Contemporary Esotericism, 13-14


III. Esoteric Transfers

13. New Age Spirituality

Eduard ten Houten


pp. 268-9 Warrior of Light & veiled woman

p. 268

"the Warrior of Light has been central to Coelho's spiritual arsenal from the beginning. It is mentioned in The Alchemist (1988), as well as in The Pilgrimage (1987) and The Valkyries (1992) ... . Its importance is actually such that Coelho regards the Manual of the Warrior of Light (1997) as the "key book" ... . ... Structurally, the Manual is framed by a tale about a seaside encounter between a man and a mysterious veiled woman.

"Write", she tells him as she as she gives the man a blue notebook".

{"Say!" ("Speak!) the archangel Jibra>il commandeth (to Muh.ammad) as the archangel beginneth each dictation of a surah of the Qur>an.}

p. 269, fn. 13

"we are all Warriors of the Light and Coelho's protagonists are often women, for ... the Manual".

p. 276 no affiliation with the world of mortals : instead, heeding only the Divine Voice

"in the Manual's world the Warrior has no next of kin, no roots, no motherland or fatherland, no nationality, no religion, no ethnicity, no community function ... . ... The Warrior, it is implied, rejects all such ties when he sets out on his Path towards his elusive dream ... . ...

{Similar statements are attributed to "Don Juan Matu`s" in the writings by Carlos Castan~eda.}

Coelho's Warrior ... is in principle not bound by anything except God's voice speaking infallibly to him".

{Likewise, at Athenai, Sokrates was not bound by anything except his daimon's voice speaking infallibly to him.}

p. 277, fn. 46 global countreculture/countrecreed

"For Coelho, the social sphere itself, in its ... entirety, seems to be the enemy. This could ... explain why Coelho's "message" resonates across cultures and creeds. It is ... because it opposes and rejects each culture and each creed as limiting. It appeal is global ... because it is universally attractive to escape from limits set by culture and creed".

p. 280 "there abide these three" (1st Epistole to the Korinthioi 13:13)

"And he always checks that he carries three things with him : faith, hope and love."

1st Korinthioi 13:13


pp. 282-3 no boundaries between worlds : praesence of Warriors of Light in transcendent planes-of-existence

p. 282

"the texts itself says ... that there are no boundaries between the material and spiritual."

"there are Warriors of Light [only] on some ... (... transcendent-astral) plane ... . ... . ... preferred by Coelho [fn. 70 : "Cf. Coelho, The Valkyries, 207."], would be

to position the Warrior's war somewhere on the astral plane."

{Although Norse seers may (in dreams and/or in trances) have witnessed what appeared to be battles in Val-ho,l (Valhalla), actually both they and more recent mortal visitants (such as Robert Monroe, who likewise viewed what appeared to be enactments of historic battles) to other worlds, were being mocked by the deities, who set up for them divine theatrical parodies of the historic battles which they had been so foolish as to hear of (or to read about) excessively.}

p. 283

"The Good Fight [2nd Epistole of Timo-theos 4:7] in its intended meaning is therefore war without war, conflict without conflict".

{There are certainly no actual wars nor conflicts (and also no impolite behaviour nor impropre thoughts) within the subtle (immaterial) planes-of-existence"

2nd Timo-theos 4:7

p. 285 public recognition from the United Nations

"Coelho was designated by the UN as a Messenger of Peace in 2007".

p. 286 party of one : para-ethics

"Coelho is a partisan of a party of one. ...

But ... the Warrior of Light ... lives according to ... divine para-ethics".


III. Esoteric Transfers

14. Deep Oikology

Joseph Christian Greer


p. 290, fn. 9 American Transcendentalists

"Rachel Carson's Silent Spring ... is an ... important link for

the scholars who write Thoreau and Emerson, and American Transcendentalists in general, into Deep Ecology's history. ...

{These scholars would include Gus diZerega, who quoted ("KWCDE", p. 5) Emerson (1981, pp. 33-4) at length "stimulated to more earnest vision, outlines and surfaces become transparent ...; causes and spirits are seen through them.""}

For Carson's connection to Thoreau in particular see Brooks [1972], 5-8."

Brooks 1972 = Paul Brooks : The House of Life : Rachel Carson at Work. Boston : Houghton Mifflin.

{Emerson was describing shamanic vision, seeing in the causal plane spirits within the body : these spirits, which are described in detail in the literature of Taoist internal alchemy, are also the spirits within the body named in the Apokruphon of Ioannes.}

"KWCDE" = Gus diZerega : Ken Wilber's Critique of Deep Ecology and Nature Religion : a Response.

Emerson 1981 = Bode & Cowley (edd.) : The Portable Emerson. NY : Penguin.

pp. 291-2 Council of All Beings

p. 291

"the most prominent ritual in D[eep]E[cology], Joanna Macy and John Seed's neoshamanic "Council of All Beings", consists of channelling intermediate beings, including nature spirits, spokes-entities for extinct animals, and Gaia herself, in order to elicit

p. 292, fn. 16 : "See Seed et al., Thinking Like a Mountain".

p. 292

higher knowledge for the participants involved."

