Saturday, May 16, 2009
I'm done with books about gray aliens and abduction: I had a fascination with these modern eruptions of mythic imagination in my late 20s, but exhausted that vein of inquiry. Daimonic Reality deals to a large extent with these stories; much in the same way recent books by Graham Hancock have, Harpur's associates modern abduction myths with earlier myths of trolls and faeries up to the same sorts of mischief. Harpur's intellectualizing is more interesting, however, as he crafts an "explanation" of these stories based in Jung, Yeats, and the Neoplatonists: occurring alongside our own reality and operating in elaborate conjunction with it is a daimonic reality, a shady realm of collective Shadow, which, if ignored, erupts in disturbing misdeeds designed to re-integrate our consciousness.
Much as I enjoyed the ideas in Harpur's book, I found little new or challenging. I already know Jung, and I've read Budd Hopkins (Harpur's critiques of Hopkins' hypnotic regression technique are spot-on).
My verdict: interesting, but derivative. I wonder if Harpur has read Terrance McKenna? McKenna's descriptions of "machine elves" after taking DMT might fit into Harpur's hypotheses in enlightening ways.