It's a great book for those interested and/or studying metaphysics. I was so impressed while reading that I had to buy several copies both in english and french for my friends and coworkers who are into esotericism.
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125 internautes sur 145 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
This book is not for everyone, Perhaps you are not it!17 février 2008
Odniel Gonzalez Ortiz
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To understand this book it is necessary a couple of things. First an understanding that this book is not for everybody and that it cannot be understood by everybody. Second, you cannot grasp this book without having yourself immersed in occultism and having been a member of a secret society or western mystery schools (Just type this in google and you will find out that there are many). Third, at the beginning the book Mr. Booth invites you to take part on an IMAGINATIVE exercise. Fourth, in the academic study of religion there are actually two types of histories considered; the secular or academic history, which is based on actual events that happened and can be proven scientifically through archeology; and sacred history, which takes as true and factual the events that are exposed in the sacred books like the Bible (Old and New testament) and the Koran among many others, which normally form the basis of faith, believes and dogmas of the followers. This book presents a third, subjective and related more to the evolution of our consciousness, which have been presented in secret societies or passed down as mysteries or mythology through the ages. I will tell you that this book has nothing to do with conspiracy theories but that some of its contents may be misunderstood as such when in fact certain stories are used to present or represent certain ideas exposed in the western mystery traditions. Please note that western mystery traditions are concerned with direct spiritual experiences of reality and of a supreme being, this books talks about this too. Do not expect techniques or guidance on practices, but do expect hints on where to further research all through the book. As an academic I understand his lack of citations of sources as you would find in scientific research but this book is not an academic book. It is a "further research on your own" carefully compiled book. As you read through the book you will realize that it is deeply inmersed in Rudolf Steiner ideas but without being one of the blindly followers of anthroposophy. But it is also seem that Steiner didn't created all of his ideas on his own and that you can find individuals that have exposed similar ideas to his way before his time and if you further research you will find that these also got their ideas from other individuals before their time also. It is this chain of ideas and of direct spiritual experiences that have weaved a thread, subtle, through history which we may seem in mysticism, magick, occultism, and western mystery tradition.
This is an excellent book and it will turn into an underground classic, as many really important books do, until society is ready again for its ideas. I hope that this review will help you make an informed decision. This is not a beginners book, you cannot simply pick it up at the airport and hope you will comprehend it. It takes time and previous knowledge to make it worth you time. For those prepared, enjoy, and happy researching!!
63 internautes sur 73 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
All the Bad Reviews are Right but So What18 décembre 2009
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All the reviews which pan this book are right. There are inconsistencies in the text and the book is chock full of ideas with not one footnote. So what? This book attempts to recreate human history from what the author terms an "idealist" perspective. I would prefer to call it an "enlightened" perspective. The world is dreamstuff and human history is part of the dream. The human sense of ego self is a relatively new phenomenon in the progression of the dream. Booth spins Jung, Plato, Jesus, Buddha, Newton, and countless other thinkers into a magical souffle which is generously sprinkled with "Ah-Ha's" too numerous to count.
If you are looking for an intellectual history tome with lots of footnotes to ignore, look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you are reasonably well read and want to sit down to play with someone who can make the lego blocks of the mind into some outrageously bold structures, this is the book for you.
33 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
People are taking this book too seriously2 février 2008
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I stumbled upon this book at Barnes and Nobles. It introduced me to ideas I have never heard of before, important ideas such as the mind before matter universe. It also came at spirituality from a historical point of view which I had never experienced before in a book. Maybe there are flaws in Booth's research or disagreements over technical points but overall, I believe he is trying to create a consciousness and curiosity in readers which I believe he succeeds in doing. This is not a book about conspiracy theories as one would think of conspiracy theories. He does not spend a lot of time on the Illuminati etc. This is just an overview of what certain historical people have believed. This theme gets repetitious and I wish the information in the book was presented a little less jumbled. I feel it was probably published too soon, like if they would have spent more time editing and revising it, the book would have been better. I am giving it four stars based on the book's ability to make me think in a different light and because I appreciate the author's attempt to take on such an encompassing task as recounting the world's history from a completely different point of view.
