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Examines the left-hand path and reveals the masters of the tradition. From black magic and Satanism to Gnostic sects and Gurdjieff's Fourth Way, the left-hand path has been linked to many practices, cults, and individuals across the ages. Stephen Flowers, Ph.D., examines the methods, teachings, and historical role of the left-hand path, from its origins in Indian tantric philosophy to its underlying influence in current world affairs, and reveals which philosophers, magicians, and occult figures throughout history can truly be called "Lords of the Left-Hand Path." Flowers explains that while the right-hand path seeks union with and thus dependence on God, the left-hand path seeks a "higher law" based on knowledge and power. It is the way of self-empowerment and true freedom. Beginning with ancient Hindu and Buddhist sects and moving Westward, he examines many alleged left-hand path groups, including the Cult of Set, the Yezidi Devil Worshippers, the Assassins, the Neoplatonists, the Hell-Fire Club, the Bolsheviks, the occult Nazis, and several heretical Sufi, Zoroastrian, Christian, and Muslim sects. Following a carefully crafted definition of a true adherent of the left-hand path based on two main principles--self-deification and challenge to the conventions of "good" and "evil"--the author analyzes many famous and infamous personalities, including H. P. Blavatsky, Faust, the Marquis de Sade, Austin Osman Spare, Aleister Crowley, Gerald Gardner, Anton LaVey, and Michael Aquino, and reveals which occult masters were Lords of the Left-Hand Path. Flowers shows that the left-hand path is not inherently evil but part of our heritage and our deep-seated desire to be free, independent, and in control of our destinies.
Stephen E. Flowers, Ph.D., received his doctorate in Germanic languages and medieval studies from the University of Texas at Austin and studied the history of occultism at the University of Göttingen, Germany. The author of more than 24 books, including Hermetic Magic, he is the director of the Woodharrow Institute for Germanic and Runic Studies and lives near Austin, Texas.
Table of Contents
Preface: Under the Lens of Reason
Introduction: An Untimely Meditation
1 The Left-Hand Path 2 The Eastern Traditions 3 The Roots of the Western Tradition 4 The First Millennium 5 The Path of Satan 6 Lucifer Unbound 7 An Interlude in the Absolute Elsewhere: Adolph Hitler and the Modern Mythologizing of Evil 8 The Occult Revival 9 Anton Szandor LaVey and the Church of Satan 10 Michael A. Aquino: The Temple of Set