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In 1637 Descartes proclaimed: Cogito ergo sum – I think, therefore I am. At the edge of the 20th century anthropology professor Alexander Norwood wishes he had the guts to reshuffle des cartes d’existance. The straightjacket of professional disillusionment is becoming quite comfortable when this armchair Indiana Jones is shown two crystal artifacts that incorporate an unknown metal, refract light into palpable optical illusions, and trigger psychosomatic phenomena that Shirley MacLaine and Carlos Casteneda would envy. On a whim the professor chooses not to let his schooling interfere with his education and accepts the challenge to look into the origin of the crystals.  Ah, how Fate loves a whim of iron! Norwood is hurled into a maelstrom of clandestine ideas, murder and conspiracy, which razes his career, propels him into Mexico in search of a mysterious ancient valley, unravels his notion of history, tests the limits of his beliefs and teaches him that "the nature of matter is transition; the nature of spirit is evolution."