Chapter

Archetypes and Cyberspace

Nevill Drury

in Stealing Fire from Heaven

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199750993
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894871 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199750993.003.0010
Archetypes and Cyberspace

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If we are to understand the nature of contemporary magical practice and its relationship with the “virtual” world of the Internet, it may well be that new paradigms are required—new paradigms for research into altered states of consciousness and new paradigms for the study of magic, as well. This chapter explores magic in the digital age, commencing with Terence McKenna’s “cyberdelic” fusion of shamanism and technology. We then extend into the specifics of cyberspace itself, for it now seems that the Internet has become an extension of the human psyche—a forum for both its realities and its fantasies. From an esoteric or mystical perspective, what we are really exploring here is a form of interplay between technology and the human imagination that can be expressed as a simple equation—As I imagine, so I become—and this is the very essence of magic. It comes as no surprise that neopagans and occultists of all descriptions have been quick to embrace the Internet as a new means of communication and fantasy role-play. For many, the World Wide Web provides a pathway into the mythic conjurings of the world-at-large—an enticing and increasingly seductive means of engaging with the global imagination. This chapter explores the surprising connections between the contemporary techno-digital age and the American counterculture that preceded it and explains how many neopagans now regard technology and magic as interchangeable. Also considered here are the possible magical cosmologies of the future, with special emphasis on the visionary surreal creations of Swiss artist H. R. Giger, creator of the Alien.

Keywords: cyberspace; cyberdelic; Internet; World Wide Web; fantasy role-play

Chapter.  7334 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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