Patrick Lepetit discusses his book The Esoteric Secrets of Surrealism – Origins, Magic and Secret Societies.
Not merely an artistic or literary movement as many believe, the surrealists rejected the labels of artist and author bestowed upon them by outsiders, accepting instead the titles of magician, alchemist or witch. Their paintings, poems, and other works were created to seek out unexplored regions of the mind and recover lost psychic and magical powers. They used creative expression as the vehicle to attain what AndrÃ© Breton called the ‘supreme point’, the point at which all opposites cease to be perceived as contradictions. This supreme point is found at the heart of all esoteric doctrines and enables communication with higher states of being.
Drawing on an extensive range of writings by the surrealists and those in their circle of influence, Lepetit shows how surrealism employed mythology, gnostic principles, tarot, voodoo, and alchemy not simply as reference points but as significant elements of their ongoing investigations into the fundamental nature of consciousness. He provides many specific examples of esoteric influence among the surrealists, exploring the relationship between surrealism and Freemasonry, Martinists and the Elect Cohen as well as the Grail mythos and the Arthurian brotherhood.
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