Secret Teachings concealed within the Rituals, Allegories,
and Mysteries of all Ages
Manly P. Hall
PRINTED FOR MANLY P. HALL
BY H.S. CROCKER COMPANY, INCORPORATED
[1928, no renewal]
Scanned at sacred-texts.com, November, 2001. J. B. Hare, Redactor. This text is in the public domain because it was not renewed at the US Copyright Office in a timely fashion. These files may be used for any non-commercial purpose, provided this notice of attribution is left intact.
Note: all page numbers in the original were given as Roman numerals; these have been converted to Arabic numerals in this etext.
This Book is dedicated to the Rational Soul of the World
NUMEROUS volumes have been written as commentaries upon the secret systems of philosophy existing in the ancient world, but the ageless truths of life, like many of the earth's greatest thinkers, have usually been clothed in shabby garments. The present work is an attempt to supply a tome worthy of those seers and sages whose thoughts are the substance of its pages. To bring about this coalescence of Beauty and Truth has proved most costly, but I believe that the result will produce an effect upon the mind of the reader which will more than justify the expenditure.
Work upon the text of this volume was begun the first day of January, 1926, and has continued almost uninterruptedly for over two years. The greater part of the research work, however, was carried on prior to the writing of the manuscript. The collection of reference material was begun in 1921, and three years later the plans for the book took definite form. For the sake of clarity, all footnotes were eliminated, the various quotations and references to other authors being embodied in the text in their logical order. The bibliography is appended primarily to assist those interested in selecting for future study the most authoritative and important items dealing with philosophy and symbolism. To make readily accessible the abstruse information contained in the book, an elaborate topical cross index is included.
I make no claim for either the infallibility or the originality of any statement herein contained. I have studied the fragmentary writings of the ancients sufficiently to realize that dogmatic utterances concerning their tenets are worse than foolhardy. Traditionalism is the curse of modern philosophy, particularly that of the European schools. While many of the statements contained in this treatise may appear at first wildly fantastic, I have sincerely endeavored to refrain from haphazard metaphysical speculation, presenting the material as far as possible in the spirit rather than the letter of the original authors. By assuming responsibility only for the mistakes which may' appear herein, I hope to escape the accusation of plagiarism which has been directed against nearly every writer on the subject of mystical philosophy.
Having no particular ism of my own to promulgate, I have not attempted to twist the original writings to substantiate preconceived notions, nor have I distorted doctrines in any effort to reconcile the irreconcilable differences present in the various systems of religio-philosophic thought.
The entire theory of the book is diametrically opposed to the modern method of thinking, for it is concerned with subjects openly ridiculed by the sophists of the twentieth century. Its true purpose is to introduce the mind of the reader to a hypothesis of living wholly beyond the pale of materialistic theology, philosophy, or science. The mass of abstruse material between its covers is not susceptible to perfect organization, but so far as possible related topics have been grouped together.
Rich as the English language is in media of expression, it is curiously lacking in terms suitable to the conveyance of abstract philosophical premises. A certain intuitive grasp of the subtler meanings concealed within groups of inadequate words is necessary therefore to an understanding of the ancient Mystery Teachings.
Although the majority of the items in the bibliography are in my own library, I wish to acknowledge gratefully the assistance rendered by the Public Libraries of San Francisco and Los Angeles, the libraries of the Scottish Rite in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the libraries of the University of California in Berkeley and Los Angeles, the Mechanics' Library in San Francisco, and the Krotona Theosophical Library at Ojai, California. Special recognition for their help is also due to the following persons: Mrs. Max Heindel, Mrs. Alice Palmer Henderson, Mr. Ernest Dawson and staff, Mr. John Howell, Mr. Paul Elder, Mr. Phillip Watson Hackett, and Mr. John R. Ruckstell. Single books were lent by other persons and organizations, to whom thanks are also given.
The matter of translation was the greatest single task in the research work incident to the preparation of this volume. The necessary
German translations, which required nearly three years, were generously undertaken by Mr. Alfred Beri, who declined all remuneration for his labor. The Latin, Italian, French, and Spanish translations were made by Prof. Homer P. Earle. The Hebrew text was edited by Rabbi Jacob M. Alkow. Miscellaneous short translations and checking also were done by various individuals.
