Though modern occultism has many sources and streams, a surprisingly large number of them can be traced back to Eliphas Lévi’s “The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic,” which played a key role in kickstarting a revival of magic that remains a significant cultural presence today.
To understand the predicament of industrial civilization, it’s not enough to grasp the outward shape of the crisis of our time: the looting of a finite planet’s stock of resources, the destabilization of the global climate, the breathtaking cluelessness with which politicians, pundits, and ordinary citizens alike insist that the only way we can get out of this mess involves doing even more of the same things that got us into it in the first place, and the rest of it.
The religious sensibility common to theism and atheism holds the promise of salvation from the realities of nature through rebirth in paradise or the triumph of science. But a growing number of people seek not salvation from nature, but a conscious and
delighted participation in it, a homecoming.
In ancient times, there were many mystery schools and some of the most famous initiates won fame by traveling long distances from one center of initiation to another. The work of the
modern mystery schools may be is carried on by mail or the
internet. A determined student rarely has to search long before he or she finds a
source of instruction.
It's possible for a relationship between people that passes through a machine
to avoid being a relationship of compulsion and control, but it takes work. The more that human life
and interactions are defined by machines, the more difficult this tends
to become. It is crucial that we rediscover the possibilities of our own humanity.
In the future, our current extravagant
habits will no longer be an option. An unwillingness to take a hard look at the assumptions underlying our notion of a normal lifestyle has driven a certain amount
of wishful thinking, and roughly the same amount of unnecessary dread, among
those who have begun to grapple with the challenges ahead of us.