The Secret History of the World (Anglais) Broché – 8 juillet 2010
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'Dan Brown's non-fiction source for The Lost Symbol might well be Jonathan Black's The Secret History of the World' Roger Lews, Daily Express. --Reviews.
Présentation de l'éditeur
Having studied theology and learnt from initiates of all the great secret societies of the world, Jonathan Black has learned that it is possible to reach an altered state of consciousness in which we can see things about the way the world works that hidden from our everyday commonsensical consciousness. This history shows that by using secret techniques, people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton and George Washington have worked themselves into this altered state - and been able to access supernatural levels of intelligence.
This book will leave you questioning every aspect of your life and spotting hidden messages in the very fabric of society and life itself. It will open your mind to a new way of living and leave you questioning everything you have been taught - and everything you've taught your children.
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The writing-style is easy to enjoy and the ideas exposed made simple to apprehend.
It actually made me want to cross-reference the names and places with mythology encyclopedias...!
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
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!!
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.
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.
Booth starts off fairly strong, with a plea for the reader to try to see the world in a different light, as the ancients might have seen it. This is a worthy request, and one well worth attempting. Also, his recounting of some of the more forgotten historiographers (ie Berossos) is interesting. This however is because Booth excels at exploiting the murkier areas of history. The less that's known about a city, a person, a structure, whatever, the more free Booth is to expound at length on its "secret" history - with of course nothing to back up his claim. Hence, the Sphinx was created as a monument to when the four dimensions came into being. Hence, Herodotus was an initiate who knew the true history of mankind (that we are descended from plantlike beings, according to Booth). Hence, it's all crap and it's all easily disproven.
What's most frustrating is that Booth wants it both ways. Early on he suggests that Jesus did not exist (at least as Christians imagine him), and that literal-minded Christians should stop reading if they're easily offended. Now this I could get behind; I myself don't even believe in Jeebus, as Homer J. Simpson once said. But later on Booth wants to have it the other way: Jesus DID exist, and he was just as perfect as depicted in the gospels; not due to his facile son-of-Yahweh origins, but because he was the latest harbinger of the true god, the latest in a line of succession of gods who have come to earth to set things straight. The Jesus stuff gets even more muddled. For example, to contrast Jesus's "new" way of thinking (which earlier in the book Booth claims was actually pieced together from Socrates and Pythagoras; again, having it both ways) with the soon-to-be-replaced "old" way of thinking in the ancient world, Booth compares some sayings of Jesus with some sayings of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. With Jesus providing positive messages, Aurelius caught up in "depression." But the simple fact Booth fails to mention: Marcus Aurelius lived about 150 years AFTER the time in which Jesus is supposed to have lived!
Things get downright stupid as the "Secret History" moves into the Middle Ages. Because here Booth claims that "true love" did not exist until Medieval times! That's right, the era in which eviscerations were public entertainment, priests sold forgiveness to the highest bidder, and sex was the work of the devil, was the era which saw the first appearance of true love. Any reader of the classics will know this is bull. And Booth does attempt to skirt over it; he gives ancient poet Sappho as an example, stating that even though her well-known poems SEEM to be about true love, they're really more concerned with physical love. No, true love was brand-new to the human experience sometime around the 1100s CE. That anyone could present something so idiotic is baffling. Again, maybe it all really IS a parody.
I'll give you one example of how Booth so often misleads his reader. Around page 94 of the hardback (which I don't have in front of me at the moment) there's a neat little illustration of an ancient statue: a wavy-haired being with a vacant expression and crab pincers jutting from his forehead. Booth identifies this illustration as being of "The Green Man," a favorite subject of fringe scholars. If you check the image credits at the back of the book, this illustration is one of the many which are identified as being from "the author's collection." Meaning, no attestation to where Booth took it from. This is a clever little trick Booth plays throughout the book, covering up where his images are from, so he can claim they represent whatever he intends. So, this "Green Man" illustration. I happen to know that it's taken from James Morgan Pryse's 1910 treatise "The Restored New Testament;" Pryse himself took the illustration from "Specimens of Antient Sculpture," published in London in 1802 by the Dilettanti Society. Now, Pryse claimed the illustration was of "The Mystic Dionysos," with those pincers representing the constellation of Cancer, the dewlap ears representing the Ram, and etc. It's apparent Pryse based his claim off of the illustration, and that he never saw the actual statue, because do you know what this statue - which Booth claims was the Green Man and Pryse claimed was the Mystic Dionysos - is actually of? The sea god Triton. It's a shattered bust which was part of a group commissioned for Emperor Commodus's apotheosis around 191 CE. Maybe you've seen that famous bust of Commodus, where he's a pumped-up Hercules look-alike with a lion's head draped over his own. This statue of Triton stood beside it, and it features none of the things the fantasy-prone original artist depicted in "Specimens of Antient Sculpture," no pincers on its forehead, no dewlap ears. It's anyone's guess why that illustrator decided to add these spurious attributes (it's possible he just got creative when depicting the statue's wavy hair), but otherwise his illustration looks exactly like Triton; search online for "Triton right Musei Capitolini MC1121.jpg," compare that image with the illustration in your copy of "The Secret History," and you'll see they're one and the same. And you'll also see, right before your eyes, how Booth has mislead you into believing something that's not true.
So if Booth is misleading you about something so trivial, why trust him with something more grand...something like, say, the "secret history" of the world?