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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Wednesday, August 27

a word of appreciation from the author

I just today got a gift certificate from the Amazon Associates program. I get these as a result of you (you know who you are, presumably) ordering books and other sundries from the various pages where I post about various things. The secret code embedded in the URLs gives me kickback credits to buy more books with which to entertain your ass. Despite my incorrigible Bad Attitude®, I want you to know that I seriously appreciate these gifts.

If you'd like to kick me a little juice, but I don't explicitly list the item(s) of your desire, you can always insert my magic code in a URL of this form...

Just stick in the 10-digit Amazon code where it says REPLACEME. The red part is my secret code. For instance, let's say you suddenly need an 8 caret Graduated Diamond Tennis Necklace in 14K White Gold -- a steal at $4,715.00 -- clicking on this (and don't forget to actually buy the thing; after all, you deserve it)...

...would keep me in weird books for quite a little while. And if you'd like to take the more direct route to Quality Gifting, there's always my Mystic B Books Wish List....

My Wish List

Not to mention, praeteritio aside, my now-famous FOOD Wish List...

My Wish List

The latter has been keeping me fat and happy this past month. A special shout out to all who've contributed to the EGR HQ larder. Many thanks.

But back to that gift certificate I got in email this morning. Just in the nick of time, it enabled me to pay off three books I couldn't afford in the first place.

  1. American Transcendentalism: A History - I remember salivating over this one when it came out last year, but I was too broke at the time to even consider it. Next week it releases in paperback, and -- once again, through your largesse -- I'm pretty sure I'll be the first on my block to have a copy!

  2. The CIA Doctors: Human Rights Violations by American Psychiatrists - This is the 2006 edition of a book I recently linked to in Brilliant, Gorgeous, Talented and Fabulous, only there it was called BLUEBIRD: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists. Maybe the guy is yet another conspiracy-theory nutcase, but I've been amazed lately to find that narratives I would have judged insane ten years ago are turning out to be closer to the truth than the Official Version.

  3. Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen - This is the Gary Lachman book I mentioned in A Failure to Communicate? As I said there, Lachman is a smart guy and, while he's clearly more ... generous to the whackos he writes about than I'm ever likely to be, I want to keep up with what he's saying. Plus, I was always a big Blondie fan. As a card carrying Red Blooded American Male, how could I not be?

And now -- so you won't go entirely contentless -- to continue with our regularly scheduled program. Let's look at a four-fingered handful of...

western esoteric master baiters

The Western Esoteric Masters Series is published by North Atlantic Books. As you will see if you go to that page, the series includes many more titles than are represented in the mini rogues gallery below. That's because (somewhat to my surprise in stopping to think about it) there actually are boundaries to the material under consideration here at Mystic Bourgeoisie -- and Swedenborg marks the furthest historical limit of this treatment of bad ideas and worse delusions. The earlier jokers are, as they say, "beyond the scope of the present study."

The descriptions below are lifted verbatim from the corresponding North Atlantic Books pages. The book cover graphics are linked to Amazon.

Best known for his focus on the intuitive force within, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) also anticipated major modern discoveries in mineralogy, psychology, and anatomy. In this succinct and readable collection, Stanley expertly brings the most significant writings from Swedenborg's oeuvre together, showing readers a man who created a hieroglyphic language, reimagined the Genesis story, influenced Blake, Balzac, Strindberg, and Yeats, and authored a number of anonymous works that put the Swedish clergy of his day on high alert.
At the age of 17, rejecting nineteenth-century materialism, Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891) left her native Russia and traveled through India, Tibet, Egypt, Europe, and the Americas seeking out the sources of ancient wisdom as a key to spiritual truth. In 1875 in New York, she co-founded the Theosophical Society for the study of occult traditions. Many popular ideas of rediscovered ancient wisdom, including reincarnation and karma, trace their origin to Helena Blavatsky and Theosophy.
George Robert Stowe Mead (1863-1933) was a major translator, editor, and commentator on Gnostic and hermetic literature and thus a pivotal figure linking the late 19th-century esoteric revival to 20th-century art, literature, and psychology. As a young convert to the new movement of theosophy, he served as private secretary to its co-founder, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and after founding the European section of the Theosophical Society edited its London journal, Lucifer, for many years. Mead's initial interest in theosophy and Hinduism soon blossomed into a lifelong and wide-ranging engagement with the texts of Gnosticism, neo-Platonism, and hermeticism. His editions and commentaries on previously inaccessible sources became standard works before the First World War and an important source of inspiration to such figures as Jung, Ezra Pound, Yeats, and Robert Duncan.
A pivotal figure of modern esotericism, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was a clairvoyant and supersensitive with a scientific and philosophical education. He believed that man can gain objective knowledge of higher worlds and apply these insights to all fields of human activity. Anthroposophy, the path of wisdom and knowledge he initiated, plots man’s struggle to attain full spiritual development through the practical application of the forces brought by Christ. Steiner saw the spirit as the creative element in evolution, and his work is increasingly accepted as a practical vitalizing force for today’s world.

If the final sentence above doesn't alarm you, you haven't been paying sufficient attention. For your penance, say six Hail Marys and six Our Fathers, commune with your Inner Light for five hours, sign up for A Course in Miracles at your local Unity Church (or New Thought church of your choice), watch seven episodes of Oprah co-teaching with Eckhart Tolle, register your kid in a Walden School -- then go back to the first post here and read through the entire Mystic B archives! If that last bit doesn't work, swear an oath of lifelong celibacy and stay out of the gene pool.