Wednesday, May 02, 2007
ELIPHAS LEVI AND ALBERT PIKE
Susanna has been sending me links to websites that claim Pike copied Levi's work without giving credit. I've read both, though admittedly I read Levi when I was just getting into occult research and didn't know much. I was skeptical. Last night I had a few minutes of free time and pulled Pike's MORALS AND DOGMA and Levi's THE HISTORY OF MAGIC off the shelf. Using the indexes--the word Kabbalah in both books--I was able to locate the following:
Eliphas Levi, THE HISTORY OF MAGIC, p. 30:
Magic was the science of Abraham and Orpheus, of Confucius and Zoroaster, and it was magical doctrines which were graven on tables of stone by Enoch and by Trismegistus. Moses purified and re-veiled them--this being the sense of the word reveal. The new disguise which he gave them was that of the Holy Kabalah--that exclusive heritage of Israel and inviolable secret of its priests. The mysteries of Eleusis and of Thebes preserved among the Gentile some of its symbols, but in a debased form, and the mystic key was lost amidst the apparatus of an ever-increasing superstition. Jerusalem, murderer of its prophets and prostituted over and over again to false Assyrian and Babylonian gods, ended by losing in its turn the Sacred Word, when a Saviour declared to the magi by the holy star of initiation, came to rend the threadbare veil of the old temple, to endow the Church with a new network of legends and symbols--ever concealing from the profane and always preserving for the elect that truth which is the same for ever.
Albert Pike, MORALS AND DOGMA, 32nd Degree, Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, p. 839-40:
Magism was the Science of Abraham and Orpheus, of Confucius and Zoroaster. It was the dogmas of this Science that were engraven on the tables of stone by Hanoch and Trismegistus. Moses purified and re-veiled them, for that is the meaning of the word reveal. He covered them with a new veil, when he made of the Holy Kabalah the exclusive heritage of the people of Israel, and the inviolable Secret of its priests. The Mysteries of Thebes and Eleusis preserved among the nations some symbols of it, already altered, and mysterious key whereof was lost among the instruments of an ever-growing superstition. Jerusalem, the murderess of her prophets, and so often prostituted to the false gods of the Syrians and Babylonians, had at length in its turn lost the Holy Word, when a Prophet announced to the Magi by the consecrated Star of Initiation, came to rend asunder the worn veil of the old Temple, in order to give the Church a new tissue of legends and symbols, that still and ever conceals from the Profane, and ever preserves to the Elect the same truths.
Eliphas Levi, THE HISTORY OF MAGIC, p. 41-42:
The primal tradition of the one and only revelation has been preserved under the name of Kabalah by the priesthood of Israel. Kabalistic doctrine, which is that of Transcendental Magic, is contained in the Sepher Yetzirah, the Zohar and the Talmud. According to this doctrine, the absolute is Being, and therein is the Word, which expressed the reason of Being and of life.
Albert Pike, MORALS AND DOGMA, 32nd Degree, Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, p. 841:
The primary tradition of the single revelation has been preserved under the name of the "Kabalah," by the Priesthood of Israel. The Kabalistic doctrine, which was also the dogma of the Magi and of Hermes, is contained in the Sepher Yetsairah, the Sohar, and the Talmud. According to that doctrine, the Absolute is the Being, in which The Word Is, the Word that is the utterance and expression of being and life.
THE HISTORY OF MAGIC was originally published in 1860 in French. The English translation by A. E. Waite was published in 1913.
MORALS AND DOGMA was "Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by Albert Pike, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington."
Pike does not cite Levi in the passages quoted. Levi does not appear in the index of MORALS AND DOGMA.