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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
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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.
If you appreciate Joseph Campbell but wish to pursue the more mystical side of religion, Manly P Hall is an excellent resource. Whereas Campbell was a self-proclaimed "maverick" with no particular allegiance to any one form of religion, Manly P Hall was a thirty-third degree Freemason, and clearly sympathetic to the theory that in our ancient past there existed a system of mystery religions in which invocation of deities and angels was practiced and actually achieved. (Classic example, if memory serves, being Plutarch's tale of the invocation of the Neoplatonist Plotinus' guardian angel in the Temple of Isis in Rome by an Egyptian priest.) Hall breaks ranks with Christianity's declaring such entities to have been demons, and views them instead as our good buddies in the spiritual neighborhood. That said, to Hall's credit, he never minimizes the great perils of seeking gratuitous spiritual experiences.
If you are sympathetic to "the old religions" and want a sympathetic scholarly accounting, it is hard to imagine how you could do better than purchasing and studying this book. If you are someone who believes in the Bible as the inspired word of God, you will have to come to your own conclusion whether Hall is worth your time, as he inevitably delivers a philosophical interpretation of the Bible.Read more ›
Hall criticizes modern times as being too materialistic. The more you focus on earthly desires, the more you become bound to it, the more misery you shall suffer here and after death. You should follow the urges of your higher self, the spirit and soul, which operate above you in the heavenly realms as your body stays upon on this earth while you learn your lessons.
But as far as lust goes, Hall does not recommend that everyone become celibate, since if you are not particularly enlightened it would not be appropriate for you and may lead to neurosis.
Hall goes over the symbolism of many esoteric traditions in this mostly interesting, but sometimes boring book. This is a big, long, thick book that is crammed with so much information it's hard to remember it all. A lot of the explanations of symbols gets tedious after awhile and I asked the question occasionally, "Why should this be important to me?" Especially dense was the sections on the Kabala symbolism. Hall also goes over Biblical symbolism as allegorical true, not literally true, and it is based on earlier pagan traditions.Read more ›
It was full of full page color plates and numerous illustrations. I immediately deemed it a necessary component of my library.
I received my copy today, and there isn't a single illustration or plate that the version I looked at had.
Since it is a book on symbolism, symbols would be a nice addition.
My advice would be to try and find an older edition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very informative book. It seems like I mark every single page because something awesome pops out at me.Published 14 days ago by Joshua
This is an excellent book. Enjoyed it from cover to cover. Not a read for the narrow-mindedly religious, and highly insightful for those searching for a deeper understanding of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I am giving this a premature 4 Star due to the density of this book. I was excited when I got it today, and then I flipped through. The text is... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Incredibly hard to read! Extremely small print...pictures left out! Original was over 600 pages, and this one has a little over 200 pages! Get the Readers Edition! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sherri D.