The Secret Teachers of the Western World

The Secret Teachers of the Western World

This epic study unveils the esoteric masters who have covertly impacted the intellectual development of the West, from Pythagoras and Zoroaster to the little-known modern icons Jean Gebser and Schwaller de Lubicz. Running alongside the mainstream of Western intellectual history there is another current which, in a very real sense, should take pride of place, but which for the last few centuries has occupied a shadowy, inferior position, somewhere underground. This "other" stream forms the subject of Gary Lachman’s epic history and analysis, The Secret Teachers of the Western World. In this clarifying, accessible, and fascinating study, the acclaimed historian explores the Western esoteric tradition – a thought movement with ancient roots and modern expressions, which, in a broad sense, regards the cosmos as a living, spiritual, meaningful being and humankind as having a unique obligation and responsibility in it. The historical roots of our “counter tradition,” as Lachman explores, have their beginning in Alexandria around the time of Christ. It was then that we find the first written accounts of the ancient tradition, which had earlier been passed on orally. Here, in this remarkable city, filled with teachers, philosophers, and mystics from Egypt, Greece, Asia, and other parts of the world, in a multi-cultural, multi-faith, and pluralistic society, a synthesis took place, a creative blending of different ideas and visions, which gave the hidden tradition the eclectic character it retains today. The history of our esoteric tradition roughly forms three parts: Part One: After looking back at the earliest roots of the esoteric tradition in ancient Egypt and Greece, the historical narrative opens in Alexandria in the first centuries of the Christian era. Over the following centuries, it traces our “other” tradition through such agents as the Hermeticists; Kabbalists; Gnostics; Neoplatonists; and early Church fathers, among many others. We examine the reemergence of the lost Hermetic books in the Renaissance and their influence on the emerging modern mind. Part Two begins with the fall of Hermeticism in the late Renaissance and the beginning of “the esoteric counterculture.” In 1614, the same year that the Hermetic teachings fell from grace, a strange document appeared in Kassel, Germany announcing the existence of a mysterious fraternity: the Rosicrucians. Part two charts the impact of the Rosicrucians and the esoteric currents that followed, such as the Romance movement and the European occult revival of the late nineteenth century, including Madame Blavatsky and the opening of the western mind to the wisdom of the East, and the fin-de-siècle occultism of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Part Three chronicles the rise of “modern esotericism,” as seen in the influence of Rudolf Steiner, Gurdjieff, Annie Besant, Krishnamurti, Aleister Crowley, R. A Schwaller de Lubicz, and many others. Central is the life and work of C.G. Jung, perhaps the most important figure in the development of modern spirituality. The book looks at the occult revival of the “mystic sixties” and our own New Age, and how this itself has given birth to a more critical, rigorous investigation of the ancient wisdom. With many detours and dead ends, we now seem to be slowly moving into a watershed. It has become clear that the dominant, left-brain, reductionist view, once so liberating and exciting, has run out of steam, and the promise of that much-sought-after “paradigm change” seems possible. We may be on the brink of a culminating moment of the esoteric intellectual tradition of the West. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Dark Star Rising

Magick and Power in the Age of Trump

Dark Star Rising

Within the concentric circles of Trump's regime lies an unseen culture of occultists, power-seekers, and mind-magicians whose influence is on the rise. In this unparalleled account, historian Gary Lachman examines the influence of occult and esoteric philosophy on the unexpected rise of the alt-right. Did positive thinking and mental science help put Donald Trump in the White House? And are there any other hidden powers of the mind and thought at work in today's world politics? In Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump, historian and cultural critic Gary Lachman takes a close look at the various magical and esoteric ideas that are impacting political events across the globe. From New Thought and Chaos Magick to the far-right esotericism of Julius Evola and the Traditionalists, Lachman follows a trail of mystic clues that involve, among others, Norman Vincent Peale, domineering gurus and demagogues, Ayn Rand, Pepe the Frog, Rene Schwaller de Lubicz, synarchy, the Alt-Right, meme magic, and Vladimir Putin and his postmodern Rasputin. Come take a drop down the rabbit hole of occult politics in the twenty-first century and find out the post-truths and alternative facts surrounding the 45th President of the United States with one of the leading writers on esotericism and its influence on modern culture.

The Return of Holy Russia

Apocalyptic History, Mystical Awakening, and the Struggle for the Soul of the World

The Return of Holy Russia

A history of how mystical and spiritual influences have shaped Russia’s identity and politics and what it means for the future of world civilization • Examines Russia’s spiritual history, from its pagan origins and Eastern Orthodox mysticism to secret societies, Rasputin, Roerich, Blavatsky, and Dostoyevsky • Explains the visionary writings of the spiritual philosophers of Russia’s Silver Age, which greatly influence Putin today • Explores what Russia’s unique identity and its history of messianic politics and apocalyptic thought mean for its future on the world stage At the turn of the 20th century, a period known as the Silver Age, Russia was undergoing a powerful spiritual and cultural rebirth. It was a time of magic and mysticism that saw a vital resurgence of interest in the occult and a creative intensity not seen in the West since the Renaissance. This was the time of the God-Seekers, pilgrims of the soul and explorers of the spirit who sought the salvation of the world through art and ideas. These sages and their visions of Holy Russia are returning to prominence now through Russian president Vladimir Putin, who, inspired by their ideas, envisions a new “Eurasian” civilization with Russia as its leader. Exploring Russia’s long history of mysticism and apocalyptic thought, Gary Lachman examines Russia’s unique position between East and West and its potential role in the future of the world. Lachman discusses Russia’s original Slavic paganism and its eager adoption of mystical and apocalyptic Eastern Orthodox Christianity. He explores the Silver Age and its “occult revival” with a look at Rasputin’s prophecies, Blavatsky’s Theosophy, Roerich’s “Red Shambhala,” and the philosophies of Berdyaev and Solovyov. He looks at Russian Rosicrucianism, the Illuminati Scare, Russian Freemasonry, and the rise of other secret societies in Russia. He explores the Russian character as that of the “holy fool,” as seen in the great Russian literature of the 19th century, especially Dostoyevsky. He also examines the psychic research performed by the Russian government throughout the 20th century and the influence of Evola and the esoteric right on the spiritual and political milieus in Russia. Through in-depth exploration of the philosophies that inspire Putin’s political regime and a look at Russia’s unique cultural identity, Lachman ponders what they will mean for the future of Russia and the world. What drives the Russian soul to pursue the apocalypse? Will these philosophers lead Russia to dominate the world, or will they lead it into a new cultural epoch centered on spiritual power and mystical wisdom?

