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am 19. Juni 2000
Unfortunately this is a terribly pointless book that splices questionable "translations" of arbitrary excerpts from the corpus hermeticum together to make up a whole new series of poems. The relationship between these poems to the original ideas is left unclear, and you must basically rely on the understanding and synthesis of the ideas by the authors. Given any book and one can splice random segments together to say just about anything, and the qualifications of the authors seem unclear at best. What is unfortunately clear is that they mostly want to sell the book to silly new agers, not to anyone who may have a serious interest in the original ideas and their sources, which are an interesting multi-cultural mishmash of late pagan neoplatonism, Christianity and yes, local but very degenerated Egyptian folk ideas. The arguments about the relationship to very ancient Egyptian ideas is totally feeble, and has no basis is fact. What is clear is there are no sources in the actual (and extensive) ancient Egyptian texts that have survived that give any credence to the hypothesis that real corpus hermeticum is some kind of faithful transmission of ancient Egyptian ideas (especially not from the time of the old kingdom) much less this hopelessly re-edited mishmash. If you want to learn about real ancient Egyptian religious ideas about the cosmos there are plenty of translations of the real thing. If you are interested in the origin of hermetic ideas you would be better off buying another book, either a real translation, or any honest book on the subject.
The shallowness of this book is for me summarized by the silly meaningless hieroglyphics that are included along side of the text, presumably to convince somebody that the poems are a kind of translation of the ancient Egyptian (for example, they stop just where the text of the poems stop). Of course the hieroglyphics are just a decoration, with the same meaningless series of signs repeated over and over again. They haven't even tried to reproduce the actual appearance of real hieroglyphics. The whole book smacks of a deliberate manipulation in favor of something that might sell well to shallow new agers. This books should be called not "The Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs" but "The Wisdom of Freke and Gandy", something which clearly has questionable value. They get no points from me for their poem since they so deliberately obscure the actual sources of their composition (not translation!).
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am 21. Juni 2000
Speaking from the perspective of a fundamentalist Christian, this book has a lot of very revealing information concerning one of the most influential collections of literature on early Christian philosophers such as Clement of Alexandria and Origen. It's just one more reason that Christians should avoid philosophy altogether (Col. 2:9). Even so, it's well worth the time to read it. Did the idea of being "born again now" have its origin, in part, in the Hermetica? Possibly. Did the idea of mystic contemplation of the unknowable god, in contradistinction to Jer. 9:23-24, have its origin, in part, in the Hermetica? Again, possibly. This book is a good place to begin such investigative studies.
This book gives only an overview of the material contained in the Hermetica. For more advanced studies, I would recommend "The Egyptian Hermes" by Garth Fowden and "Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition" by Frances Yates. What's annoying is that a bibliography is given at the end of the book, but there are NO FOOTNOTES in the text. Comments such as "The pyramid texts of Saqquara...are over 5000 years old and yet contain doctrines that are identical to those expounded in the Hermetica [which were composed, most likely from pre-existing material, in the 2nd and/or 3rd cent. AD]" may or may not be found in the texts in the bibliography. There's no easy way to tell, other than purchasing and reading the listed titles. It's even more annoying that one of the books in the bibliography is badly misrepresented. The author's name is Lucie Lamy, not Lucy Lamy, and the title is "Egyptian Mysteries: New Light on Ancient Knowledge" not "The Mysteries of Ancient Egypt." This is the one that the aforementioned comment most likely came from, but it took me several weeks to realize the authors' mistake.
Okay, I'm done griping now. Enjoy the read. :-)
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am 3. Juni 2000
"...I, Thrice-Great Hermes, the first of men to attain All-Knowledge, have inscribed the secrets of the gods, in sacred symbols and holy heiroglyphs, on these stone tablets, which I have concealed for a future world that may seek our sacred wisdom."
Fast-forward 5000 years, to that 'future world'. These sacred writings, among many others, have been returned to us, presented in a poetic manner which invites revisiting again and again. The teachings of Hermes, although ancient, reveal a Divine Order beneath the noise and bustle of our present world.
Get quiet. Put some Space music on. Tuck in to this little book, and let it work on your mind and heart and Awaken you, too.
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am 1. Januar 2000
The book is very easy to read and follow: which is the intention of the authors. The chapters are excellently introduced and short. I liked also the authors arguments that the Hermetica is an ancient Egyptian wisdom, and NOT Greek. Hermes is a Greek god equated to Tehuti: Tehuti (Egyptian) is the author of the "Hermetica", who is also called Thoth, or Hermes. The focus of the book is on the origin of existence and its intricacies. A good summarized book on Hermetic wisdom.
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am 17. April 2000
The Introduction is a fantastic review of Hermes/Thoth, the library at Alexandria and the struggle to keep this valuable knowledge preserved. The main text is very easy to read and has a larger print to assist. Each chapter is fascinating and the sources for each chapter of the text are provided as is a 'further reading' list. For the knowledge within this text, the price of the book is insignificant, indeed! Can't recommend enough.
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am 24. Mai 2000
I found this an interesting book. It begins with a history of the Hermetica, which is an ancient Egyptian religious/philosophical work, which gives an insight into the nature of God Man and the Universe. The analogies are very easy to follow and understand and give a new insight into what it's all about, and often fills many blanks left by other religions. The history also relates how the Greeks adopted the teachings and how during the last several thousand years the work has resurfaced from obscurity many times and each time caused a renaissance and advancement of mankind.
The original Hermetica is then presented in a condensed form which is designed to be easily read and accessable. This is a good method as it gives the reader the main ideas and if they like this form of philosophy they can then read the entire book Corpus Hermetica which is the whole teaching.
Despite being Egyptian texts, they predate the Isis/Osiris religion and are monothesist. It is surprising that few people are aware of the Corpus Hermetica which also predates the bible and old testament. Many ideas in more than one religion can be attributed to having roots in Hermetica. It is only beaten into first place as the oldest religious texts by the epic of Gilgamesh. Whilst many occult groups are referred to as being Hermetic, this does no justice to Hermetic thought which is easily compatable with most religions.
5 stars for making Corpus Hermetica easily accessable to the reader.
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