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The Secret Teachings of All Ages (1928)

de Manly P. Hall

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1,274712,154 (4.22)19
A classic since 1928, this masterly encyclopedia of ancient mythology, ritual, symbolism, and the arcane mysteries of the ages is available for the first time in a compact "reader's edition." Like no other book of the twentieth century, Manly P. Hall's legendary The Secret Teachings of All Ages is a codex to the ancient occult and esoteric traditions of the world. Students of hidden wisdom, ancient symbols, and arcane practices treasure Hall's magnum opus above all other works. While many thousands of copies have sold since its initial publication in 1928, The Secret Teachings of All Ages has previously been available only in oversized, expensive editions. For the first time, Hall's celebrated classic is now published in an affordable trade paperback volume. Literally hundreds of entries shine a rare light on some of the most fascinating and closely held aspects of myth, religion, and philosophy from throughout the centuries. More than one hundred line drawings and a sixteen-page color insert reproduce some of the finest illustrations of the original book, while reset and reformatted text makes this edition of The Secret Teachings of All Ages newly accessible to readers everywhere.… (més)
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Here I go again, putting up a review based on initial impressions. I'm not even 100 pages in.

My first impulse was to crow "hoo-boy, here is a dopey-ass book," but I think I'll half resist that impulse. For now.

This looks like it will be a good compendium of weird sh*t -- which is, really, what I'd hoped for. I didn't pick this up thinking I'd ultimately wind up an initiate into gosh-darn bona fide mystical knowledge. My initial impression of Hall is that he's kind of a latter-day Pliny the Elder. Pliny sorta stuffed everything he could find into his vast Naturalis Historia, appearing (at least) to pretty much credit everything he heard as true. Hall shows a similar tendency to just accept stuff as long as it furthers his mission.

So if you're looking for rigorous scholarship, you won't find it here. Rigorous scholars do not cite the Encyclopedia Britannica (which is not, despite appearances, a knock on the E. B.), nor do they blandly accept that Atlantis was a real thing, at least not without giving good reasons for it. My own belief is that rigorous scholarship would have shown Hall that most of the stuff he was presenting was downright goofy.

Still, as I've already pretty much said, compendia of weird sh*t are not gonna get sneezed at -- not by me. Just know what you're getting into, here.

UPDATE: I'm having qualms about continuing with this book. There's just so much bland averral of outlandish crap as fact I can take. Every time Hall comes out with something really nutty, like a statement that the Great Pyramid is some tens of thousands of years old, my eyes do an uncomfortable dance, and I find myself dreaming of actual coherent argument.

UPDATE UPDATE: yeah, this book is sitting on my head, but I'm close enough to being done with it that I can't feature tossing it aside. A couple of the more egregious things (in my opinion) that Hall does here: 1) he tries to mash everything together, to ... well, have everything connect to everything else, so that all the contributions of different cultures feed into this ... one big overall 'thing'. This is insulting, though not so insulting as, say, Erich Von Daniken's claim that ancient cultures were too stupid to do stuff without the help of 'ancient astronauts.' 2) OMFG he is one of those people who think Shakespeare couldn't have written Shakespeare! If I had known this earlier, I might have thrown this volume against the wall.
1 vota tungsten_peerts | Mar 24, 2022 |
LAS ENSEÑANZAS SECRETAS DE TODOS LOS TIEMPOS

Esta enciclopedia magistral sobre la mitología antigua, los rituales, el simbolismo y los misterios arcanos de todos los tiempos -un clásico de la literatura mundial desde 1928 y, probablemente, el compendio de ciencia oculta más completo jamás escrito-, se pone por primera vez al alcance del lector español en una magnífica traducción.

Como ningún otro libro del siglo XX, Las enseñanzas secretas es un códice legendario sobre las antiguas tradiciones ocultas y esotéricas del mundo. Los centenares de temas que trata alumbran con una luz poco común algunos de los aspectos más fascinantes y mejor guardados de los mitos, las religiones y las filosofías que resuenan desde la antigüedad hasta el presente.
Un verdadero tesoro.

