Revolutionaries of the Soul: Reflections on Magicians, Philosophers, and Occultists
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Explorers of occult mysteries and the edges of consciousness change the way we view not only the nature of reality, but also our deepest sense of self. Insightful author Gary Lachman presents punchy, enlightening, and intriguing biographies of some of the most influential esoteric luminaries in recent history. His 16 subjects include Swedish mystical scientist Emanuel Swedenborg; H. P. Blavatsky, Russian cofounder of the Theosophical Society; Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, who inspired the Waldorf School of education; Swiss visionary C. G. Jung, founder of depth psychology; notorious English ceremonial magician Aleister Crowley; Russian esotericist P. D. Ouspensky, explicator of Gurdjieff's early works; and British psychic artist Dion Fortune, who was influential in the modern revival of magical arts.
life. In 1737 Swedenborg traveled to Paris and Italy to study anatomy and physiology. He also read widely in the anatomical literature of the time. This study produced his writings on the brain, posthumously published as The Cerebrum. Another product was The Economy of the Animal Kingdom. This work has nothing to do with animals in the wild: the “kingdom” is the human body and the “animal,” the animating energy, or soul. Here Swedenborg made his final assault on locating the elusive “seat of the
Quest Edition 2014 Quest Books Theosophical Publishing House PO Box 270 Wheaton, IL 60187-0270 Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher of this book. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the
a cloak of glamour and illusion,” something that could be said of other occult figures, like Madame Blavatsky and Aleister Crowley. Her father came from the prosperous steelmaking Firth family of Sheffield. Arthur Firth didn’t follow this line, becoming a solicitor, although by the time of Violet’s birth, he was running the Craigside Hydropathic Establishment in Llandudno, having already run a similar spa-hotel in Bath—an apt career, perhaps, for the father of someone for whom the sea would be a
liberalism, democracy, humanism, or science. Toward the end of his life, when fledging neofascists sat at his feet seeking guidance and insight, Evola boiled the essence of his daunting tome down to a provocative and deadly epigram. “It is not a question of contesting and polemicizing,” he told them, “but of blowing up everything.” In Bologna in 1980, at least some of his readers took him at his word. The argument of Revolt against the Modern World, if we can call it that, is lengthy and
Barfield writes, “apparently nothing…but an unconscionable tissue of dead, or petrified, metaphors.” The further we dig into language, the more metaphors we find. But there is something wrong with this, Barfield says. Etymologists, like the famous oriental scholar Max Müller, believed that early humans began with very simple, literal words and phrases for tangible, perceptible things. Then, with the “dawn of reason” (itself a metaphor), our ancestors began to use these phrases metaphorically, to