this 1983 collection of some thirty-­four poems in free verse is even more ideologically homogeneous, as it strives to delineate and advance, within poetic form, the concept of Social Transcendentalism as bearing on a variety of contexts, not least political, religious, cultural, and social. Certainly 'Spiritual Intimations' is poetically more assured than its precursor, as well as deeper and thematically more expansive, without being, in any sense, truly reflective of the author's mature philosophy.

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As suggested by its title, 'Last Judgements' is the last of the so-­called supernotational volumes of loosely aphoristic material stemming from 'Devil and God - the Omega Book' (1985-­6), and is a kind of summing-­up of and, in some sense, elaboration upon various of the themes previously explored. However, it would be wrong to underestimate the original aspects of this eBook which, though comparatively short, paved the way for a kind of aphoristic purism more supra-­egocentrically commensurate with metaphysical truth. As also suggested by the title, there are eschatological implications at work here, which should not be taken lightly.

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This long and difficult text should reward patient reading, since it is of a deeply metaphysical character that takes the Element-­based quadruplicities of texts like 'Philosophical Truth' (1991), its immediate precursor, to a whole new level of elemental meaning, and largely through the utilization of V-­like structures - hence the title 'Veritas Philosophicus' - which both complement and supplement the T-­like structures already established in this and previous books, thereby taking the ideological philosophy of Social Transcendentalism a stage further on its evolutionary journey towards the 'promised land' of complete metaphysical truth and, hence, philosophical perfection. The cover shows an Element-­oriented abstract painting with V-­like implcations by John O'Loughlin.

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This autobiographical-­cum-­philosophical journal is intended to complement, if from a vastly more evolved standpoint, the author's fictitious journal 'Limits' (1976), which tended to focus on physical and domestic limits. In 'Limitless', by contrast, there are seemingly few if any such limits, particularly where its philosophical and analytical elements are concerned, and it therefore takes John O'Loughlin's writings to a logical summit which may very well be a conclusion and kind of eschatological apotheosis. For it is doubtful whether he has written anything better.

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'The Last Judgement', a title with evident eschatological implications, advances the ideological philosophy of Social Transcendentalism by highlighting the extent to which gender conditions axial divergence and the relativity of both moral and social values in such fashion that nothing can be definitively understood - and therefore judged - without a thorough grasp of these axial fundamentals, which put civilization - and Western traditions not least of all - at loggerheads with itself on what traditionally would have been a Catholic/Protestant basis. Essentially reading for anyone sensitive to ethnic differentials and convinced of the desirability of clinging, no matter how tangentially in this day and age, to a given denominational tradition.

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'The Free Testament' is one of those volumes of aphoristic philosophy by John O'Loughlin which tend towards a categorical comprehensiveness that leaves little or nothing either out of the equation (frame) or to chance, including an examination of certain numerological norms which here undergo a radical transformation commensurate with the divisions of axial relativity into both psychic and somatic contexts for both genders.

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POINT OMEGA POINT continues the quest for cyclical or metaphysical perfection from where 'Freedom and Determinism' leaves off, and does so with even greater depth and confidence in its handling of the largely gender-­conditioned distinction between Nature and Civilization on both sensual and sensible terms, thereby bringing the ideological philosophy of Social Transcendentalism to a kind of omega point in its own right.

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'Eschatology or Scatology - Judgement at the Crossroads', has a developed sense of axial relativity, not least in respect of the distinctions between that which sensibly radicalizes the ethereal 'high road' and that which, stemming from sensibility, radicalizes the corporeal 'low road' in such fashion that sensibility is eclipsed by a form of neo-­sensuality owing more to autocracy than to democracy. One could say of the title, 'Eschatology or Scatology' - that is the question? For it is rather akin to Shakespeare's 'To be or not to be ...?­' The cover shows a photo of a road junction in Galway City, taken by the author in 2010.

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John O'Loughlin's third volume of philosophy, dating from 1978, is composed of four lengthy philosophical dialogues which debate subjects as varied as books and book collecting, war and peace, astrology, and the necessity - if one is to be fair to the past - of keeping things in historical perspective rather than imposing contemporary criteria upon them. Unlike plays, these dialogues are intended primarily to instruct and even to enlighten rather than simply to entertain, and tend to be conversationally one-­sided, as befitting their didactic intent, with a kind of teacher/pupil relationship which is, nonetheless, fairly flexible.

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This project is quite unusual in that it combines, in separate parts, autobiographical sketches of the author with biographical sketches of some of the writers who have influenced him most, including Jean-­Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Aldous Huxley, Arthur Koestler, Henry Miller, Hermann Hesse, and Lawrence Durrell. At the end, Mr O'Loughlin has appended a list of books borrowed from his local library during a twelve-­year period coinciding, in part, with the composition of this project, so that one can compare his reading - and what he thought of it - with the original material here as a guide to how becoming eventually turned, for him, into being. All in all, a boldly original and inventive idea crowned by a photographic self-­portrait taken several years ago when his hair was still quite long.

