Here’s a link to a recent interview with Curtis Childs for his web series “Swedenborg and Life.” My book on Swedenborg was the occasion, but the topics covered ranged far and wide, from my early days in the Blank Generation to my upcoming work on the occult politics surrounding Precedent Trump. In between we ramble about the western esoteric tradition and its place in modern culture, the unnecessary split between science and mysticism, and resurgence of ‘mind magic’ and ‘mental science’ in recent years, and the ability of the internet to affect ‘real life’…
Back in 2014 Mark Gilbert interviewed me for an article he had in mind for Science of Mind magazine. As often happens in the world of journalism, the article didn’t appear but Mark kept the recording of our chat and he recently posted it on his Conscious Bridge website. We talked about quite a few things, so many in fact that Mark edited the interview into three parts. In the first part, posted here, I talk about my reading habits in my late teens, my introduction to the occult, and my early days playing rock and roll.
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 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.
With All Respect
By 1981 I had fallen into a dark crowd. I was no longer interested in the rock scene but had no other social connections and found myself wondering why I was in the Mudd Club at 4:00 am with enough stimulants in me to make Aleister Crowley proud, blathering to people I cared nothing about, and taking home women whose names I’ve forgotten, if I ever knew them. Not a golden age. Boredom, lack of purpose, and the souless drift made up a few months of my mid-twenties. I was not making music, was spending money, and lacked true friends. Yet Colin Wilson appeared once again. At a party at David Bowie’s loft in mid-town, the king held court, discoursing on all and sundry. The occult came up as a topic; Bowie had predelictions in that area. He went on about witchcraft and an acquaintance mentioned that I knew all about this stuff: I read Colin Wilson.
“Colin Wilson?” Ziggy Stardust said. “Yes. He goes around at night and traces pentagrams on people’s doorsteps.” Was he joking? “Yes, he draws down the ectoplasm of dead Nazis and fashions homunculi.”
Bowie was a skinny, shivery man and he may just have remembered that not too long ago during a brief flame up of our past passion, Lulu and I conversed with him at the Mudd Club. He asked her back to his place, very gentlemanly-like. Not me. I was gratified that she passed him up, and stuck with me. Could this brief episode have stuck with him? In any case, I took him at his word and pointed out that he was wrong.
“Wilson isn’t into that sort of thing,” I said.
“Oh yes he is. I know for a fact that he heads a coven in Cornwall.”
“No. It’s true.”
“I doubt it, David.”
This carried on for a few more volleys. Then the thin white duke wearied of my obstinancy. A sight gesture of the hand and his two female body guards appeared, like Thumper and Bambi in Diamonds are Forever. “David is a bit tired now,” Thumper said. “Perhaps it’s time you left,” added Bambi. Perhaps it was.
Here’s a link to a recent interview with Grant Valdes at the Quick to Listen website. We talk about my new book, The Secret Teachers of the Western World, as well as a few other things, such as philosophy, split-brain theory, Jean Gebser, Colin Wilson, esotericism, Blondie, music and the demise of free time, peace, and quiet. Quick, now listen.