"In this important new study, Tony Butcher presents an intriguing analysis of the real meaning of what is commonly called the ' Fairy Tale'.
Selecting examples we have all grown up with - Cinderella, Snow White, Lucky Hans - he argues that such stories are not just fanciful works of the imagination designed to entertain children, but potent allegories that teach of nothing less than life's quest: the journey to spiritual enlightenment.
Unlike previous travellers through this enchanted territory, Butcher's guiding signposts are not the modern theories of psychoanalysis, but the teachings of the Wisdom Schools of the ancient world.
Each tale is shown to be an account of the soul's journey home, in terms of the venerable mystery religions of Egypt, Greece and Rome.
Such a thesis is saved from being a merely academic exercise by detailed reference to the most contemporary, and accessible, incarnation of this perennial wisdom: the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the guru who brought Transcendental Meditation [TM] to the West.
In other hands, such a profound subject could weigh heavily, but it is here treated in a thoroughly readable manner, enlivened by the author's enthusiastic and unpretentious tone.
Like a good meditation, this new book provides deep and nourishing refreshment, allowing one to see the world with different eyes."
By Alistair Shearer, author of One Equal Light, The Spirit of Asia, Buddha: The Intelligent Heart, The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali, Thailand: The Lotus Kingdom and Upanishads, and founder of the Neeleshwar Hermitage retreat, South India.