Abarca sociedades secretas como los masones y los rosacruces; materias como la alquimia, la criptología, la cábala, el tarot, la egiptología, la astrología o la filosofía pitagórica.

Cuenta con más de un centenar de dibujos, auténticos tesoros de la antigüedad, y un cuadernillo de dieciséis magníficas láminas a color.
  FundacionRosacruz | Apr 14, 2018 |
Manly P. Hall, adept, sage, philosopher, Freemason, and intellectual, has given the world this amazing encyclopedic overview of the world's most important esoteric traditions and philosophical schools of thought. The reading is not light, but the reader will come away enlightened if they put the time into truly comprehending Mr. Hall's words - that is to say the teachings of antiquity. Anyone who wants an introduction to esoteric traditions need look no further. "Secret Teachings" is widely regarded as one of, if not the best books on the subject matter. Whether you decide to read it cover to cover or pick and choose from the dozens of chapters/subjects; purchase this tome and you will not be disappointed. ( )
  awholtzapple | Jun 20, 2012 |
I'm still slowly reading through The Secret Teachings of All Ages, about halfway through this gargantuan compendium of all things arcane in the disciplines of religious mythology and mystical religions, with their always intriguing ancient rites, symbols, and of course, "secret teachings". The book, I'm discovering, is really more of a reference work than a book to pick up and read from start to finish, though finish it I happily will.

The lengthy introduction provides abstracts of just about every philosophic movement in history, and serves as an excellent refresher course for students of philosophy. Someday I'd like to itemize the founders and features of each philosophy with maybe an abstract of my own, for later reference, just for fun.

I can't say I believe much of what I'm reading in this book, however, at least regarding the history and veracity of the ancient gnostic's vast (and complexly convoluted) underworld network of behind-the-scenes movers and shakers in world politics, religion, and thought.

The core conception of The Secret Teachings of All Ages -- that an "Elect" few denizens of ancient secret societies have existed from time immemorial, and are still operating today, covertly shaping and re-shaping and preserving in the process, through the eons, the world's major movements (and advances) in mathematics, the sciences, philosophies, and religions -- I find dubious at best. Too conspiratorial for my taste, like The Da Vinci Code. Guess I'm just a Doubting Tomás.

Nevertheless, as a fan of good books like Foucault's Pendulum -- that contain their own unique compendium of secret societies -- I'm inevitably fascinated by and attracted toward what Manly P. Hall has termed "The Mysteries" that are veiled within the symbolism and creeds and esoterica of secret societies.

Manly P. Hall authored somehow, what in less skilled hands might have become a tedious and too-recondite reference work, a remarkably readable tome. In fact, The Secret Teachings of All Ages is not just plain readable, but pretty darned unputdownable. ( )
9 vota absurdeist | Feb 13, 2011 |
Fantastic reference book. ( )
  Sippara | Jun 18, 2009 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Manly P. Hallautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Drake, Henry L.Pròlegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Harris, Obadiah S.Prefaceautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Knapp, Augustus K.Il·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ybarra, NitaDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Preface to the Diamond Jubilee Edition:
On the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of this volume, it seems fitting to reflect on the circumstances that led to its wrirting.
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Wikipedia en anglès (4)

A classic since 1928, this masterly encyclopedia of ancient mythology, ritual, symbolism, and the arcane mysteries of the ages is available for the first time in a compact "reader's edition." Like no other book of the twentieth century, Manly P. Hall's legendary The Secret Teachings of All Ages is a codex to the ancient occult and esoteric traditions of the world. Students of hidden wisdom, ancient symbols, and arcane practices treasure Hall's magnum opus above all other works. While many thousands of copies have sold since its initial publication in 1928, The Secret Teachings of All Ages has previously been available only in oversized, expensive editions. For the first time, Hall's celebrated classic is now published in an affordable trade paperback volume. Literally hundreds of entries shine a rare light on some of the most fascinating and closely held aspects of myth, religion, and philosophy from throughout the centuries. More than one hundred line drawings and a sixteen-page color insert reproduce some of the finest illustrations of the original book, while reset and reformatted text makes this edition of The Secret Teachings of All Ages newly accessible to readers everywhere.

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