Tag Archives: Manly P. Hall

Atlantis

Atlantis: An Interpretation by Manly P Hall, a 1976 revised edition pamphlet from the Philosophical Research Society, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Manly P Hall Atlantis

“The most famous of all accounts describing the condition of Atlantis and the causes for its destruction are to be found in the Critias and Timaeus of Plato. Most modern books dealing with the problem of Atlantis are built upon Plato’s description. The integrity and learning of this great philosopher can not be easily assailed. Had it not been for the weight of Plato’s authority, the whole subject would have been discredited by modern archaeologists.

There is, however, in fairness to both sides of the controversy, a certain weakness in Plato’s story. The thoughtful reader is impressed immediately by the allegorical and symbolic parts of the account. While these do not detract from the possibility that an Atlantic continent actually existed, they do present the necessary elements for an alternative interpretation. The anti-Atlantists content that in the Critias Plato takes a flight into fiction, in the words of Plutarch, ‘manuring the little seed of the Atlantis myth which Solon had discovered in the Egyptian temples.’” — Introduction

The Occult Anatomy of Man & Occult Masonry

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Occult Anatomy of Man & Occult Masonry by Manly P Hall:

Manly P Hall The Occult Anatomy of Man

 

The first chapter of this “brochure” (as it calls itself) is a curious text, offering a soundly skeptical, mythicist take on Christian origins, while simultaneously asserting Lemurian and Atlantean sources for esoteric traditions! The next three chapters are organized according to the book’s pattern: brain/spirit, heart/emotions, and generative organs/physical sensation. In the chapter on “The Spinal Column” corresponding to the heart, there is also a discussion of clairvoyance and mediumship, and in the chapter on “The Infernal Worlds” Hall additionally provides an exposition of color symbolism. The final chapter of Occult Anatomy is on “embryology,” which offers readings of religious texts as perinatal allegories. It then continues with a thumbnail description of the seven-year cyclical climacteric pattern of individual human development.

Appended to The Occult Anatomy of Man is an essay on “Occult Masonry,” included with the intention to illustrate an application of the principles of occult anatomy. This “treatise” was written by Hall when he was himself not a Masonic initiate, and it contains some perceptive and inspiring items, alongside howlers about the grip of the lion’s paw, and perverse attempts to rehabilitate references to “riding the goat” and “the greased pole.”

Hall’s style is mostly a scattershot dumping of unsourced data along topical lines. His conclusions are not uniformly worthwhile, but the implicit questions to which they respond are ones that mystical aspirants and true initiates should ask themselves in order to advance their understanding. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Freemasonry of the Ancient Egyptians

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews Freemasonry of the Ancient Egyptians by Manly P Hall from the Philosophical Research Society:

Manly P Hall's Freemasonry of the Ancient Egyptians from the Philosophical Research Society

 

There are two sections to this volume, each of distinct significance. The first is Hall’s essay “Freemasonry of the Ancient Egyptians,” which is principally an analysis of the Osiris legend. Forgiving some references to Atlantean civilization, the analysis is sober and comprehensive, but the most worthwhile part is Hall’s own proposed interpretation, which constitutes the few final pages of the essay. The topic of Freemasonry only arises in this final passage, which uses Masonry as a more contemporary illustration of an initiatory institution, in order to clarify Hall’s remarks about the Egyptian priesthood. Interestingly, he fails to draw the obvious parallel between Osiris and H.A., and thus to re-integrate the allegory within Freemasonry proper.

The second part of the book is a publication of the “Crata Repoa,” an 18th Century manuscript purporting to detail the initiatory system of ancient Egypt. “Crata Repoa” first appeared anonymously in German in the late 18th century, drawing on a wide range of classical sources for its details. Some of those sources were sympathetic to the ancient mysteries, but others were certainly hostile. Given the strict laws of secrecy that surrounded the classical rites, we can only assume that the best-informed and most sympathetic accounts from antiquity were never disclosed. The English text published by Hall is based on John Yarker’s translation from the French of Anton Bailleul, who published his version in 1778.

“Crata Repoa” is presented as a rite divided into seven grades, plus an initial preparation, which suggests correspondences to the classical planets and/or the esoteric anatomy of the sat chakras. It was certainly first composed by someone with knowledge of Masonic initiation, and its sequence reflects features of certain Masonic rites, which it may have influenced in its turn. In addition to the text of “Crata Repoa,” Hall includes his own commentary in a grade-by-grade format, and he appends “The Initiation of Plato.” The latter piece is a scripted drama, clearly based on “Crata Repoa,” written by Charles and Auguste Beaumont, and translated by John Yarker.

The historical value of “Crata Repoa” with respect to the ancient schools of initiation is questionable at best. What it does present is a vivid, and perhaps influential, picture of initiatory ideals as contemplated during the period in which Masonic rituals were assuming their modern form in Europe. [via]

 

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

A Message for this Christmas

 

A message from Manly P. Hall, set to a nice video of a fireplace, suggested by nireiny. This isn’t your father’s Yule Log on the TV.

“There is something to do besides waste time. We have become the greatest time wasters of all history, because we have created a vast entertainment world, which is not very entertaining, in which we escape from responsibility into something that is little better than nothing. This idea of looking for entertainment to escape from self is not good. If we were more critical on these points, we would get better entertainment. We would have things we really want to see or places we really want to go. But, simply to go and work for a number of years, retire on social security, and consider ourselves to be fortunate when we don’t have to work anymore, is an illusion. It’s the most terrible illusion of all. We’re only happy when we’re doing something useful, something constructive, something that helps others or improves ourselves as useful citizens.”