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Member: paradoxosalpha

CollectionsYour library (3,025), Currently reading (6), To read (101), Favorites (30), Boxed (532), Borrowed (1), Read but unowned (177), Wishlist (185), All collections (3,381)

Reviews613 reviews

Tagsoccult (654), christianity (285), science fiction (260), thelema (217), medieval (197), antiquity (175), weird fiction (172), comics (172), au br (169), graphic novel (167) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

Recommendations169 recommendations

About meI am not an Atheist in your sense of the word: your doctrine is too coarse for any known blasphemy to shame it.
I am not an Atheist in your sense of the word: fancy a Priest let loose on Society!
As long as men and women shall bury their own perfect natures in fear, guilt, and shame--I am against Atheism, and for the Mysteries.
Every "rational enlightenment" has engendered new superstitions.

What if the Apocalypse has already happened?

The last board game I played was:

My Other Reader is a professional librarian. I was already an avid book collector before we met. In 2006 her principal gift to me at the Winter Solstice was a LibraryThing lifetime membership, where she had already entered over five hundred of my books. She has never become as active on the site as I have, a free account being sufficient for her own purposes.

My engagement with LibraryThing has developed gradually. At first, I was very focused on getting my actual collection cataloged. Only in later years did I start to use more of the social features beyond keeping a short list of friends and reading reviews. Now I'm very active in weekly group reads on The Weird Tradition group; and since summer of 2009, I have posted a review for every book I've read.


There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.

About my library"A fool may buy all the books in the world, and they will be in his library; but he will be able to read only those that he deserves to." --Vivekananda

Most volumes in my library are unlikely to circulate, and are more apt to crucify.

My copious reviews have been originally written for diverse audiences: scholars, occultists, freemasons, and thingamabrarians, among others. Have a response to one of my reviews? Please leave a comment below.

Some unusual tags defined:
au st and sb st indicate books whose authors and subjects (respectively) are saints of the Gnostic Catholic Church.
19c gd is the 19th-century manifestation of the Golden Dawn magical order, while neo-gd includes its putative successors and revivals in the 20th and 21st centuries.
While kabbalah is the Jewish mystical tradition beginning in the Middle Ages, cabala is its Christian esoteric derivatives from the Renaissance onward, and qabalah is the heuristic, non-doctrinal "hermetic qabalah" of 20th and 21st century occultists.

GroupsBook Organizers, Bookshelf of the Damned, Booze!, Chess, Chicagoans, Cthulhu Mythos, Erotica, Freemasonry, Happy Heathens, Let's Talk Religionshow all groups

Favorite authorsApuleius, James Branch Cabell, Italo Calvino, Mary J. Carruthers, Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, Henry Corbin, Aleister Crowley, John Crowley, Joscelyn Godwin, Robert Irwin, Anna Bonus Kingsford, R. A. Lafferty, Jean-Francois Lyotard, David Madsen, Ian McDonald, Friedrich Nietzsche, Marguerite Porete, Thomas Pynchon, Ishmael Reed, Algernon Charles Swinburne (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites | Visited

Favorite bookstoresAlchemy Arts, Amaranth Books, Chicago Rare Book Center, Comix Revolution, Myopic Books, Quest Book Shop, Quimby's Bookstore, Seminary Co-op Bookstore, Squeezebox Books & Music, The Gallery Bookstore, The Occult Bookstore

Favorite librariesHenry S. Olcott Memorial Library, J.R. Ritman Library - Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, Miskatonic University Library, Newberry Library, Ordo Templi Orientis U.S. Grand Lodge Library, University of Texas Libaries - Harry Ransom Center

Favorite publishersFeral House, Yale University Press, Zone Books


Also onBoardGameGeek, LiveJournal, YouTube

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameT Polyphilus


Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/paradoxosalpha (profile)
/catalog/paradoxosalpha (library)

Member sinceNov 17, 2006

Currently readingThe Book of the Law by (Aleister Crowley)
He Shall Thunder in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters
American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929 by John T. Soister
Matter and Memory by Henri Bergson
The Hungering God by Alan Bligh
show all (6)

Leave a comment


I'm cheered by your review of The Club Dumas, having recently been disappointed by i>The Shadow of the Wind. I'm thinking Perez-Reverte may more closely approximate my vague hope for these novels.

