Greta Garbo has often been depicted as a lonely recluse. The truth is very different. Once described as ‘rather a crazy mystic Swede’, Garbo was an independent spiritual explorer whose sense of connection to the natural world was profound. She was a cosmocentric thinker drawn to occult ideas. Moon Laramie maps the essential aspects of self-actualisation, as defined by psychologist Abraham Maslow, onto Garbo’s spiritual journey. These include a profound sense of self; recognition of her own essential unity with nature and all life; living fully in the moment; being unrestricted by national or cultural boundaries in the way she viewed the world. Laramie argues that it was Garbo’s spiritual sense that enabled her to triumph over Hollywood, defying the patriarchal pressures of both the studio system and wider society.
‘All true artists, like all true mystics, have illumination in a lesser or a greater degree.’ Mercedes de Acosta on Garbo