My Masonic brother, Leslie, is a kind and generous person, a counsellor, an ex-policeman and a school governor. I was taken aback, therefore, to learn that members of his extended family, learning he was a Freemason, accused him of devil worship. I was also very surprised to be once asked by someone I assumed to be intelligent and well read whether a goat was really involved in Masonic initiation. I set out to write a short lecture for my lodge to explain these daft ideas but the lecture turned into this book.The search for the origin of these and related ideas became a magical mystery tour of such events and people as the occult of 19th century France, the Santa Fe Trail and the mountain men, a Masonic hoax; ancient Egypt and the Book of the Dead; Greek gods and the afterlife; at least two Cleopatras; Cyrus the Great; fauns and satyrs; early Christianity, the gnostics and the gospel of Q; the history of the Bible; polytheism, henotheism and monotheism; the death of Pan; the problem of evil; the Bogomils and the Cathars; Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and John Donne; Wittgenstein and language games; reasons for worship; Augustine, Hume and Nietzsche; Kabbalah, the Templars and the Rosicrucians; and, of course, the wonderfully named Hermes Trismegistus - not forgetting Tecumseh, Crazy Horse and the Comanche.
Publisher: Hamilton House Publishing Ltd