Now I just have to find time to actually read. Hmmph.
Not sure. The manager said he was out of stock on that issue and would have to order another one for me.
I have the first issue of TREES on order at my local comics shop - it should be in this Wednesday. 8)
Thanks for taking the time to read my review. It's somewhat unfair to make a comparison, as I've read significantly more of the LoEG series than I have of PLANETARY (and have therefore seen Moore and O'Neill have more chances to screw up), but I gotta say that I thus far like PLANETARY better. It's closer to the way I would deal with the whole Wold Newton/crossover concept (if I had talent as a fiction writer), and I just plain like John Cassaday's artwork better, at least for this kind of story. There's also something delightfully subversive about the way he makes both DC and Marvel's premier supergroups the bad guys here, and Ellis clearly knows how to tease out a narrative. Like I said, I'm in it for the long haul on this one.

The stuff I'm seeing on the net certainly makes TREES sound intriguing. I'll definitely have a look at it next time I'm in my local comics shop.
Thanks for the comments.

It's good to have the feedback of someone who has studied this stuff extensively.

I'm curious since I didn't see them listed in your library. Have you read either James Webb's "The Occult Underground" or "The Occult Establishment"?
I've recently been in contact with Michael M. Hughes' who wrote [Blackwater Lights].

In comments he's made about the as yet unpublished sequel, you might be interested in it. He claims to be something of specialist in occult history and is dramatizing the elite takeover of magic systems in the late 19th Century.

The info is the comments section at (Full disclosure, it's my blog.)
Comment on this image. Image comments only appear on your own profile page and the image page itself.
We're just now tackling our shelving needs so its interesting to go through pictures of other people who have a lot of books to see how ya'll shelve and organize them in your home. I'm embarrassed to say that we have so many books in boxes just trying to protect them from infant until they're properly shelved. The shelving in this picture is a great idea.
Van Morrison's song "Rave On, John Donne" came up on my iPod recently, and although I had heard it numerous times before, I just noticed this particular lyric for the very first time:

Rave on let a man come out of Ireland
Rave on on Mr. Yeats,
Rave on down through the Holy Rosey Cross
Rave on down through theosophy, and the Golden Dawn
Rave on through the writing of A Vision
Rave on, Rave on, Rave on, Rave on, Rave on, Rave on

Thought you might find that interesting. (The complete lyrics are here:
Thanks! Curiously enough, my Thingaversary is more pleasing than probably it should be, but then LT is curiously pleasing in a lot of ways.
Beautiful review of Viriconium! I look forward to reading it.
Thanks for your excellent revirw of Viriconium. Makes me want to revisit that strange landscape.
Yep. Invisibles has been on my TBR for some time now; you convinced me: it was a product of its time and genre, however great it was. It's now less of a priority and I won't feel as guilty for turning my attentions elsewhere. So I should be thanking you.
Great review on Invisibles 7!
Some other good paranoia stuff: Robert Kelly's The Scorpions; James Lasdun's The Horned Man; and Russell Greenan's It Happened in Boston?
Interesting that you note similarity between Doctor Sleep and Arabian Nightmare. Mysteries of Algiers and Waiting for the End of the World also have some similarities!
Thank you for your insightful and tempting piece on Crowley.
The Thorndike was $400, teetering on the edge of possibility and saving for later. Felt like I just got back from a blackout binge after I bought it . . . but when it came, it is was very nice. Good printing. Crisp pages.
Hey Para, I never did get you an advance reader copy of John's Gospel, the sequel to my Revelation book. Still interested? drop me an email with an address if I can send one ... I admit curiosity about what you'll say about it. ;)

