The Higher Man in the modern world: a short survival guide

Can the Higher Man participate in the modern world, elevating his surroundings and giving those around him a glimpse of the transcendental even as he participates in worldly affairs? This is the question that confronts us today with so many spiritual people living in modern cities, with their fast pace of life and often superficial […]

Violence and the sacred: finding inner peace in times of outer conflict

A few weeks ago I happened to be reading Vali Nasr’s The Shia Revival on the way back from a martial arts session. I’d received a pretty firm kick in the side, and was conscious of pain in that area. I don’t want to overdramatize it, the injury meant sleeping was difficult for the following […]

Neo-Paganism left and right, old and new

“The past two centuries of European history”, says Claire Berlisnki in Menace in Europe: Why the Continents Crisis is America’s, too, “can be viewed as a series of struggles to find a replacement for what Europe has lost.” For Berlinski, Europe lost Christianity. Since the USA remains Christian to a far greater degree, the assertion […]

Platonism, “Pandrogyny” and Panache: how pop hints at the primordial man

The figure of the Hermaphrodite in esoteric symbolism is perhaps one of the strangest and most alien to the ordinary consciousness of man. It has probably always been this way. The primitive shaman — part priest, part mystic, part sorcerer, a figure of fear and reverence — is known to have feminized his appearance, and […]

The surveillance state and the end of liberalism

Luigi Russolo, "The Revolt" 1911.

“What tyranny will be like when it has enormous technical weapons is very hard to say, but we are clearly moving toward that,” the once controversial, now obscure, yet quite brilliant philosopher George Parkin Grant (1918-1988) commented in an interview in 1973. “I think one of the strange things about modern tyranny is that it’s […]

Bohemian Groves: the 19th century roots of the Hippie movement

The world’s first self-conscious “youth” movement sprang up in response to, and as a rejection of, urban life and the cold, impersonal mechanics of modernity. It’s members wanted to reunite themselves with nature. They went vegetarian, sometimes favored nudism, hiked and even camped out in the wilderness, creating alternative societies to the mainstream. It was […]

Can radical spirituality end racism?

“”What the superior man seeks,” said Confucius, “is in himself; what the ordinary man seeks, is in others.” In the West, those who consider themselves spiritual, thinking people, inevitably consider themselves to be concerned with the internal — the inner being — not the external. Frequently, though, nothing could be further from the truth. And […]

Death becomes us? the skull as symbol of transcendence

“There was a small splash a couple of weeks ago about a new coffee: “Death Wish.” No prizes for guessing that this brew has an extremely high caffeine content. According to the website dedicated to this dark brew, it has about twice the amount of caffeine as regular strong coffee. What’s perhaps more interesting from […]

Hijab: beyond the stereotype

“The hijab — the Muslim headscarf — is a simple item of clothing that has the power to represent complex and even contradictory ideas — from tradition and social conservatism to revolution and democracy (or the hope of democracy, e.g., via the Arab Spring). The symbolism of the hijab depends partly on in which country […]