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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2000
I was wary of this book when I first purchased it, but to my delight it turned out to be the best introduction to the Hermes/Thoth literature available. Beyond the value of its clear and readable presentation of some of the oldest wisdom tracts in the Western World, the authors also briefly touch on the provinence of the works. Because the Hermes Corpus was declared a fraud in the 17th century, the heavy lifting required to point out that they are not is simply beyond the scope of this volume. But any reader who is intrigued by the material can go on and discover for themselves the story of Hermes and make their own judgement. I place the rediscovery of the Hermes Corpus on the same level as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi texts, so this fine introductory volume should be considered by anyone interested in ancient literature and spirituality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2002
The Hermetica at only 160 pages can be read in only one day if the reader chooses to rush through it. Mr. Freke and Mr. Gandy has a casual writing style that makes it possible to do so if the reader desires to just glean the surface of the contents. It's highly inadvisable. This is a book to own and meditate on the deeper meanings of its contents. The works of Hermes were collated in the city of Alexandria in Egypt during the second and third centuries CE. Alexandria was a cosmopolitan city and the citizens were known for their desire for knowledge. But the golden age of Alexandria ended when the Christian 'Holy' Roman Empire came into power and a millennium period came in known as the Dark Ages. The owners of the Hermetic books continually had to find a sanctuary where they could feel safe. One place was the city of Florence, which ended the Dark Ages and started the Renaissance. The main idea in Hermes' teaching is God as Cosmic Consciousness. Similar ideas seems to me to be in other mystic outlooks of other religions.
As a person who has an interest in all religions and spiritual writings and traditions this is a great little book. You can take this book and read just a few pages a day and ponder its meaning on different chapters. Over time, your understanding will increase and deepen. The only part I personally didn't care for is the astrological parts of the writings. This is inherent to the Hermetica and not the fault of Mr. Freke and Mr. Gandy. They are the interpreters. Due to my own personal tastes and beliefs I choose to ignore that part but it is still a beautiful way to explore the meaning of life. I also like to compare religions and I see many other mystical viewpoints in it and it helps expand my understanding of life. I highly recommend buying this book.
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on May 24, 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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on June 2, 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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on April 3, 2013
At first I was a little upset at the delivery. The text is not in the original format. But that can easily be found.
What we have here are the parts of the hermetic texts, organized in a nice fashion. As many are aware many of the texts of Hermes thrice greatest , have been lost. The authors , or organizers, here, present the texts, with relevance to each chapter, and from the fragments which we have left. Along with a intro, a little commentary and where to find the original texts at the beginning of each chapter.
I found this book to be quite a pleasure to read, and will surely read again. Nothing new, but the new perspective is refreshing.
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on December 31, 1999
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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on April 17, 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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