Lee Harmon
Thank you for the correction on the Elric stories, paradoxosalpha. I appreciate it!
Yeah, I tend to work Monday, Thursday and Saturday nights. The rest of the time I'm a practicing starving artist.
Well, hey there again Para, I just read the chapter you recommended in the EP Thompson book. A refreshingly accurate review of Volney's Ruins of Empires. Though I must say, Blake seems a touch too mystical for my taste. His rejection of "enlightened self-interest" and the central role played by "the senses" in creating "ideas" (pp 202-203) are not minor points. If accepted, they represent a rejection of "natural law"--the idea that there is a universal moral standard in the "physical world" which human-created systems (governments, economies, religions, cultures, etc.) must respect. That said, I have to say I've always been drawn to the music of The Doors. I'd known Morrison got the name for the group from that Blake poem--if the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. But I never knew how Volney influenced Blake and thus through Blake, Morrison...a bit of a stretch to prove objectively of course, but still fun to any event many remerciements for the recommendation. I've added Witness Against the Beast to my library and look forward to reading the rest of the book!
Just back from holiday, Para, so I'm just catching up on some email. Many thanks for that info about Volney's influence on Blake! That's new news to me. Gonna order the book you recommended tout-de-suite!
I have just finished reading your review of Gamesmanship, a book which was also very important to me at an early age because it was in my parents' library. I read it many times over before its humour really dawned on me. Now I greatly enjoy it, for its own sake and because of the insight it gives me into my parents' turn of mind. "Construct a story that you are playing A. J. du C. Masterman. Or perhaps the name should be A.C. Swinburne ( your opponent will feel he has vaguely heard of this name ). Go on to say (if the game is golf) 'Do you mind if I practise using my Number One iron today?'--(no need to use it or even have one)" So many things going on here. Thank you for reinforcing my early pleasure.
Glad you liked the review. Wouldn't lean too heavily on the Machen comparison, but I'm sure Morgan is well aware of his work! He's obviously steeped in SF and fantasy culture, and his books are full of enjoyable references and parodies.
Nice to see a review of Birthgrave. Those early works of Tanith Lee have an escapist essence that gives me the same pleasure as playing one of the Elder Scrolls games, in particular, Morrowind. In fact there's an image on the cover of an early Daw edition of Anackire

that's remarkably close to dreugh in Morrwind.

I often wish Tanith Lee could have written the many little books that appear in The Elder Scrolls series. What a mod that would be.

Have you read the Blood Opera sequence by Lee? Dark Dance is my favorite work by her, although, if I think Silver Metal Lover is the single work that would appeal to the widest range of readers.

The patron saint of Paris is a zombie.
I got a lot from your review of Koestler, and I've had Narby on my "wonder if it's as good as it seems" pile for a couple years. Looking forward to your review of that one, and meantime need to play catch up in your curriculum!
:) Don't worry, it's several months away still. No, I haven't read Jezebel yet, I am so backlogged!
Not sure how a failure to address "psycho-spiritual properties and potency" in a historical-critical exposition can be considered a blind spot :) ... you'll note I also entirely ignored conservative Christian interpretations which, if the intent was to present a complete coverage of Revelation, must be considered a HUGE blind spot, lol. Anyway...

The second book discusses John's Gospel. This Gospel is, IMO, a retreat from the vengeful dreams of Revelation several years earlier, since they failed to materialize, to the more early eschatology of the original Jesus movement. "John" (or the Johannine community if you struggle to imagine that an original apostle wrote any of the Johannine writings) changes his mind and decides everything has been fulfilled, the new age is upon us. Realized eschatology.

As to the historical Jesus, my second book does come closer to that topic than my first. But really, they are about "what really happened" to cause such books to be developed; not about what really happened to Jesus. They are about Christian beliefs in Asia Minor. But I do find the topic of the historical Jesus quite fascinating; I enjoyed your essay, but I definitely disagree when you insist that Paul betrays no knowledge of a flesh-and-blood Jesus. Taking that stance requires some pretty careful twisting of passages. I'm on record as stating that I'm 99% sure that Jesus lived, and Paul's writings are important to my stance, but I have also read two great books that argue against my position, and gave them both five stars.
lol ... you got me on that one. I am knowingly overgenerous on rankings, for selfish reasons, hoping instead that the text of the reviews will speak for themselves. These books are nearly all free to me, remember, and often from common publishers. Gotta be diplomatic. Very rarely do I rank a book less than three stars.