The Inner Teachings Of The Philosophies and Religions of India

The Inner Teachings Of The Philosophies and Religions of India

This book gives essential insights on Indian philosophy and religion and offers twelve lessons on what you need to understand when diving into this topic. Contents: The First Lesson - The Land Of The Ganges. The Second Lesson - The Inner Teachings. The Third Lesson - The Sankhya System. The Fourth Lesson - The Vedanta System. The Fifth Lesson - Patanjali's Yoga System. The Sixth Lesson - The Minor Systems. The Seventh Lesson - Buddhism. The Seventh Lesson - Sufism. The Ninth Lesson - The Religions Of India. (Part 1) The Tenth Lesson - The Religions Of India. (Part 2) The Eleventh Lesson - Hindu Wonder-Working. The Twelfth Lesson - The Vedas ; And Glossary.

Occult America

White House Séances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation

Occult America

Traces America's relationship with occult movements and thinkers, covering such topics as Freemasonry, Spiritualism, and transcendentalism movements; the origins of the Ouija board; and the practices of famous historical figures.

Secret of the Vajra World

The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet

Secret of the Vajra World

This book provides an entrée into the Tantric (or Vajrayana) Buddhism of Tibet, as conveyed by Tibetan masters teaching in the West, and as received by their Western students. The Tantric tradition is a unique collection of lesser-known texts, concepts, and meditation practices that are usually made available only to experienced and specially initiated practitioners. The "Vajra World" ( vajradhatu in Sanskrit) is a realm of indestructibility, the level of reality beyond all thought and imagination, all impermanence and change, which a fully realized person knows and inhabits. Used metaphorically, "Vajra World" refers to the traditional culture of Tibet and the unique spirituality that is its secret strength. Topics include: * The tantric view of human nature and the external world * The special role of the guru, or tantric mentor * The preliminary practices that prepare the student for full initiation * The major dimensions of Vajrayana practice, including visualizations, liturgies, and inner yogas * The tradition of the tulku, or incarnate lama * The lore surrounding the death of ordinary people and of saints * The practice of solitary retreat, the epitome of traditional Tibetan Buddhism Secret of the Vajra World is the companion volume to the author's earlier book, Indestructible Truth: The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism. While that book focuses on the history, cosmology, philosophy, and practice of the more public, exoteric side of Tibetan Buddhism, this work treats its more hidden and esoteric aspects as they take shape in Vajrayana. Together, the two volumes provide a broad introduction to the major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.

The Secret Doctrine of the Kabbalah

Recovering the Key to Hebraic Sacred Science

The Secret Doctrine of the Kabbalah

The Secret Doctrine of the Kabbalah resurrects this ancient body of knowledge to reveal eternal truths that profoundly impact contemporary spirituality. Experimental methods of practicing Hebraic sacred science are explored that explain, as never before, the meaning of the cosmological diagram of the entire Western esoteric tradition--the kabbalistic Tree of Life.

Philosophy of the Living Fire

Philosophy of the Living Fire

1906 Rosicrucian, 32 Mason. the aim of all true Initiation, no matter what the name of the fraternity may be, is to know the nature of the Secret Fire that regenerates the world and which renders him who comes into its possession immortal. Al philos.

The Teachings of Don Juan

A Yaqui Way of Knowledge

The Teachings of Don Juan

Presents selections from the field notes the author kept while under the influence of hallucinogenic plants given to him as part of his apprenticeship into the ways of sorcery by Yaqui Indian Don Juan Matus, and includes an analysis of Don Juan's belief system.

The Secret Societies of All Ages & Countries - Volume 1

The Secret Societies of All Ages & Countries - Volume 1

This society, probably the most pernicious association which has ever existed in Europe, was, or is-for we have no proofs that it has ceased to exist-an association of blacklegs, thieves, extortioners, rogues and villains of every kind... -from "The Camorra" From the modern intrigue of conspiracy theories to the immense popularity of The Da Vinci Code, the fascination with secret societies-and their arcane knowledge and power-has never been so rampant. This monumental, encyclopedic work details the initiations and ceremonies, the codes and customs of mysterious organizations from ancient times to the modern world. First published in 1875 and completely revised and updated in 1897, this remains the definitive, authoritative guide to secret societies... and to the spiritual evolution of humanity they represent. Volume I explores: the Magi and the Mithraics . Egyptian priests and kings Chinese metaphysics . the Druids . Cabbalism and Gnosticism pagan rites and myths echoed in Christianity . heretics the Assassins and the Dervishes . chivalrous knights the Inquisition . Alchemy . the Mafia . the Illuminati and much more. Also available from Cosimo Classics: The Secret Societies of All Ages & Countries: Vol. 2. British historian and author CHARLES WILLIAM HECKETHORN (c. 1826-1902) was born in Switzerland but emigrated to England as a child. Among his writings are a novel, a book of verse, translations of Scandinavian folklore, and the travelogues Italian Lights and Shadows, London Souvenirs, and London Memories.