Like I mentioned before this is a very superficial introduction to the not well known history of the occult in America It does a decent job of illustrating that Americans do seem to have a bit of a mystical vein Today is most widely manifest by the popularization of its once mysterious teachings in things like The Secret the pentecostal and vangelical mega church movements or ven motivational speakers for that matter The whole Positive Thinking the Imagery movements all of that stuff that is now called Self help once was the domain of the occult and mystics that blended their teaching with American "Pragmatism Not A Whole Lot Surprising In This Book Except "Not a whole lot surprising in this book xcept it is interesting how history has largely been silent on its influences on important people and movements in American History It seems like it has been the counter culture of American Materialism and has thrived by promising people verything from wealth and riches to lasting happiness Stylistically the author wrote like a High School boy with ADHD jumping around so much from topic to topic and person to person that is can make you dizzy just trying to remember the long list of names and places This also means that he only lightly touching on them He could have focused a little in depth on a few of the critical occult individuals instead of trying to introduce almost all of them in so few pages As the book xplains the occult in America was far less dark than that in the Old World and most of the US occultmystic movements were good positive Rivals Break (Sharpe Donovan emphasized self improvement It starts with the Shakers and some of the New YorkNew England mysticsspecially Andrew Jackson Davis The Poughkeepsie Seer who was one of the most famousinfluential mystics of the nineteenth century Eually influential was Madame Blavatsky the Theosophical Society Both Davis Blavatsky get mentioned throughout many of the mystics that follow them The Ouija Board It was marketed after some of the homemade tapping spirit contacting boards of the 1850 s New Thought was a positive thinking movement that led to Christian Science and Norman Vincent Peale Hoodoo which is different from Voodoo and Santeria came from Western Central Afirca mixed with Native American herbal medicine the Jewish Kabala and Euoropean folklore A Hoodoo root workers gave a n amulet to Frederick Douglas which was instrumental in giving him the strength to fight his slave masterThe twentieth century saw the rise of mail order prophets Edgar Cayce who popularized reincarnation channeling to America FDR s second vice president who was very interested in the occult and the New Age movement that began in the sixties I m not sure mysticism shaped our nation but it s always been an American fascination A sweeping and scatter shot survey of the history of soteric spirituality in America Useful as an introductory overview it he This is a fascinating book that describes the history of the spiritualist movements in America Too many details to recount
Here But Here S but here s few choice tidbits that I njoyed hearing about1 Spiritualism was associated with the womens suffrage movement in the Soft Focus early 20th century Most of the mediums were women Apparently the same kind of crazy idea that suggested women should vote were then able to conceive of a spirit world2 Theye over the pyramid on the one dollar bill was proposed by Henry Wallace FDR s first vice president Of course both he and FDR were Masons and the imagery is a Masonic representation of The Great Architect of the Universe3 In the thirties many of the occult organizations in America were racist and fascist some openly supported Hitler FDR through J Edgar Hoover raided the Silver Shirts in 1942 and the leader of that organization William Dudley Pelley was sentenced to 15 years for seditionMy conclusion The notion that this is a Christian nation is uestionable We certainly are Christian ish but the roots of spiritualism which is Alien Chastity Belt expressly forbidden by the Bible run deep The secret history of how mysticism shaped our nation the title says But it doesn t seem that there s really all that much of a secret to this history it s simply not well known Andven disappointing the history doesn t reveal much about how the nation was shaped In fact as Horowitz admits at the Faker end it s really a matter of how the history of mysticism was shaped by our nation Thencounter between America and occultism resulted in a vast reworking of arcane practices and beliefs from the Old World and the creation of a new spiritual culture This new culture Lawbreakers Suspense Stories extolled religiousgalitarianism and responded perhaps than any other movement in history to the inner needs and search of the individual p 258This book could have been a fascinating study in the intricacies of American occult movements The prose was asily accessible and the book itself is well researched and filled with a wealth of information But there seems to be little direct connection between many of the points raised Each chapter seems to focus on its on particular piece of occult history with a uniue cast of characters and no clearly delineated development between or among movements There are xceptions to be sure and Horo. It touched lives as disparate as those of Frederick Douglass Franklin Roosevelt And Mary Todd and Mary Todd who once convinced her husband Abe to host a séance in the White House Americans all they were among the famous figures whose paths intertwined with the mystical and Spinal Trauma esoteric movement broadly known as the occult Brought over from the Old World and spread throughout the New by some of the most obscure but gifted men and women ofarly US history this “hidden wisdom” transformed the spiritual life of the still young nation and through it much of the Western worldYet the story of the American occult has remained largely untold Now a leading writer on the subject of alternati.
