Archive for October 17, 2018

My thoughts on Peter Bebergal’s Strange Frequencies

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error with tags on October 17, 2018 by Occult Detective

strangefrequenciesI discovered author Peter Bebergal through his 2013 release Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll. I found it thoroughly  engaging, hitting me right in my sweet spot. I later connected with Bebergal via twitter and discovered we had a lot of mutual interests and wrestled with similar demons.

That led me to an earlier work of his, 2011’s Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood which was a poignant memoir that really struck close to home for me.

Which leads me to his latest release, Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural, where once again I find we have trend similar grounds.

In the interest of full disclosure, Peter sent me an early review copy of this work, and boy, am I glad he did.

The slogan of Crowley’s A.’.A.’. reads “The Method of Science, the Aim of Religion”. While many today see science and magick as opposing forces, such was not always the case. One need look no further than John Dee or Sir Isaac Newton to see how clearly the two walked hand in hand. Aleister Crowley’s definition of magick, being the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will, further acknowledges the inescapable synthesis  of these two ideologies.

Peter Bebergal examines that middle ground, where science and the supernatural intermingle, and delivers a compelling and rich narrative that sheds light on where technology has been used to examine the strange and profane, in defiance of rationality.

Here be the ghost in the machine.

As a historical exploration into man’s quest to peek behind the curtain by way of science, Strange Frequencies is exemplary. Bebergal has the perfect voice for this, and one never doubts the veracity of his journey.

As someone who is no stranger to this quest, I am less enamored with most modern tech, particularly in regard to paranormal investigations. Most border on the ridiculous or patently absurd, to be honest. I have no faith in “Ghost Boxes” or “EMF Detectors”. Most digital EVP is sketchy at best and digital cameras are completely unreliable.

That is not to say that technology is not an important tool in my investigations. Of course it is. My preference for data gathered from analog stems from my belief that it is more reliable. I can’t tell you how many times someone has presented so-called evidence to me that is little more than digital artifacts. Working in the tech field, I understand these things so much more now than I did with these toys were new and shiny.

I often think, when I am hosting various paranormal research groups, that these “ghost toys” reveal more about the investigators than they do about the spirits they’re chasing. And as a student of the human condition, whether living or dead, I take it all in and file it away for further reflection.

But I digress.

I found Strange Frequencies totally thought provoking and engaging. Peter Bebergal has delivered an engrossing account of his journey into the fringe. His open-mindedness is refreshing and he makes some very pertinent observations.

Simply put, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural is available October 23 in all major retail outlets, including Amazon where the book is deeply discounted. Regardless of the cost, it is well worth the price of admission.

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