Product Description

The present volume is G.R.S. Mead’s collection and survey of the all available texts and fragments of the literature attributed to Hermes Trismegistus—a collection which forms the foundation of Hermeticism and illuminates much of the origin of western philosophical, religious and spiritual thought, from Egypt to Greece and on to the Gnostics and the sources of Christian doctrine. || From the Preface: “These volumes, complete in themselves as a series of studies in a definite body of tradition, are intended to serve ultimately as a small contribution to the preparation of the way leading towards a solution of the vast problems involved in the scientific study of the Origins of the Christian Faith. They might thus perhaps be described as the preparation of materials to serve for the historic, mythic, and mystic consideration of the Origins of Christianity,—where the term “mythic” is used in its true sense of inner, typical, sacred and “logic,” as opposed to the external processioning of physical events known as “historic,” and where the term “mystic” is used as that which pertains to initiation and the mysteries. The serious consideration of the matter contained in these pages will, I hope, enable the attentive reader to outline in his mind, however vaguely, some small portion of the environment of infant Christianity, and allow him to move a few steps round the cradle of Christendom. Though the material that we have collected, has, as to its externals, been tested, as far as our hands are capable of the work, by the methods of scholarship and criticism, it has nevertheless at the same time been allowed ungrudgingly to show itself the outward expression of a truly vital endeavour of immense interest and value to all who are disposed to make friends with it. For along this ray of the Trismegistic tradition we may allow ourselves to be drawn backwards in time towards the holy of holies of the Wisdom of Ancient Egypt. The sympathetic study of this material may well prove an initiatory process towards an understanding of that Archaic Gnosis.”—G.R.S. Mead