Mitch’s fantastic new book Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation shares a “sacred space” on my bookshelf with works by Manly Hall, Robert Anton Wilson, Charles Fort, Jacques Vallee, and Erik Davis. In fact, Mitch, who is also a book editor/publisher, has revived essential classics by several of those folks.
I’m the author of the just-published Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation (Bantam) – it tells the long-overdue story of how esoteric movements and personalities have shaped America’s past and present. I’m also the editor-in-chief of Tarcher/Penguin in New York, where I publish metaphysical books by people like David Lynch, Jacques Vallee, Daniel Pinchbeck, and Jacob Needleman.
In all of my work, I try to convey a sense of how occult and mystery religions (things that are very important in my life) are every bit a part of “normal” religious history and, in fact, are the well-spring for most of today’s self-help philosophies, from mental-healing to meditation to motivational thinking.
I write for a variety of subculture magazines (Science of Mind, Atlantis Rising, Fortean Times, New Dawn), arts and ideas journals (Esopus, Parabola), and appear on mainstream forums (The Montel Williams Show, The History Channel, Air America) to explore arcane ideas in a way that doesn’t seem so…scary, alien, or faraway. It’s not. I’ll expand in the coming days.
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