Gnostic, Occult

TECHGNOSIS: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information

I recently stumbled upon this guy’s works via his “TechGnosis” book and subsequently named blog “TechGnosis”. Fun to caroose, definitely not a snooze. That’s the last time I’ll try to be Dr. Suess.

Other sources that I believe possess a useful accumen on the ponderings of what “Gnosis” truly means are Truthscrambler(Upon the Face of the Waters” & Jason Bickfords’ “Valentinian Christianity” YouTube channel which used to be named “Polarization Nation Media”. I totally agree with Bickfords assessment on Gnostic Teachings and how they’ve been perverted to make them look like the evil Satanic teachings that at no point they ever actually resembled. Only when Jesuit asswipes get their hands on a narrative does it get skewed and defiled into a blob of bullshit that we are supposed to lend credibility to in perpetuity just because that’s the narrative they’ve put their time and effort into. Hence why Bickford had titled his channel “Gnostic Reclamation” at one point. To try to reclaim a more accurate insight into what “Gnosis” is.


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Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information

How does our fascination with technology intersect with the religious imagination? In TechGnosis—a cult classic now updated and reissued with a new afterword and a foreword by Eugene Thacker—Erik Davis argues that while the realms of the digital and the spiritual may seem worlds apart, esoteric and religious impulses have in fact always permeated (and sometimes inspired) technological communication. Davis uncovers startling connections between such seemingly disparate topics as electricity and alchemy; online roleplaying games and religious and occult practices; virtual reality and gnostic mythology; programming languages and Kabbalah.

The final chapters address the apocalyptic dreams that haunt technology, providing vital historical context as well as new ways to think about a future defined by the mutant intermingling of mind and machine, nightmare and fantasy.

Some reactions:

TechGnosis is an essential work, tracing the co-evolution of technology with the urge for transcendence. It helps put today’s obsession with the singularity and post-human consciousness into perspective, without condemning them as mere symptoms of millenarian fantasy nor worshipping at the altar of the eschaton. Erik Davis sits on my bookshelf alongside William James, Terence McKenna, and Karen Armstrong.

—Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock

Erik Davis has written one of the best media studies books ever published. There’s never been a more lucid analysis of the goofy, muddled, superstition-riddled human mind, struggling to come to terms with high technology. Unlike most tomes about tech, the occult, and social theory, TechGnosis is literate, accessible, and funny. A real winner all around!

—Bruce Sterling, author of The Hacker Crackdown: Lawn and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier

 Erik Davis’s compendious recitation of the history of communications technology dominates the discursive landscape of techno-exegesis like a Martian war machine.

—Terence McKenna, author of The Archaic Revival

TechGnosis is a dazzling, sweeping look at the metaphysical urges underlying our technological progress. From exploring the Singularity to positioning man as the “spiritual cyborg”, Erik Davis reveals our technological subconscious and writes with a flair that crackles the mind. I LOVE this book.

—Jason Silva, Emmy-Nominated host of National Geographic Channel’s BrainGames and creator of Shots of Awe

Buy the book through North Atlantic.

Nomad Codes

Adventures in Modern Esoterica

In these wide-ranging essays, published by Yeti Books in 2010, Erik Davis explores the codes — spiritual, cultural, and embodied — that people use to escape the limitations of their lives and enrich their experience of the world. These include Asian religious traditions and West African trickster gods, Western occult and esoteric lore, postmodern theory and psychedelic science, as well as festival scenes such as Burning Man. Whether his subject is collage art or the “magickal realism” of H. P. Lovecraft, Davis writes with keen yet skeptical sympathy, intellectual subtlety and wit, and unbridled curiosity. The common thread running through these pieces is what Davis calls “modern esoterica,” which he describes as a no-man’s-land located somewhere between anthropology and mystical pulp, between the zendo and the metal club, between cultural criticism and extraordinary experience. Such an ambiguous and startling landscape demands that the intrepid adventurer shed any territorial claims and go nomad.

Selected Amazon review from D., February 6, 2013:

An odyssey into the subliminal spaces of human expression

Erik Davis is adept at balancing between full immersion and blind belief, experiencing a myriad of different out growths of cult and cultural with an enthusiasm that never endangers his critical eye. A participant observer par excellence, he brings us with on an odyssey into the subliminal spaces of human expression.

It’s rare to find a writer whose work serves as a memory of your own experiences and revelations, but Davis is one who you can return to and find he has already been to those fields you thought untouched. He leaves no obvious markers though, as his writing illuminates what he sees rather than seeking to subvert it into strange propaganda or a perverse party line.

Nomad Codes, hash marks tic’d subtly on the trail to lead the traveler on into the the weird world around them, and recommended without hesitation for all those eager to see into the future of our still living past.

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