When Louis Pauwels’s The Morning of the Magicians was first published in 1960, few people were aware of notions about extraterrestrial intervention in human affairs, the role of the occult in Hitler’s military strategies, or conspiracies involving alchemists, underground civilizations, or secretive Masters of the paranormal.
Since then, such topics have become so commonplace that they are regularly discussed over plates of chicken strips and onion rings at Shoney’s. It’s very likely that Pauwels’s book played a significant role in bringing these ideas into the common awareness. While few readers will be stunned by any of the multitude of ideas presented in this long-overdue reprint, they may be surprised by how old and how deeply engrained in our culture the beliefs really are.
Pauwels exhibited amazing prescience when he wrote “We are living at a time when science… has entered the spiritual Universe and has transformed the mind of the observer himself….” As quantum physics spins out more and more fantastic truths about the nature of our world, Pauwels’s statement is continually re-confirmed.
Is it crazy to believe that lead can be turned into gold? Is it paranoid to believe that Nine Unknown Men control the greatest scientific secrets in the world? Is it full-blown looney-toons to believe that we live on the inside of a great celestial sphere?
Nevertheless, it is certainly foolish to reject any of these suggestions entirely and without qualification. That sort of narrow-mindedness made fools of scientists who steadfastly maintained that black holes were only gimmicks designed to further the plots of science fiction novels and that the assertion that the earth is not the center of the universe was pure heresy.
“We are not indulging in philosophy-fiction or history-fiction, but in a fantastic realism,” Pauwels points out. “We are skeptical with regard to many points about which others… are less so…. We believe only in human intelligence, and we believe that, at a certain level, intelligence itself is a kind of secret society.”
The author provides raw material for speculation of the most outlandish order – secret societies, ancient prophesy, alchemical transmutation, the giant race that once ruled the Earth, the Nazca lines. Whether or not Pauwels or the reader believes any or all of these theories is beside the point. As with all information, it is the instigation of original thought that matters. Allow enough space for the information in this book to bounce around and stretch the boundaries of your mind, extrapolate, reject if you wish. Above all, let the The Morning of the Magicians introduce you to the creative, mind-altering, world-changing ideas that led to our current cultures, religions, and scientific breakthroughs.