The Secret Teachers of the Western World

Recently I delivered the manuscript of my new book, The Secret Teachers of the Western World, to my publisher Tarcher/Penguin. The Secret Teachers of the Western World is an attempt to look at and understand the western esoteric tradition through the lens of split-brain psychology – via Iain McGilchrist’s fascinating work The Master and His Emissary, about the rivalry between our two cerebral hemispheres – and the “structures of consciousness” of the German-Swiss philosopher Jean Gebser. I’ve written about both in earlier books, McGilchrist in The Caretakers of the Cosmos and Gebser in A Secret History of Consciousness. I also reviewed McGilchrist’s book – you can find the review here – and have an essay on Gebser in Revolutionaries of the Soul. The book will be out later this year, and closer to publication I will post some excerpts here and on my blogs at the Daily Grail and Reality Sandwich websites. It’s the longest book I’ve done – just short of 200k words – and as you might suspect, it demanded a considerable amount of effort. I hope its readers find it worth it.

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13 thoughts on “The Secret Teachers of the Western World

  1. Hello Gary,

    Excellent news. Sounds like a highly original angle on a fascinating subject. I look forward to to it. How’s the Colin Wilson book going?

    Warm regards,
    Tom

    1. I hope you like the book and I’m looking forward to what you think of it. My book on Colin Wilson is coming along. I’m in the middle of the reading – or re-reading – for it. It’s remarkable how something you think you knew can become new and fascinating again. Just another example of how Colin’s ideas about consciousness are right, something I’ll do my best in the book to show. Cheers.

  2. I am in the near end of your book HPB. Would like to comment more than by this small room. Page 160 seems to be essential. Unfortunately HPB was not scientific, you have to be that to manage to do something constructive./Johan.

      1. About your book HPB: I have finished it now. Could not find my earlier comments here.

        HPB is a sad thing. I think you have got a kind of perspective on her and the metaphysic she presented, and somewhat on others. Good work.

        I recommend to look at Babbitt’s atom in Babbitt 1878, to look more to Phillips book on Occult Chemistry in his ESP of Quarks, Leadbeater in Powell’s books, all of them, the Swedish metaphysician Henry T Laurency in his (only book in English so far) The Phliosopher’s Stone. There is some explanations on the metaphysics of HPB, CWL and AB.

        No metaphysician has so far unless Steiner left something that is possible to use in the physical world for us humans in the meaning to develop our consciousness. HTL is the only one tries to be scientific a bit more than CWL. Nothing metaphysical is possible to prove scientifically why it is of no use but subjectively as a belief of some mysterious meaning of life. If metaphysics only gives that it is of no meaning at all. The only proof so far is Occult Chemistry and near death experiences.

        You have not mentioned New Thought at all. Why did HPB not mention this great movement, started in c 1850 by Quimby? What about the daily life of humans or the so called “human rights”? Possibly HPB started a discussion on higher realities, but not more. Maybe some people does succeed in making contacts with higher realities by themselves, but what they then say about what they contacted differs from all the others. It is therefore not possible to verify which person that is correct or anything at all of what they all state. You get a mesh of subjectivism and that is of no help. Life forms in the physical world are produced by some laws and it is plausible to suppose that the objective and factual life form is produced to live and has the right to live also – whatever is said by subjectivity or metaphysicians, or politicians.

        All the quarrels and troubles around HPB is contra productive. If you do not know anything of physical life but contempt – especially for our wonderful sexuality (not sadomasochism of course) show that she was obsessed by suffering. But suffering is not what our body is created for. It is created for lust and that is evident for all that wish to see. To deny physical life its meaning is to damage it. You have to have true and objective knowledge about humans to help, not only superficial knowing.

        I do not accept that. Instead you can build hypothetical ideas on CWL and HTL carefully and with caution but most important to study humans directly and the modern theory of neurosis. Then you could get to an explanation and present an objective ground of rights instead of the meaningless subjective one. The so called Human Rights of UN 1945–1948 never became valid. The idea of human rights did not come from any metaphysician so far as I know. No modern text is produced about that by any metaphysician: Martinus, Steiner, HPB, HTL, AAB, AB, CWL, Brunton, Ouspensky, Gurdjeff nor any one in the mass (or mess) of new age.

        That’s all for now./Johan.

  3. Mr. Lachman,

    It’s common to compliment an author on his publications, and that I can do for A Secret History of Consciousness (my review http://sngthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/03/a-secret-history-of-consciousness-by.html) and The Caretakers of the Cosmos (review on deck), but I decided that a word of encouragement during drafting can’t hurt. As an enthusiastic reader of McGilchrist (http://sngthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-master-his-emissary-divided-brain.html) and Colin Wilson (http://sngthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/02/colin-wilson-1931-2013.html & http://sngthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/02/new-pathways-in-psychology-maslow-and.html), among others about whom you have written, I’m certainly looking forward to your publications. I’ve not published anything nor written any one piece longer than an appellate brief, but even my meager experience allows me to express my awe and appreciation of your projects. Please keep up the good work and know that another reader appreciates your efforts.

    sng

    1. Dear Stephen, many thanks for the warm, encouraging words and for the links. I hope you will think as well of my Secret Teachers when they appear later this year. All the best, Gary

  4. I am greatly looking forward to the new book (and reviewing it for the Scientific & Medical Network). Re-reading McGilchrist in preparation…

      1. Thanks. I’ve been reading the book and it’s excellent, like everything I’ve read by you.

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