Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Book of Splendours: The Inner Mysteries of Qabalism: Its Relationship to Freemasonry, Numerology and Tarot - Eliphas Levi


The Book of Splendours: The Inner Mysteries of Qabalism:  Its Relationship to Freemasonry, Numerology and Tarot

The Book of Splendours: The Inner Mysteries of Qabalism:
 Its Relationship to Freemasonry, Numerology and Tarot
by
Eliphas Levi


This is the first part of Eliphas Levis's last great discourse on the mysteries of occultism that was continued and concluded in `The Great Secret'. In it, Levi examines with great precision and insight the inner meanings of Qabalism and their relationship to the occult sciences.

Part One is a commentary on the Siphra Dzeniuta by Simeon Ben-Jechal, which includes an examination of the affinities between Qabalism and Freemasonry. Part Two pursues the correspondences between Qabalism, Numerology and the Tarot.

This edition includes an appendix by Papus (Dr. Gerard Encausse) summarizing Levi's doctrines and teachings and supplying some fascinating information on some of the master's many disciples"

This is not an easy book to review, perhaps because there are so many topics discussed. However, if your looking for practical exercises or a how to, you wont find it here. The book has a lovely section comparing the story of Krishna to Jesus. Also, the Masonic legends of Solomon, Hiram and the building of the temple are also truly wonderful. I'd recommend the book on these points alone.

The first part of the book deals with Judaism struggling to come to grips with a God of wrath. The conclusion is that the God of love slept while God's shadow did not. This does not work for me. From reading this book you discover that Levi's belief is that masonry is a truer Catholic Church. I wonder what he would think of masonry in its present form?

Personally, I don't recall reading much on the Tarot as stated in the review on the back cover of this book. This book is 191 pages long. The appendix by Papus starts at page 143. However, I did find this next quote in the appendix, which is a true diamond, "As long as love is only desire and pleasure, it is mortal. To become eternal it must become a sacrifice,"

Pages 127-142 contain `The elements of the Qabalah in ten lessons'. These are letters of Eliphas Levi to one of his students. I don't really remember much of what I read in these letters. I could say that the Qabalah is really deep and that I need to further digest these pages. I'd rather say that I got a lot more out of reading Mystical Qabalah -- by Dion Fortune.

On the whole I did not mind reading this book, as it gave me further insight into Eliphas Levi's work, while also discovering some nice gems.




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