Ptolemy Tompkins

Ptolemy Tompkins is a former editor at Guideposts Magazine and the author of seven books. His writing has been featured in Beliefnet, Harper’s, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Best Spiritual Writing, and The Best American Spiritual Writing.

Books by this Author

Proof of God
Proof of Angels
The Map of Heaven
The Modern Book of the Dead

My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. I'll have to to go with Heraclitus' line: "Character is fate." Which doesn't mean that I think I have a particularly good character. I just think it's true.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. Out of it, but in it. (See question 4 above)

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. A benign poltergeist would be pretty fun, at least for a while. Maybe in the future.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. The psychologist Carl Jung said somewhere that at bottom, everyone's greatest fear is hell. Not the Christian hell, necessarily, but a place of ultimate darkness and negativity. A place that's DOWN, not UP. I think he was right. Well, he was right about me at least.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. Georg Trakl (eccentric early 20th century Austrian poet). Talk about someone who wanted to be in the world but out of it.

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