John Seed; Joanna Macy; Pat Fleming; & Arne Naess : Thinking Like a Mountain : Towards a Council of All Beings. San Bruno (CA) : Catalyst Bks, 2007.

p. 292 Gus diZerega

"there is the Church of Deep Ecology, which openly embraces a neopagan form of nature worship ... . Add to this the neopagan lexicon employed in the work of Deep Ecology writer, Wiccan high priest and neoshamanic practitioner Gus diZerega".

books by Gus diZerega

Fault Lines, by Gus diZerega

{"Gus diZerega is a Third-Degree Gardnerian Elder. He spent six years studying with Brazilian shaman Antonio Costa e Silva, and with other teachers in Native American and Afro-Brazilian traditions."}

p. 298 oiko-centrism

"Sessions traces [1995b, p. ix] the roots of Deep Ecology's ecocentric perspective ... to the "Milesian philosophers", "Taoism ...", the Presocratics, ... "the Romantic Nature-oriented ... movement of the nineteenth century", the Trancendentalists, ... the ecological writings of Aldous Huxley, Rachel Carson and Aldo Leopold, ... and finally culminating in ... Arne Naess ... ."

Sessions 1995b = George Sessions : "Preface". In :- George Sessions (ed.) : Deep Ecology for the 21st Century. Boston : Shambhala.

p. 298 anthropo-centrism

p. 298, fn. 44

"the Lynn White thesis ... argued that Christianity bore the heaviest burden for the environmental crisis as it was [White 1967, p. 1205] "the most anthropocentric religion the world has seen.""

p. 298

"with [Sessions 1988, pp. 66-7] "the culmination of

Athenian philosophy

{actually not so much Athenian, as Stageiriote/Makedonian}

in Aristotle, an anthropocentric system of philosophy was set in place"".

{Actually, Aristotelianism did not become dominant in western Europe until Thomas Aquinas, nor in eastern Europe until still later.}

[Sessions 1995a, p. 4; Devall & Sessions 1985, pp. 18-39, 41-9, 80-1] "anthropocentrism continued and indeed continues unabated as a result of ... the anthropocentric humanism of

modern and

postmodern philosophy

(with Marx and Dewey exemplifying the former,

and Foucault, Derrida and Lyotard the latter)."

White 1967 = Lynn Townsend White Jr. : "Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis". SCIENCE 155.3767:1203-7.

Sessions 1988 = George Sessions :"Ecocentrism and the Greens". THE TRUMPETER : J OF ECOSOPHY 5.2:65-9.

Sessions 1995a = George Sessions : "Postmodernism and Environmental Justice". THE TRUMPETER : J OF ECOSOPHY 12.3.

Devall & Sessions 1985 = Bill Devall & George Sessions : Deep Ecology. Layton (UT) : Gibbs Smith.

{Anthropocentric humanism is commonly contrasted with theocentric deism.}

p. 301 criticisms of Session's interpretations

"despite the undeniable similarities between modernWestern shamanism and Deep Ecology's ecocentrism, Sessions's definition prohibits reading anything from the former into the latter.

[Howbeit,] Naess founded Deep Ecology ... on precisely a conflation of this sort".

[fn. 61 : "For a ... transfer betwen neoshamanism and DE see von Stuckrad [2002], 782-4."]

"Naess has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with Sessions's movement-as-manifestation interpretation."

von Stuckrad 2002 = Kocku von Stuckrad : "Reenchanting Nature : Modern Western Shamanism and Nineteeth Century Thought". J OF THE AMER ACADEMY OF RELIGION 70.4:771-99.

pp. 302-3 gestalt ontology

p. 302

"Describing Naess's Ecosophy T, Warwick Fox states, "the 'esoteric core' of deep ecology is bound up with ... spiritual-metaphysical ... Self-realization". ... Essentially, the transcendental state of Self-realization (inspired by {the}) ... is the higher knowledge Naess claims {his affording access to}. Naess explains the context of this higher knowledge in the phenomenonlgocal lexicon of "gestalt ontology", the metaphysical framework he created for his ecosophy. The primary characteristic of gestalt ontology is [the praemiss (or proposition) that] [Fox 1990, pp. 56-7]

the universe contains "no completely separable objects, [and] therefore no separable ego or medium or organism [exists]."

{This realization is basically Taoist.}

p. 303

This ... allows Naess to characterize [1995, p. 245] his own ontological framework and the ecosophy derived from it as not only superior to the dominant scientific paradigm, but also as a necessary succession of {successor to? stage in the sequence of?} it. ...

Hence, in addition to positing a holistic conception of reality, and being an individual path for merging with the totality of of the cosmos, Naess's claim that gestalt ontology is superior to science mirrors von Stuckrad's criteria for esoteric discourse, which states [2005a, p. 88] :

[quoted :] On the most general level of analysis we can describe esotericism as the claim of higher knowledge. Important here is ... the claim to a wisdom that is superior to other interpretations of cosmos".

