Originally posted as a part of my column, The Blooming Staff, on the Agora, the group blog of the Patheos Pagan Channel.

I can’t recall the number of times I have sat at my computer with a stack of books by my side in the middle of the night, say at 2:45 AM or maybe 4, bursting (silently) with excitement over some intellectual epiphany, some sudden realization or Eureka! moment in which I feel like I have finally cracked open the secrets of the universe. All the questions I have struggled with for years—answered. An entire treatise of occult knowledge and mystical revelation unfolding before my third eye. When you spend most of your time immersed in theological and religious questions, great conversion moments are almost guaranteed to happen with an unsettling regularity, unsurprisingly proportionate to the number of books you read that purport to share some hidden knowledge.

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