This epic study unveils the esoteric masters who have covertly impacted the intellectual development of the West, from Pythagoras and Zoroaster to the modern icons Jean Gebser and Schwaller de Lubicz. Running alongside the mainstream of Western intellectual history there is another current, which, in a very real sense, should take pride of place, but which for the last few centuries has occupied a shadowy, inferior position, somewhere underground.
The historical roots of our 'counter tradition,' as Lachman explores, trace an extraordinary arc of history from ancient Egypt and other primeval cultures through the reawakening of the Western mind during the Renaissance and Enlightenment, through the occult revival of the late nineteenth century that brought names such as Blavatsky and Crowley into common usage, to the psychedelic and thought experiments of the 1960s, to our present era which has experienced the rebirth of a critical, rigorous investigation of the ancient wisdom.
Gary Lachman is one of today's most respected writers on esoteric and occult themes. His many books -- including Madame Blavatsky, Swedenborg, Jung the Mystic, and Rudolf Steiner -- have received international acclaim. He has appeared on many television and radio programs and is an adjunct professor in the Evolution of Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies. A founding member of the band Blondie, Lachman has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He lives in London.