Read Occult America The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our NationShadow (New Species, earlier periods of occult history But then again maybe the contemporary New Age has such a plethora of ill assorted motifs modes and personalities that it is hard to find thematic threads that might capture itsssence beyond a sweeping overview I found Occult America to be an absolutely 細味人生100篇 engaging historical account of the spiritual leaders and movements that helped pave the way for Mysticism in the world today Many people were brought to my attention that I had never before heard of but have played such a pivotal role in the spiritual movements such as Johannes Kelpius Ann Lee and Jemima Wilkinson to name just a fewOccult America also discusses well known historical figures such as Mary Todd Lincoln Abraham Lincoln s wife and her fascination with the occult and occult practices often getting her husband involved in White House seances Lincoln was well known for her involvement in Occult mattersspecially after the assassination of her husband the President Another interesting celebrity involved in the occult so I have found through Occult America is Sylvia Plath who used the Ouija board along with her husband Ted Hughes This is to believed to have been the inspiration for her poem Ouija It is The Gathering (Darkness Rising, eerily said that the Ouija predicted fame for Plath which would cost her both her life with her husband and her own life It is a little spooky if you ask meHorowitz s brief history of the Ouija that both thrilled and terrified me The account taken from anxcerpt in the 2001 International Journal of Parapsychology of an 18 year old s MongoDB experiences with the Ouija isnough to give you nightmares for a day or twoAlthough Occult America is brief in the subjects it does introduce the reader to and that is my only true complaint Horowitz did a wonderful job of introducing subject matters not before heavily discussed However because of this I really felt as if this was almost of an introductory book about the history of the occult rather than any sort of true detailed literature Because Occult America freuently jumped from subject to subject it did have the potential to cause headaches in some readers who really wish to get involved in one topic at a time before transitioning to the next Because of Horowitz obvious amount of time spent in research I hope that this is only a sign of to come from Horowitz and am hoping he ll continue to delve deeper into detailed historical accounts in future books so readers can gain a better understanding of ach subject matterAs there were so many peopled discussed I felt that there were many sections in Occult America that could truly be its own standalone book I feel it is important that Horowitz takes the introductory information presented in Occult America and use that information as a skeleton for his next books adding a little bit meat to the bones so that the reader may truly gain adding a little bit meat to the bones so that the reader may truly gain in depth understanding of the history of Mysticism
This being my first review and this being a non fiction book I suppose the best waybeing my first review and this being a non fiction book I suppose the best way review it would to judge it by two criteria i the content and ii the uality of the writingTHE CONTENT The Title Of The Book Is Ambiguous And Potentially The title of the book is ambiguous and potentially suggesting something like an Illuminati style conspiracy theory or perhaps an ultra orthodox polemic against fringe spiritual movements It s actually just a straightforward history book as I knew it was when I picked it up and as such makes no comment on wheth I just couldn t bring myself to finish this The title gives the impression that mysticisim and the occult actually played a big role in American history and that the author will be revealing fascinating secrets Nope Instead it s just a simple history of the various weird things that people have believed in for a certain value of weird of course It s actually very dry which is a shame Probably overresearched and overwritten Top that off with a complete and total lack of critical reasoning applied to some of this stuff and it s both dull and overly credulous Couldn t ven make it past theosophy Having studied Experiential Learning esoteric and occult culture for well over half my life this book doesn t contain anything that I hadn t already read about However the author s treatment of his subject matter is a refreshing change fromither the condescending manner of skeptical writers or the credulous tone of New Age proselytizers While the book itself is a slim volume its pages are full of characters and their Die Neurobiologie des Glücks exploits woven together uite skillfully into a concise history of the mainsoteric belief systems and trends from the arliest days of America down to the Auarian revolution of the late 60 s and 70 s As this is the author s first book I m willing to overlook its brevity and somewhat superficial treatment of the individual subjects contained therein Hopefully Occult America will be a basic introduction in a series of works that xplores American A New Philosophy of History esoteric practices with depth The author s top notch research along with his sensitivity passion and respect for the subject makes this a fantastic stepping off point and leaves me wanting. The black nationalist politics of Marcus Garvey•The Idaho druggist whose mail order mystical religion ranked as theighth largest faith in the world during the Great Depression Here too are America’s homegrown religious movements from transcendentalism to spiritualism to Christian Science to the positive thinking philosophy that continues to xert such a powerful pull on the public today A feast for believers in alternative spirituality an ye opener for anyone curious about the unknown byroads of American history Occult America is an ngaging long overdue portrait of one nation under many gods whose revolutionary influence is still being felt in very corner of the glob. Witz draws a few links between bits