The editorial work was under the supervision of Dr. C. B. Rowlingson, through whose able efforts literary order was often brought out of literary chaos. Special recognition is also due the services rendered by Mr. Robert B. Tummonds, of the staff of H. S. Crocker Company, Inc., to whom were assigned the technical difficulties of fitting the text matter into its allotted space. For much of the literary charm of the work I am also indebted to Mr. M. M. Saxton, to whom the entire manuscript was first dictated and to whom was also entrusted the preparation of the index. The splendid efforts of Mr. J. Augustus Knapp, the illustrator, have resulted in a series of color plates which add materially to the beauty and completeness of the work. Q The printing of the book was in the hands of Mr. Frederick E. Keast, of H. S. Crocker Company, Inc., whose great personal interest in the volume has been manifested by an untiring effort to improve the quality thereof Through the gracious cooperation of Dr. John Henry Nash, the foremost designer of printing on the American Continent, the book appears in a unique and appropriate form, embodying the finest elements of the printer's craft. An increase in the number of plates and also a finer quality of workmanship than was first contemplated have been made possible by Mr. C. E. Benson, of the Los Angeles Engraving Company, who entered heart and soul into the production of this volume.
The pre-publication sale of this book has been without known precedent in book history. The subscription list for the first edition of 550 copies was entirely closed a year before the manuscript was placed in the printer's hands. The second, or King Solomon, edition, consisting of 550 copies, and the third, or Theosophical, edition, consisting of 200 copies, were sold before the finished volume was received from the printer. For so ambitious a production, this constitutes a unique achievement. The credit for this extraordinary sales program belongs to Mrs. Maud F. Galigher, who had as her ideal not to sell the book in the commercial sense of the word but to place it in the hands of those particularly interested in the subject matter it contains. Valuable assistance in this respect was also rendered by numerous friends who had attended my lectures and who without compensation undertook and successfully accomplished the distribution of the book.
In conclusion, the author wishes to acknowledge gratefully his indebtedness to each one of the hundreds of subscribers through whose advance payments the publication of this folio was made possible. To undertake the enormous expense involved was entirely beyond his individual means and those who invested in the volume had no assurance of its production and no security other than their faith in the integrity of the writer.
I sincerely hope that each reader will profit from the perusal of this book, even as I have profited from the writing of it. The years of labor and thought expended upon it have meant much to me. The research work discovered to me many great truths; the writing of it discovered to me the laws of order and patience; the printing of it discovered to me new wonders of the arts and crafts; and the whole enterprise has discovered to me a multitude of friends whom otherwise I might never have known. And so, in the words of John Bunyan:
It down, until at last it came to be,
For length and breadth, the bigness which you see.
MANLY P. HALL.
Los Angeles, California
Table of Contents
ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT
THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES AND SECRET SOCIETIES WHICH HAVE INFLUENCED MODERN MASONIC SYMBOLISM
Ancient systems of education--Celsus concerning the Christians--Knowledge necessary to right living--The Druidic Mysteries of Britain and Gaul--The Rites of Mithras--The Mithraic and Christian Mysteries contrasted.
THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES AND SECRET SOCIETIES, PART II
The Gnostic Mysteries--Simon Magus and Basilides--Abraxas, the Gnostic concept of Deity--The Mysteries of Serapis--Labyrinth symbolism--The Odinic, or Gothic, Mysteries.
THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES AND SECRET SOCIETIES, PART III
The Eleusinian Mysteries--The Lesser Rites--The Greater Rites--The Orphic Mysteries--The Bacchic Mysteries--The Dionysiac Mysteries.
ATLANTIS AND THE GODS OF ANTIQUITY
Plato's Atlantis in the light of modern science-The Myth of the Dying God-The Rite of Tammuz and Ishtar--The Mysteries of Atys and Adonis-The Rites of Sabazius--The Cabiric Mysteries of Samothrace.
THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF THOTH HERMES TRISMEGISTUS
Suppositions concerning identity of Hermes--The mutilated Hermetic fragments--The Book of Thoth--Poimandres, the Vision of Hermes--The Mystery of Universal Mind--The Seven Governors of the World.
THE INITIATION OF THE PYRAMID
The opening of the Great Pyramid by Caliph at Mamoun--The passageways and chambers of the Great Pyramid--The riddle of the Sphinx--The Pyramid Mysteries--The secret of the Pyramid coffer-The dwelling place of the Hidden God.
ISIS, THE VIRGIN OF THE WORLD
The birthdays of the gods--The murder of Osiris--The Hermetic Isis--The symbols peculiar to Isis--The Troubadours--The mummification of the dead.
THE SUN, A UNIVERSAL DEITY
The Solar Trinity-Christianity and the Sun--The birthday of the Sun--The three Suns--The celestial inhabitants of the Sun--The midnight Sun.
THE ZODIAC AND ITS SIGNS
Primitive astronomical instruments--The equinoxes and solstices--The astrological ages of the world--The circular zodiac of Tentyra--An interpretation of the zodiacal signs--The horoscope of the world.
