According to Richard Smoley and Jay Kinney, the senior editor and the publisher of Gnosis: A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions, anyone seeking to tread the esoteric path in these times must adhere to the practices of discernment, decency, and hard work. While many have turned to the East for wisdom, the West offers its own treasure trove of alternative spirituality. An explorer entering this region will discover elements of mysticism, the occult, and the paranormal. Or as the authors put it: "A recurring motif of the esoteric traditions is the realm of the unseen — other dimensions, invisible entities, inner planes, etheric bodies, energy centers, planetary forces, hidden masters."

Smoley and Kinney begin with an examination of "Jung and the Discovery of the Unconscious" and end with an overview of "The Eternal New Age." In between, they assess Gnosticism, esoteric Christianity, Kabbalah, Neopaganism, shamanism, alchemy and Hermeticism, the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff, Sufism, and secret societies such as the Rosicrucians and the Masons.

This erudite and insightful tour guide of the Western inner traditions will appeal to all seekers and students of religion. Smiley and Kinney are excellent synthesizers.