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'Post-­Atomic Perspectives' combines essays, dialogues, aphorisms (conceived as lying somewhere in-­between essays and maxims) with maxims in a 'multi-­genre' format of original philosophy with a transcendental bias, and does so on a basis which affirms a certain post-­atomic and post-­human(ist) perspective on evolutionary progress which veers towards the messianic, without being in the least bit religiously conventional or conservative or, indeed, unduly pretentious.

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A substantial collection of short stores (prose) which begins with 'Millennial Projections', a three-­chapter 'novella' of futuristic science fiction, in which we explore otherworldly possibilities from within a post-­human millennium, and concludes, logically enough, with another three-­chapter 'novella' called 'Two-­Way Switch', which is quite paradoxical in its bifocal treatment of a variety of interesting or pretentious characters. In between, there are some fourteen stories of different length and substance, not to mention stylistic treatment, some of which are first-­person narratives and others, like 'Concerning a Tree', conversational pieces with intellectual or ideological overtones. The 'tree' in question, incidentally, happens to be a Christmas tree, the true or perhaps potential meaning of which is examined from a standpoint closer to the author's heart and duly expounded by the story's principal character - one of a number of thinly-­disguised autobiographical features.

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This is the author's only literary 'sextet', a six-­book aphoristic philosophy project ironically entitled THE FATHER OMEGA SEXTET, the individual books of which are 'Father Omega's Last Testament', 'Revaluations and Transvaluations', 'The Classless Solution', 'The Dialectics of Synthetic Attraction', 'The Dialectics of Civilization', and 'The Dialectics of Gender and Class'. In fact, dialectics is arguably the principal subject under consideration here, albeit of a different and more complex order than anything Marxist and merely materialist. All in all, this monumental project stands very close to, if not actually at, the apex of an oeuvre which has chronologically spiralled towards a metaphysical summit through Social Theocracy and the ideological philosophy of Social Transcendentalism. The cover depicts the author posing as 'father omega'.

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Like 'Contemplations' (1985) and 'Supercontemplations' (1993), this volume of poetic word art, which bears the title 'Ultracontemplations', requires only to be contemplated, since it is composed of patterned upper-­case word entities which, when they are not in mirror reverse perspective, are all different and all equally suggestive of a variety of insights which arguably owe more to art than to poetry. As does the cover, which features one of John O'Loughlin's early abstract paintings, dating from 1999.

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'Supercontemplations' signifies a creative advance over the lower-­case volume of abstract poetry entitled 'Contemplations' (1985), in that it combines upper- and lower-­case monosyllabic words in the process of creating patterned entities which, whatever their subliminal message, require only to be contemplated, and are thus akin to a mode of 'word art', the only difference being that these 'poems' were created with a word-­processing program rather than with a paint program involving characters.

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A collection of revised and reformatted philosophical weblogs by John O'Loughlin, who has further extended his philosophy beyond material contained in 'Insane but not Mad', also dating from 2011.

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Logan is a radical - I mean RADICAL - writer whose influence on an art critic who happens to be an acquaintance of his - one Martin Thurber - is more than one might expect for two such different characters, and the consequences of it are certainly not to the tastes of Thurber's publishers! But it has a peculiar and ultimately salutary effect on his personal relations with a certain Greta Ryan, who also figures prominently in this most comic of John O'Loughlin's trilogy of novels revolving around the theme of modern - and particularly abstract - art, 'modern art' for Logan being virtually synonymous with 'abstract', or the triumph of psyche over soma, rather than with any degenerate representational art. The cover, we trust, is appropriately abstract.

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When a drop-­out and rejected writer of Irish descent happens by chance upon an 'old flame' in the basement of a London restaurant one day, a week or so before Christmas, he precipitates a series of events that neither of them could have foreseen, leaving two women dead and one seriously ill, the latter of whom was with his 'old flame' on the day in question. But what was the motive for this outcome? And how was it deceptive? That is something you will have to find out for yourself if you choose to read this outstanding novel by the author of 'Cross-­Purposes' and 'False Pretences'. The cover, we hope, is appropriately deceptive.

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A collection of short prose coupled to an aphoristic appendix which has some bearing on most of the contents, this project, originally dating from 1981 but since extensively revised, combines fictional with philosophical themes at a pretty high level in such fashion that they seem to be partners in literary crime, not least in the piece entitled 'A Canine Crime', which futuristically investigates an old woman's dilemma vis-­a-­vis dog proscription laws which she has secretly defied in spite of the risk of prosecution. All in all, 'Dream Compromise' is an artful collection in which the rational compromise with fictional dreaming, or imagining, is handled pretty deftly.

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