Lewis Thompson (1909–1949) was primarily a poet, a man of letters influenced by Eastern spiritualism and the poets Rimbaud and Rilke. As Richard Lannoy, the editor of Fathomless Heart, writes, Thompson, who rejected traditional literature after experiencing a spiritual crisis as a teenager, wrote “solely as a form of spiritual exercise the most sparse and urgent communication conceivable.” Later in life he wandered alone in India for many years. This book is the culmination of his life and writing.
Fathomless Heart is Thompson’s view on how to live a spiritual and truthful life—how to awaken to full consciousness. Meant to be sampled for insights into topics that matter most to the reader, the book is divided into sections on universal subjects such as Truthfulness, Ignorance, Sexuality, Beauty, and Idleness. Novelist Somerset Maugham met Thompson at an Indian ashram and incorporated him into the character of Larry, the hero of the novel The Razor’s Edge, which popularized the archetypal westerner pursuing spirituality in the East. In reality, Thompson directed his unique powers of concentration toward exploration of mental awareness rather than on the accumulation of knowledge about exotic spiritual techniques—an awareness that manifests throughout this useful and inspiring book.