From Beatnik to TraditionalistwithCharles Upton

Books Mentioned In This Interview

Charles Upton’s first books of poetry were published in 1968 and 1969 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Light Books in San Francisco. He was then considered the youngest member of the “beat generation” as he was still in high school. He has subsequently written many books associated with the traditionalist school of spirituality including The Science of the Greater Jihad, System of the Antichrist, Vectors of the Counter-Initiation, Folk Metaphysics, and Alien Disclosure Deception.

Here he identifies himself with Sufism and describes the influence of figures like Huston Smith and Frithjof Schuon on his thinking. He defines the traditionalist movement as one that recognizes the core truths to be found in the esoteric wisdom of the great religious traditions. He recalls his early years with the beatnik poets, the hippies, and the new age movement – expressing his many criticisms of popular culture, as well as his appreciation for aspects of the very institutions he criticizes. He also explains his approach to politics as expressed in the covenant movement.

(Recorded on February 12, 2022)

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Published on March 7, 2022


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