The John Michell Reader

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2015-04-26
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions
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Deepest thoughts and musings of a 1960s countercultural icon

• Includes 108 of Michell’s most insightful, erudite, witty, and occasionally scathing essays on diverse topics ranging from sacred practices of the Stone Age to the evils of the metric system to the madness of modernity

• Describes principles to live in tune with the divine order of the world and discover the “paradise of the philosophers” of ancient times.

• Includes an introductory overview by Joscelyn Godwin of Michell’s entire career

A countercultural icon of the 1960s, John Michell (1933-2009) was perhaps best known for his books on sacred geometry, Earth mysteries, and unusual phenomena. He was also beloved and reviled for his radical, idealistic, yet classically traditional views on a wide range of heretical topics, from sacred practices of the Stone Age to the evils of the metric system to the madness of modernity and the unfolding apocalypse.

Carefully selecting 108 of Michell’s most insightful, erudite, witty, and occasionally scathing essays from his column in the monthly magazine The Oldie, esoteric scholar Joscelyn Godwin presents a colorful collection of Michell’s writings and rants that cover nearly every aspect of society, history, and traditional wisdom. In these short essays, Michell takes on agribusiness, Darwinism, superstition, Stonehenge, the insanity of modern society, UFOs, Jesus, fairies, the Grail legend, among many other topics. No matter how small the topic under consideration, Michell always takes a larger view on it, illuminating it with light from above.

Godwin’s artful selection and ordering of essays reveals Michell’s overarching grand view of the world at large. We glimpse the heart of Michell as idealistic Platonist and radical traditionalist, absorb his common sense lessons for living in tune with the divine order, and are reminded that the elusive “paradise of the philosophers” of ancient times is still within reach for those with the strength of vision to see it.

Author Biography

Educated at Cambridge and Cornell, Joscelyn Godwin, Ph.D., is a professor of music at Colgate University and the author, editor, and translator of more than 30 books, including Atlantis and the Cycles of Time and Athanasius Kircher’s Theatre of the World. Known for his translations of the works of Fabre d’Olivet and Julius Evola as well as Francesco Colonna’s Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, he lives in Hamilton, New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction “A Prophetic Vision” by Joscelyn Godwin

Pa r t I

The Good Old Days

1    Why Are We So Short of Time?

2    Fireside Wisdom

3    The Deserted Village

4    Fear and Loathing of the Greens

5    Staying Put and Rushing About

6    Victoria’s Enchanted Realm

7    A Good Protestant? How and Why

8    Kings of Glory

9    Drink, Drugs, and the Art of Conversation

10    Manx Fairies

11    Nothing to Sing About

12    Population Control and Feng Shui, Again 

P a r t II


13    Albion, the Spirit of the Party

14    A Lost Cause

15    The Re-Conversion of England

16    Anglo-Saxon Attitudes

17    Brassy Britain

18    The Centre of Britain

19    Citizens of Stonehenge

20    Sacred Monarchy

21    Taking the St. Michael

22    A Musical Enchantment

23    A Dream of Old Tracks

24    When Jesus Came to England

Pa r t III


25    Abductions

26    UFO Abductions and the End of Innocence

27    Bogus Social Workers

28    Just a Coincidence

29    Just Another Coincidence

30    The Persistence of Crop Circles

31    Dreams of Ape-Men

32    Roll Your Own Superstitions

33    Demonic Reality

34    The Demons among Us

35    Lost and Found

36    The Flight from Reason

P a r t I V


37    Beyond the New Age

38    A Man You Can Trust

39    The Philosopher’s Ideal Woman

40    Our Silent Queen

41    Building the Future

42    Enoch Powell and the West Indians

43    Science for Us Simple Folk

44   Sheldrake and the Revolution

45    New Light on Old Stones

46    A Rad-Trad Englishman, and an Italian

47   Bruce Chatwin’s Glimpse of Truth

48    How Can Jesus Be God?

P a r t V

Sacred Cows

49    Television, Degradation, and the Ideal

50    Cannabis and the Law

51    The Demon of Sex Obsession

52    Down with School

53    A Good Irish Education

54    Outliving the Experts

55    A Rotten Genius

56    Freudian Analysis

57    The Bohemian Myth

58    Art, Money, and Revolution

59    The Art of Going to Hell

60    A Fox’s View of Foxhunting

P a r t V I


61    The Missing Link Fantasy

62    Darwin and the Damage

63    The State Myth

64    Stopping the Unstoppable

65    Too Noisy and Violent

66    Collisions with God

67    A Shiver of Cold Fusion

68    The Agribusiness Racket

69    How Talking Began

70    Who Settled America?

71    Geller, Adler, and Beyond

72    Don’t Worry, It’s All Taken Care Of

P a r t V II

Modern Madness

73    Jews, Christians, and the Heavenly Jerusalem

74    The Temple at Jerusalem

75    Two Dogs and a Bone

76    God’s Flower Garden

77    A Multicultural Dream

78    The New Crusaders

79    The Crusade Against Islam

80    The Matter of Ireland

81    The Burning of a Prophet

82    Bringing Light to Europe

83    The Closed Loop

84    Evil Conspiracies

Pa r t V III


85    The Modern Illusion

86    Chasing the Millennium

87    The End Is Nigh-ish

88    What of the Future, My Friend?

89    Millennial Prognostications

90    The Beast in Man

91    Old Boys, New Agers, and Sacred Order

92    The Horror That Spoils Breakfast

93    Horrors and Real Horror

94    After Blair, the Antichrist

95    Six-Six-Six and the Coming of the Beast

96    Prophets, Saviours, and Fanatics

P a r t I X

Paradise of the Philosophers

97    Turn On and Tune In to God’s Kingdom

98    What Is the Point of Love?

99    What Good Manners!

100    Life, the Universe, and Everything

101    How to Be Lucky

102    Platonic National Service

103    Visions of Heaven and Hell

104    Mirrors of Celestial Harmony

105    Totally Stoned

106    More Tea, Vicar?

107    Buried Treasures

108    Finding Firm Ground

Appendix Dynamic Symmetry in the Work of Maxwell Armfield

About John Michell

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