Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult by Gary Lachman

Mr. Lachman continues to delight and amaze me with a prodigious mind for western esotericism and a disarming writing style so much like his mentor, Colin Wilson, in that one feels he is there with you discussing these fascinating topics. This is a work that explores the literary history of western occultism and the terminal documents that make up that intellectual history. This work stands in the effort to place before the public the historical reality that the esoteric has been a foundation stone upon which many cultural endeavors have been focused upon, but remain "outside" and unrecognized by many academics and scholars.

The chapter on the pre- revolution Russian occult literary scene is excellent and you will find yourself jotting down titles & authors to further explore. Mr. Lachman's work is the first I can recall that provides a brief but welcome overview of the life of Gustav Meyrink. Meyrink, remains sadly neglected by the English speaking esoteric world. Again, I appreciate Lachman's effort to demonstrate that Swedenborg is the progenitor of much of the western esoteric world view. It is not without noting that D.T. Suzuki called Swedenborg, "the Buddha of the North".

Highly recommended, this is one Muse that will continue to inspire, enlighten, and provoke even after repeated readings.

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