Yet I'm still mystified by Librarything rankings on my Revelation book. Not a single rating over 3 stars, yet in all other forums, it received no ratings less than 3 stars! Sounds like an excuse, but I'm curious if the first reviewer here somehow set the tone. She was hoping for a more traditional interpretation, read ten pages, gave it one half star and ripped apart what she wrongly guessed it was about.

Authors are biased, of course; we pour out our souls and are easily mystified when others don't agree with what seems so obvious. How I wish I could have read my own book ten years before I wrote it! I would have ranked it six stars! Ha. Your review was particularly fascinating for me, because from my perspective, the historical and Biblical connections are so overwhelming that it's hard for me to think of Revelation as a "vision" at all. Since then, I've made more of a point to read wildly alternative interpretations, but I still shake my head at how differently different people think about the Bible. Religion is a kick!

Would you be interested in reviewing the sequel? It will be out in a few months.
Pathways is a slim volume, but it's piqued my interest in Sun-Ra. To date, Sun-Ra's been someone I sense I "should" like, but haven't been motivated to dive into. Free jazz and atonal music generally I have an affinity to in theory, but don't always gravitate to viscerally.

Soon-ish in my queue is another slim volume from the same series by Corbett. This one focuses on Sun-Ra's broadsheets while on the South Side. Maybe from there I'll find some albums. Have you any titles you'd recommend as a good start?
Intrigued by Crowley's essay "Thien Tao" and its parallels with Batesonian cybernetics, as referenced in your review of Mind and Nature. Would you recommend a particular source for Crowley's essay, either in terms of availability or editing? I've been meaning to read more, that sounds as good a place as any.
In reaction to your review of Language Truth and Logic, I would say that magicians should definitely read it. They should find it congenial, I would think. (I wouldn't advise anyone to tackle Crowley without having read LTL first, e.g.) Mystics should read it on the grounds that "You don't understand your own position until you understand the contrary position."
I just got around to your comment about Diana Vaughan on the Great God Pan thread. Wonderful stuff.
Yeah, it's my first. His work sounds very intriguing - looking forward to checking it out.
Looks like they have a copy of Cabell's THE SILVER STALLION at a local college library. I think I'm going to make it part of a TBR challenge I'm in for 2012.
Sho nuff. It appears to be reprints of whatever extant issues they had on hand, plus essays.
Glad to hear it! I got the fanciful history lesson at the Masonic tour in Detroit. I wanted to clear away the cobwebs but lacked a broom.
Alles klar.
Thanks for thumbing my review. I would have given a more nuanced appraisal of Sapir-Whorf, but I admit to not being that up to speed on linguistic relativity. I remember our TESOL lecturer being somewhat disdainful of Sapir-Whorf, and I also got the idea that it was 'disproved' from this review of Babel-17 by Jo Walton, which does a much better job of describing the book than I did, though Walton apparently also isn't as up to date on linguistic relativity.
Yes, and I'm binging right now. Any recommendations?
We aren't really competing . . . it's just how I keep my Ape of Thoth from monkeying in the important stuff.
No matter how many books I have, you have more, Brother! I feel like Lou Ferrigno to your Arnold Schwarzenegger in Pumping Iron.
Great review of River of Gods; I can't wait to read it.
I think we did meet at the Occult bookstore in Chicago. Sorry for the delay in replying, I go through spurts with Library Thing.
Heh. Thanks for clarifying.
"Absurdum est ut credam sed credo quia absurdus sum" is translated by Google Translate as "Absurd, but I believe in because it is absurd to believe that I am"

How about "Dare pondus idonea fumo"?
Just so there is no confusion...Daniel's biographer, erroneously thinking Belteshazzer was the son of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel's captor, imagined this dream hundreds of years later in order to provide a backdrop for Daniel to prophesy about events happening in his biographer's age. Daniel's apocalyptic dream interpretation is one more retelling of recent history with another dreamy ending that didn't materialize as expected. :)

