Download A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult by Gary Lachman PDF

By Gary Lachman

The occult was once a very important impression at the Renaissance, and it obsessed the preferred thinkers of the day. yet with the Age of cause, occultism used to be sidelined; in basic terms charlatans discovered any use for it. Occult rules didn't disappear, besides the fact that, yet fairly went underground. It constructed right into a fruitful resource of suggestion for plenty of very important artists. Works of brilliance, occasionally even of genius, have been produced less than its effect. In a gloomy Muse, Lachman discusses the Enlightenment obsession with occult politics, the Romantic explosion, the futuristic occultism of the fin de siècle, and the deep occult roots of the modernist move. many of the writers and thinkers featured during this hidden heritage of western concept and sensibility are Emanuel Swedenborg, Charles Baudelaire, J. ok. Huysmans, August Strindberg, William Blake, Goethe, Madame Blavatsky, H. G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, and Malcolm Lowry.

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If a man makes right use of such means of remembrance, and ever approaches to the full vision of the perfect mysteries, he and he alone becomes truly perfect. Standing aside from the busy doings of mankind, and drawing nigh to the divine, he is rebuked by the multitude as being out of his wits, for they know not that he is possessed by a deity. (Phaedrus 249c–d; Plato 1963, 496). 22 JOHN DEE’S OCCULTISM Plato distinguished between four such channels, as he called them, sacred enthusiasms, or furies.

Over all the earth. So God created Man in his own image, in the image of God created he him” (Genesis 1:26–27). To describe this ambition I use the concept of exaltatio, as I shall explain it in the following introductory chapters. Parallel to my view, Deborah Harkness used another, similar metaphor, found also in the Bible: she compared Dee’s natural philosophical orientation to building Jacob’s ladder. This mytho-icon supported the ideology that communication between heaven and earth was possible, and as Harkness notes, “Dee, along with many of his contemporaries, searched a variety of authoritative treatises for information on how to ascend ‘Jacob’s ladder’ to learn the secrets of the cosmos, and then descend to share that information with the waiting world” (1999, 60).

Clulee rebuked the shared concept of the Warburg/Yates school as follows: what is common to these works is that all approach Dee as a problem of finding the correct intellectual tradition into which he appears to fit, both as a way of making sense of his disparate and often difficult to understand works and activities and as a way of establishing his importance by associating him with an intellectual context of recognized importance for sixteenth-century and later intellectual developments. (1988, 3) In his own presentation Clulee has managed to establish a dynamic picture as opposed to the more static previous image of the hermetic Principles and Demarcations 11 magus.

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