Visions in the Stone

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Visions in the Stone E. J. Gold Introduction by Robert Anton Wilson Subtitled “Journey to the Source of Hidden Knowledge,” this multi-level esoteric travelogue functions as a friendly guide through the rough terrain of often dangerous and treacherous unknown territory providing valuable clues and keys along the way. It starts as a deceptively simple, first person account of a search for Hidden Guides and ancient artifacts while traveling about the plains, deserts and towns of Western Asia. About halfway through, the narrative is concluded and we are presented with several chapters on psychometry, the arcane science of receiving information and impressions through psychic contact with various objects. Detailed knowledge is clearly given on how to go about searching for data in this way and the possible benefits it could yield. Apparently ancient initiates intentionally recorded esoteric data into ancient artifacts as a way of preserving those ideas and ensuring they would survive various catastrophes and wide scale cultural destruction brought about by wars and other acts of human ignorance. Gold refers to this preservation of knowledge as thought tapes and points out that much of the occult information attributed to telepathic contact with contemporary Himalayan masters is, in fact, the reception of these thought tapes placed into artifacts and monuments in ancient times. Could this be the real source of H. P. Blavatsky’s Hidden Masters? Another topic covered is “ The ancient science of legominism – transmission of Great Ideas through art, architecture, dance, drama, music, and so on.” Much of this knowledge discovered from various sources appears to form a gestalt indicating a Master Plan that points to the evolution and development of an Inner Circle of Humanity. Gold’s research led him to conclude that “ …all authentic monuments are connected and come to us from the same original source in Sumeria.” This is very interesting because the iconoclastic work of Aleister Crowley has been called a revival of Sumerian magick. Crowley was tremendously inspired by the idea of an Inner Circle of Humanity, that he came across very early in his career from reading “The Cloud Upon The Sanctuary” by Karl von Eckartshausen. It could be said that this inspired much of his subsequent explorations. Other subjects found in Visions in the Stone include: coating higher bodies, unlocking and imprinting artifacts, the human being as the ultimate artifact, the descent of higher entities, cellular data and using posture as a key to work on self. There are also practical exercises illustrating these ideas. Returning to the narrative that comprises the first half of Visions in the Stone, we find that digging below the surface leads us to encounter a symbolic, qabalistic level describing the archetypal journey through what is known in various cultures as the Abyss, the Dark Night of the Soul or the Corridor of Madness. This is the space that separates the world of illusion from the Real World. Robert Anton Wilson blatantly attempts to point out this aspect of the book in his introduction. With those that have eyes to see or at least the enthusiasm of enquiry to learn the language skills to penetrate below the surface, it becomes abundantly clear that Gold has been this way before and knows the territory like the back of his hand. This book is essential reading for anyone who feels they will pass through this space, and all of us on the spiritual quest do so at one time or another. It becomes a friend, guide and life-line offering a beacon of hope at a time when the aspirant feels entirely lost, confused, disoriented and despairs of ever finding a way out. It is, indeed, a map of this very murky, unpredictable and deceptive terrain. Aleister Crowley wrote of this event in the “Book of Lies,” Chapter 42 (Dust Devils): “Now and again Travellers cross the desert; they come from the Great Sea, and to the Great Sea they go. As they go they spill water; one day they will irrigate the desert, till it flower. See! Five footprints of a Camel! V.V.V.V.V.” Visions in the Stone is a profound effort toward irrigating this desert. It is, indeed five footprints of a camel, qabalisticaly speaking. Robert Anton Wilson writes in his introduction, “The book you hold in your hands is as dangerous as a letter bomb. It might blow your head off…” It might also just save your life. Reviewed by Oz Fritz

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