Kudos to Daniel for being more original than Revelation, though!
Hmmm. As a dreamer and philosopher, you leave me in the dust. And yet, I'm not sure the romantic idea of apocalyptic literature as truly "visionary" is earned. Revelation's ideas are hardly unique for its time, and apocalyptic literature had become such a fad that I'm uncertain whether it can be considered more than a copycat bestseller. Most of Revelation's contemporary "visionary" literature has been exposed as the creative retelling of recent history, so why consider Revelation any exception to the rule? Because the second half of Revelation delves into a long-held Hebrew dream of political redemption? But this type of history-rewriting with a dreamy ending dates back to the time of Ezekiel. I think, in the end, I'm pretty content with my boring historical derivation. :)

I was right; this became a fascinating discussion. Again, thanks for more great reading suggestions!
Some great book recommendations, thank you!

We may be more in agreement than otherwise on the topic of myth. You say, "When I talk about the "myth" in Revelation, I don't mean its debt to ancient pagan religious literature, I mean the way it uses narrative and image to address a numinous core of human experience." I recognize this in more than the apocalyptic literature of the time, and you've made me curious to dig further into this side of Revelation.

I'm curious about your reference to the "vision state." I am obligated to point out that when one takes the effort to track down the literally hundreds of references within Revelation to Hebrew scripture, both in and out of the Bible, it becomes overwhelmingly clear that Revelation is a masterpiece exceedingly carefully constructed to relate the prophetic scene to the current day (John's day). While it's possible that John did indeed experience visions, his book is written with brow furrowed and open scripture in front of him.

You said, "While I share your curiosity about positive history, I don't think that's where we can find the value in a text like this one." Thankfully, we don't have to. It wasn't written to us, so we are able to focus on its literary genius. But first-century Christians surely saw the connection to the times, and that's the focus of my book. :) And actually, I suspect you agree. You don't mention the primary bad guy of Revelation (Nero Caesar) in your review, so I take it that connection goes without saying.

p.s., my book has no ratings below three stars on any other forums, the most common rating is still five stars, yet here on Librarything there's nothing above three stars! You LT readers are tough!
Fascinating review of my book, paradoxosalpha, though I'm of course disappointed in a two-star rating. Odd, this book has great ratings elsewhere but is really getting beat up on

At least you didn't read ten pages, conclude I must be a preterist, and condemn the book as unoriginal. :) That's the goofy review that started the ball rolling, here.

Did I really "skate over" the presentation of Revelation's mythical side? I actually thought I took pains to delve fairly into the astronomy and mythical aspects. Revelation is, on one level, an adaption of an ancient dragon myth to Christianity. I have not read D.H. Lawrence, being more interested in a historical-critical exposition than myth telling, but I take it you do not think the original readers related the "myth" of Revelation to the events going on around them? Do you also think they never related the "Christ myth" of the Gospels to a historical character earlier in the century? Or was first-century religion more of a mystery religion? This could be a very interesting discussion.

Thanks for reading!

Lee Harmon
Thanks for the condolences, ha ha. I was actually cataloguing some old books that I (unfortunately) received for review and didn't survive my attempts to read them.
yea Mud is not clear though
how do I do what you recommended ?
You may be right. There are a couple of such explanations like this. Creative re-understanding. Misunderstanding. Heavy metal culture. Pagans. Statistically I'm guessing it's one of the last two. A Marduk t-shirt goes a long way.

I wonder, however. I gather you have a lot more actual knowledge in such areas. But in places where religion is strong like that in the US, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see a more sincere interest in "oppositional" religion. I mean, what's the fun of being a satanist in Boston or San Francisco? Nobody would care about what it was you were inverting or rebelling against. And in a queer way you'd just be reinforcing what you opposed. I mean, if a kid in my childhood schools had become a satanist their parents would have been worried about it as a weird religion, not because it inverted religion, which they didn't believe in in the first place. Have you read Witchcraft at Salem? (The author argues that the Salem witch trials had some basis in fact--that witchcraft was practiced in Salem, as it demonstrably was in Europe at the time.)

