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The Secret Teachings of All Ages (Reader's Edition) Paperback – Illustrated, October 27, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"A masterful summation of the esoteric teachings of the ages."
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Top customer reviews
The best edition to get is the hardcover University Edition printed in 2008. BUT if you want a cheaper paperback, make sure you get the authorized 2000 reduced facsimile of the 1988 Diamond Jubilee edition from the Philosophical Research Society (PRS). It's the only edition in print that is a true reprint of the original typography and illustrations in their correct places. All other editions are re-typeset, and some cluster all the color illustrations together rather than at the beginning of each chapter where they belong. The Reduced Facsimile is also the only edition that was authorized by Hall when he was still alive, and the only edition that contains ALL the original illustrations.
The 2000 edition from PRS is very good quality with a sewn signature binding printed on heavy photo paper. DON'T get the Dover edition or the "Readers" edition!! Much of the value in this text is the beautiful typography and illustrations. It's not worth owning it otherwise. A cheap used copy of the facsimile edition can be easily found for under $10. I got mine for $2.99 and it's beautiful.
Capable of incredibly expansive concepts, and more importantly accomplishments. As someone who thinks of myself as a struggling seeker this book is inspirational. I'm more than certain that organizations like the Free Masons, and perhaps others that have remained unknown continue these traditions which with the current state of the world leaves me hopeful that we can eventually move beyond the fragmented circumstances that plague humanity and strive for a more worthy unity of man. I highly recommend this book.
Other reviewers have outlined the subject matter and commented on the images, so I won't repeat that here. The images certainly are much better than another edition I checked out from the library. Of course, some of the material in this book is now dated - for example, we have many more texts translated from various Eastern Buddhist and Hindu traditions available to us now in the West, which makes Hall's presentation of those traditions seem limited. But overall, it is such an amazing compilation, and had such a profound impact on the development of Western mystic/occult/spiritual thinking, that it is a must-have for any serious student of those topics.
Great book, nothing to complain about, your getting exactly what you think is in the book.
The readers edition includes all of the illustrations in the book and has the proper font size.
This version below does not have the pictures and the text is smaller to the point of being annoying to read :
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