THE BEMBINE TABLE OF ISIS
Plato's initiation in the Great Pyramid--The history of the Bembine Table--Platonic theory of ideas--The interplay of the three philosophical zodiacs--The Chaldean philosophy of triads--The Orphic Egg.
WONDERS OF ANTIQUITY
The ever-burning lamps--The oracle of Delphi--The Dodonean oracle--The oracle of Trophonius--The initiated architects--The Seven Wonders of the world.
THE LIFE AND PHILOSOPHY OF PYTHAGORAS
Pythagoras and the School of Crotona--Pythagoric fundamentals--The symmetrical solids--The symbolic aphorisms of Pythagoras--Pythagorean astronomy--Kepler's theory of the universe.
The theory of numbers--The numerical values of letters--Method of securing the numerical Power of words--An introduction to the Pythagorean theory of numbers--The sieve of Eratosthenes--The meanings of the ten numbers.
THE HUMAN BODY IN SYMBOLISM
The philosophical manikin--The three universal centers--The temples of initiation--The hand in symbolism--The greater and lesser man--The Anthropos, or Oversoul.
THE HIRAMIC LEGEND
The building of Solomon's Temple--The murder of CHiram Abiff--The martyrdom of Jacques de Molay--The spirit fire and the pineal gland--The wanderings of the astronomical CHiram--Cleopatra's Needle and Masons' marks.
THE PYTHAGOREAN THEORY OF MUSIC AND COLOR
Pythagoras and the diatonic scale--Therapeutic music--The music of the spheres--The use of color in symbolism--The colors of the spectrum and the musical scale--Zodiacal and planetary colors.
FISHES, INSECTS, ANIMALS, REPTILES, AND BIRDS
Jonah and the whale--The fish the symbol of Christ--The Egyptian scarab--Jupiter's fly--The serpent of wisdom--The sacred crocodile.
FISHES, INSECTS, ANIMALS, REPTILES, AND BIRDS, PART II
The dove, the yonic emblem--The self-renewing phœnix--The Great Seal of the United States of America--Bast, the cat goddess of the Ptolemies--Apis, the sacred bull--The monoceros, or unicorn.
FLOWERS, PLANTS, FRUITS, AND TREES
The flower, a phallic symbol--The lotus blossom--The Scandinavian World Tree, Yggdrasil--The sprig of acacia--The juice of the grape--The magical powers of the mandrake.
STONES, METALS, AND GEMS
Prehistoric monuments--The tablets of the Law--The Holy Grail--The ages of the world--Talismanic jewels--Zodiacal and planetary stones and gems.
CEREMONIAL MAGIC AND SORCERY
The black magic of Egypt--Doctor Johannes Faustus--The Mephistopheles of the Grimores--The invocation of spirits--Pacts with demons--The symbolism of the pentagram.
THE ELEMENTS AND THEIR INHABITANTS.
The Paracelsian theory of submundanes--The orders of elemental beings--The Gnomes, Undines, Salamanders, and Sylphs--Demonology--The incubus and succubus--Vampirism.
HERMETIC PHARMACOLOGY, CHEMISTRY, AND THERAPEUTICS
The healing methods of Paracelsus--Palingenesis--Hermetic theories concerning the cause of disease--Medicinal properties of herbs--The use of drugs in the Mysteries--The sect of the Assassins.
THE QABBALAH, THE SECRET DOCTRINE OF ISRAEL
The written and unwritten laws--The origin of the Qabbalistic writings--Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai--The great Qabbalistic books--The divisions of the Qabbalistic system--The Sepher Yetzirah.
FUNDAMENTALS OF QABBALISTIC COSMOGONY AIN SOPH
and the Cosmic Egg--The Qabbalistic system of worlds--The Qabbalistic interpretation of Ezekiel's vision--The great image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream--The Grand Man of the universe--The fifty gates of life.
THE TREE OF THE SEPHIROTH
The thirty-two paths of wisdom--The Greater and the Lesser Face--Kircher's Sephirothic Tree--The mystery of Daath--The three pillars supporting the Sephirothic Tree--The four letters of the Sacred Name.
QABBALISTIC KEYS TO THE CREATION OF MAN
Gematria, Notarikon, and Temurah--The Elohim--The four Adams--Arabian traditions concerning Adam--Adam as the archetype of mankind--The early Christian Church on the subject of marriage.
AN ANALYSIS OF THE TAROT CARDS
The origin of playing cards--The rota mundi of the Rosicrucians--The problem of Tarot symbolism--The unnumbered card--The symbolism of the twenty-one major trumps--The suit cards.
