Emma Curtis Hopkins
I finished my business and all the calls I could make early yesterday. The airline could not get me on an earlier flight, so I had a few hours to kill. I drove the rental car I got from some off-brand rental company to my next destination. The car itself was the scintillating Daewoo Lanos, a car they no longer make--like driving a little detour into automotive history, I had a fantasy of owning a rental car company called Yugos unlimited. Imagine being able to provide Second World Obsolete Automotive Luxury to all and sundry.
I drove to the Bodhi Tree Bookstore, my favorite religious bookstore. I love the magazine rack (the woman on the cover of New Witch looked like someone pagan I know on LiveJournal), the shivas under glass, and the myriad books on myriad faiths.
I picked up Paul Dundas' book on the Jains. Jainism is so complex in some ways, and so accessible in others, that I wanted to try to cut beyond my own superficial understanding of the faith. It's a good book, although I can see that my limited knowledge of Hindu cosmology poses some challenge in understanding the contrasting cosmology of the Jains. I love the passage, though, when Mahaviru, a Jain founder, declines to preach because only gods are in attendance. After all, the passage goes, you can't win converts among the gods.
Where I come from, we use a similar phrase about not preaching to the choir. I also got a 1918 new thought book by Elizabeth Delvine King, called The Higher Metaphysics. I like that in the back of this little chapbook, there's an ad for a "Truth Centre--where a Message of the New Age is Given", offering individual instruction at a home in what I believe would now be called the Addams District in LA.
The nice woman with the purple streaks in her hair at the help desk (really more a help alcove-room) helped me find Emma Curtis Hopkins' High Mysticism, which I'd ordered on half.com, but the seller couldn't confirm. Although it was more expensive new, I see paying full price at indie bookshops as a kind of just tax for the world keeping its little incense-scented passages of righteousness sometimes. Her book is filled with allusion and imagery--much better than I remembered it, even though she cites more texts than a damn lawyer would.
I thought of nacowafer when I saw the book on "Urban Voudou", but I passed up on the chance to learn about it. I picked up the free throwaway only in LA magazine "The Whole Person". This is a pennysaver of ads for new age related services. I'll take one page at random now, to illustrate. On page 67, I see ads for: "Past lives dreams and souls travel workshop" (no doubt for people who want to vacation without leaving home); "Hyped on Hypnosis" (which promises to free my mind quickly); "Metaphysical Healing Groups", "Reiki Healers", and, most metaphysical of all, "Allergy Testing".
My favorite ad is for the IRS Enrolled Agent "Ruby Emerald Diamond", who offers to solve tax problems that spiritual people have been too busy to handle.
It's hard to pay your taxes when you're trying to teleport.
I headed over to the Wound and Wound Toy Company, a wonderful place that mostly sells 2 and 3 dollar wind up toys. They had windup sushi, windup cars, windup trains, and windup all sortsathings. I wanted to get little robots, but for some reason I got a tin kaleidoscope. Just gorgeous, but I hope I didn't leave it in the rental car. I love kaleidoscopes. In recent years, they've become collectible, which is bad. Prismatic light should not be a commodity!
I read my books and slept on the plane back home. I must work today, but it's good to be home again.