Last issue:

Letter #2

This month's link.
The Association for Consciousness Exploration, founders of the Starwood Conference.

Last month's link.
Jan Cox
Industrial Strength

This Month's Book is
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Techgnosis : Myth, Magic + Mysticism in the Age of Information

by Erik Davis. Paperback (November 1999)

Eric Davis is a friend of a friend, and smarter than average, in my opinion. I've been following his "career"' for many years.

Eric Davis's Website


The new science fiction novel by Neal Stephenson
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Read my review
of Cryptonomicon

Telesterion Letter #1
Telesterion letter #2
Telesterion lettert #3


Letter #1

Last month's book.
Highly Recommended
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The Marriage of Sense and Soul : Integrating Science and Religion
by Ken Wilber



Terence McKenna

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Bill Eichman offers his answer to last letter's question, "Why is it all such crap?".

1. Most esoteric/spiritual/religious/psychological activities are not esoteric at all-- they are a type of social game activity that firstly enhances breeding opportunities, secondly provides a set of rules for group status seeking, and thirdly relieves some anxieties. (There are other functions, I suggest these are the most important.)

1B. That is, most esoteric/spiritual/religious/psychological  [Called hereafter E/S/R/P] activities are a form of ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS. Where they are not a form of entertainment they function mostly as a type of local herd government. To a very limited extent, never greater than one in a hundred and usually far less, they are what they purport to be, an exploration of human potential and a search for the meaning of life and freedom from illusion and fear.

2. Because E/S/R/P activities are primarily a form of entertainment business, the most important goal of most esotericists, spiritualists, religionists, and psychologists is "TO MAKE THE SALE".

2B. Therefore, in order to understand the bulk of E/S/R/P activities, you must understand the psychology of the SALESMAN.

3. Among salesmen it is commonly known that the salesman who simply and straightforwardly and honestly describes his product WILL NEVER MAKE THE SALE. The salesman who exaggerates his product, who attaches it to emotionally charged stories and images, and who promises his buyer that his product will give the buyer improbably fantastic benefits, will OFTEN MAKE THE SALE.

3B. This is known as "selling the sizzle not the steak".

4. The whole of our esoteric/spiritual/religious/psychological economy is based on selling promises and stories and images which have been repeatedly exaggerated, prettified, glorified, and in other ways fictiousously generated by people who are desperate to MAKE THE SALE. At the same time, the whole of our material and service economies are also grossly distorted and largely fraudulent because of the same pressing need to MAKE THE SALE. We are all of us so used to this defrauding fictionalization of reality created by millions of salesmen all desperate to sell us their product, wether we want it or not, that we think of it as normal.

5. Crap is so common because on some unconscious level every person involved in E/S/R/P activities and the E/S/R/P economy knows that if they don't exaggerate and fictionalize their product they will LOSE THE SALE to the other guy who does exaggerate and fictionalize and promise the fantastic. There is a POWERFUL ECONOMIC INCENTIVE to talk crap.

6. Those involved in talking and selling this crap may know that it is crap. They may not like having to promote crap rather than honestly discussing their product. However, the incentive to sell crap is essentially irresistible. "If I don't do it that other fellow down the street will.", they reason, perhaps not entirely incorrectly. "Better me than him.", they think, "I at least have the best interests of my customer at heart.".

7. "Bad money pushes out good".

A conclusion: It is probably impossible to reduce the amount of crap endemic to esoteric/spiritual/religious/psychological activities, because the social benefits of the current system of SALES-ORIENTED esoteric/spiritual/religious/psychological activities are considerable. The breeding possibilities alone engendered by all these meetings and seminars and conventions and ritual observances and thousands upon thousands of small group events, teas, circles, etc. is huge. This is, in fact, probably the only way in which tens of millions of successful human breedings could occur, as a 'side effect' of all this frantic E/S/R/P activity. (The 'church social' is the classic example.).

The personal cost to participants of disturbing the current E/S/R/P culture is great. Therefore, if we want to seriously address the issues of esoteric study of the human mind and life, WE WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO ABANDON EXISTING ESOTERIC CULTURE. We will probably have to experiment with building new spaces, separate from existing E/S/R/P activities, in which to exchange reports and information about the un-glamorous actual exploration of the wilderness of the subjective human mind.

When that new separate space is made an arena of sales activity, which will happen fairly quickly, it must be deleted, and another new space created.

This is one possible strategy, with admitted weaknesses, however it may work until something better comes along.