THE TABERNACLE IN THE WILDERNESS
Moses, the Egyptian initiate--The building of the Tabernacle--The furnishings of the Tabernacle--The Ark of the Covenant--The Robes of Glory--The Urim and Thummim.
THE FRATERNITY OF THE ROSE CROSS
The life of Father C.R.C.--Johann Valentin Andreæ--The alchemical teachings of the Rosicrucians--Significance of the Rose Cross--The Rosicrucian Temple--The adepts of the Rose Cross.
ROSICRUCIAN DOCTRINES AND TENETS
The Confessio Fraternitatis--The Anatomy of Melancholy--John Heydon on Rosicrucianism--The three mountains of the wise--The philosophical egg--The objects of the Rosicrucian Order.
FIFTEEN ROSICRUCIAN AND QABBALISTIC DIAGRAMS
Schamayim, the Ocean of Spirit--The Seven Days of Creation--The symbolic tomb of Christian Rosencreutz--The regions of the elements--The New Jerusalem--The grand secret of Nature.
ALCHEMY AND ITS EXPONENTS
The multiplication of metals--The medal of Emperor Leopold I--Paracelsus of Hohenheim--Raymond Lully--Nicholas Flarnmel--Count Bernard of Treviso.
THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF ALCHEMY
The origin of alchemical philosophy--Alexander the Great and the talking trees--Nature and art--Alchemical symbolism--The Song of Solomon--The Philosopher's Gold.
THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF ALCHEMY, PART II
The alchemical prayer--The Emerald Tablet of Hermes--A letter from the Brothers of R.C.--The magical Mountain of the Moon--An alchemical formula--The dew of the sages.
THE CHEMICAL MARRIAGE
Christian Rosencreutz is invited to the Chemical Wedding--The Virgo Lucifera--The philosophical Inquisition--The Tower of Olympus--The homunculi--The Knights of the Golden Stone.
BACON, SHAKSPEARE, AND THE ROSICRUCIANS
The Rosicrucian mask--Life of William Shakspere--Sir Francis Bacon--The acrostic signatures--The significant number thirty-three--The philosophic death.
THE CRYPTOGRAM AS A FACTOR IN SYMBOLIC PHILOSOPHY
Secret alphabets--The biliteral cipher--Pictorial ciphers--Acroamatic ciphers--Numerical and musical ciphers--Code ciphers.
The pillars raised by the sons of Seth--Enoch and the Royal Arches--The Dionysiac Architects--The Roman Collegia--Solomon, the personification of Universal Wisdom--Freemasonry's priceless heritage.
St. Iranæus on the life of Christ--The original name of Jesus--The Christened man--The Essenes--The Arthurian cycle--Merlin the Mage.
THE CROSS AND THE CRUCIFIXION
The Aurea Legenda--The lost libraries of Alexandria--The cross in pagan symbolism--The crucifixion, a cosmic allegory--The crucifixion of Quetzalcoatl--The nails of the Passion.
THE MYSTERY OF THE APOCALYPSE
The sacred city of Ephesus--The authorship of the Apocalypse--The Alpha and Omega--The Lamb of God-The Four Horsemen-The number of the beast.
THE FAITH OF ISLAM
The life of Mohammed--The revelation of the Koran--The valedictory pilgrimage--The tomb of the Prophet--The Caaba at Mecca--The secret doctrine of Islam.
AMERICAN INDIAN SYMBOLISM
The ceremony of the peace pipe--The historical Hiawatha--The Popol Vuh--American Indian sorcery--The Mysteries of Xibalba--The Midewiwin.
THE MYSTERIES AND THEIR EMISSARIES
The Golden Chain of Homer--Hypatia, the Alexandrian Neo-Platonist--The "divine" Cagliostro--The Comte de St.-Germain--The designing of the American flag--The Declaration of Independence.
PHILOSOPHY is the science of estimating values. The superiority of any state or substance over another is determined by philosophy. By assigning a position of primary importance to what remains when all that is secondary has been removed, philosophy thus becomes the true index of priority or emphasis in the realm of speculative thought. The mission of philosophy a priori is to establish the relation of manifested things to their invisible ultimate cause or nature.
"Philosophy," writes Sir William Hamilton, "has been defined [as]: The science of things divine and human, and of the causes in which they are contained [Cicero]; The science of effects by their causes [Hobbes]; The science of sufficient reasons [Leibnitz]; The science of things possible, inasmuch as they are possible [Wolf]; The science of things evidently deduced from first principles [Descartes]; The science of truths, sensible and abstract [de Condillac]; The application of reason to its legitimate objects [Tennemann]; The science of the relations of all knowledge to the necessary ends of human reason [Kant];The science of the original form of the ego or mental self [Krug]; The science of sciences [Fichte]; The science of the absolute [von Schelling]; The science of the absolute indifference of the ideal and real [von Schelling]--or, The identity of identity and non-identity [Hegel]." (See Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic.)
