BIOGRAPHIC NOTE 2021
John Lamb Lash (b. 1945 New York City) has been called the true successor of Mircea Eliade and the rightful heir of Joseph Campbell. Unlike those two world-class academics, John is a self-educated free-lance scholar who specializes in directive mythology: that is, the application of myth to life, rather than its mere interpretation. He is a leading exponent of the power of myth to direct individual experience and drive historical events over the long term.
A rare surviving veteran of the 1960s youth revolution (in which he did not participate actively on social terms), John set out at fifteen to investigate the sources of religious belief and diverse forms of spirituality such as Buddhism and Theosophy as well as so-called occult and alternative systems such as alchemy, astrology, Hermetics, the I Ching and shamanism. He summarized his findings in The Seeker's Handbook - the Complete Guide to Spiritual Pathfinding (Crown/Harmony, 1991), his first published book,
Over the years, John tended to concentrate closely on three areas: the wisdom and culture of indigenous peoples, shamanism, and mysticism. His approach throughout was experimental rather than merely intellectual. Having undergone inexplicable (some would say "paranormal") experiences from the age of four, he sought the origin of such events. To do so, he delved into both "the structure and dynamics of the psyche" (C. G. Jung's phrase) and the racial and cultural contexts in which such events occured. Over time, his investigation in the fields of anthropology, ethnology, ethology, history of religions, and cognitive psychology broadened to include the arts, literature, and the Humanities. His biographical studies -- the Irish painter George Russell (AE) and the Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov, to cite but two of many examples -- convinced him that the highest achievements in the Humanities were often based in "occult" or mystical experiences. Eventually, John was able to interface evidence of human creativity with mystical and religious needs and drives, and place them together in a synthetic framework,
Due to the scope and diversity of this life-long pursuit, it is difficult if not impossible to characterize John's legacy in a single, one-point formula. Today he prefers to be known first as a comparative mythologist. His two signature books in this genre are Twins and the Double (Thames & Hudson, 1993) and The Hero-Manhood and Power (Thames & Hudson, 1995). His unique approach to naked-eye observation of the sky, which incorporates celestial lore drawn from the mythology of all races, is summarized in Quest for the Zodiac (Starhenge Books, 2000).
In his early fifties, John's interest turned sharply to a subject he had been contemplating since the age of sixteen when he discovered the Pagan Mysteries via Nietzsche (The Birth of Tragedy) and Gnosticism, via C. G. Jung and, strangely, The Alexandria Quartet of Lawrence Durrell. Ten years of intensive research and reflection produced Not in His Image (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2006), widely regarded as an underground classic. In this work John recovered and restored the single, coherent and comprehensive myth of human origins, the Fallen Goddess Scenario centered on the figure of the wisdom goddess, Sophia. Little did he know it at the time, but this book would provide the bedrock for a program of upscaled, nature-based mysticism that would be practiced by growing numbers of people around the world. "Planetary Tantra" (his neologism) is a method for communion and interaction with the living presence of the earth, Gaia-Sophia
In September 2018 John launched Nemeta.org. Intended primarily as a platform for the restoration of the Humanities, the Sophianic School of Arts and Sciences echoes the sacred calling of the ancient Mysteries: to guide humanity toward excellence in moral and creative expressions. It presents the instrument of what John calls "the living Gnosis today." His legacy, in short, can be regarded as a rather grandiose play for sanity. No one honestly facing the state of the world in 2021 can deny that the stakes of that game are exceedingly high.
Library and Archives
The library consists of about 3700 books in a number of categories:1.Comparative mythology, anthropology, ancient cultures, prehistory
2. History of religions and mysticism
3. Archeoastronomy, ancient calendrics
4. Astrology and astronomy, sky lore, precession, World, Ages, the Zodiac
5. Science, physics, cosmological theories
6. Shamanism, entheogenic practices, psychonautics
7. Gnosticism and Mystery Religions, Nag Hammadi Library, Coptic language
8. Dead Sea Scrolls, origins of Christianity
9. Esoterics: alchemy, theosophy, Cabala, anthroposophy
10. Poetry and poetics, Modernism: literature and art
11. Romanticism: histories, writings, theories, literature and art
12. Art books, especially Modernist works; also primitive and esoteric art
13. Arthurian Romance, Celtic legend, Parzival and Tristan studies
14. ET and UFO studies, theories, Philip K. Dick
15. Greek and Roman Classics
16. Gaia theory, ecology, ecofeminism
17. Geology, earth sciences, natural history
18. Goddess religion, matriarchy
19. Hindu Tantra
20. Buddhism : Dzogchen, Zen, Ch’an, Mahayana
Italics indicate areas where John Lash has been been recognized for his writings and expertise.
Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2018 by John L. Lash.