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. This book explores the themes underlying ancient mythology, philosophy, and religion. Unrivaled in its beauty and completeness, it distills ancient and modern teachings of nearly 600 experts.
About the Author:
Manly P. Hall (1901-1990) founded the Philosophical Research Society in 1934, a non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of useful knowledge in the fields of philosophy, comparative religion and psychology. In his long career, spanning more than 70 years of dynamic public activity, Mr. Hall delivered over 8,000 lectures in the United States and abroad, authored over 150 books and essays, and wrote countless magazine articles.
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.