New Release: TechGnosis

Posted by – March 19, 2015
Categories: Metaphysics & Unexplained Phenomena New Release Spirituality & Religion

techgnosisHow does our fascination with technology intersect with the religious imagination? In TechGnosis—a cult classic of media studies, now updated and reissued with a new afterword—Erik Davis argues that while the realms of the digital and the spiritual may seem firmly disengaged, mystical and esoteric impulses have in fact always permeated (and sometimes inspired) technological communication.

TechGnosis opens with a discussion of two technologies that are foundations of modern digital communication: the technology of writing (and its connections to the hermetic tradition) and the technology of electricity (which is deeply infused with mystical and alchemical ideas). Davis proceeds to draw connections between such seemingly disparate things as online roleplaying games and religious and occult practices, virtual reality and ancient gnostic mythology, and programming languages and channeled texts. The final chapters address both apocalyptic and utopian dreams of the future of technology, providing historical context as well as new models for how to think and feel our way through an amazing, confusing, and disturbing time. This new edition features a foreword by Eugene Thacker as well as a new afterword reflecting on surveillance; the current tech bubble; the growth of superheroes, horror, and other “uncanny cultures” online; the growing backlash against technology; and the need to revitalize the cosmic imagination.

About the author

Davis, Erik_Michael RaunerERIK DAVIS is a scholar, journalist, and public speaker best known for his cultural analysis and creative explorations of esoteric mysticism. Davis has written about music, art, film, pop culture, and technology for Spin, Details, Rolling Stone, and Wired magazines. He is the author of Led Zeppelin IV (2005), The Visionary State: A Journey Through California’s Spiritual Landscape (2006), and Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica (2010), and co-edited The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick (2011). Davis has appeared in a number of documentaries about technology and countercultural topics, including DMT: The Spirit Molecule, Electronic Awakening, and The Source Family. Along with Maja D’Aoust, he hosts a weekly podcast devoted to the “cultures of consciousness” called Expanding Mind, which is part of the Progressive Radio Network.

 

You can read an excerpt from TechGnosis here.

Tags: Erik Davis

About the Author

Marina is the Marketing & Digital Programs Coordinator at North Atlantic Books. After living in New Orleans and Amsterdam, and exploring a couple of continents, she returned to the San Francisco Bay Area to work at NAB. She's passionate about astrology, nonfiction books, and sustainable living, as well as all things metaphysical.