Here’s a link to an interview I did for New Dawn magazine with the writer and scholar Richard Smoley about my new book The Secret Teachers of the Western World. We cover quite a lot of ground, exploring among other things the idea of secrets, and not only those known by teachers.
Archive for the Introduction Category
Here is a review of The Secret Teachers of the Western World from the Library Journal:
Lachman (Evolution of Consciousness, California Inst. of Integral Studies; Politics of the Occult) presents this work as “a serious study of our ‘rejected knowledge’ and an engagement with some of the people pursuing it today” and successfully achieves his first goal of a scholarly study of the “rejected” knowledge of the Western esoteric tradition. This comprehensive history engagingly traces a way of thinking and living that was often at the margins of accepted Western society. While it would be easy to sensationalize such a past, Lachman deftly navigates between the extremes of presenting a unified “conspiracy” behind hermeticism and a polemical attack on its opponents. It is an academic work, not a practitioner’s guide, which ranges from discussions on Plato to Carl Jung and onto the New Age as well as current explorations in alternative spiritual traditions. Lachman further briefly considers important mystics from the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions who informed the esoteric tradition. VERDICT This solid introduction to occult and esoteric history provides a sensible foundation for any reader who finds appeal in the current interest in participatory spirituality as distinct from simply holding specific religious beliefs.—Daniel Wigner, South Plains Coll., Lubbock, TX
Here’s a review of The Secret Teachers of the Western World at the New York Journal of Books. I am glad the reviewer pointed this out: “This narrative of the history of these ideas could be stultifying or confusing for non-specialists and the curious. Luckily Mr. Lachman creates a history of ideas that fascinates and excites.” That’s what a good history of ideas should do.
Here’s a link to an interview I did recently with Greg Moffitt at his Legalise Freedom website. I’ve done interviews with Greg before; they’re always a pleasure because he always reads the books and asks intelligent questions. This time its about The Secret Teachers of the Western World, the rivalry between our two modes of consciousness and their possible collaboration.
Here’s a sneak preview of the cover of the new edition of the book that started it all, Colin Wilson’s The Outsider, with a new foreword by me. It will be published later this year by Penguin Random House, who are also publishing my introduction to Wilson’s life and work, Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson. Needless to say it was an honour for me to write the foreword, as it was to write my forewords to Wilson’s brilliant phenomenological novels The Mind Parasites and The God of Labyrinth. Last year I was asked to write an Introduction to Gurdjieff’s classic spiritual adventure story, Meetings With Remarkable Men. I count myself lucky to be able to introduce these important works in the evolution of consciousness to a new generation of readers.
Here’s a link to a recent interview I did with Gordon White at his excellent website RuneSoup. Gordon did his homework and our talk covered a great deal of ground. We focused on my new book The Secret Teachers of the Western World but our conversation ranged far and wide with much in between. Check it out when you can and be sure to listen to some of Gordon’s other chats.
Here’s a link to a recent interview I did with Aaron Cheak for the Jean Gebser Society. Gebser is one of the most important philosophers of the last century, and as you most likely know, I write about him in several of my books: A Secret History of Consciousness, The Quest for Hermes Trismegistus, Revolutionaries of the Soul and my most recent book, The Secret Teachers of the Western World. The theme of the interview is the link between western philosophy and esotericism, but as you’ll see we cover a lot of ground, from my first introduction to these ideas to my latest approach to them. Aaron Cheak has done some very interesting work on Gebser, digging into his biography and associations with people like the poet Frederico Garcia Lorca, and he is currently translating more of Gebser’s work into English. I will certainly be happy to see this, as Gebser is so far under-translated and we can use as much of him as we can get.