Saturday, 29 August 2020

the secret teachings of all ages

Having joined that Great Beyond on this day in 1990 (*1901) and perhaps finding out the accuracy of what he taught, Canadian-American mystic and prolific lecturer Manly Palmer Hall was best remembered for the eponymous ambitious and comprehensive survey and fusion of wisdom literature.
An encyclopaedic outline compiled and ultimately published in 1928—volumes sold per subscription prior to publication (which strikes one as exceedingly modern though such funding methods, cash-on-delivery, have a long past) and recruited top talent in all departments, including printers, the eminent illustrator J. Augustus Knapp and book designers once employed by the Vatican and great universities—as a concise and accessible digest of metaphysics that challenged one to examine symbols, convention and ritual though the lens not of a received religion but rather as a heuristic tool for probing universal truths. Travelling from his native Los Angeles to Europe and Asia, Hall acquired many rare books and manuscripts on esoterica as original sources and due to the success of his publication of The Secret Teachings of All Ages and some generous patrons (also not a new scheme) and in 1934 founded public trust called the Philosophical Research Society—still in operation, to further his studies, curate collections and host events and seminars on the occult and mythology.