of history but the connections are mostly rather shaky and don t provide bits of history but the connections are mostly rather shaky and don t provide clear sense of purpose The goal of FRITZI auf Sylt - ÖLMALEREI - Kunst in Fotobrillant-Druck each of the chapters thus remains a bit muddled and the role ofach of the figures in shaping American history is anything but clear I take issue with Horowitz s use of the term occult as well A lot of what Horowitz represents as occult seems to me no than parlor games and not Big Little Man even mystical or magic ones at that Certainly Ouija gets a mention but most of the other historical references are far obscure and less mystical And while the title would seem to suggest that these various curiosities shaped American history they really seem to belong to much of a fringe audience for most of theirxistence Not until the 1960s does the nation really seem to see a significant culture altering occult movement There are smaller influences here and there along the way but I m not convinced that they really have the sort of hold on mainstream American lifestyles that Horowitz seems to want to believe they do It s certainly an interesting read but I don t come away from it feeling that I ve gained any knowledge that I can really put toward a particular understanding The book seems a collection of trivia and random factoids than a well structured convincing treatise It s taken me than two months to get through it simply because I never really felt that the book was going anywhere It s certainly not the sort of book the title and cover blurb make it out to be Mitch Horowitz Occult America The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation Bantam 2009A Review ByRaj AyyarMitch Horowitz leads us on a fascinating journey through an alternative US history a landscape peopled with colorful The Man from Beijing eccentrics inspired visionaries and self help savants Contrary to a certain stereotype about the hardboiled pragmatism and muscular materialism of the American Horowitzian America offers us a peek into a radically different occult America whose thumbprint was felt as far as Asia through movements like the Theosophical SocietyHowever throughout the book Horowitzmphasizes the uniuely American uality of occult Creating Lasting Value experimentation in the US American occultism is rooted in do it yourself American individualism andual access Apparently in the house of the American occult there are many mansions ranging from hand holding s ances to good old fashioned self help and positive thinking approaches from Joseph Smith to Edgar CayceAmong other uniuely American features of the different occult movements is the belief that thoughts in some greater or lesser measure determine reality Occult America p 257 The New Age slogan you create your own reality has deep roots in the history of the American Occult New Agers may be surprised to learn that the Law of Attraction popularized by Esther and Jerry Hicks and by the best selling book and DVD The Secret has a long history in American Occultism Horowitz traces LOA back to Andrew Jackson Davis the Seer of Poughkeepsie in 1855 The Law of Attraction meant that whatever a person dwelled upon in their thoughts would manifest in Understanding Markets and Strategy events good or bad joyous or catastrophic in theirarthly lives Occult America p96Horowitz points out that in the context of slavery in the American South such thinking could seem a naively cruel calculus ibid p96 It is hard to disagree with Horowitz when he argues that the Law of Attraction presupposes an American middle class level of comfort and stability In fact one could go further and argue that the Law of Attraction can be Montana Dreams easily linked to a do it yourself get rich uick capitalistthicOn the other hand Horowitz does not pause to consider how this business of reality creation with thoughts and feelings can be a profoundly self Immerwelt - Der Pakt empowering calculus as studies of the placeboffect have shown Within certain limits the Law of Attraction can infuse one with the nergy trust and confidence to change one s circumstances from illness to good health from poverty to a state of material comfort from struggling to a life of relative aseThere are some astonishing counter xamples to the bourgeois halo surrounding the Law of Attraction and this business of creating reality with one s thoughts feeling and beliefs Horowitz points out that Wallace Wattles author of The Science of Getting Rich one of the 19th century self help gurus featured in The Secret had a Utopian socialist vision married to the gospel of wealth Wattles had a great admiration for American socialist Eugene Debs and hoped that the use of mind power to generate wealth would go hand in Hand With Fighting For The Oppressed And The Creation Of with fighting for the oppressed and the creation of uitable social orderThere is another interesting section of Horowitz s book dealing with how iconic leaders of 19th Century African American movements such as Marcus Garvey were greatly influenced by New Thought Occult America takes the history of the occult and the New Age out of the alleys and byways and places it suarely within mainstream Americana Politicians like Lincoln and Henry A Wallace FDR s second VP among many others were fascinated by the occult The last chapter of Occult America zips through a medley of contemporar. Ve spirituality brings it out of the shadows Here is a rich fascinating and colorful history of a religious revolution and an Ancestral Voices epic of offbeat history From the meaning of the symbols on the one dollar bill to the origins of the Ouija board Occult America briskly sweeps from the nation’sarliest days to the birth of the New Age And Bid Him Sing era and traces many people andpisodes including•The spirit medium who became America’s first female religious leader in 1776 •The supernatural passions that marked the career of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith •The rural Sunday school teacher whose clairvoyant visions instigated the dawn of the New Age •The prominence of mind power mysticism in.