Fox 1990 = Warwick Fox : Toward a Transpersonal Ecology. Boston (MA) : Shambhala.

Naess 1995 = Arne Naess : "Ecosophy and Gestalt Ontology". In : George Sessions : Deep Ecology for nthe 21st Century. Boston : Shambhala. pp. 240-5.

von Stuckrad 2005a = Kocku von Stuckrad : "Towards an Integrative Model of Interpretation". RELIGION 35.2:78-97.

{So-called "gestalt ontology" would appear repraesent a commonality shared between Taoism and Veda-anta dars`ana.}

p. 304 non-dualism

"Going under ... names including "widespread identification", "deep identification" and ... "the intuition of Deep Ecology", the non-dualism of Ecology represents ... esoteric elaborations of the esoteric elements of ... Deep Ecology."

"those in DE who ... held non-dualistic beliefs ... could use Fox's thesis as a point of departure for developing more elaborate formulations of Deep Ecology, be they neopagan, Wiccan, or ... Eco-magick"."

{Such non-dualism may be comparable to the A-dvaita variant of Veda-anta.}

p. 304 Transpersonal Oikology

"the ubiquity of ontological holism in DE theorizing led Warwick Fox to ... assert that Naess's ecosophy represented, definitively, what was unique about Deep Ecology. On account of its holistic basis, Fox argued [1990, p. 197] that Deep Ecologywould more properly be termed "Transpersonal Ecology", which simultaneously raised the ire of Naess and Sessions".

p. 304, fn. 78 magic in the Dragon Environmental Network

"Growing from an activist "membership organization" to a decentralized network with conferences and a journal, the Dragon Environmental Network is the most salient hub for ... ritual magic ... . See Dragon Environmental Network, "Eco-Magic"." & &

{Such drakonic (Naga/kLu) lore could repraesent a commonality among alchemic, Merlinian ("a pair of red and white dragons" according to Robert de Boron -- PM), Pauran.ik [Naga], Bon [kLu], and Taoist [Lun]systems.}

PM = John Conlee (ed.) : Prose Merlin. 1998.

p. 305 dhyana (meditation) : contemplative progression through extraordinary realization

"we see in addition to ... higher knowledge, ... the individual experience in which an agent attains higher knowledge through an extraordinary realization. ... The underlying assumption ... is that as a questioner answers progressively deeper questions, he or she comes ... to ... sentiments that would normally remain obscured or otherwise impossible to access. [Naess 1995, p. 207]

At the deepest level of ... derivation, the questioner comes face to face with their {his or her} most profound truth ... that orients their {his or her} ecosophy ... . [Katz et al. 2000, p. xi]

{The budhnis.t.ha satya ('most profound truth') must perforce be unification of atman with brahman.}

At the level of the ultimate ..., ... derivation shifts a descriptive {or rather, an analytical} to a prescriptive {or rather, a constructive} one ... ."

{At the anta (end) is the paramita (transcendence), when there is a shift from disclosure of the skandha-s as constituents of the atman-maya (realization of the illusory nature of the existence of a self), to an intuitional intimation of the mode of construction of the illusion of a self out of those skandha-s. [written Sept 16 2014]}

Naess 1995 = Arne Naess : "Deepness of Questions and the Deep Ecology Movement". In :- Sessions 1995, pp. 204-12.

Katz et al. 2000 = Eric Katz; Andrew Light; and David Rothenberg : "Introduction : Deep Ecology as Philosophy". In :- the authors' (as editors) Beneath the Surface : Critical Essays in the Philosophy of Deep Ecology. Cambridge (MA) : M.I.T. Pr. pp. ix-xxiv.

p. 307 esoteric elements as definitive expressions of Deep Oikology

"following Katz, DE should be labelled esoteric because the philosophy of Deep Ecology is based on Naess's esoteric ontology; therefore, ...

the Council of All Beings,

Transpersonal Ecology,

the ritual practice of eco-magick, and

ecocentric paradigm shifts,

should be understood as definitive expressions of Deep Ecology as they presume ontological holism and the possibility of Self-realization.

Katz' ... Deep Ecology dramatically differs from Arne Katz's ..., for ... ecosophical elaborations ... will be ecocentric if sufficiently deep ... . As the expression of an ecosophy, ... Deep Ecology is both the process by which higher knowledge is achieved and the ecosophies which possess it."

p. 308 "how each interpretation is esoteric"

"Sessions's interpretation is esoteric on account of his portrayal of ecocentrism ... as a form of perennial wisdom.

... Naess's definition was based on providing direct access to the esoteric knowledge ... .

Lastly, in locating the non-dual ontology and potential for Self-realization of Ecosophy ..., Katz showed how all DE theorizing is essentially esoteric as it follows from ontological holism."


Egil Asprem & Kennet Granholm (edd.): Contemporary Esotericism. Equinox Publ Ltd, Sheffield, 2013.