Rebels and Devils: The Psychology of Liberation – Christopher Hyatt et al

20160604_114503-1

Christopher Hyatt was an occultist, a doctor of psychology and founder of the Extreme Individuals Institute. He was also president of New Falcon Publications, which under his watch became well known for publishing envelope-pushing and often controversial personal development material. Rebels and Devils is a collection of essays, poems, interviews and short stories from some of the best mind explorers he knew.

Some of the writers here are well known in the field, such as Aleister Crowley, Robert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary, and William Burroughs. Others are less well known, but have equally illuminating viewpoints to share. Different styles and backgrounds come together in a thorough analysis of the individual going against the grain of society, how their perception of reality differs from the layman, and more specifically the transformation of mindset that anyone pursuing occult practices needs to undergo.

It is written from a left hand path perspective, in the sense that all of the contributions are centred around each individual being his own god who can take control of his own spiritual development, and around removing the labels of good and evil. ‘What we do and how we feel is a function of believing in fictitious limitations which have no basis except in habits.’ Having read a fair few mediocre writings on the left hand path of late, this is a refreshing and dogma-free approach to the subject – as many claim to be, but few really are when you get beneath the surface. Continue reading “Rebels and Devils: The Psychology of Liberation – Christopher Hyatt et al”

The Elixir and the Stone – Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh

20160503_182220-1-1

The Elixir and the Stone is an alternative history of the intellectual world, and more specifically of the Hermetic undercurrent in the development of European culture. Hermeticism is the belief in the unity of all things: the concept that there is a macrocosm (usually described as the universe or a deity) and a microcosm (man) which are interconnected and representative of one another. ‘As above, so below’. Hermetic thought encompasses astrology, alchemy and theurgy and as such is the foundation of most of what we call ‘occult’ today.

The journey begins in Alexandria in the first century AD, describing a bustling cosmopolitan culture in pursuit of knowledge, and proceeds to describe the rise of Christianity and Islam from the perspective of those not conforming to either. We are then given a chronological overview of the way philosophy has shaped society throughout Europe and Mesopotamia ever since, with surprising insights into moments when opposing religions lived alongside one another harmoniously. Famous fictional magicians such as Merlin and Faust are used to link the sections together, showing how their stories emerged from real characters. Continue reading “The Elixir and the Stone – Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