Monday, January 19, 2009

The Secret History of the World (Review)

I just finished reading The Secret History of the World (As Laid Down by the Secret Societies), by Mark Booth (Overlook Press © 2008). For me, this book offered a great insight into the possible consciousness of early mankind and answered some obvious (and not-so-obvious) questions floating around my brain.

Some of the Secret Societies Booth references are alchemists & Freemasons, The Illuminati, The Knights Templar, Gnostics, and The Rosacrucians. Some of the topics he discusses are the Garden of Eden, Alice in Wonderland, the Wizard of Oz, the Sphinx, Lucifer, Mohammed and Gabriel, Zarathustra, Francis Bacon, and the Seven Seals.

One of the premises set forth by the author is the secret societies long held the theory that the evolution of human consciousness had an impact on the ‘realities’ of the world in which man dwelled. As our perception of the realness of the material objects in our world increased, our perceptions of the spirit world decreased. In essence, what we thought (think) may have had (have) a direct bearing on what actually was. In today’s language, we are co-creators in our universe.

Now it is easy to nod one’s head and think, this is an interesting theory or allegory for the ancient’s explanation for their lack of understanding of the mysteries of the universe. But we are learned people in a technological age. That kind of psycho-babble would never fly today. But then I read an article in the June 2002 Discover Magazine written by Tim Folger (I have a lot of catch-up reading) titled “Does the Universe Exist if We’re Not Looking?” In this article the scientist John Wheeler researches whether the universe exists if there is no one to see it. Based on the strange reality of quantum physics, Wheeler feels that the universe will remain in a kind of quantum uncertainty until the act of observing it collapses all the probable states of the universe to 'create' a ‘reality’. An experiment is explained where light/photons collapses into a particle or a wave long after it has been emitted from a distant galaxy. It appears the photon can remain in an uncertain state for the billions of years of inter-galactic travel until an experimental observation makes it collapse into a wave or a photon. This would mean that our observation today created a probability outcome billions of years in the past.

Now back to the book - - Are we influencing the evolution of the universe? If so, what is the ultimate outcome? Booth has an answer for that as well. As good as I thought this book to be, I do not lightly recommend it to everyone. I have been a consumer of books on esoteric knowledge about religion, philosophy, and history for quite a long time. So as I read the Secret History many previous concepts and theories came to my mind – ‘co-experience’ to use a term learned from Robert Anton Wilson’s writings ( If you are into this kind of information, then rush out and get the book! If you are more dogmatic about history and religion (especially the religious Belief System – aka B.S.), then you may want to go out and buy another Chicken Soup for the Soul book. (Bon Apetite)

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