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The Secret Teachings

A strange synchronicity: I was recalling just the other night how my interest in esoterica was ignited as a child when I discovered Manly P. Hall’s THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF ALL AGES in my local library. I remember opening this big old book, full of magickal and alchemical diagrams – literally like a scene from a movie, sweeping the dust off the cover. Only later in life did I learn that this heavy tome was one of the absolute classics of esoterica.

Funnily enough, the day after recalling this I coincidentally came across the website of Mitch Horowitz. In his job as executive editor for Tarcher/Penguin, Mitch has been involved with the production of a new, more compact and reasonably priced edition of Hall’s classic book (see Amazon US and UK for details on this “Reader’s Edition”). As such, on his website you’ll find a number of interesting articles, a couple of which deal with this seminal book and its enigmatic author. Well worth a look – I’m hoping to talk more to Mitch about this new edition soon, so stay tuned for more details.

  1. Esoterica
    Hi Greg. I really like the new format, and I am very glad you guys are back on your own. In line with the Manly P. Hall (also one of my fascinations) I wonder if you have ever spotlighted Vincent Bridges and Jay Weidner’s examination of Fulcanelli’s Mysteres des Cathedrales, called The Mysteries of the Great Cross of Hendaye? Fulcanelli was probably the last of the true alchemists. I had read pieces of Weidner and Bridges’ work on the sangraal website (also a really good link for TDG’ers) a couple of years ago, but am just now getting around to reading the whole book. Wow! I think you should read it. I can’t read anything else right now, for reasons that will be obvious to you if you read it.

    Keep up the good work.


    1. Alchemists
      So, how far does your interest in this subject take you? Do you believe that these people from the remote dark ages and beyond unlocked, or possessed knowledge of particle physics that escape us today? I know it’s exciting to believe that these shamans were turning lead into gold, or possessed the ability to whip up a potion of youth.
      Notice how the shamans of yesterday have disappeared today? It was easy to fool people with snake oil and fools gold then.
      However, if you’re looking to pass some time reading fantasy, alchemy is as good a read as the rest. 🙂


    2. Fulcanelli
      For some interesting material on the alchemist Fulcanelli, check out the memoir “Al-Kemi” by Andre vanden Broeck, who was, briefly, a student of RA Schwaller de Lubciz. De Lubciz seemed to have felt that Fulcanelli disclosed material about the cathedrals, or planned to, that was unintended for public view; Fulcanelli, according to the book, died a mysterious death not long thereafter. But don’t read “Al-Kemi” for its cloak-and-dagger aspect. The book — which includes an unlikely short foreword by novelist Saul Bellow — is one of the 20th century’s great unrecognized intellectual memoirs. It is among a handful of books that elevate a story of intellectual disciplehood to a complete work: one of suspense, literary elegance, and philsophical inquiry. It is something of a primer on Schwaller’s complex ideas, as well. — Mitch Horowitz (

  2. Did you know you were precognitient?
    You’ve just validated J.W. Dunne’s theory that everyone has the faculty for precognition (“Experiment with Time”, 1927). Most of us don’t realize we can see interesting bits of the future because we’ve been led to believe it’s a “psychic” or supernatural ability. It’s not. We all dream equally as many dreams about our future as we do about our past. And we can all develop the faculty in a waking state with practice.

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