Lost in a dark wood like Dante, Nicholas Hagger tells the story of his search for meaning, purpose and truth that took him to Iraq and Japan, and encounters with Zen and China’s Cultural Revolution, which he was the first to discover. In Libya, then a Cold-War battleground, he began four years’ service and a double life as an undercover British intelligence agent (here revealed for the first time). He witnessed Gaddafi’s Egyptian/Soviet-backed coup, and its terrifying aftermath tore into his personal life, plunged him into a Dark Night of the Soul and faced him with execution. He went on to serve in London as Prime Minister Edward Heath’s “unofficial Ambassador” to the African liberation movements at the height of Soviet and Chinese expansion in Africa during the Cold War. Despite being routinely followed by surveillance squads he found Reality on a ‘Mystic Way’ of loss, purgation and illumination. He now perceived the universe as a unity, and had 16 experiences of the metaphysical Light.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
This is a two volume autobiography by Nicholas Hagger, a well- known intellectual and educator. Unlike most autobiographies that are written by a ‘ghost’ writer, this is written by Nicholas Hagger himself. From tutor to Hirohito's son, to witnessing the Gadaffi revolution first hand and to a fight against communism and possibly contributing the fall of the Berlin Wall, this is a personal history full of wonder, excitement and insight. It is not a life without problems but as the author believes that difficulties lead to greater understanding of life, there was no shying away from reporting the most personal of events.
The early part of his life, from his birth in 1939 to his leaving the Secret Intelligence Service in 1973 is detailed in Part 1. As a child, teenager and young man, he was studious, deep thinking, reflective and curious about so many aspects of his own psychology, politics, history, philosophy and poetry. He played with Derek Bentley as a child (Derek Bentley was hanged) and he was aware of John Clare's madhouse at Lippett's Hill nearby his childhood home.
Due to his considerable writing abilities and vast experience, he explains many complex topics in detail with ease and grace. He finds intricate patterns in life and describes numinous, spiritual and otherworldly experiences, such as premonitions and visions. He once met a psychic who made some unlikely but accurate predictions. He reports interesting meetings with many prestigious people along the way (some of whom committed suicide and some were murdered). During his espionage days, his home was bugged, he was followed on foot and had his home ransacked. Deep dedication and commitment to his ideals underpinned his years as a spy. It was a standing joke amongst his top secret handlers that his old green Volkswagon was the most photographed car in the world!
Nicholas Hagger is a polymath; a prolific and talented writer of plays, poems, short stories and full length books on a very wide range of topics. He was the first of his family to go to University. The text is peppered with poems and quotes from classical works which inform his ideas and beliefs. Though an intellectual, he also is highly practical and combines these leanings with mystical interests. He relates many extraordinary incidents from his childhood and university days and his dangerous work in Iraq, Japan and China. He reveals, while working undercover as a teacher and journalist, he acted as an espionage agent and suffered a deep personal betrayal. He was almost exposed by Kim Philby in 1971. Throughout this time, he gate-crashed an Ambassador’s reception on the Queen’s Birthday, was invited to join the Mafia and he was threatened with execution! Hagger confirms claims that Victor Rothchild (3rd Baron) was the fifth man (though this was denied and he was cleared by Margaret Thatcher), Philby, Burgess, McLean and Blunt being the 4 great spies of the late 2oth century. Hagger was told on good authority that the Rothschild family controlled both MI6 and the Bank of England, in fact all banks with the exception of Cuba, North Korea and Iran. Ezra Pound was evidently placed in St Elizabeth's Hospital, an insane asylum, at the instigation of the Rothchilds.
...There is a moving account of the death of his mother and the text is rich in personal reflection.
...This is just a snippet of the amazing material in these two tomes! This is an autobiography to beat all other autobiographies! My Double Life Volume 1 ‘This Dark Wood’ is a whopping 625 pages in length and it leaves the reader hungry for more. It’s amazing what one person can achieve in a lifetime! ~ Wendy Stokes, MBS Circle Network - July blogpost
How much William James would have supported all those who value the quality and range of a truly comprehensive modern awareness as Nicholas Hagger does. ~ Sir Laurens van der Post
Praise for The Light of Civilization: An extraordinary book. ~ David Gascoyne
Brilliant! ~ Nexus
The scope of Hagger's book is immense. Universalism is a call to a philosopher to abandon the specialisms (in particular logic and language) and to attempt, once again, the kind of Grand Unified Theory of Everything that has marked the discipline from the beginning. Universalism has the potentiality to be as potent a movement in the 21st century as Existentialism was in the post-war world. ~ Christopher Macann, Lecturer in philosophy at the University of Bordeaux, author of Being and Becoming
In this magisterial work Nicholas Hagger unites the rational and intuitive strands of Western philosophy in the light of the latest findings from physics, cosmology, biology, ecology and psychology. His in-depth exposition of these sciences and their philosophical implications is breathtaking in scope and detail and fully justifies his declaration of a Metaphysical Revolution, which also has profound consequences for our understanding of world affairs. This is one of the most important philosophical books to appear since Whiteheadâ€™s "Process and Reality" eighty years ago and deserves the widest possible readership. A stupendous achievement. ~ David Lorimer, Programme Director, Scientific and Medical Network
He hits a pace, a tilt, that really carries the reader along...Everything comes as a subordinate clause to his dramatic momentum, a hand waving out of the express train window. ~ Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate
His poetic felicities include a poetic mix of Eliot, Pound and Blake; the judicious invention of his own psychological terms to guide his progress; an unafraid nakedness, linked to philosophic and scientific adventurousness; genuine visionary leanings and occasional lyric beauty. ~ Sebastian Barker, Past chairman of The Poetry Society
Nicholas Hagger writes with a rare intellectual passion. ~ Sir Laurens van der Post