The Secret History of the World as Laid Down by the Secret Societies

The Secret History of the World as Laid Down by the Secret Societies, by Mark BoothBy Mark Booth
2008 Peter Mayer Publishers, Overlook Press, Woodstock, NY. The Kindle edition Click to Buy this Book!

Synthesizing all the esoteric thinking since the dawn of time is not a task most of us would undertake. Even if we could. Decoding the mysticism lurking in literature, art, music, religion, alchemy, history and philosophy in order to present a coherent and readable overview of what we humans have been confronting for eons … who, in their right mind would even attempt that?

Mark Booth, as it turns out.

He’s a publisher-author-avid reader. This is a compilation of at least twenty years of reading the books listed in the extensive bibliography (reason enough to buy this book) as well as actually commissioning and publishing many of them. Booth’s knowledge makes The Secret History of the World extremely fascinating and enlightening reading.

After centuries of mystery schools and initiations, Booth summarizes at the end, we now know it’s really quite simple. Imagination is the key to realizing our soul-force. Materialistic science, on the other hand, would say imagination is just illusion and fantasy.

Plato once said, “It all starts with wonder.” Wonder, Booth claims, is transformed feeling that is aware of the spiritual workings of the cosmos. We’re intimately engaged in a four-fold process involving our vegetable, mineral, animal and human bodies which eventually become angelic. We all sprout wings! And when we change our human physiology we become seeds of transformation for the entire universe, for we are, indeed, intimately connected to all that is.

The Apostle Paul had the right idea in I Corinthians. It all comes down to faith, hope and love — the greatest of these being love. What we’ve learned — at least up to now — is that if some of us are unhappy, we’re all going to be unhappy. And if we’re not careful, evil will harden us into only our animal passions.

Change throughout history, Booth notes, comes, not from generals and politicians, but through artists and thinkers. Through writers and musicians and oral traditions. And through all those people, known and unknown, who have kept the traditions alive.

This book invites us to take a fresh look at everything that’s around us. Things may not be as they seem. There is ancient wisdom everywhere! We don’t perceive the world as our parents did. Certainly not as our grandparents did. So, our consciousness is expanding as we keep asking the “big why questions.” Go inside. Dwell on what you don’t know, the mystics have always told us. And above all, learn to know yourself. And, in this era of pervasive computers and drone-robot-killing machines and genetic engineering, it may be the right time to ask ourselves, does science really have all the answers? Rationalism and materialism enslaves; imagination frees.

Niels Bohr once said, “The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement, but the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”

This book is a quest for profound truths and a rediscovery of wise teachings. Patterns and connections exist. Booth’s pages present many amazing correlations. For those of us who have been “historically struck” by such things as C.S. Lewis and J.F.K. dying on the same day, Booth includes others. For instance, Pythagoras was born on Samos as the first blocks of marble were placed on top of one another on the Acropolis in Athens. Alexander was born on the day Artemis’ temple in Ephesus was torched. Like Jesus, he died at 33. Rasputin was murdered the same day, June 28, 1914, as the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was shot, and, as Booth puts it, “demons were let loose on the world.” We learn that Harlequin is associated with Hermes, Lenin was once an Aztec priest and that all those occult or hidden ideas are really hiding in plain sight. Following these intricate historical threads, we learn who mentored whom, who initiated whom, and in many cases who incarnated as whom.

Great literature and art hold profound truths and resonate with us because we have also experienced much of what they teach. We identify. Booth summarizes the five main “messages” that come through great literature:

  1. If you duck a challenge, it will come around again in a different form.
  2. We are always drawn to what we fear most.
  3. If you choose the immoral path, you’ll pay for it.
  4. A good-hearted belief will eventually transform what is believed in.
  5. In order to hold on to what you love, you must let it go.

Readers of this book will uncover meanings of words they may never before have questioned. Take the word “vitriol” for instance. It’s an alchemical anagram: Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapideum. It means “sink down into your own body and you will acquire a working knowledge of your own physiology. Go inside, and you will see the outer world with more clarity.”

And readers will discover some pretty amazing (at least to this Christian reader) insights. Pythagoras, for instance, once told some fishermen who hadn’t caught anything, to throw their nets into the sea one more time. He could heal the sick and rejuvenate the old. He could remember past incarnations and recall the history of the world from the beginning. He studied with Magi (who were initiated by the Prophet Daniel) in Babylon, and who are the descendants of the Rishi in India. He memorized Egyptian secrets. Like Booth, he sought to synthesize esoteric thought into a comprehensive cosmic picture.

The reader will find here many references to Rudolf Steiner’s writings and teachings. But, in the same manner as Booth handles all the material in this book, he refuses to go into the minutiae and pros and cons of any of his various teachings. He then can paint amazing detail with a very broad brush. He explains at the end of the book, that Steiner’s long shadow may inhibit originality for some people, but he finds Steiner’s work much more of an inspiration than a burden.

Steiner’s genius is just one of the many great minds revealed in this comprehensive collection of what Newton called “The Intelligences.” Or The “Mothers” as Goethe calls them, who actively engage with us — then and now. And many of us believe to be true what we find here, as Tertullian put it, “because it is absurd.”

This book is a gift that has appeared in just the right voice at just the right time.

— Review by: Karen Speerstra www.sophiaserve.com

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  1. May 19th, 2012 at 08:33
    Reply | Quote | #1

    What a beautiful review, so nicely, clearly presented. The author, speaks of connectedness within the soul of many lives, which in turn belong to the group of lives, associated with the evolutions of epochs. People incarnate in Groups, they bring needed qualities to epoch, they provide the continuous field of builders , attracting the Light, channelling transforming…
    The Echo of previous lives reach us in art, music, religion – the atoms of our sense organs recognise the familiar vibrations and aspire ahead. These impressions feed our hope,we are not alone,we recognise ourselves in others, and our togetherness becomes our goal.

  2. May 19th, 2012 at 10:25
    Reply | Quote | #2

    This is a very well written and interesting review!

  3. Rozanne Hartmann
    May 23rd, 2012 at 05:43
    Reply | Quote | #3

    Loved reading this book. A balm to the soul in a crazy world. Reminding one that there is truth and goodness out there. Gave me courage and inspiration.

  4. jansophos
    July 1st, 2012 at 13:19
    Reply | Quote | #4

    This is a fantastic book review!