Slowly completing my esotericism book

The Renaissance cosmos, as shown in a cosmic diagram by Robert Fludd (1574-1637).  Here God (the hand emerging from the cloud) controls the World Soul (the female figure) which in turn controls the lower psychic nature (the ape sitting on a globe of the Earth).  In keeping with the worldview of of the Florentine hermeticists and neoplatonists Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) and Giovanni Pico Dela Mirandella (1463-1494), the cosmos is divided into three strata: the elemental or natural world (the four elements, the inner circle), the celestial or sidereal realm (the celestial spheres of the planets), and the spiritual realm of the hierarchies of angels. Image from Science History Institute

I haven’t posted anything for a while, so I thought I should just give a brief progress report.

So, I’m still working on my book on esotericism and gnosis. It was originally to be called The Kheper Book of Gnosis, but then it became Esoteric Cosmology, and now I’ve decided to call it Esotericism, Metaphysics, and Gnosis 

It’s turned out to be a huge project, both updating Kheper net and serving as a sort of historical overview of esotericism, as well as having some of my new insights. Because there’s so much content to cover, it’s taking ages to finish.

As an example of new material, I’ve added an entire chapter on Renaissance Hermeticism (see above image). I didn’t even cover in the original Kheper net. The new material references the work of scholar of Western Esotericism Antoine Faivre (who basically established the subgenre as an academic discipline, following on Francis Yates) and others, along with my own comments.

If I include and complete all the current material, it’ll have over 50 chapters, arranged under the following headings

  • Introduction (one chapter)
  • Physicalism or Esotericism (4 chapters)
  • Historical Review (mysticism and esotericism through the ages – 27 chapters)
  • Some recent themes (about 6 or 7 chapters on various relevant topics)
  • Synthesis (my own metaphysical theory) 
  • The place of esotericism in the modern world (about half a dozen short chapters)
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Anyway, hopefully it’ll all be ready soon. I’d much rather get it finished sooner then keep endlessly adding to it, as it’s impossible to include everything.

My new book Mythopoesis now in print

An update to and rewrite of my original essay from 2008 / 2010

(the above is the Australian Amazon mirror)

Mythopoesis is a Greek-derived word that means “myth-making.” Mythopoeia was used by the English author J. R. R. Tolkien in reference to creative art about “fundamental things.” Mythopoesis is, therefore, the creation of myth by means of the higher imagination. Thus, the creation of myth is also one of the highest forms of storytelling.

My original insiration was changing from a focus on Esotericism (e.g. kheper net) to one on scifi and storytelling. Here I use Tolkien, Jung, and Henry Corbin (the imaginal world and the collective unconscious as a starting point) and apply this to pop culture storytelling, especially scifi and fantasy.

I uploaded the original essay around 2010 at several locations. This earlier edition (called Mythpoesis in the Modern World) has been reposted or linked to several times on the web as well as being cited in a number of academic publications. This book is the update and expansion of that essay, including a slight change of title (Mythopoesis and the Modern World) to emphasise the significance of Mythopoesis as something timeless and not just limited to the modern world).

This book adds additional material as well as reorganising some of the ararngement of chapters. New material includes updates on scifi franchises, ideas on transcendence, and further thoughts on archetypes. A new insight is the concept of the “transtype”, the archetype looking forward to the future (or from the future going back in time (reverse causation) as opposed to the classic Jungian and traditional archetype from the past.

My next big project will be The Kheper Book of Gnosis. This will be both an update / synopsis of kheper net and also an encyclopaedia of esotericism but incorporating themes of science, culture, and creativity.

Kheper Book of Gnosis (on-going work in progress)

For some months now, I’ve been working on an esoteric-occult encyclopaedia, to be titled The Kheper Book of Gnosis. This will be an updated and revised version of the kheper net site, except in book form. Because of limitations of space in a book as opposed to a website, it will be more concise (at least in places). But there will also be a large amount of new material, along with some new insights I’ve had in the ten or twenty years since working on the site.