But then I take my biases to such situations. For me the real destroyer of my faith, philosophy and even aesthetics is atheistic materialism, not divergent conceptions of the divine.
So what's your gut feel about such a Satanist claim?
Glad to hear that! VATHEK is an all-time favorite!
Thanks for finding my library interesting! Anyone who takes care to define hermetic qabalah is a sure-fire winner in my book...
Hi, paradoxalpha!

Tim suspended my account and barred me from replying to his last post in What's the point of God thread. We'll leave the justice of that foul deed to him and his deity. Here's what I meant to post:

"I was just trying to find out how petty vindictiveness feels. I don't know, doesn't do anything for me. Sure floats YOUR boat, eh?"

It will keep til Monday for most, but there are a few people who will enjoy the ironies NOW.

I have not made a serious study of Russell as yet. I would say that with his apparently complex geometric ideas, oriental motifs, and often obscure presentation he seems like a tough nut to crack. I know that there is a website put together by a couple of people who have been examining his work for a long time. Unfortunately I don’t know anything more about Russell’s time in Chicago that what I have read in published sources about him and about the Choronzon Club. I was initially put off concerning Russell by what I saw in Culling’s book about the G.B.G. (including the supposedly ancient ceramic plaque bearing the word “BABALON” in modern Roman alphabet characters).
Thanks - the book is truly enjoyable, you will not regret reading it. Good to see another with a sound assessment of The Last Battle.
I was musing over Balzac's Seraphita this weekend, wondering if it would be worth the effort. Your handy review makes me think it would.

Even Anthony and Jordan would be an improvement over Paul. At least Anthony and Jordan have some understanding of how fantasy works and more or less how to put togteher a story. Paul, quite simply, does not. Her fantasy is just a vehicle for the "message". Story, character, writing skill, and setting are all subordinated to that goal. The thing that is truly odd about this sort of obsession with message is that by subordinating all other elements of the book to that goal, the author undermines her ability to actually deliver the message. If Christian authors spent more time working on delivering interesting stories with engaging characters then their goal of conveying their "message" would actually be much better served.

And I normally do steer clear of Christian fiction, but the description of Dragons of the Valley didn't really give much indication that this was what it was. The Early Reviewer description (from what I recall) gave every indication that it was nothing more than a standard young adult fantasy novel. Although it did reveal that it was the second book in a series, it didn't reveal that it was the second book in a prequel series that would be incomprehensible if you hadn't read the original series. Like so many works of Christian fiction, it seems that stealth marketing is the only way they can get people to pick up their books.
Your review of Kripal's The Serpent's Gift is intriguing, and I've added it to my wishlist. There's always too much to read, so I'm pleased to have had your thoughts to chew on in the meantime.
Thank you for your note. Should you get around to the Marcus book at some point in the near future, I hope you enjoy it. I would definitely look forward to reading your thoughts regarding it.

Joscelyn Godwin's Theosophical Enlightenment sounds like it could be interesting...thanks for the recommendations.
Good luck on that book you are writing!
Thanks so much for your book recommendation. I will most certainly look into it.

I would like so much though to make an observation concerning your above judgements on atheists:

I have contemplated, listened and read about to the many complex debates of the existence or non-existence of God, Spirit, etc., and I feel there is at least one thing that I can absolutely be sure about: whether one believes in the Rational Enlightenment or the Mysteries of divinity has absolutely nothing to do with whether one buries oneself in fear, guilt, or shame. That sort of inflexible equation of atheists with fear, guilt or shame is called Stereotyping (which is a type of discrimination).

But because an atheist or believer is human and complex, she defies stereotype, and judging or stereotyping atheists on their lack of religion is as bad as judging or stereotyping somebody for their respective religion, race, or sexual choice. Stereotyping is not becoming of someone who claims to be against fear, shame and guilt.

Thanks again!
thanks for the heads-up, but I don't think I'll be checking them out any time soon. :)
Dream Harder is a good one: I tend to like the albums preceding it better than those following, but then my taste was shaped from having heard those first, as well. Mike Scott & the Waterboys vary in musical styles, but he's always had a touch of the poetical genius, tending toward the esoteric and sacred traditions. I'll follow him to the end.

