Adventures in Modern Esoterica
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
Verse Chorus Press
FROM THE EROWID REVIEW #
- Review by Jonathan Taylor, 2011 Feb 01
Davis makes connections, and he writes about making connections, and he traces much of this back to psychedelics, and in particular that mildest but most commonly used of psychedelics: weed. But that is the tip of the iceberg. Davis deeply understands psychedelics (and one would imagine, experientially), and he sees the formidable challenges they provoke. The other thing that Davis does that is important, and unbelievably rare, is to totally integrate the highest of high culture with the lowest of low; the world of intellectual theorists with the myriad subcultures of partiers who vastly outnumber them; the value of relying on science while retaining an appreciation for the essences of spiritual reality.. . . (more)
BLURBS #"Erik Davis is an astute guide through the heavens and hells where cyber-reality, pop culture, and spiritual impulses arm-wrestle each other for dominance."
-- Jay Kinney, author of The Masonic Myth and the Inner West
"Whether he's penetrating the neo-pagan mythos of Star Trek fans who live alternate lives as swashbuckling Klingon warriors or using postmodern theory to penetrate the mysteries of H.P. Lovecraft's pulp horror, Erik Davis is never less than intellectually exuberant, giddy with the sheer delight of chasing the thread of a thought. Fluent in continental philosophy, comparative religion, and the tinfoil-earmuff saucer cults and sci-fi subcultures that make this country great, he's funnier and more intellectually nimble than most academics. In a better world than this, he'd hold the Philip K Dick Endowed Chair of Pulp Hermeuneutics. I keep telling him he should start a religion."
-- Mark Dery, cultural critic, author of The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink
"What a treasure to have this collection of Erik Davis's very varied writings. Davis is a scholar in the truest sense of the word, drawing on knowledge, curiosity, and eloquence in equal measure. He reminds us that the esoteric understanding of life is vital and real at all levels of our culture."
-- Rachel Pollacky, author of Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom
"With the mindscape refracted through these essays, Erik Davis establishes himself, yet again, as one of our most intellectually rigorous and spiritually subtle guides through the "electric bardos" of our contemporary pop-cultural, sci-fi, psychedelic, countercultural, and cross-cultural sites. Writing beyond both the unbelievable beliefs of religion and the too easy solutions of cultural relativism and materialism, Erik emerges from these in-between zones with a form of glowing gnosis that is as much about biology and bodies as it is about liberation and light. What he calls "the bright shards of witnessing angelstuff" shine through every page, leaving the reader--this one anyway--dazzled and delighted."
-- Jeffrey J. Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religious Studies, Rice University, and author of Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred