William Wynn Westcott - An Introduction To The Study Of The Kabalah (148.0 Kb)
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Kabbalah - which can be spelled with a K, C or Q -- is an ancient form of Jewish mysticism, which was formalized at the end of the 12th Century. Having turned Biblical truth and history into occult myths and suggestions, it has evolved through the centuries - blending with gnosticism, theosophy and other occult mysteries -- usually behind closed doors and in secret societies. Students of literature, philosophy and religion who have any sympathy with the Occult Sciences may well pay some attention to the Kabalah of the Hebre... More >>>
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Kabbalah - which can be spelled with a K, C or Q -- is an ancient form of Jewish mysticism, which was formalized at the end of the 12th Century. Having turned Biblical truth and history into occult myths and suggestions, it has evolved through the centuries - blending with gnosticism, theosophy and other occult mysteries -- usually behind closed doors and in secret societies.
Students of literature, philosophy and religion who have any sympathy with the Occult Sciences may well pay some attention to the Kabalah of the Hebrew Rabbis of olden times for whatever faith may be held by the enquirer he will gain not only knowledge, but also will broaden his views of life and destiny, by comparing other forms of religion with the faith and doctrines in which he has been nurtured, or which he has adopted after reaching full age and powers of discretion.
Being fully persuaded of the good to be thus derived, I desire to call attention to the dogmas of the old Hebrew Kabalah. I had the good fortune to be attracted to this somewhat recondite study, at an early period of life, and I have been able to spare a little time in subsequent years to collect some knowledge of this Hebrew religious philosophy my information upon the subject has been enlarged by my membership of The Rosicrucian Society. Yet the Kabalistic books are so numerous and so lengthy, and so many of them only to be studied in Rabbinic Hebrew and Chaldee that I feel to-day less confident of my knowledge of the Kabalah than I did twenty years ago, when this essay was
first published, after delivery in the form of lectures to a Society of Hermetic Students in 1888. Since that date a French translation of "The Zohar," by Jean de Pauly, and a work entitled "The Literature and History of the Kabalah," by Arthur E. Waite, have been published, yet I think that this little treatise will be found of interest to those who have not sufficient leisure to master the more complete works on the Kabalah.
The Old Testament has been of necessity referred to, but I have by intention made no references to the New Testament, or to the faith and doctrines taught by Jesus the Christ, as the Saviour of the world: if any desire to refer to the alleged reference in the Kabalah to the Trinity, it will be found in the Zohar ii., 43, b.: and an English version of the same in "The Kabbalah," by C. D. Ginsburg.
William Wynn Westcott (November 17, 1848 - July 30, 1925) was a British esotericist, coroner, ceremonial magician, and Freemason. A doctor of medicine by profession, he became active in Freemasonry in 1871, becoming Master of his home Lodge in 1874 and later also of the prestigious Quatuor Coronati research lodge, as well as achieving other Masonic distinctions.
He studied the Kabbalah and by 1880 became active in the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia before co-founding the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn with Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers in 1887. By then he was also active in the Theosophical Society. He devised and organized the Golden Dawn's rituals with Mathers and William Robert Woodman, who preceded him as Supreme Magus of the S.R.I.A. and like Westcott was one of the foremost exponents of Hermeticism of the time. In 1896, he abandoned public involvement with the Golden Dawn due to pressure regarding his job as a Crown Coroner, with which it was seen as an unseemly association. He continued to head the S.R.I.A. and later was involved with the Golden Dawn breakaway Stella Matutina.