36 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Pure Phantasmagoria23 juillet 2011
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"Jonathan Black," a.k.a. Mark Booth, would like you to believe that what he is offering here is not merely the crazed construction of his own fevered imagination but the actual REAL "secret history" of the world as handed down through the ages. This is all based on the notion that a mysterious visitor to the store where he worked, member of some unspecified secret society, took a liking to him and, considering him a potential initiate, had lengthy conversations in which he spilled numerous mind-shattering revelations. But when it came time to take that final step to become an initiate Booth backed down, realizing he would rather remain free to pursue his own Quest for Knowledge, and also get a book out of the deal.
He relies on these "insider revelations" to dispense with the troublesome need to back up anything he says with any sort of scholarly research, footnotes, or anything whatsoever. We are basically supposed to take his word that these "insider revelations" were not only real but trustworthy. Doesn't it seem odd that a genuine member of a secret society would spill the secrets of their sect to a potential initiate, BEFORE he was initiated? Isn't it sort of the whole point of secret societies, that they keep their secrets? If secret societies are as sneaky as they're cracked up to be wouldn't it seem just as likely that this fellow (if he in fact existed) might feed the author a bunch of fake material, knowing he would publish it as a book of nonsense that would throw people even further off the track? Or maybe Mr. Booth is HIMSELF some sort of Illuminati disinformation agent? Or, maybe he just made all this stuff up...
Reading the book makes for a rather uneven experience. Sizeable chunks of it are interesting and maybe even inspired. But in many, many places it's painfully obvious that the author did a little research on some subject, enough to get a superficial understanding, and then crammed it into his overall scenario. Anyone who has done much reading on Akhenaten, for example, will find his portrayal of that Pharaoh a simple-minded caricature. Elsewhere in the book he dispenses with both Neoplatonism and Gnostic Christianity, and the notion they might have any sort of philosophical depth, in one stunningly ignorant paragraph. Readers adept in other areas of knowledge will likely find other instances of ignorance or downright idiocy. The author's credibility is further undermined by basic errors of fact and dating (even a blatantly misattributed picture, on p.223 of the hardback edition, pointed out by another reviewer).
The best approach to this book is probably to drop any idea that it has anything remotely to do with reality and treat it as pure phantasmagoria. Just pretend you're reading Alice in Wonderland. I could almost imagine Lewis Carroll writing something like this, if he time-traveled to the 21st century and took a bunch of LSD. Read in this way, the book is often entertaining (though still often infuriating). It is definitely inventive, as even those who despise it would have to admit. Even if the author is just making it all up he has obviously spent a great deal of time thinking over these matters and has come up with a few genuine insights, which might even strike some readers as "revelations." Alternate-history aficionados in particular are likely to find a few nuggets among the nonsense.
28 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
An Intellectual Journey19 janvier 2011
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What Mr. Booth does is combine all the major religions and the ancient civilizations into one, humanized, spiritual existence. His genesis story, running parallel with scientific theory, was truly amazing. Instead of prophesying about one righteous ideology, Booth shows the reader that all are alike. Whereas our ancient history takes us to the Egyptians and Sumerians, where did their ancient history take them? This is what the author wants us to think about. How did they created their myths and why? How those myths have been infused into modern religion. Once we can see this evolution will be able to see the greater existence of our being.
Some people have given the author four stars for lack of citation, other have roundly criticized him for this same thing. I disagree and challenge anyone to review and read what the author lists as his sources. There is no doubt that the author has spent more than two decades researching the material for THIS book. In my opinion, some dissertations lack the level of research and dedication Mr. Booth has spent in preparation.
I do have one small criticism. While I like the narrative, at times I felt the author was too hesitant to divulge either his true intentions, or the true intentions of what was meant. Like a prize fighter who takes down his opponents while sitting on the bench, at times I wanted Mr. Booth to get in the ring and knock someone out. He takes a step in that direction near the end of the book, but I believe he could have done so throughout. An example would be his discussion of the Indian mystery schools and Sufism. While he mentions that "it has been observed", has he - the author - ever observed what he's describing? Has he seen a mystic stop his heart from beating or lower his blood pressure on command, or become invisible? Has he ever personally seen these feats of true spiritualism as claimed? I took what Mr. Booth has said, but now I want to more about him, have his experiences influenced his work. I know he was offered initiaion, but I would love to know more of his friend who did the offering. Aside from this personal fascination, I would recommend this to anyone interested in a spiritual examination of our human existence.