Your comment made me realise I didn't write much of Winter's Tale itself. I read it in 2008, I think, before joining LT, but I hope to add something eventually.
The book you recommended seems to be the thing I need. Thank you!
I am reading the Elizabeth Peters series right now! It's highly entertaining.

I originally found your libary because of the Liturgical Sacramentary of the Apostolic Johannite Church. I see the books we cross on are very similar. Nice to see you on here.
We only have 106 in common, but, for me at least, that's more than any other collection.
Brother, how often do I see that when I add a book in only one other member's library, that member is you!
Many remerceiments for the precision and the link!
I've looked through abebooks and found multiple copies of Feuerbach's Essence of Religion and Essence of Christianity. Are these one and the same? Who is the publisher of the edition you have. Thanks again for the lead. AZB, TCW
Thanks for the tip. I haven't looked much into Volney's influence on German intellectuals so this is a new lead. This Feuerbach cat must have been some writer to influence both Marx and Nietzsche!
The cover is showing in my catalog and on the work page when I go there.

I love those books, too -- how to do magic without using the "m" word. :-) I'm surprised you don't have any Al G. Manning. Solid technique.
I see you are the only other person with a copy of Ultra-Psychonics. FYI, I just scanned and uploaded a cover for it.
Hey there PDA, I do agree it's a bit of a different approach, but am glad you liked it all the same. The internet versions of this letter have been corrupted by the scanning process. This version contains my edits and corrections, making it the only readable version on the internet.

In all events thanks for your feedback. Please accept my humble wishes that you pass an enjoyable Winter Solstice Season!
That's a reference I've never seen. Many remerciements for pointing it out. An interesting book title too--I'll check it out. Thanks again!
On Page 1, right after the Life of Volney biosketch, you will find Jefferson's translation of the Invocation: "Hail solitary ruins, holy sepulchres and silent walls! you I invoke; to you I address my prayer." This passes my so-called Acid Test or Point #4. Note that in the preceeding pages, denominated in Roman numerals, the publisher reprints three versions of the Invocation, thus to point out the elegance of what was then referred to as the "Paris Translation" or the "Barlow Translation"--this before Jefferson's involvement in the project came to light. The side-by-side comparison in the Publisher's Preface of these three translations of the Invocation can be a source of confusion. The key is: read the Invocation on Page 1. That is the translation by Thomas Jefferson. Many thanks for your comment which prompted me to more thoroughly describe the opening pages of this edition! AZB, TCW
Your red-cover 1950 Truth Seeker edition of Volney's "Ruins of Empires" very much IS a copy of the Jefferson-Barlow translation. I own twelve copies myself. Most come with a sturdy nylon wrapper and strong binding. I consider it one of the best Jefferson editions of the last century. And yes, after reading several references to Dupuis' "Origin of all Religion" in both Volney and Jefferson I finally hunted down a Dodo Press edition--what a great book and enjoyable read! Thanks for accepting my friends invitation and, by the way, All Zee Best, TCW
FYI vis a vis HPB, etc.
Archaic History of the Human Race as Recorded in The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky 1934 - Paperback (Oct 15, 2004) by H. P. Blavatsky and Gertrude W. Van Pelt; Amazon: Buy new: $16.95 $13.22
17 Used & new from $9.96
I apologize for not responding earlier - I didn't realize how long its been since I signed in. I first read the Sayers version in high school and Mandelbaum in college in the mid-80's. I can't say that I have a preferred version as I think I didn't grasp my first read (lack of maturity). I finally obtained a Longfellow and look forward to finishing it. Have you a preferred translator? 93
Well, the Cabell group is now set up, here: . Please join unless you don’t want to and spread the word if you know anyone else who might be interested.
I mean to add a photo of the author or a Cabell-related image, but so far have produced only error codes. Also, there is some sort of textual glitch that Forbids the used of the word ‘style’ in Group Descriptions (I know this sounds too weird to be true, but ‘tis so), and in the last paragraph of the Group Description where you see the words ‘forbidden forbidden’ please substitute ‘style.’
It'll be a while till I get to Smirt & co especially as I currently lack the first volume of the trilogy-- but I'll get there. The JBC Society (1965-1993?) called it self The Fellowship of the Silver Stallion for its first three years. I tend toward The Rabble myself but will go with the votes when I set it up. Either way I think we should make it '(NameName): James Branch Cabell' or some such, so that people searching 'Cabell' in groups would find it.
It's not very good. Of course it also depends on what other sources you have available for the Rudolfine court. But, as an example: he compares the liberal attitude of Prague under Rudolf II towards its jewish inhabitants to the expulsion of jews from Spain in 1492 - which is sort of valid I guess. But he then blames that expulsion on emperor Charles V - the guy hadn't even been born yet...
I get lost in your reviews! I have to exert some discipline and avoid the library proper until my chores are done. But just from the reviews, found several titles for my wish list. I really appreciate the time you've taken to post your notes here: can only assume they were written for yourself independently of LT.
Hello Tau Paradoxosalpha:

