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

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


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How does our fascination with technology intersect with the religious imagination? In TechGnosis—a cult classic now updated and reissued with a new afterword—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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781583949306
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication date: 03/17/2015
Pages: 456
Sales rank: 1,173,298
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

ERIK DAVIS is a scholar, journalist, and public speaker best known for his cultural analysis and creative explorations of esoteric mysticism. Davis has written about music, art, film, pop culture, and technology for Spin, Details, Rolling Stone, and Wired magazines. He is the author of Led Zeppelin IV (2005), The Visionary State: A Journey Through California's Spiritual Landscape (2006), and Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica (2010), and co-edited The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (2011). Davis has appeared in a number of documentaries about technology and countercultural topics, including DMT: The Spirit Molecule, Electronic Awakening, and The Source. Along with Maja D'Aoust, he hosts a weekly podcast devoted to the "cultures of consciousness" called Expanding Mind, which is part of the Progressive Radio Network.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Foreword Eugene Thacker xi

Note to the Reader xv

Introduction: Crossed Wires xvii

I Imagining Technologies 1

II The Alchemical Fire 33

III The Gnostic Intonaut 73

IV Techgnosis, American-Style 103

V The Spiritual Cyborg 133

VI A Most Enchanting Machine 171

VII Cyberspace: The Virtual Craft 199

VIII The Alien Call 237

IX Datapocalypse 267

X Third Mind from the Sun 305

XI The Path Is a Network 337

Afterword (2004) 357

Afterword 2.0 (2015) 369

Notes 381

Bibliography 395

About the Author 407

Index 409

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