One of the most important new additions will be regarding the Kabbalistic sefirot. These have only a cursory coverage in kheper net, in contrast to the comprehensive coverage I give the chakras.

The Sefirot are in a sense the occidental equivalent of the Chakras.  Both are traditional, syncretic, religio-esoteric systems, developed over some 1500 years or more. Both constitute an archetypal map or structure that purports to describe the nature of Reality, incorporating a complex set of Correspondences including theology, cosmology, the microcosm in relation to the macrocosm, and more. And both have been incorporated into modern esotericism beginning with the late 19th and early 20th century occult revival, although mostly each independent of the other.

There related to the distinction between watered-down popular esotericism and the more indepth esotericism of cosmological gnosis. By cosmological gnosis I mean “theosophy” (Wisdom of the Gods or of God), including but not limited to the Theosophy of Blavatsky. Neoplatoism, Gnosticism, Kabbalah, Ishraqism, Tantra, Jacob Boehme, Martinus Thomsen, and others. Cosmological gnosis represents gnosis as the way of form, in contrast to the nonduality gnosis of acosmic Eastern systems such as Advaita, Madhyamika, Dzogchen, Quietist Taoism, Ch’an/Zen, and so on.

I’m also revising the classification and taxonomy of the Gurus. They are no longer lumped together in a shapeless muddle, but will be listed according to their spiritual Tradition. Ramana Maharshi, that purest and most selfless of Gurus, is of course Advaitin. So is Vivekananda, who introduced Vedanta to the West. Muktananda is Kashmir Shaivite. Nisargadatta is Natha. And Prem Rawat (“Guru Maharaji”) is Sant Mat / Radha Soami, strange as it may seem. This despite all of them teaching essentially the same nonduality doctrine.

One thing I do in this encyclopaedia is scrap the “Intermediate Zone” classification of Gurus. It is too arbitrary and subjective. It’s not that the concept has no value, but rather that it is difficult to assess the status of various gurus unless I have had a lot to do with them.

Then there is the idea of making esotericism as rigorous as the Sciences, albeit from a phenomenological (inward, imaginal, noetic) rather than am empirical (external, experimental, quantitative) perspective. This would involve a consistent terminology, one based on Neoplatonism, with perhaps some of Theon‘s Cosmic Philosophy (which was one of the theoretical influences on Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Vedanta), as well as of course Jung, Henry Corbin, and others.

I’m also adding various new topics such as Source Amnesia (the predominance of poor or absent scholarship means that modern esotericism is not anchored in any historical tradition, but floats freely in a New Age muddle of half disgested concepts), High Strangeness (in that Fortean phenomena such as UFOs, cryptids, and other such anomalies reveal that the Universe as we understand it doesn’t really make sense), the Re-enchantment of the World (e.g. Richard Tarnas, who, like Jung, discovered the rather inexplicable efficiency of everyday astrology), Conspiracism (the new retreat from reason which reached its extreme in the strange apocalyptic cult of QAnon), and more.

What I hope to do is weave all this together, the old material and the new, in a radical esoteric synthesis.

New Website and Blog

Welcome to the companion blog for the Gnosis, Deep Time, and Science Fiction website. Creative imagination, consciousness, and mythopoesis in a world in transition.

In this new site, my diverse and sometimes incongruent interests and brought together. This replaces the old Kheper net (esotericism) and Freehauler Alcione (sci fi) websites. Due to the huge amount of material, it’ll take a while to move everything over. Even longer to fix the broken links.

The blog will include news of website updates, as well as comments on current affairs and the transmutation of consciousness.

Current projects:

  • finish transfering the old kheper net site to here.
  • transfer Freehauler Alcione to here and here
  • finish Book 1 of the Alcioneverse (mostly finished)
  • finish The Kheper Book of Gnosis (still very incomplete), which will be an update of the Kheper net material (call it Kheper version 4)
  • Add a new section on Life Through Deep Time, as an auxillary to Palaeos com
  • make a few aesthetic changes to the design of this blog.

For those kind people who have visited Kheper net in the past, remember to update your browser and blog links to