Thanks for your reply, and I appreciate your comments. An apostolic tradition of the transmission of gnosis does not seem so oxymoronic when one studies Pre-Nicean Christianity, prior to the ascendancy of the more prosaic, so-called orthodox Christianity. As I'm sure you are aware, analogues of this kind of transmission of gnosis is present in other traditions such as Kabbalah, Hermeticism, and the Hellenistic ancient mystery religions, which all rely upon a mentor-student relationship and certain initiatic rituals.

Now that you mention it, though, I have been a bit surprised by claims of apostolic succession by some Thelemite associates of mine. I have to ask a sincere question: Why would this be a point of concern or a mark of legitimacy to a bishop who traces his or her lineage of gnosis to non-Christian or pre-Christian sources (i.e., the teachings of Master To Mega Therion, Aiwass the Minister of Hoor-paar-kraat, Svecchachara etc. etc.)?

Personally, I feel the transmission of gnosis is more about opening one's consciousness to the true nature of reality and our alienated predicament, than the "laying on of hands." Consequently, I tend to take a fairly universal view of the matter, in which true gnosis may be manifest in any number of traditions, cultures and time periods; rising and falling continuously like the alchemical serpent as an interior, revelatory and salvific agency of Light.

Thanks once a gain for your comments!

Best regards,
Founder, Gnostic Society of San Antonio
(HOGD 2=9)
Hello Tau Paradoxosalpha:

I wish to express my appreciation for the information you provided on your website at entitled "Phylogeny of Modern Gnosticism." I am the founder and organizer of the Gnostic Society of San Antonio, Texas, a philosophical discussion group which examines the Gnostic Tradition in both its ancient and modern manifestations. We are an ecumenical group with Christian, Jewish, Sufi, Thelemic and Hermetic Gnostic members. Your "phylogenetic" diagram and comments concerning the interconnections and origins of the various modern Gnostic movements was extremely helpful in untangling this facinating story for us. Thank you for your contributions to this field of study.

Best regards,
Founder, Gnostic Society of San Antonio
(HOGD 2=9)
I can't quite agree with the high rating you gave Four Freedoms, but thanks for the exposition on Fourierism -- it explains a lot that puzzled me about the book.
Cold is the ogre which drives all beautiful things into hiding. Below the surface of a frost-bound (you know it well) garden there lurk hidden bulbs which are only biding their time to burst forth in a riot of laughing color (unless the gardner has planted them upsidedown)[you again] but shivering nature dare not put forth her flowers till the ogre has gone. Not otherwise does cold supress love. A man in an open cart on any spring night may continue to be in love, but love is not the emotion uppermost in his bosom. It shrinks within him and waits for better times.
hello again
the less paradoxosalpha,he.
maybe the fool will understand as many as he deserves to?!
Couldn't remember if I ever thanked you for the cover upload of Richard Tierney's "The Winds of Zarr". Anyway, thank you.
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