(There are of course other reasons why there is so much inane garbage being offered as content in the E/S/R/P community, although I'm willing to argue that 'making the sale' is by far the largest and most important reason. I invite comments, critiques, suggestions, and counter-arguments.)

If you have any interest in participating in such projects, please feel welcome to write me and share your own efforts and methods.

In the next letter I will try to outline the areas where I think the greatest potential for really interesting new discoveries lie.

Speaking of making the sale, help me pay for this site by buying a book at the  Telesterion Bookstore.


Peace for all we beings,

Bill Eichman



An interesting group of sites:
cover gif loads slow but has a good set of paleolithic venus  images

All done by the same fellow, Dean Adams Curtis.

Goddesses, nanotechnology, the search for life on Europa, archaeomythology and the ancient wisdom traditions. This is my kind of stuff! Worth checking out.

The Original Telesterion
A nice page with pics of the Telesterion. The Telesterion, for those of you who might wonder, was a building in ancient Athens, Greece, which was the home of the Initiates who presided over the Eleusinian mysteries.

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Terence McKenna, consciousness pioneer and author, died 2:15 a.m. Pacific time, April 3, 2000 of a rare brain tumor. He will be missed.

These are an unorganized group of links to pages with material by or about Terence

More links to come, including, hopefully, an excellent final interview with Terence by Eric Davis. Come back and check this page next week.

There's some interesting comments on his work here.



"Is it possible to produce original new work or discovery in the fields of consciousness and/or spirituality? If so, how? If not, why not?"

This is a CALL FOR ESSAYS on this topic:

"Is it possible to produce original new work or discovery in the fields of consciousness and/or spirituality? If so, how? If not, why not?"

Papers may be in any length, anonymous or fully accredited. Submit as an html link to your existing page, or as a text or .RTF file, to .

As expected, there have been no submissions of papers. However, I have gotten a number of very pleasant and interesting emails from my visitors to Telesterion.

This is a hearty THANKS to all of you who have written!

If you consider yourself to be a serious student of esoteric psychology and philosophy, or to be serious about whatever practice of esotericism, spirituality, religion, or psychology, feel welcome to write me and tell me about yourself and your work.

Of course, if anybody wants to write any level of essay addressing this question above, please do so. I would be happy to discuss it with you, and, if appropriate, to publish.


A History of God
by Karen Armstrong

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A History of God
audio cassettes

I recently rediscovered this book. It is excellent, and will vividly freshen your understanding of the spiritual heritage of our western culture. Really invaluable!
A History of God : The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam
by Karen Armstrong   (Paperback - September 1994)
Our Price:

I really liked these audio cassettes, I listen to them while driving. I think it's a lot easier to enjoy this book via these cassettes, and recommend them to everyone.
A History of God : The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (4 Cassettes)
by Karen Armstrong  (Audio Cassette Vol October 1994)
Our Price: $20.00

The evidence for water on Mars at Newton crater.
Water on Mars may mean  that life, similar to the lifeforms we find in the most extreme parts of Antarctica, may exist on Mars. If we can discover life on nearby planets like Mars or moons such as Jupiter's Europa, we can begin to transcend the terrifying pressure of our loneliness in this universe. And, even if we don't find life, water on Mars means we could eventually plant life on Mars. A successful colony of earth life on Mars will begin to finally free us from the fear of extinction, which is, unbeknownst to most of us, one of the great dreads in the deep human psyche. If water exists on Mars it is probably a salty water trapped behind ice caps in porous strata of rock, the final remains of the ancient oceans that shaped Mars millions of years ago.   
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A new comet is approaching!
Comet C/1999 S4 LINEAR is rapidly approaching both the Earth and the Sun from the outer Solar System, and should be at its brightest around 2000 July 25 in the early evening sky of northern observers.
It may be visible, but we can't be sure.


An incredible SUN for the Solstice!
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Even NASA appreciates a good solstice.
Did you know we are now at Solar Maximum,
the time of peak activity in the 22 year sunspot cycle?

Another truly great photo from the astronomy pic of the day site.

Click Me to visit today's Astronomy Pic of the Day Site, then come back!

I like to visit my own site just so I can click on this great link:

Telesterion Bookstore

Back to the TELESTERION home page.




The Telesterion Store.


Telesterion Esoteric Studies Bookstore

The Telesterion Esoteric Bookstore.

I do answer all email, I am still online,
and I am always happy to discuss enlightenment,
esoteric psychology and practice, and books.
Bill Eichman  - 2007

Copyright 1999-2007