The Elixir and the Stone
The Tradition of Magic and Alchemy
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Elixir and the Stone by Michael Baigent
Book DescriptionSince the seventeenth century, science has been contending with philosophy, organised religion and the arts for domination over Western civilisation and society. By the middle of the twentieth century, the battle appeared to be won; scientific rationalism and scepticism were triumphant. Yet in the last few decades a strong and potent counter-current has emerged. One manifestation of this has been the so-called occult revival. In "The Elixir and the Stone", Baigent and Leigh argue that this occult revival - and indeed the entire revolution in attitudes which has taken place recently - owes a profound debt to Hermeticism, a body of esoteric teaching, which flourished in Alexandria two thousand years ago and which then went underground. The authors trace the history of this intriguing and all-encompassing philosophy - which has much in common with contemporary holistic thought - charting its origin in the Egyptian mysteries, and demonstrating how it continued to exercise enormous influence through the magicians and magic of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Many remarkable characters feature in the narrative, including the Franciscan friar Roger Bacon and the Elizabethan magus John Dee; prototype of Shakespeare's "Prospero" in "The Tempest", but he central figure that emerges is that of Faust himself - one of the defining myths of Western civilisation. "The Elixir and the Stone" is a remarkably rich and ambitious book that adds up to a little short of an alternative history of the intellectual world. Perhaps for the first time, it puts into their true context those shadowy alchemists and magicians who have haunted the imaginations of people for centuries. Moreover, it offers a way of looking at the world that is in one sense 'alternative', but, in another, deeply historical.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780099490029
(178mm x 111mm x 29mm)
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publish Date: 4-Aug-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Michael Baigent
Astrology in Ancient Mesopotamia, Paperback (August 2015)
A detailed study of the earliest forms of astrology in Mesopotamia and their far-reaching hermetic influences from the Renaissance to the present day
Temple and the Lodge, Paperback / softback (May 2011)
Dispelling myths and challenging the traditional evaluations of European and American history, here is an illuminating investigation into the evolution of...
Secret Germany, Paperback / softback (May 2008)» View all books by Michael Baigent
From the bestselling authors of "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" and "The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception" comes a stunning revelation of Hitler's secret enemy and the plot to kill him.
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Author Biography - Michael Baigent
Michael Baigent was born in New Zealand in 1948, and obtained a degree in psychology from Canterbury University, Christchurch. Since 1976 he has lived in England. Richard Leigh studied at Tufts University, Boston, the University of Chicago and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Together they have co-authored a number of books including the international bestsellers The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception and Secret Germany.
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