'New Age' book by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely inspired by contemporary physics

Made:
1970
maker:
Edmond Bordeaux
'New Age' book by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely inspired by contemporary physics (book) 'New Age' book by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely inspired by contemporary physics (book)

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Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Bordeaux, E.S., Man in the cosmic ocean, Academy of Creative Living, San Diego, 1970.

This is a 'New Age' book that is a mystical interpretation many actual physical theories. It was written by the controversial author of 'The Gospel of Truth', a book now considered a fraudulent creation that claimed to have been translated from ancient texts. It is uncertain why this particular one was kept by Hawking in his office, as unlike similar books, it has no inscriptions of notes of any kind.

The bookcases in Stephen Hawking' office contain a few books that were part of 1960s-1970s 'New Age' culture. Stephen Hawking, an atheist, was critical of supernatural thinking; but a fraction of physicists in his generation were interested, and even contributed to this movement. Many 'New Age' authors had been inspired by earlier generations of physicists and included mysticized versions of physical theories as part of their worldview.

Stephen Hawking's office contained more than 300 books, all located on the bookshelves above the kitchen counter. They date as early as his student years, and the bulk corresponds to his long professional career from the 1960s to the 2010s. From the 1990s onwards Stephen would have used digital versions increasingly, so the books in his bookcases were a select subset. While some items are rare copies -like the dissertations he advised or book drafts- most of the library contents are rather standard prints. The majority contain significant individual marks, and even for those that do not, the connection to Hawking is evident. Books by friends and colleagues often contain inscriptions and inserts that evidence their relationship. Others remind of places he visited, conferences he attended, or relate to having become a celebrity and inspiration throughout the world. Of the books that he authored, there are usually multiple versions, translations, and occasionally draft versions. A good portion of the books also contain inserts such as notes by the authors or editors, receipts, and occasionally unrelated material that found its way into them around the time of their acquisition. A portion of them has also been bookmarked with post-its by Stephen's assistants pointing to the sections most relevant to show visitors.

Details

Category:
Stephen Hawking Office
Collection:
Stephen Hawking’s Office
Object Number:
2021-561/237
Materials:
paper (fibre product)
Measurements:
overall: 208 mm x 134 mm x 5 mm, .1 kg
type:
book
credit:
Accepted in lieu of Inheritance Tax by H M Government from the Estate of Stephen Hawking and allocated to the Science Museum, 2021