A shared feature of genuine magical practice and religious experience is the impression of ‘Otherness’, an entic arena of alienation and unfamiliarity. Contrasted with the more comfortable and known spheres of the Self, this ‘state apart’ provides not only inspiration and wonder, it is the dwelling-place of the gods and the prime source of gnosis, direct experience with the divine.
The Afflicted Mirror, based on a research paper presented at the 1996 AAA Anthropology of Religion inaugural conference in Kansas, suggests that for the metaphysical domain to become significant it must distort its appearance so as to attract our attention. This leads not only to validating the existence of the ‘Other’ but also illustrates its influence on how we shape the world. Providing groundbreaking insight on the magician’s actuated relationship with spirits and Gods, The Afflicted Mirror offers a pioneering examination of a topic often overlooked by scholars. As an original phenomenological model, Peter Hamilton-Giles’ The Afflicted Mirror unites such diverse spiritual states as the mysticism of the Seer, the religious ecstasy of the Saint, and the spirit-conjurations of the sorcerer.
The Afflicted Mirror is 172 pages, printed on heavy stock, and features ten original illustrations by Carolyn Hamilton-Giles. As usual our fine bindings are designed in-house, and executed to the highest standard by Pettingell Bookbindery, Berkeley, California.
Measuring the connectivity between the visible and invisible, by using physicality as a signifier, brings another aspect to the fore. There appears to be good reason to believe there is a ratio in physical difference when it comes to observing how the metaphysical manifests partial presences. Exponential distortions correspond to how we retain a level of contact with the Other. When these abnormalities become exaggerated they prompt greater emotive responses, such as fear. By expressing an Otherness in this manner their difference takes on a terrifying dimension which also indicates power.