The six headings under which the disciplines of philosophy are commonly classified are: metaphysics, which deals with such abstract subjects as cosmology, theology, and the nature of being; logic, which deals with the laws governing rational thinking, or, as it has been called, "the doctrine of fallacies"; ethics, which is the science of morality, individual responsibility, and character--concerned chiefly with an effort to determine the nature of good; psychology, which is devoted to investigation and classification of those forms of phenomena referable to a mental origin; epistemology, which is the science concerned primarily with the nature of knowledge itself and the question of whether it may exist in an absolute form; and æsthetics, which is the science of the nature of and the reactions awakened by the beautiful, the harmonious, the elegant, and the noble.
Plato regarded philosophy as the greatest good ever imparted by Divinity to man. In the twentieth century, however, it has become a ponderous and complicated structure of arbitrary and irreconcilable notions--yet each substantiated by almost incontestible logic. The lofty theorems of the old Academy which Iamblichus likened to the nectar and ambrosia of the gods have been so adulterated by opinion--which Heraclitus declared to be a falling sickness of the mind--that the heavenly mead would now be quite unrecognizable to this great Neo-Platonist. Convincing evidence of the increasing superficiality of modern scientific and philosophic thought is its persistent drift towards materialism. When the great astronomer Laplace was asked by Napoleon why he had not mentioned God in his Traité de la Mécanique Céleste, the mathematician naively replied: "Sire, I had no need for that hypothesis!"
In his treatise on Atheism, Sir Francis Bacon tersely summarizes the situation thus: "A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion." The Metaphysics of Aristotle opens with these words: "All men naturally desire to know." To satisfy this common urge the unfolding human intellect has explored the extremities of imaginable space without and the extremities of imaginable self within, seeking to estimate the relationship between the one and the all; the effect and the cause; Nature and the groundwork of Nature; the mind and the source of the mind; the spirit and the substance of the spirit; the illusion and the reality.
An ancient philosopher once said: "He who has not even a knowledge of common things is a brute among men. He who has an accurate knowledge of human concerns alone is a man among brutes. But he who knows all that can be known by intellectual energy, is a God among men." Man's status in the natural world is determined, therefore, by the quality of his thinking. He whose mind is enslaved to his bestial instincts is philosophically not superior to the brute-, he whose rational faculties ponder human affairs is a man; and he whose intellect is elevated to the consideration of divine realities is already a demigod, for his being partakes of the luminosity with which his reason has brought him into proximity. In his encomium of "the science of sciences" Cicero is led to exclaim: "O philosophy, life's guide! O searcher--out of virtue and expeller of vices! What could we and every age of men have been without thee? Thou hast produced cities; thou hast called men scattered about into the social enjoyment of life."
In this age the word philosophy has little meaning unless accompanied by some other qualifying term. The body of philosophy has been broken up into numerous isms more or less antagonistic, which have become so concerned with the effort to disprove each other's fallacies that the sublimer issues of divine order and human destiny have suffered deplorable neglect. The ideal function of philosophy is to serve as the stabilizing influence in human thought. By virtue of its intrinsic nature it should prevent man from ever establishing unreasonable codes of life. Philosophers themselves, however, have frustrated the ends of philosophy by exceeding in their woolgathering those untrained minds whom they are supposed to lead in the straight and narrow path of rational thinking. To list and classify any but the more important of the now recognized schools of philosophy is beyond the space limitations of this volume. The vast area of speculation covered by philosophy will be appreciated best after a brief consideration of a few of the outstanding systems of philosophic discipline which have swayed the world of thought during the last twenty-six centuries. The Greek school of philosophy had its inception with the seven immortalized thinkers upon whom was first conferred the appellation of Sophos, "the wise." According to Diogenes Laertius, these were Thales, Solon, Chilon, Pittacus, Bias, Cleobulus, and Periander. Water was conceived by Thales to be the primal principle or element, upon which the earth floated like a ship, and earthquakes were the result of disturbances in this universal sea. Since Thales was an Ionian, the school perpetuating his tenets became known as the Ionic. He died in 546 B.C., and was succeeded by Anaximander, who in turn was followed by Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, and Archelaus, with whom the Ionic school ended. Anaximander, differing from his master Thales, declared measureless and indefinable infinity to be the principle from which all things were generated. Anaximenes asserted air to be the first element of the universe; that souls and even the Deity itself were composed of it.