I love reading about those who seek and find meaning in the occult. Gary Lachman is one of those people and his background is at once mundane and yet extremely interesting and diverse. Read the full article here.
He grew up as a Catholic kid in New Jersey, going from there to the bassist for the New Wave band Blondie. And from there he discovered metaphysics. Today he is a popular religion writer. His latest book, Swedenborg: An Introduction to His Life and Ideas, is about Emanuel Swedenborg, who lived from 1688 to 1772. Mr. Lachman joins a long line of philosophers and writers, including Kant and Baudelaire, intrigued by Swedenborg’s difficult, voluminous corpus, which includes bizarre interpretations of the Bible as well as claims to have traveled among the angels in heaven.
Mr. Lachman also writes occult music. His song “(I’m Always Touched by Your) Presence, Dear,” which appeared on Blondie’s 1977 album “Plastic Letters,” was an example. "I think it’s the only hit song about telepathy,” says Mr. Lachman, who was known as Gary Valentine in his rocker days.
Swedenborg could be easily dismissed as a crank. Many people today would be dubious of the story, which Swedenborg promoted, that he had flabbergasted the queen of Sweden by relaying a message from her deceased brother. But Swedenborg also had a rigorous scientific mind. He predicted the advent of airplanes and cars, he discovered the central canal of the spinal cord, and he recognized the existence of neurons. His keen curiosity about the relationship between mind and body fueled his interest in dreams — he went through a period of vivid, ecstatic dreams — and his interpretations presaged the work of Freud and Jung.