THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF ALL AGES
by Manly P. Hall
The Secret Teachings of All Ages is perhaps the most comprehensive and complete esoteric encyclopedia ever written. The sheer scope and ambition of this book are stunning. In this book Manly P. Hall has successfully distilled the essence of more arcane subjects than one would think possible. He covers Rosicrucianism and other secret societies, alchemy, cryptology, Kabbalah, Tarot, pyramids, the Zodiac, Pythagorean philosophy, Masonry, gemology, Nicholas Flammel, the identity of William Shakespeare, The Life and Teachings of Thoth Hermes Trismegistus, The Qabbalah, The Hiramic Legend, The Tree of the Sephiroth, and Mystic Christianity. There are more than 200 illustrations included here (and in the trade paperback edition) many of which have been omitted from other publisher's editions of this book. This is essential reading for anyone wishing to explore esoteric knowledge.
In 1928, a 20-something Renaissance man named Manly Hall self-published a vast encyclopedia of the occult, believing that "modern" ideas of progress and materialism were displacing more important and ancient modes of knowledge. Hall's text has become a classic reference, dizzying in its breadth: various chapters explore Rosicrucianism, Kabbalah, alchemy, cryptology, Tarot, pyramids, the Zodiac, Pythagorean philosophy, Masonry and gemology, among other topics. This affordably priced edition would be vastly improved by a new foreword, placing the work in some kind of historical and critical context and introducing readers to the basic contours of Hall's sweeping corpus. Instead, we have a disciple's adulatory 1975 foreword, which merely parrots the same themes of mystery and esoterica that are espoused in the book. Readers who are unfamiliar with Hall's work will be at a loss in ferreting out which chapters have stood the test of time and which have been vigorously debunked (like the one on Islam, which actually uses novelist Washington Irving as a primary source on the prophet Muhammad). However, they will also marvel at the sheer scope of Hall's research and imagination, and at J. Augustus Knapp's famous illustrations, including a 16-page color insert.