Many Christians and Jews believe that the wisdom of King Solomon extended well beyond ordinary human perception. A gift from God, it allowed him to understand the hidden forces of nature, the inner workings of human motivation and the mysteries of the future. Some credit Solomon with an ability to turn lead into gold, conjure demons and become invisible. In Jamaica he is celebrated for discovering marijuana, known there as “the Wisdom Weed.”
In 1925, Arthur Koestler, a 20-year-old Hungarian journalist, began to believe that politics was “above all futile” — and that there was “more truth” in philosophy. Zionism, he thought, was the field where he could get the most recognition: “But can’t I also earn fame through literature?” he asked.