DAIMONIC REALITY: A Field Guide to the Otherworld by Patrick Harpur
Daimonic Reality is a sweeping look at strange, otherworldly events in the world around us. But rather than simply listing the events, Patrick Harpur shows how they can all be tied together using his concept of Daimonic Reality.
Starting with a look at the events themselves, Harpur shows how they are connected by using ideas proposed by Carl Jung and the Romantic poets, William Butler Yeats and William Blake. Harpur connects the old-fashioned fairies to the modern occupants of UFOs. He highlights the similarities in sightings of the older Black Dogs, more recent mysterious cats, and Yetis, Yowies, and Bigfoot. Lights in the sky have existed throughout history; once they were seen as witches, now they are UFOs. The ephemeral materializations of Spiritualism's seances have been replaced by tangible crop circles.
Harpur's thesis is that all of these events are manifestations of the Otherworld (also known as the Collective Unconscious, Soul of the World, or Anima Mundi). They are not literally real. We will never actually capture unequivocal evidence that any of these entities exist. However, they are daimonically real. If you try to deny the existence of the Otherworld, it will simply find other ways to express itself. It is a real thing that we sense in other ways besides the physical senses. In fact, according to Harpur, the recent plethora of Skeptical opinions in the press may actually be causing the Otherworld to produce more tangible signs such as crop circles and bogus social workers who can't be traced.
The book has three parts. The first is dominated by well-told examples of the events and the people who observed them. Harpur tells the story of his carefully chosen events well. He also makes sure that the reader can see the larger picture -- how each event fits into the developing description of the Otherworld.
Part two looks at the concept of seeing, starting with visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He goes on to talk about daimonic traces, the pieces of evidence left behind after Otherworld events. These include Bigfoot footprints, and why they are sometimes not there even when they should be. The traces also include a three-inch fairy shoe, an extraterrestrial pancake, pictures of Nessie, and crop circles.
Part three goes on to look at journeys into the Otherworld. Shaman and witch doctors purposely go to be educated be spirits there. Ordinary people, especially in places (such as the U.S.) that don't have a magical tradition, are often swept into the Otherworld against their will, being abducted by UFOs as they were once captured by fairies. The book concludes with Harpur's thoughts on how to travel safely in the Otherworld. Among others: "Travel light."
A question that is often asked about the authors of books about otherworldly events is, "Do you really believe in this stuff?" In Harpur's case, the answer is... Well, it depends on what you mean by "believe." Events happen, and the descriptions of the events may be close or far from the actuality of the event. Otherworld events always have a dream-like quality about them that make reporting them difficult. Sometimes humans (hoaxers) help the Otherworld express itself; sometimes the Otherworld entities work on their own. So does Harpur believe? In the Otherworld, yes. In all of the events? Well, they are all part of the total picture.Patrick Harpur has also written two novels, The Serpent's Circle and The Rapture, and he has edited a modern alchemical journal, Mercurius; or, The Marriage of Heaven and Earth. Mr. Harpur's books on the Otherworld include The Philosophers' Secret Fire, and a book on the soul called The Secret Tradition of the Soul in the US, and A Complete Guide to the Soul in the UK.