There is a new lengthy article about me (in Finnish language) in the magazine Sielunpeili #7/2015. The magazine can be bought in R-kiosks and department stores. The article can also be read here as a PDF-file (click link to open file).
Recently, I gave a lecture at a widely attended "spiritual conference" in Helsinki, Finland. My lecture was largely a critique of the very dubious nature of modern, Western pseudo-spirituality, that the fair in question ironically represented. Quote from the talk:
The Kali Yuga is characterized by the loss of spiritual life and traditions, the valuing of everything through materialism and money, and the escalation of degradation and conflict on every level of existence. The so-called ”spirituality” of the West today is, rather than an antidote for the Kali Yuga, a symptom of it. The dominant Western religions in their current form are void of vitality and elán – they can no longer sustain and nurture the spirit, if they indeed ever did. The same goes for most of what falls in the realm of so-called ”alternative spirituality”. It is almost always incredibly superficial and hopelessly imbalanced, erring too much on one side or the other: either the nauseating, neurotic ”lightness” of the new age, or its opposite, the childish affection toward all things dark and morbid. Lacking authority, much of what passes as ”esoteric tradition” in the West is resting on little more than the flimsy ideas and idle speculation of its makers. Often shunning its own inherent pagan traditions, lore and wisdom, the West freely borrows and adopts foreign traditions from supposedly ”more spiritual” (often more primitive) cultures and, ultimately, misappropriates them. The sedate, feminine and commercial world of modern Western yoga, for instance, seems like the exact inverted mirror image of traditional Yoga as I had come to see it in India; how different are the naga babas, those wild, untamed god-crazed yogis of old, from the starry-eyed health- and fitness-enthusiasts veiled in Indian aesthetics that we have grown accustomed to in the West. The motive, of course, for many modern movements is often all-too-familiar: monetary gain (and sometimes sexual favours). But then again, echoing even the sentiments of some traditional gurus in India, magic has seemingly always been done for those things - power and sex.
In contrast to modern Western pseudo-spirituality, I presented a summary of my first-hand experience of an authentic pagan, pantheistic/polytheistic spiritual tradition - that of ancient India, as represented by the Naga babas, the warrior-mystics of Shiva, as I had encountered them and their world.
The conclusions I arrived to were partially echoed in those of esoteric thinkers of the past, such as traditionalist author René Guénon (although, what constitutes a genuine Western tradition suitable for our times I have different views on than Guénon):
”It is thus only a question, in short, of reconstituting that which existed before the modern deviation, with those adaptions necessary for the conditions of a different era. The East may well be able to come to the rescue of the West, if the latter really wants it, not in order to impose strange concepts, as some people seem to fear, but to help the West rediscover its own tradition whose meaning has been lost.”
How this might happen is the subject of my book Pyhiinvaellus ("Pilgrimage: Journeys in the Kali Yuga"), as well as my forthcoming work.
As a sidenote it can be mentioned that, after my lecture, an old lady came up to me and asked if so-and-so was my father. I said he was. She told me that, 30 years ago, she worked for 13 years as an assisting nurse for my father who was a surgeon. She said, "your father was a spiritual man". Then, she returned to me a book my father had borrowed to her over three decades ago. "I never got to give it back to him personally, so now I give it to you", she said. Inside was my father's stamp. The book was called "Joy of Life".
At another recent public event, I spoke with my friend, journalist Perttu Häkkinen, about a highly recommended book that he co-authored with Vesa Iitti, titled Valonkantajat: Välähdyksiä suomalaisesta salatieteestä ("The Light-bearers: glimpses of Finland's esoteric world", currently being translated into English language). We also spoke at length about the subject of some recent new biographies, Aleister Crowley, and, having both visited the ruins of his Abbey of Thelema in Cefalú, Sicily, what relevance his somewhat faustian magical legacy and life has for us today.
Lastly, I got to meet Richard Stanley, director of the great documentary film The Secret Glory, which deals with Otto Rahn and his quest for the Holy Grail. Stanley has also written a book about the magic and mystery at Montségur called Shadow of the Grail. As we visited Montsegur last spring, and as a chapter of my forthcoming book will deal with my experience there, I learned a lot of things about it from Stanley, who is now a resident of the Montségur village.