A French occultist and author examines the supposed enlightenment of ancient civilizations.
Saint-Yves d’Alveydre (L’Archéomètre, 1910, etc.) first published this work in French in 1884. As the modern-day translator team of Seraya and Haldane (The Sacred Ten, 2011, etc.) notes, this version is the first edition to appear in English. And so English-language readers are now privy to a dense account that seeks to prove that the Judeo-Christian tradition is not something relatively new but is actually the continuation of beliefs that reach far back into history and other cultures. The book begins with a discussion of the antagonism between science and faith. The author argues that a deep investigation of diverse religions will uncover an immense wealth of knowledge from the past. Religious traditions speak of scientific knowledge if only readers are willing to look hard enough. Among the items to be discovered are “gigantic Cyclopean walls,” the vast migration of the Kelts, and the idea that the soul is “experimentally demonstrable.” The author goes on to explain much about Earth long, long ago, including the existence of various races and an assortment of conflicts. The text is not always easy to follow. What exactly is meant by statements like “the Egyptian cyclic Revolution of the fixed Stars is exactly the twelfth part of that of the Kaldeans and the Chinese”? Even readers with a cursory knowledge of, say, Zoroastrianism will likely need to investigate the Code of Gentoo and the frequent footnotes about the Urantia Book. Rereading passages is not an option but a requirement. This is not to say the work is indecipherable. It is nothing short of enlightening to read an author from the late 19th century recognizing the building conflict between science and faith. The volume also offers rare insights into a past thinker’s ideas on the interconnectedness of religions. Readers may need more evidence to believe such findings as a 9-foot-tall giant who lived to be 120 years old, yet the idea that someone would seek to share this information with the world is incredibly beguiling.
While it’s a difficult read, this work sheds light on esoteric thinking and world history.