The Morning of the Magicians: Secret Societies, Conspiracies, and Vanished Civilizations, by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier
Destiny Books, 9781594772313, 414 pp, 1960, 2009
I wasn’t sure what I was expecting to get out of this book when I picked it up, and must say the introduction already had me very concerned when the authors said “so as not to weigh down the book too much, we have avoided a multiplicity of references, footnotes, and bibliographies.”1 It should be pointed out that a “multiplicity” of bibliographies means not including any bibliography, multiplicity of references and footnotes refers to a sparse inclusion that information was taken from somewhere, but rarely stated where.
In general a lack of sources has me a bit worried about a book, but this book really supported that worry, for it wasn’t common knowledge, or acceptable stories, but it was wildly “out there” stories as fact, with no backing. Pauwels and Bergier felt that science was too constraining, and that people should open themselves up to the reality of other possibilities. A notion I can agree with, but a quick look at a list of their “not unreasonable hypotheses”2 will show where my issue arose; medieval alchemists producing atomic bombs and atomic fusion3, the Nazi movement inspired by memory/dreams of Atlantis4, the Earth is hollow and we live on the inside, the Moon, Mars and Jupiter and the stars are made of ice, and three Moons have crashed into Earth5 producing great evolutionary jumps and de-evolutionary lapses, like “Gypsies, Negroes and Jews.”6
While I am interested in entertaining far-out theories as part of an intellectual exercise and exploring reasoning, Pauwels and Bergiers put their ideas forth as fact, all while suggesting the reader challenge and investigate it themselves. Yet the authors leave out any of their personal reasoning, be it an internal process, or something they learnt. While I do not believe the Moon is made of ice, I could entertain the idea for a time, if someone gave me a reason to do so, but for no apparent reason than “We don’t know science and we don’t trust scientists” Pauwels and Bergiers toss out a wide variety of theories, that they don’t consider irrational or bizarre.
In the intro, I felt like the authors want to suggest some ideas just off-centre from what we accept and believe, to shake up and challenge the unconscious belief structures of our culture, but instead they put forth ideas so far away from current thought, that I feel they can’t possibly challenge our ways of thoughts. If you’re looking for a book filled with secret societies, bizarre cosmology and physics, and bad science and history, you’ve found it. If you’re looking for something worth reading, I suggest moving on.